Tag Archive for: tolyamory

The Big 500 & Savage Love

This is not just any old episode. It’s the 500th episode of Dates & Mates! 

Here to celebrate with us is the GOAT, the legend, the original dating columnist, Dan Savage. He’s coined several popular dating terms over the years and this week he will be revealing 2024’s newest dating trends, as well as his predictions for the year when it comes to dating and politics, polyamory and app drama. In this special episode, he joins Damona for a supersized Ask Dan and Dear Damona.

Looking back over the last 11 years of this podcast, we’ve done a lot of things. We covered the launch of Tinder, interviewed celebrity guests and had a variety of segments from the Hollywood Hookup to Damona’s Diatribe. 

But the biggest thing to happen since the launch of this podcast was the release of Damona’s first book, F the Fairy Tale, in January. 

That book is truly a labor of love. Three years in the making, the backbone of the book is really YOU – all the questions you’ve asked Damona over the years, all the people who have trusted her as their coach, all the wishes granted and hearts healed.

As Damona says in F The Fairy Tale, “So much has changed in dating and relationships in the last hundred years, and also in the last 11 years that I’ve been doing Dates & Mates. So why keep living by the old rules that governed love in a time when computers didn’t exist, smartphones were science fiction, and laws were in place to disadvantage many groups that are moving toward equality today?”

Hopefully this snippet from the book inspires you in your dating journey. 


Dan Savage is an author, media pundit, journalist and LGBT community activist. He is the author of Savage Love, a sex advice column that appeared originally in The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative weekly paper, in 1991 and is now syndicated across the United States and Canada. 

He’s also the host of the podcast, The Savage Love Cast, where he answers your sex questions and talks about politics. 

Dan is also the author of multiple books, including his most recent one, Savage Love from A to Z: Advice on Sex and Relationships, Dating and Mating, Exes and Extras. 

(8:01) Ghosting and Flaking… a new trend in dating and relationships? 

Damona asks Dan why ghosting seems to be on the rise. Dans suggests that it is tied to the fact that dating apps allow us to meet singles far outside our normal orbits. Because we don’t run much risk of running into them again, we don’t feel obligated to avoid the drama and social tension.

He makes an interesting observation though, “Ghosting seems to be one of those things we object to vociferously when someone does it to us, but we can rationalize when we do it to someone else because we don’t avoid the awkwardness of issuing a rejection.”

In the end, both Dan and Damona say that ghosting is wrong suggesting that daters follow the Golden Rule.

(20:55) Some Nonmonogamy Data Doesn’t Match Up

Damona mentions two important stats that seem to be in conflict. In an Ashley Madison study, 59% of Gen Z users said they preferred a polyamorous or open relationship and felt that one person could not fulfill all of their sexual needs. But in a Kinsey Institute study, it was reported that only 1 in 9 Americans has been in a polyamorous relationship. She says, “when I start doing the math, I’m like there’s a lot of people here, especially younger singles, who are saying, I prefer polyamory, but people aren’t necessarily acting on it.”

Dan’s theory is that people are using nonmonogamy to mean relationships that aren’t strictly monogamous rather than relationships that are fully open. “That could be a couple where there’s an understanding that there may be some outside sexual contact over the course of the many decades that they’re together, but they are invested in being perceived as a pair, a bonded couple, and not doing anything that might communicate to friends, families, neighbors that they’re anything other than monogamous.”

Dan believes that dater’s ultimate goal with this line of thinking is to create strong relationships. “And if you define cheating as unforgivable and always the end of a relationship, then when you consider how often cheating happens in committed relationships, you’ve made your relationship really brittle.”

(34:20) Dan’s New Dating Term – Tolyamory

Dan’s new term for the year is Tolyamory. From “tolerare”, which is the Latin for put up with, and “amor”, which is Latin not just for love, but also for lover. Dan combines them to become Tolyamory which describes being in a relationship with somebody who has cheated.

Dan explains that some people turn a blind eye because they’re economically or socially stuck. Others, he says, are just not interested in being physically intimate with their partners anymore and so see it as having a chore taken care of for them. Obviously, this isn’t ideal for anyone, but it does happen.


Find Dan on Instagram @DanSavage and check out The Savage Lovecast wherever you listen to Dates & Mates!



Submit your questions on Instagram, X, TikTok, or Facebook, and hear Damona’s answers live in a future episode!


IG DM from Jeff:

I’m fine doing vanilla stuff, but whenever it gets rough, I get shy. My girlfriend enjoys it when I’m dominant and I fantasize about being dominant, but it’s frustrating. My girlfriend doesn’t act awkward during sex at all, and she has a lot more experience than me. 

Maybe I just get worried about that because I compare myself to what I imagine all the other men she has been with. Or maybe it’s something else I don’t know, but I’m getting super frustrated with myself. 

She says I meet her sexual needs and that she does enjoy vanilla stuff, but we need to switch it up a little bit.

Email from L :

I (26F) am in a committed monogamous relationship with my bf (25M). We’ve been together for over three years and have a healthy, consistent sex life so far. We sort of recently became good friends with a couple. They live an hour away from us and we hang out with them about every other weekend when we can make the drive. We get along super well with them and have really enjoyed becoming closer over the last few months. We’ve discussed our sex lives with them before, but in relatively vague terms. 

My bf and I are open to group sex, but really want it to be with people we know or have a history with. We connect well with this couple and admittedly, I’ve been thinking… a lot…. about sex with them. How could we potentially hint that we’re interested? I really don’t want to mess up the friendship if they reject it or, worse, are weirded out. And what if they agree…? Will that mess our friendship up too maybe? I haven’t felt this pull toward a couple before and I just want to know what I would be getting us into. 

Email from Starting Fresh

Dear Damona, 

Thank you for your podcast and the work that you do. You seem very pro-long-term-relationship so I’m not sure if you’re the right person to ask but I love listening to you all the time and really trust your opinion and advice, so I wanted to reach out to you. 

After my 15-year-marriage ended last year I haven’t been able to start dating yet. I have been working on myself and doing a lot of therapy, but now I would like to date. However, I was raised in a conservative religious environment and never dated until meeting my ex and subsequently marrying him in a matter of months so I actually have no idea how to even start dating. I also don’t want a serious relationship, but I don’t want a one-night stand (I don’t think?!) – I want to date for fun, enjoy meeting someone new and learning more about myself. But I know nothing about dating at all and definitely nothing about dating for fun! How do I even start and how do I stay safe? Help! 

Love, Starting Fresh