Hey, Faggot:

When I have an erection, my penis curves to one side. This is a source of major insecurity to me when it comes to having sex. In fact, I’m 26 and I haven’t had sex yet. I’ve had opportunities, but when I find myself with a willing girl, I worry about how she might react, and I also worry that it might make sex more difficult.

I’m an intellectually inclined person, so I’d like to form a mental bond with a woman before we have sex. But I have anxiety about the awkwardness of my situation. From what I understand, this is not an uncommon problem. Do you have any advice that would make my situation less awkward? –X

Hey, X:

About a quarter of all dicks are bent, crooking left, right, up, or down. So, Gumby, the next time you meet a woman to whom you feel “intellectually inclined,” ask her how many men she’s bonded with prior to making your acquaintance. If it’s more than four, odds are she’s already bedded a guy with a crooked dick. You won’t have any explaining to do, nor will there be anything for you to feel insecure about. Besides, of course, the fact that you’re a 26-year-old virgin. As for making sex awkward: vaginas are pretty accommodating orifices. Unless that dick of yours is bent at a right angle, you should be fine.

Hey, Faggot:

I have a penis that, when erect, curves to the left. Is this normal, or am I some sort of freak? I’ve just started going out with a girl who I like, but I’m scared she’ll see my bent hard-on and leave me. Do girls know some guys have curved erections? My last girlfriend didn’t seem to mind, but I’m not totally sure my new girlfriend will feel the same. Save my life and answer my question.

–Bent Hard-On

Hey, HO:

I’ve never received a letter about bent dicks before–well, actually, I got one a long time ago, but I didn’t answer it–and then this week, boom-boom-boom! Multiple letters about bent dicks! Weird. Hey, did you watch Ellen come out on Ellen last night? I’m writing this the Wednesday before Ellen chows down on luscious Laura Dern’s butch puss, and, you know, as of this writing I’m not sure if I’ll watch the show. You see, I just read the piece on Ellen “Yep, I’m Gay” DeGeneres in Time, and I’m feeling a little angry.

DeGeneres, with a sinking sitcom on her hands, comes out of the closet at thirty-fucking-nine years of age, and your average queer on the street is wetting her pants. I don’t get it. Better late than never, better out than in–I get that. And it’s wonderful when an oppressed minority group finally receives the validation that only having “one of our own” starring in a sitcom can bestow–look what Margaret Cho’s All American Girl did for Asians in this country. But do queers have to go into hero-worship mode every time some half-famous person comes out of the closet 20 years late?

I wasn’t really angry about DeGeneres’s coming out until I read Time: “‘I hate that term “in the closet,” says Ellen DeGeneres. ‘Until recently, I hated the word “lesbian” too–“lesbian” sounded to me like somebody with some kind of disease. I didn’t like that, so I used the word “gay” more often.'”

I’d like to know, when was DeGeneres using the word “gay”? She says she’s used it often. OK, Ellen, like when were you using the word? In a dark room in an empty house in the middle of the night? WHEN? And of course you hated that term “in the closet.” All closet cases do.

Hey, Faggot:

I am a 22-year-old straight male with a not-so-straight penis. Although the few females I’ve been with have not complained, I need to know if a little curvature is not uncommon. Got any stats that I can use for peace of mind? Also, does my “condition” affect a woman’s pleasure factor during sex? –BB

Hey, BB:

If your penis curves up at an impossibly sharp angle, you might be able to use it to stimulate your girlfriend’s G-spot. If not, you’ll have to use your fingers, like a lesbian.

Speaking of lesbians, the Human Rights Campaign, a gay political organization, is encouraging us all to “Come Out With Ellen.” You can send away for an HRC coming-out party pack, sponsored by Absolut vodka (maybe next year HRC can run a “Dry Out With Ellen” campaign for all us queer drunks). Good thing HRC isn’t encouraging us to Come Out Like Ellen, otherwise I’d have to go back in the closet and wait seven more years.

Hey, Faggot:

I believe I am afflicted with a rare disorder which has prevented me from becoming sexually active. Knowing little about anatomy, and not having consulted a doctor, I think I have Peyronie’s disease, an abnormal formation of the penis, in which it develops a severe curve to one side when erect. It does function in all regards, but I feel like a freak. Can things be “straightened out”? –Pissed Off

Hey, PO:

Yours is that letter I got nine months ago about bent penises. So, PO, if you’re still wondering what’s up with your dick: No one is exactly sure what causes Peyronie’s disease, but you don’t have it. Peyronie’s is a buildup of noncancerous plaque in the dick’s erectile tissue, and usually strikes suddenly: you go to bed with a straight penis, and you wake up the next day with what in extreme cases looks like a corkscrew. If you had Peyronie’s, there would be a great deal of pain involved with getting an erection (you say you’re functional, right?).

If you were suffering from Peyronie’s, you could have your dick surgically “straightened out,” but you might want to consider the side effects: lifelong impotence and a shorter penis. Harsh. On the other hand, if you leave it alone, Peyronie’s usually goes away all by itself. But like I said, you don’t sound like you’ve got Peyronie’s–you just have a crooked dick. See a doc.

OK, one last thing about Ellen: Remember when Greg Louganis came out? Weeping fags were lining up to get his autograph, and telling Oprah Greg’s their hero. And I’m sitting there thinking: Hero? If Greg had come out at the Olympics–if he’d thrust his arm into the air and given the gay power salute while standing on the podium wearing his gold medals, with our national anthem playing and the whole world watching–then I’d have burst into tears too. But he didn’t. He came out to promote his book, kids. You know who my heroes are? Teenagers all over this country who are coming out, starting gay-straight student alliances at their schools, and demanding that their parents deal and chill. A couple of weeks ago, I met a 15-year-old who lives in motherfuckin’ Mormon freak show Idaho, and he’s out of the closet at his high school. That’s heroic. He ought to be on the cover of Time, not Ellen DeGeneres.

Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611.