The limits of GGG.

There are several philosophies to live by when it comes to sex and one's partners. One of those is Dan Savage's GGG, or good, giving and game: "GGG stands for 'good, giving, and game,' which is what people engaging in sex should strive to be. Think 'good in bed,' 'giving equal time and equal pleasure,' and 'game for anything—within reason.'"

However, there are limits, and this relates to what we were talking about in class last week - how to fit atypical sexual preferences into a sexual relationship that is otherwise typical. It's also worth mentioning that vanilla sex, or typical sex, is becoming the equivalent of being described as boring. In other words, it's starting to be seen in a negative light. Is there really anything wrong with vanilla sex?

Dan Savage posted the following letter to Savage Love:

It seems like a lot of the questions lately have been from straight women saying things like, "I want to be GGG, so I agreed to do this fantasy for my husband/boyfriend..." Um.

Is "wanting to be GGG" the only reason they're agreeing to these fantasies? It doesn't sound like any of them particularly WANT to be a part of the action, they're just agreeing to make the male partner happy, and because they want to seem cool and fun and agreeable, and they also probably want to keep the guy from straying and seeking fulfillment elsewhere. Which I guess is fine, but I'm not getting the sense that the dudes in these relationships are doing anything similar for their ladies—they're not going outside their comfort zones to accommodate their female partners desires. It doesn't really seem like a super great deal for these women.

Maybe you should clarify that GGG doesn't have to mean "pretending one's own reservations don't exist." It just seems like a lot of women are falling into this "must be cool and not nag and go along with what he wants" trap and your GGG concept is playing into that. I just really feel like there are not a similar amount of guys almost desperate to prove how GGG they are by going along with their female partners' desires and fantasies.

Troubling To Me

His response:

People should be "good, giving, and game" for their partners. But GGG doesn't mean a person has to do any damn thing their partner wants. I've been hammering away at that point for as long as I've been promoting the GGG concept. Here, for example, is some recent advice I gave to a woman who was wondering if her "GGG Card" would be revoked if she refused to vomit on her partner:

Let's revisit my original definition of GGG: "GGG stands for good, giving, and game, which is what we should all strive to be for our sex partners. Think good in bed, giving equal time and equal pleasure, and game for anything—within reason."

Some kinksters skip past the "within reason" part of the definition when they're discussing kinks with vanilla partners. They shouldn't. Extreme bondage or SM, shit and puke, emotionally tricky humiliation play, demanding that your partner have sex with other people because it turns you on (asking your partner to assume all of the physical risks that go along with that, to say nothing of the emotional risks for a partner who isn't interested in having sex with other people), etc.—all of that falls under the FTF exclusion, or a "fetish too far," which you'll find in the fine print on the back of your GGG card, PUKE.

There are definite risks when someone heads out of his or her sexual comfort zone to please a partner. But anyone who learned about being GGG by reading my column will also have learned about the importance of good communication, mutual respect, and honoring a partner's boundaries. And sometimes respect for a partner's boundaries—respect for a partner's limits—means a particular fantasy/kink/desire is forever off the table.

Read the rest here.