Dan Savage rocks.
**AVC: You're still sometimes harsh or dismissive or aggressive with some of the people you deal with. Is there a philosophy to that attitude?**
DS: Oh, absolutely. I always think of the column as a conversation I’m having with friends in a bar about sex. And people say, ‘Oh, you’re so mean.’ That’s only ‘cause everyone’s so completely pussified by our therapy culture, where anyone who’s seeking counsel has to be fuckin’ nursed at your hairy tit for half an hour before you say a discouraging word—“Ooh, poopy-poopy, it’s so sad.” But if you think about it, if you go to your friends for advice and you lay out the dumb thing you did, the first thing they do is make fun of you for half an hour, or two hours. They make jokes at your expense, they tell you you’re an asshole, they ask you how you can be so stupid and idiotic, and then they give you some advice. I treat people who write me the way my friends and I all treat each other when we go to each other for advice, which is sometimes with supreme cruelty. I think that’s what helps the advice sink in. If somebody comes at you with both barrels, the first shot opens your head, and the second shot allows the advice to get lodged inside.