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  • Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval

    In this week’s Metro Times we took a look at the state legislature’s role in Detroit’s ongoing bankruptcy — in particular, how it must approve a $350 million pledge for the so-called “grand bargain” to remain intact. And, with last night’s announcement of a significant deal between the city and Detroit’s pension boards and retiree groups, the ball is Lansing’s court now. The new deal, first reported by the Freep, would cut general employees monthly pension checks by 4.5 percent and eliminate their cost-of-living increases. Police and fire retirees would see no cuts to monthly checks, while their cost-of-living increases would be reduced from 2.25 percent to 1 percent. Under the original offer, police and fire retirees cuts were as high as 14 percent, with general retirees as high as 34 percent, that is, if the groups rejected the “grand bargain,” an $816 million proposal funded by foundations, the state, and the DIA to shore up pensions. The sweeter deal for pensions, though, it must be noted, entirely relies on the state legislature approving $350 million for Detroit’s bankruptcy.  And while this broke after Metro Times went to press, that was the focal point of this week’s News Hits column — so, it’s worth repeating: The […]

    The post Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday

    This Saturday, April 19, is Record Store Day, and there is plenty going on in metro Detroit and Michigan. Of special interest to us is Chiodos’ 7” single “R2ME2/Let Me Get You A Towel,” Mayer Hawthorne & Shintaro Skamoto’s 7” “Wine Glass Woman/In a Phantom,” Chuck Inglish & Action Bronson’s 7” “Game Time,” Chuck Inglish & Chance the Rapper’s 7” “Glam,” Chuck Inglish & Chromeo’s 7” “Legs,” Chuck Inglish, Mac Miller & Ab-Soul’s 7” “Easily,” James Williamson’s 7” “Open Up and Bleed/Gimme Some Skin,” Black Milk’s 12” “Glitches in the Break,” Mayer Hawthorne’s 10” “Jaded Inc.,” Wayne Kramer & the Lexington Arts Ensemble’s 12” “Lexington,” and best of all, Ray Parker Jr.’s 10” “Ghostbusters.” We wrote about James Williamson’s release this week. Go shop. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May

    Margaret Doll Rod will celebrate the release of her new EP, Margaret, with a show at PJ’s Lager House on Saturday, May 10. A statement reads, “The EP contains 3 new original songs and one Chrome Cranks cover with Italian actress Asia Argento singing background vocals. Margaret moved to Italy after the end of the Demolition Doll Rods where she still lives touring and performing festivals in Europe. The Dollrods were a Garage Rock force for over 20 years, opening for Iggy, Jon Spencer, The Scientist, The Monks and The Cramps. Margaret was the front person and principal songwriter for The Dollrods. Her chief musical foil was Danny Kroha, who joined the Demolition Doll Rods after the now legendary Gories called it quits. Margaret’s sister, Christine, on drums, rounded out the legendary trio. Margaret will do a special performance in the round that night with a 360 degree revolving stage and special guest DJ Adam Stanfel.” The bill will also feature the Stomp Rockets and the Volcanos. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Music review roundup

    Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220. Email MP3s and streaming links to bcallwood@metrotimes.com. Ricky Rat’s Tokyo Pop/Glitter People (New Fortune) 7” single highlights all that’s great about the Trash Brats guitarist, but also his limitations. The man can write a bubblegum rock ’n’ roll song to match anyone in the city and most beyond. He’s also a killer guitarist, ripping out one throwaway riff after another with reckless abandon. He’s a machine. On his own though, without Trash Brats frontman Brian McCarty, his voice doesn’t have enough strength to do the songs justice. Not that you need to have the greatest voice in the world to sing this stuff – you don’t need to be able to perform vocal gymnastics – but you do have to be able to wail the tunes out. Both of the songs on this single are great, but you can’t help but wonder how much better they would sound with McCarty or somebody similar talking the mic. Still, as they are the songs are great fun. We’re just being picky. The Paper Sound’s Trajectories is a dense, atypically dark Americana-tinged album, unrelenting and […]

    The post City Slang: Music review roundup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes

    “Neighbors wanted.” That’s the message on the homepage of buildingdetroit.org, a new website launched by the City of Detroit today to auction off city-owned homes to prospective buyers who pledge to fix them up and move in. “We are moving aggressively to take these abandoned homes and get families living in them again,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement today. “There are a lot of people who would love to move into many of our neighborhoods. Knowing that other people are going to be buying and fixing up the other vacant homes at the same time will make it a lot easier for them to make that commitment.” The website to facilitate the auctions went live this afternoon. The first auction is scheduled to take place Monday, May 5. Officials said in a news release that one home will be auctioned per day, Monday through Friday. Fifteen homes are available for sale on the site, a dozen of which are in the East English Village neighborhood. Any Michigan resident, company, or organization that can do business in the state can bid, according to the website. Properties will be for sale for only one day, with bidding taking place from 8 […]

    The post Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes

    In case you haven’t heard, two of the biggest names in film, Steven Spielberg and John Williams, are collaborating to put on a benefit concert for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra this summer. In case you wanted to go- well, you’re too damn late. The DSO says tickets to the June 14 concert were snapped up in a record-breaking 15 minutes after they went on sale at 9 a.m. today. The DSO has since released this statement to fans who didn’t snag seats: Our apologies to everyone who was unable to buy tickets this morning for our historic benefit concert featuring John Williams and Steven Spielberg. Despite increasing our phone and internet system capacity for the day, a surge of hundreds of ticket buyers purchased tickets in a matter of minutes, filling the phone lines and temporarily maxing out our web servers. After a one-hour pre-sale made available to donors and subscribers at 8am, we released additional seats at 9am to the general public, including seats available for as low as $30. All seats sold out immediately. The concert program seems nothing short of top notch: Williams will conduct the orchestra as it performs some of his most iconic tunes, such […]

    The post Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Savage Love

Sheathe That Thing

dick sheaths and perfectly average kinks,

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Q:

 I’m a Savage Lovecast listener, but I’m sending this question to your column because my boyfriend would for sure recognize my voice if I called the show. I’m 25, I live in Portland, and my boyfriend and I have been monogamous for five years. His dick is of average size. It’s not small enough for him to have dealt with the emotional baggage associated with “small dicks.” Yet, I’ve had sex with big dicks, and I would love to try one of those dick sheaths or extenders or whatever. But my boyfriend is a sensitive guy, and I feel like I’m going to permanently fuck up our sex life if I ask for one. How can I propose this without him feeling like his manhood is insufficient? I’ve heard you talk about how it’s best to share your kinks as if they were added bonuses — and not as if they were terminal cancers — but I can’t figure out how to talk about this without hurting his ego. Advice?           —Sincerely Loves Average Man

A:

 “Getting a sheath onto her boyfriend’s dick without hurting his feelings will be a bit tricky,” said Matthew Nolan of ohjoysextoy.com. “No matter their size, lads around the world are brought up with dick insecurities. Having said that, a dick sheath isn’t the worst thing in the world for her to bring to the table: It involves her boyfriend as a participant, and it keeps his dick in the loop.”

Matthew and his partner, Erika Moen, collaboratively create an informative, subversive, and entertaining weekly comic that focuses on the world of sex — from sex-toy reviews to interviews with people in the sex industry to sharing sex-education lessons. They research and write the text together, and Erika does all the drawing. Why comics?

“Sex education is typically very dry,” said Erika. “A wall of text about abstract concepts and then some alien diagrams — it’s really hard to relate that information to your own body. Comics are well equipped to teach people about their bodies, sexual options, and reproductive choices because they combine images and text together, making subjects approachable and visually appealing. And, hey, adding in a joke or two helps make people feel included in the conversation instead of being lectured at.”

In a recent comic, Matthew gave cock sheaths a try. Cock sheaths — for those of you who haven’t visited a sex-toy shop in a while — are a popular new sex toy that allows an average dude to be huge, and a huge dude to be ridiculous. They’re pliable-but-firm hollow dildos that a guy wears over his dick. The dude slides his hard, lubed-up dick inside the sheath, pulls his balls through a ring at the base that prevents the sheath from sliding off, and proceeds to bang away at his partner’s hole(s) like a porn star.

That’s the theory anyway.

“The dick sheaths I tried weren’t the greatest thing for my partner and me,” said Matthew. “They dull the senses and turn your dick into an unwieldy mess. Despite owning a few, my preference is to use a big dildo on my partner instead of wearing a dick sheath.”

But if it’s a dick sheath you want, SLAM, Matthew has some advice about how to get one.

“SLAM should suggest going sex-toy shopping with her boyfriend,” said Matthew. “She could tell her boyfriend she’s in a filthy mood and fancies something big. She should put the emphasis on wanting him to give her some big-toy fucking and add that this is something that you can both do together. Have him help pick out different toys — like some big dildos — while saying encouraging things like ‘Ooohh, wouldn’t you like to fuck me with this one?’ When you come across the cock sheath, add it to your cart explaining that it would be a perfect sex-toy solution for your mood.”

I’m going to break in here for a second: If you feel like your boyfriend might have a meltdown if you start talking about wanting something huge for a change — the implication being, of course, that he isn’t able to provide you with that something on his own (how big are his forearms?) — head to the sex-toy shop without any stated agenda and see how he reacts to the cock sheaths on display. If he recoils from them, SLAM, you might wanna steer him over to the body paints and bondage gear. But if he seems intrigued and not threatened by the cock sheaths, ask him how he’d feel about fucking you with one of those, without seeming too hugely invested in being fucked by one of those yourself.

And what do you do if you manage to leave the sex-toy store with a cock sheath and a boyfriend whose ego is still intact?

“Be encouraging about enjoying the extra size and having him fuck you with toys,” said Matthew. “When it comes to the sheath, keep it jovial — laugh about it and tell him he’s sexy. A fun atmosphere can help alleviate insecurities. And by the time you’re done and dusted, you’ll know better if you prefer him with or without the sheath.”

See ohjoysextoy.com to look at examples of Erika and Matthew’s work. Their comic about pregnancy is particularly inspired and a great resource for parents who are having a hard time explaining where babies come from. Follow them on Twitter at @PlusTenStrength and @ErikaMoen.

Q:

 I am a 22-year-old heterosexual female. I may possibly be bi, but I don’t know. I really like the dick, but I am attracted to women and fantasize about fucking a pretty woman with a strap-on. I asked my boyfriend of a year if I could live out my fantasy, but he said he doesn’t want me “fucking another woman like a man.” I asked if maybe I could do this to him instead, but he said no. I like BDSM, but the most he’ll do is hold my arms down and spank me. I’ve asked for other things — bondage, nipple clamps, paddles, etc. — but he says that stuff takes too much time and the bother of it “kills the mood.” I offered to set up stuff beforehand — ropes already tied to the corners of the bed, for instance — but he doesn’t want me to do that because “what if someone saw it.” Am I just being inconsiderate and selfish? Maybe I’m asking too much, but I felt that I was beyond honest about all of this before we started dating. My ex-husband (yes, ex-husband: I got married at 16 and divorced last year) was never okay with any of this, either, and would call me a freak when I opened up about my desires — so I made sure not to hide them from my current boyfriend when we met. Now what am I supposed to do? Just drop it? Or should I talk to him? How do I talk to him? —Confused And Sexually Denied

A:

 Yes, CASD, you should drop it — and by “it” I mean “him.”

You wasted five years of your life on a man who couldn’t meet your needs and sex-shamed you about your perfectly ordinary, perfectly average kinks. You’ve been with this new guy for a year, and he’s revealed himself to be every bit as lazy, inconsiderate, and sex-shamey as your ex-husband. DTMFA. There are tons of guys out there who would 1) be happy to indulge your kinks and 2) make lovely boyfriends and/or husbands. Go find one — or two or three or four.

On the Savage Lovecast, it’s Bible study time with nondouchey Christian John Shore at savagelovecast.com.

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

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