Savage Love (book)

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Savage Love
AuthorDan Savage
CountryUnited States
SubjectSex advice
Publication date
Followed byThe Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant (1999) 

Savage Love: Straight Answers from America's Most Popular Sex Columnist is a non-fiction book by sex columnist Dan Savage. It was first published in 1998 by Plume.

In Savage Love, the author recounts his early sexual education and experiences, as well as his initial impetus to begin a sex advice column of the same title as the book. Savage Love includes a collection of pieces from the author's column. The book received a favorable reception in reviews from Library Journal,[1] Mademoiselle,[2] POZ,[3] and Gay and Lesbian Humanist.[4]


In the introduction to Savage Love: Straight Answers from America's Most Popular Sex Columnist, the author gives the reader some background to his early sexual education and experiences.[5] Savage recounts how he first decided to start his advice column in 1991, while employed as the night manager of a video store in Madison, Wisconsin.[6] His friend Tim Keck joined him for a meal in Madison, on his way to Seattle, Washington to form a weekly publication, The Stranger.[6] Savage stated to Keck that he could contribute a weekly advice column with the recommended title of "Hey, Faggot", and this was later modified to become "Savage Love".[6]

Savage writes that communication is a key part of a good sexual experience: "After all, nothing makes a person better at sex than good communication. All sex therapists, advice columnists, and marriage counselors, serious, mainstream, pop culture, religious – are all in agreement on this point".[7]

The book includes a collection of writings from the author's column, Savage Love.[8][9] Some of the writer's best columns were selected for inclusion in the book.[10] At the time of the book's publication, the author's Savage Love column was six years old, and syndicated to 16 newspapers,[1] with a total of 4 million readers.[11] Savage asserts that his homosexuality affords him an added skill in his trade of advice-giving.[1] The work provides advice for sexual problems of individuals of various lifestyle orientations.[1]

Publication history[edit]

The book was first published by Plume in 1998,[12][13] in paperback format.[14] An e-book format was also released in 1998.[15] A subsequent edition was published by E P Dutton in 1999.[16]


Martha Cornog of the American College of Physicians reviewed the book for Library Journal, writing, "Sex advice columns provide enlightenment for the erotically challenged as well as voyeuristic entertainment, and the aptonymic Savage delivers on both counts."[1] The review concluded, "Especially recommended for libraries in urban and university locations and wherever Savage Love is syndicated."[1] A review of the book in Mademoiselle commented, "Savage Love: Straight Answers from America's Most Popular Sex Columnist, by Dan Savage, smartly tackles topics from blowing someone off to just blowing someone."[2] writing for POZ, Xaviera Hollander commented, "His flip, funny, no-holds-barred tone has an edge that his 3.5 million readers either adore or abhor-- and keep coming back for more."[3] Stephen Blake of Gay and Lesbian Humanist noted, "For the uninitiated ... this book is a wonderful introduction to one of America’s best-known sex-advice columnists."[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Cornog, Martha (American College of Physicians) (1998). "Savage Love: Straight Answers from America's Most Popular Sex Columnist; Book Review". Library Journal. Philadelphia: Reed Business Information, Inc.
  2. ^ a b "Savage Love: Straight Answers from America's Most Popular Sex Columnist; Book Review". Mademoiselle. 104. Condé Nast Publications. 1998. p. 620.
  3. ^ a b Hollander, Xaviera (September 1998). "No Miss Manners". POZ. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Blake, Stephen (Spring 2002). "Savage Love: Straight Answers From a Queer Sex Columnist, by Dan Savage". Gay and Lesbian Humanist. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  5. ^ Dueholm, Benjamin J. (March 11, 2011). "Rules of Misbehavior". Washington Monthly. Retrieved May 26, 2011. alternate link
  6. ^ a b c Moe, Doug (September 21, 1998). "Tommy's bro dumps his da foe". The Capital Times. Madison, Wisconsin. p. 2A.
  7. ^ Kamen, Paula (2000). Her Way: Young Women Remake the Sexual Revolution. NYU Press. pp. 79, 265. ISBN 0-8147-4733-7.
  8. ^ Kneple, Myrna; Annie Knepler; Ellie Knepler (2002). Crossing Cultures: Readings for Composition. Longman. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-205-33167-3.
  9. ^ Carlson, Peter (November 25, 2002). "Writer Dan Savage's Sins and Sensibility". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. p. C01.
  10. ^ Speers, W. (October 2, 1998). "A little Jewish mysticism for Hillary Clinton?". The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. E02; Features Magazine.
  11. ^ Zekas, Rita (November 11, 1998). "Contrary Barrymore and Norman love-in". The Toronto Star. p. E5.
  12. ^ OCLC 39157512
  13. ^ Gudelunas, David (2007). Confidential to America: Newspaper Advice Columns and Sexual Education. Transaction Publishers. p. 221. ISBN 978-1-4128-0688-6.
  14. ^ Savage, Dan (1998). Savage Love: Straight Answers from America's Most Popular Sex Columnist. Plume. ISBN 978-0-452-27815-8.
  15. ^ OCLC 57443163
  16. ^ Savage, Dan (1999). Savage Love: Straight Answers from America's Most Popular Sex Columnist. E P Dutton. ISBN 0-525-94294-7.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]