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  • James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag

    The Magic Bag in Ferndale will host James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets on Thursday, May 28, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. A press release reads, “James McMurtry recently signed with the bourgeoning Los Angeles record label Complicated Game. The legendary songwriter will enter the studio later this month to start working on his first album in six years. “I’ve got a new batch of songs, organic and with no added sulfites, aged in oak for several years,” he says. “Francois Moret at Complicated Game seems to like these songs and (producer) C.C. Adcock thinks he can turn them into a record. Good times fixing to roll.” Label head Moret agrees. “In March 2013, when C.C. Adcock told me we were going to see James McMurtry at the Continental Club in Austin, I expected to see a good show,” he says, “but what I saw left me mesmerized! I immediately knew I wanted to sign him. As a European, it is an amazing opportunity to work with one of the most talented American singer-songwriters.” Evidence: McMurtry’s Just Us Kids (2008) and Childish Things (2005). The former earned his highest Billboard 200 chart position in nearly two decades and notched […]

    The post James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit

    The Dead Kennedys, still with local boy Klaus Flouride in the ranks, will play St. Andrew’s Hall on Tuesday, June 24. Alongside Flouride and fellow original members East Bay Ray and DH Peligro, the current lineup includes singer Ron “Skip” Greer, taking the place of Jello Biafra. Downtown Brown will open that show, which starts at 7 p.m., with tickets priced $20-$25. Give Klaus a hero’s hometown welcome. Just over a week before that, strangely enough, Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine will play at the Magic Stick. It’s a weird coincidence, but one that DK fans should be happy to embrace. That show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $17-$19. Local hardcore vets Negative Approach play before Jello, with the Crashdollz opening the show. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain

    The Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck will present a police drama called A Steady Rain May 2 through 24. Planet Ant veterans Ryan Carlson and York Griffith will star in the play, written by House of Cards and Mad Men co-writer Keith Huff. Tickets ($10-$20) are on sale now at PlanetAnt.com. According to the press release, “A Steady Rain by Keith Huff focuses on Joey and Denny, best friends since kindergarten and partners on the police force whose loyalty to each other is tested by domestic affairs, violence and the rough streets of Chicago. Joey helps Denny with his family and Denny helps Joey stay off the bottle. But when a routine disturbance call takes a turn for the worse their loyalty is put to the ultimate test.First produced at Chicago Dramatists, A Steady Rain appeared on Broadway featuring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The Planet Ant production of A Steady Rain is directed by York Griffith featuring Ryan Carlson and Andy Huff. This marks the return of two of Planet Ant’s founding members. Carlson and Griffith. Griffith has served as the theatre’s Artistic Director where he directed the critically-acclaimed productions The Adding Machine and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? […]

    The post Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face

    There is no easy answer to the question regarding what should be done with Detroit’s abandoned homes. However, an Eastern Market company has a solution that could reflect Detroit’s possibly bright future. Homes Eyewear has set out to make the city a little more stylish, and do their part in cleaning it up by repurposing select woods from neglected homes for sunglasses. All of the wood that Homes uses is harvested from vacant houses with the assistance of Reclaim Detroit. A lot of work goes into prepping the wood to be cut and shaped into frames. Homes goes through each piece to remove nails, paint or anything else detrimental to their production (it’s a bit strange to think that your wooden sunglasses could have had family portraits nailed to them). In order to produce more durable eyewear, they salvage only hardwoods like maple or beech, which are difficult to come by as most of the blighted homes were built with softer woods like Douglas fir and pine. If you’re worried about looking goofy, or shudder at the thought of salvaged wood resting on your nose, you can rest easy. Homes currently offers frames in the popular wayfarer style and are developing their unique spin on the classic aviators. For as […]

    The post You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor

    Detroit home-girl Lily Tomlin will perform at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, June 14. A press release reads, “Get together with Lily Tomlin for an unforgettable night of fun and sidesplitting laughter. “Tomlin is amazing” The NY Times and “as always a revelation.” The New Yorker This unique comic artist takes her audience on what the Washington Post calls a “wise and howlingly funny” trip with more than a dozen of her timeless characters—from Ernestine to Mrs. Beasley to Edith Ann.” “With astounding skill and energy, Tomlin zaps through the channels like a human remote control. Using a fantastic range of voices, gestures and movements, she conjures up the cast of characters with all the apparent ease of a magician pulling a whole menagerie of animals from a single hat.” NY Daily News “Her gentle touch is as comforting as it is edifying.” NY Time Out She has “made the one-person show the daring, irreverent art form it is today.” Newsweek Her long list of awards includes: a Grammy; two Tonys; six Emmys; an Oscar nomination; two Peabodys; and the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Find more info here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor

    The Detroit Metro Times, Detroit’s award-winning alternative weekly media company, is proud to announce the recent hire of Valerie Vande Panne as Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning independent journalist and Michigan native, Vande Panne’s work has appeared in Crain’s Detroit Business, The Daily Beast, and Salon, among other publications. Previously, Vande Panne attended Harvard University and was a regular contributor to The Boston Phoenix, and a news editor of High Times magazine. She has spent years covering drug policy among other subjects, including the environment, culture, lifestyle, extreme sports, and academia. “Valerie understands our business and what we expect to accomplish in Detroit. She has an excellent sense for stories that will move our readers, as well as experience with balancing print and digital content. I’m excited to have her at the paper and trust her leadership as we move forward,” said Detroit Metro Times publisher Chris Keating.

    The post Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Savage Love

Kickin' it

He wants it right in the jewels, but is it, like, sexual?

Q:

 I am a 22-year-old straight female. I used to babysit for a wealthy family, but their children have outgrown babysitters. The dad of this family is very into martial arts and fighting and has invited me over several times for "self-defense training." I have accepted his invitations a few times, and it has always started off as a normal workout in their home gym — treadmill, weights, swimming — but he is always pretty anxious to get to the self-defense part. Often he will blindfold me and then come at me, and I must then wrestle my way out of the situation using the moves I've learned.

I did this a few times, Dan, but I found it a bit unsettling. However, he never touched me inappropriately. Last time we did this, he told me he wanted to see how much pain he could take. He asked me to kick him in the groin with no protection until he couldn't take it anymore. I thought, "This is strange," but I was curious, so I did it. He was able to take it for a surprisingly long time. I haven't been back since, but for the last six months, he has been pestering me to come back. Recently, he suggested that we have what he calls a "competition." He will stand there, and I will kick him in the balls — or anywhere else I want — and if he gives up, I get $150. If I give up, by getting too tired, I give him $20. His wife knows about the workouts, but he said he doesn't want me to tell her about the fighting.

My question is this: Is there a sexual component to this? I have never heard of anything like this before, and I find it odd. But I am a poor college student, and for $150, I'll stand there fully clothed and kick this guy in the balls! Please let me know your thoughts. —Will Kick Balls For Money


A:

 There are no nonsexual components to this, WKBFM, and if you've never heard of something like this before, well, you must be a new reader. Here is a rich guy attempting to manipulate his kids' former babysitter into doing sex work for him — no, scratch that. What we've got here is a rich guy who has already manipulated his kids' former babysitter into doing sex work for him. (Your workouts with the blindfolds and the wrestling and kicking? Unpaid sex work.) I don't think his ball-busting fetish is creepy. It's extreme, as fetishes go, but the risks are his. Paying you to kick him in the nuts doesn't put his wife at risk (swift-kick-to-sack is not a known mode of STI transmission), it won't take food out of his children's mouths, and, as he presumably has all the children he wants, sterility might be a blessing (i.e. vasectomy) in disguise.

If you need the money, and you don't think you'll be scarred by the experience, tell him you'll consider doing this for him — you'll come over, remain fully clothed, and kick him in the nuts — but only if he levels with you: He's getting off on this. If he can't level with you, WKBFM, don't do this.

You don't want him to think he's successfully manipulated you into doing sex work for him, because you don't want him thinking, "Well, if I could get her to do this, I can probably get her to [remove her clothes, watch me masturbate, have sex with me]." If you go into a session without both of you having acknowledged what you're actually doing — you're sorta selling sex, he's definitely paying for sex — and he does try to get you to remove your clothes or watch him masturbate or have sex with him, you may find it difficult to say no. Being direct with someone ("No, I'm not taking my clothes off, asshole!") after you've accepted a dishonest premise ("This isn't about sex, you're just testing yourself!") requires you to admit that you were being dishonest too. Most people are reluctant to admit to dishonesty, and a skilled manipulator will exploit that inhibition to get what he wants. So tell him you'll play — you'll bust his balls — but you're not going to play along. 


Q:

 I am a 30-year-old straight man who has always known that he is a poly. The woman I love is not a poly. She is a monogamous person. When we started being sexual, it was a strictly friends-with-benefits arrangement, although a sexually exclusive one, at her insistence, and I agreed to that because neither of us expected anything long-term to come of it. But we fell in love, and now I can't imagine life without her. She is amazing, and I love her like I've never loved any other woman. But she has asked me to betray my sexual identity by remaining sexually exclusive. If I cannot commit to that, she does not want to be with me. I am not asking the same of her: She does not have to sleep with other people to keep me in her life. She is, however, insisting that I not sleep with other people to keep her in my life. Can someone who is poly be happy with someone who isn't? —Polyamorous Polymath


A:

 You are not "a poly." Poly is not a sexual identity, PP; it's not a sexual orientation. It's not something you are, it's something you do. There's no such thing as a person who is "a poly," just as there's no such thing a person who is "a monogamous." Polyamorous and monogamous are adjectives, not nouns. There are only people — gay, straight, bi — and some people are in monogamous relationships, some are in open relationships, some are in polyamorous relationships, some are in monogamish relationships, some are in four-star-general relationships. These are relationship models, PP, not sexual identities.

So the question isn't "Can a poly be happy with a monogamous?" The question is can you, despite your clear preference for nonmonogamous relationship models, be happy in this relationship? 

If you truly can't live without her, if she's the-one-you're-going-to-round-the-fuck-up-to-the-one, you'll have to be monogamous. If that's not something you're willing or able to do — and "willing" and "able" are two different criteria, and you'll need to make an honest self-assessment on both counts — then end this relationship and go find someone whose romantic desires more closely align with your own.


Find Dan Savage's weekly podcast every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage. Contact Dan at mail@savagelove.net or @fakedansavage on Twitter.

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