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Savage soundbites 

Some words of wisdom from sex columnist's new book

Tired of trashy beach reads? Then you might want to dive into the latest book from author and sex columnist Dan Savage. Titled American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights On Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics, the book was released at the tail end of May and has already been tagged one of the best books of the summer by Publishers Weekly. Be sure to pick up a copy, and don't forget you can also get your Dan fix through his Savage Love column, published weekly in the print edition of Creative Loafing and on our website.

Here are some choice excerpts by Dan from his book:

• My dad was in the first class of the ordained permanent diaconate ... Ordained deacons could do almost everything priests do — pass out wafers, preach sermons, baptize babies — and so my dad was up on the altar of our church every Sunday when I was growing up ... I am a preacher's kid. (Technically I'm the kid of two preachers, as my mother was a Catholic lay minister.) ... and yes, I was an altar boy.

But, this isn't a story about being sexually abused by a priest. Because I wasn't sexually abused by a priest.

• ... my mother was a good American Catholic. She believed that women should be priests and that priests, male or female, should be allowed to marry. Even each other. And after four pregnancies in four years — and a heart-to-heart with a parish priest who told her that the pope might be wrong about birth control and definitely wouldn't be paying her children's Catholic school tuition — my mother concluded that birth control was not a sin ...

• When it comes to the issues of sexual morality, straight Catholics — Catholics like my mother — are telling the celibates that while they may run their church, they may not run, or ruin, their lives.

• ... The Catholic Church would like human sexuality to be about one thing — reproduction — but biology tells us differently ...

• The Church got sex wrong. It is confused about what sex is for, confused about what sex does, confused about why we have it and why we have so much of it — shocking, I realize, considering that the Church is run by people who don't have sex. (Or, aren't supposed to have sex.)

• Fact is, straight people have more sex — a lot more sex — than they do babies. And gay people have sex for the same reasons straight people do ... most of the time. Gay or straight, we're having sex for pleasure, for release, and to cement bonds of intimacy. And every once in a while some of us — even some of us who are gay — have sex in order to make a baby.

— Excerpted from American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights On Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics by Dan Savage (Dutton/Penguin USA, May 2013), Copyright © 2013 and used by permission of the publisher, Penguin USA.

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