Addicted to podcast, and not just for the sex

Dan Savage

Author and activist Dan Savage before speaking at Elmhurst College on Sunday. (Scott Strazzante, Chicago Tribune / May 10, 2012)

I'm not in the target audience for the “Savage Love” podcast, Dan Savage's weekly offering of audio advice. I'm neither “stuck in relationship quandary,” to quote the theme song, nor am I “looking for sexual harmony.”

Yet I've listened to all 290 episodes of the podcast to date, vicariously enjoying not only the informatively piquant problems of the often sexually unorthodox callers, but also Savage's insightful, sharp and profoundly ethical responses to them.

Come for the kink. Stay for the wise counsel.

It's hard to imagine, and impossible for me to describe in a family newspaper, the predicaments, dilemmas and confusions experienced by some of those who leave messages of woe on Savage's voice mail.

Yet his answers matter-of-factly cut through all the distracting, sometimes appalling clutter to identify moral resolutions.

Moral? Deeply. In responding to and sometimes conversing with callers, Savage stresses honesty, generosity, safety, fairness, responsibility and mutual respect — the true family values, in other words — and applies them in an insightful and sometimes inspiring fashion.

“Savage Love” slyly addresses quandaries that go far beyond relationships and sex. For that reason (and, OK, for the sex, too), I never miss an episode.

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