Q: Being a big fan of your book, Skipping Towards Gomorrah, you can no doubt imagine how delighted I was to read all about William J. Bennett’s gambling “problem.” America’s No. 1 moral crusader lost millions of dollars in Las Vegas casinos. I realize that it’s not cool to laugh at the misfortunes of others, but I’m willing to make an exception for Bennett.
Republicans like Rick Santorum would have us believe that it’s not OK for two queers to fuck in the privacy of their own home, but it’s just dandy for Bennett to blow $8 million in Sin City? —Bennett’s Chips Flow
A: I’m not going to pile on top of poor Bill Bennett. Not only did he get caught indulging in a low, common, squalid vice, he also pledged to give it up after he got caught. That’s pathetic. Think of all the vice-loving homos, adulterers, and pot smokers out there that Bennett made all those blown bucks berating. Have we given up vices? No way! Apparently we’re made of stronger stuff than wimpy ol’ Bill Bennett. So I’m going to refrain from beating up on the big ol’ sissy. And why should I bother? Hundreds of other writers have already pointed out that Bill Bennett’s justifications for his vice — never hurt anyone, didn’t break the law, “If you can’t handle it, don’t do it” — apply to vices that Bennett made millions of dollars condemning. Getting a blow job in the Oval Office from an eager intern, for instance, isn’t against the law, didn’t hurt anyone, and clearly Clinton could handle it.
So, again, I’m going to nobly resist the urge to pile on top of a weak, wimpy, repentant Bill Bennett. Instead, BCF, I’m going to do what I can to help Bill out. As every gambler, pot-smoker, faggot and 42nd president of the United States can tell you, giving up a vice you enjoy isn’t easy. Gambling addicts who attempt to kick the habit usually suffer at least one relapse and I don’t think Bennett’s career could stand even a single relapse. And isn’t it better for us sinners to keep a wounded, compromised virtuecrat on the stage than see him replaced by some asshole whose secret vice has yet to be exposed? So I’m asking America’s sinners to help me help Bill: If you see Bennett anywhere near a casino tell him to go home to the wife.
Of course, not all American sinners know what Bennett looks like. We’re too busy sinning to catch the Sunday-morning talk shows. So to help sinners better police Bill Bennett’s private life, I am making available, for a limited time only, a very special deck of playing cards. “Nevada’s Most Wanted” is modeled on those “Iraq’s Most Wanted” playing cards distributed by the U.S. military. But instead of pictures of Saddam Hussein and his henchmen, “Nevada’s Most Wanted” features pictures of Bill Bennett on every card. Buy a pack and familiarize yourself with Bennett. If you see him in or near a casino, call the number on the back of your “Nevada’s Most Wanted” cards and let Mrs. Bennett know that she needs to collect her husband.
A deck of Bill Bennett playing cards is $10, and you can order yours by visiting www.thestranger.com. Only a limited number of “Nevada’s Most Wanted” decks will be printed, so order yours today.
Q: Ashton Kutcher is hosting “Saturday Night Live” as I write this, and he’s doing the monologue wearing no pants, just tighty-whities. I’m in Vermont and I have no idea what time zone you live in, but I immediately thought, “God, I hope Dan Savage is watching this,” and ran to my computer. —DW
A: Thanks for the heads-up, DW, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the World Series of Poker. And when he walked out in his underwear I thought, “Maybe there is a God!” Bill Bennett and Ashton Kutcher both exposed on the same day?! Thank you, Jesus. And thank you too, Washington Monthly, Newsweek and Lorne Michaels.
However, I have a bone to pick with the American people. Back when I first started writing about Ashton, most of the mail I got in response went like this: “Ashton who?” When I said, “Ashton Kutcher, only the most beautiful man on television today,” people told me to stop thinking with my dick. Yes, I was thinking with my dick. Find me a guy who doesn’t. And to everyone who doubted my dick’s judgment, well, I can’t resist pointing out that my dick has been vindicated. Everybody has the hots for Ashton now — don’t believe me? Check out the cover of Rolling Stone. And the next time my dick has something to say, listen up.
Q: I’m a 23-year-old gay male who’s been following the Rick Santorum scandal. Washington and the press seem content to let Santorum’s comments fade into political oblivion, so I say the gay community should welcome this “inclusive” man with open arms. If Rick Santorum wants to invite himself into the bedrooms of gays and lesbians (and their dogs), I say we “include” him in our sex lives — by naming a gay sex act after him.
Here’s where you come in, Dan. Ask your readers to write in and vote on which gay sex act is worthy of the Rick Santorum moniker. It could be all forms of gay sex (“I pulled a Rick Santorum with my straight roommate in college”); or orgasm in a gay context (“We fooled around, and then I Rick Santorumed all over his face”); or maybe something weirder (“We bought some broom handles and we’ll be Rick Santoruming all night.”) You pick the best suggestions and we all get to vote! And then, voilà! This episode will never be forgotten! —Sex and Rick Santorum
A: I have two quibbles, SARS. First, there’s no such thing as a gay sex act. There’s nothing two men or two women can do in beds, bushes or butts that a man and woman can’t also do. Second, even if there were gay-specific sex acts, why save “Santorum, Santoruming, Santorumed” for gay sex acts? Santorum didn’t just say that gays have no right to private, consensual sex, he said that no one, gay or straight, has that right. He even said that states should be able to outlaw birth control. That makes Sen. Santorum a threat to the sexual freedom of straight people too — and straight people should contemplate that fact whenever they pull a Rick Santorum, don’t you think?
Minor quibbles aside, SARS, I love your suggestion. There’s no better way to memorialize the Santorum scandal than by attaching his name to a sex act that would make his big, white teeth fall out of his big, empty head. And don’t doubt for a moment that Savage Love readers have the power to do just that: Savage Love readers selected “pegging” for a woman doing a man in the ass with a strap-on dildo — much to my Aunt Peggy’s dismay — and “pegging” is already showing up in dictionaries of sexual slang. So, readers: Should a “Santorum” be a common or a rare sex act? Vanilla or kinky? Sweet or gruesome? Send in your suggestions, I’ll print the best and we’ll vote. And then, if God really wants to prove to me that he exists, a videotape of Bill Bennett and Rick Santorum Santoruming each other will somehow fall into my hands. And if you want to get my ass into church every Sunday for the rest of my life, God, toss in a videotape of Ashton Kutcher Rick Santoruming Joseph Gordon-Levitt.Contact Dan Savage at firstname.lastname@example.org