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Review of Savage U

Savage U is a new show on MTV about sex. I’ve watched an episode of it and was happy with some of the advice he gave. (For instance, he told a female student with a high libdo to not read Cosmo for tips on how to be a girl. He said that’s like a guy watching hard core porn for tips on having sex.) I’m interested in what other people think of the show. I confess, when I was an undergrad, I was busy studying and dating a chick, so my experiences weren’t addressed in the episode I watched. I identify as bi, so I was interested in this review of Savage U over at Bitch.

The good news is that Savage U is not the utter disaster I had anticipated. The premiere is set at the University of Maryland, and much to my surprise, it actually addresses bisexuality twice—with mixed results. About halfway through the episode, a woman at the Q&A tells Savage that she recently dated a bisexual man, and asks him about the line between “guys trying out other guys” and guys being  “actually into guys.” Savage replies:

Most guys who try out other guys are into guys on some level. That’s a pretty high bar in our very homophobic culture. Not a lot of mostly straight guys go, ‘I think I’ll put a penis in my mouth just to see, because it’s an experiment, and I want to see what happens.’

Like many of Savage’s comments, this one was aiming for laughs, and it received them. I’m not sure that I agree with reviews that say that the comment was specifically meant to imply that bisexual men are actually gay, but I wish he had broached the issue differently. For starters, we’ve already established that some “mostly straight guys” actually do experiment with other guys. Additionally, rather than pointing out how hilarious it is to suggest that men experiment sexually, Savage could have taken a moment to educate this student about bisexuality. The way she asks her question makes her seem nervous about the idea of bisexuality, and it may have been helpful for him to explain that being bisexual does not mean that her boyfriend would cheat on her or leave her for another man. But this is Dan Savage, so I can’t say I’m surprised that his answer lacked thoughtfulness.

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About Jen

Have been a jack of all trades. I'm a former philosopher who specialized in ethics and political philosophy. I'm a sex positive feminist.

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