LAKEVIEW — Sex advice columnist Dan Savage tried to end his live Savage Lovecast a few times but the persistent crowd at the Music Box on Thursday night kept asking for more — and it did not take much bicep twisting for Savage, back in his hometown, to keep going.
"Okay, okay, one more," Savage said as he peered at the last of a stack of written questions and told a woman wondering what sort of birth control to put her 21-year-old daughter on to bring her daughter into the fold and let her daughter make that decision.
Savage's response got thunderous applause, as did much of the insightful advice given for the 30 or so questions he tackled over the 2-hour recorded podcast at the theater, 3733 N. Southport Ave.
Chicago comedian Kristen Toomey performed a solo set during Savage's midway break, and joined the veteran columnist for the last third of the questions.
Not surprising to longtime readers of Savage's column, there were plenty of questions about porn ("porn is to sex what Kabuki theater is to everyday life," Savage says), partners mulling threesomes and open relationships and those questioning their own kinks and wondering whether they'd be alone forever.
"There is an erotic meat grinder in our brain that spits out kinks and fetishes," Savage said, while bringing up what he calls the "price of admission," — the threshold of concessions one partner is willing to offer another to maintain a relationship.
Savage said that if there is one thing that heterosexuals can borrow from gay men, it's these four words: "What are you into?"
Savage called vaginal sex "a default setting" for heterosexual couples, whereas gay men have to have conversations about what their preferences are before starting a sexual relationship.
To a person who wondered if their relationship should last forever, Savage questioned the romantic notion of lifelong monogamy.
"A relationship is the only scenario where we consider it a failure if both people get out of it alive," he said.
Once the attendees' burning questions had all been finally answered, Savage said, "Thank you so much for coming out on such a hot night!" to roars and a standing ovation.
After the show, Alexis Pool, a Lakeview resident who says she's been listening to Savage Lovecast since her divorce a few years ago, said she especially loves the way Savage can give advice from "an older perspective" to Baby Boomers trying to get educated on things like gender neutral pronouns.
John McInnes drove in to see the show from Arlington Heights.
"I think he is funnier in person. It was really interesting to watch him process a question live, in real time," said McInnes, who's been reading "Savage Love" since the 1990s.
Lincoln Park resident Emilio Williams was invited to the show by some friends and admitted to having no idea who Dan Savage was before Thursday night.
"I loved it, I think [Savage] is great," Williams said.