Posted by: Dan Savage
Topic: So long, Farewell, Auf Weidersehen, Goodbye.
I'm sorry to disappoint this commenter. He assumed, as I failed to say my goodbyes yesterday, that I would be seizing control of the Great Mate Debate. Alas, that's not the case. It's just that I, like Greg & Amiira, was just slow to get my goodbye post up.
I'm going to miss everyone--Wendy, Greg & Amiira, Helen, and most of all—believe it or not—Ed Young. How often does an gay sex-advice columnist and atheist get to go toe-to-toe with the leader of a conservative Christian mega-church on issues of sex and morality? Ed bowed out weeks earlier, of course, but I will always treasures the moments we spent blogging together. So I want to thank Chemistry.com for their matchmaking skills in bringing us all together for this conversation (to say nothing of their patience—this isn't my first late post).
The one thing I hope everyone reading takes away from this debate is this: decent thinking people—people like Wendy, Greg & Amiira, Helen—are all over the map on sex, romance, and relationship issues. That proves something I think each and every one of us knows to be true but secretly wishes weren't true: We ultimately have to figure out this sex/dating/mating stuff for ourselves. It would be nice—it would be a relief—if there was a final authority, an Uber Expert, someone out there dispensing one-size-fits-all wisdom about sex, dating, and mating. It would be so much easier if there was one expert that had all the answers. But that person isn't out there—that expert hasn't been invented yet. That expert wasn't blogging on this website, doesn't write my column or Wendy's books, and isn't hiding out in any of the books in Ed's bible. Instead we're stuck with arguments and muddles and debates, greater or lesser. We listen and participate—and then embrace what works for us, discard what doesn't, and get on with things.
The danger for experts and non-experts alike is the assumption that what works for me not only could work for everyone else, but must. Well, it doesn't. So as you continue to figure out sex, romance, and mating for yourself, dear reader, I trust that you'll embrace the stuff that works for you and ditch the rest. If something I wrote here worked for you, great. If it didn't, chuck it.
Thanks again to the Chemistry.com crew—Gina and Janet particularly—and to my fellow mate debaters.