For nearly three decades Dan Savage has been spouting off sassy sex advice in his “Savage Love” column and on his Savage Lovecast podcast. He started the gig as a lark, a self-proclaimed “gay guy” who thought it would be funny to offer tongue-in-cheek love advice to the silly straights of the world, but in the end Dan ended up a modern-day Dr. Ruth. Over the years he has also written four books, created a network sitcom and battled passionately for the rights of the LGBTQ community. Dan recently spoke with HUSTLER about how to carve out a career as an advice columnist (hint: you can’t), starting a film festival and, yes, becoming a wordsmith for the ages (we give you santorum—named for the dickwad ex-senator—”the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex”).
HUSTLER: I feel like you’ve always been around, but how did I first come to know you?
DAN SAVAGE: Oh, my God, I don’t know, because I’m always hearing from people who just heard of me, who just found their way to the podcast or column. But the column began in Seattle 28 years ago. It took off right away and got syndicated to a bunch of other cities in the next few years—New York, Chicago, San Francisco. I was always in what were called alt weeklies, and a lot of those papers I’m still in. You know, the Chicago Reader, or the paper in San Francisco [SF Weekly], The Georgia Straight in Vancouver. The Village Voice didn’t survive, and when the Voice went out of business, a lot of people went, “Oh, alt weeklies are dead,” but alt weeklies, including my own paper—The Stranger in Seattle—are not dead.
You’re still writing the “Savage Love” column today.
I’m still writing the column, but also doing the podcast. For many years it felt like there was the column and also the podcast, but now it’s the other way around.
Is this the future you imagined for yourself as a young man, that of a world-famous sex adviser?