Defining Saddleback 

Plus tips on how to protest Rick Warren.

I'm going to Barack Obama's inauguration. I've spent eight years, one month, one week, and one day waiting for this. (But who's counting?) However, I am looking for suggestions for a respectful way to protest the participation of Rick Warren. As a lifelong Episcopalian, I really don't want to engage in an antireligious protest. (I was annoyed with some of the antireligious people at the anti-8 rallies. We need all our allies, so don't trash the engaged, progressive religious folk!)

While my friends want me to throw shoes, that ain't gonna happen. Ideally, I'd like a peaceful, gracious way to protest Warren's participation that won't undercut this great day, a way that can be picked up (and publicized) by folks on the Mall. Any suggestions?

Faithful Obama Girl

Whatever you do, FOG, don't do those things you already said you don't want to do. No one should boo or throw shoes or do anything disruptive. The American Taliban love to pretend that they're the persecuted ones, and booing or throwing shoes or even just turning your back on Warren — the gay hatin', right-wing Christian bigot Barack Obama invited to give the invocation at his inauguration — will invariably be spun as an attack on people of faith.

Instead, borrow a page from those long-suffering gay Catholics. To register their displeasure with the pope's revealing obsession with gay sex, gay marriage, and gay shoes, some gay Catholics wear rainbow sashes to mass. Perhaps folks disappointed by Warren's participation could coordinate a similar sartorial protest? Everyone wear a button with that rainbow-striped version of the Obama logo? Wave little rainbow flags during Warren's remarks? Head to the Mall in nothing but rubber chaps?

And speaking of Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose Driven Life. My life's purpose over the last week was reading thousands of proposed new definitions for "saddlebacking." As with the new definition of santorum, the new definition of "saddlebacking" has to be some act that (1) needs a name but doesn't already have one and (2) is naughty enough to discomfort Reverend Warren but something that actual people might actually do.

So I've disqualified definitions that were too literal ("putting an actual saddle on someone's actual back and actually riding them"), too gross ("to crap on someone's back and then sit on it, moving forward and back while making horse-riding-related noises like 'giddyap!' and 'whoa!'"), too complicated ("one person on all fours with a strap-on strapped to their midsection, a second person riding said strap-on, and a third person hitting the first person from behind while holding on for dear life/giving a handjob to the second person"), or too bitter ("when you give someone some kind of basic human right, like marriage, and then take it away again after a few months"). Here are the proposed definitions that made the cut:

(1) Logically, if "barebacking" means having butt sex with no condom, then "saddlebacking" should mean having butt sex with a condom.

(2) Saddleback (verb): to submit someone to any kind of humiliating, unreciprocal sex act, either literally or metaphorically, consented to by passive partner due to submissive/masochistic tendencies, desire for approval, or other darker motive. E.g., "I don't know why Obama is letting Rick Warren saddleback him into presiding over his inauguration."

(3) The saddleback position involves placing your lubed dick between the butt cheeks of your partner. This position can be performed on your sides or on top of a facedown partner (maybe with a pillow under his or her hips). My favorite way of finishing up the saddlebacking is to lift up and come on my wife's sweaty back. The saddleback is a nice compromise position when your partner won't allow anal entry.

(4) To saddleback is to rail against gay sex in public while secretly indulging in the same in private. Ted Haggard? Total saddlebacker. Larry Craig? Saddlebacker. Rick Warren? Probably a saddlebacker.

(5) "Saddlebacking" should be the term for the phenomenon of Christian teens engaging in unprotected anal sex in order to preserve their virginities. "After attending the Purity Ball, Heather and Bill saddlebacked all night because she's saving herself for marriage." Please, please adopt this definition!

(6) Saddleback (verb): to ejaculate on the back of a partner at the culmination of doggy-style anal sex.

(7) Before being invited to give the invocation, Mr. Warren was most noted for his book The Purpose Driven Life. Therefore, "to saddleback" is to fuck with a purpose, i.e., to procreate. A heterosexual couple asked if they're trying to have children could reply, "No, we're not ready for kids yet, but we'll probably start saddlebacking next year."

Those are the nominees. But before we vote, let me handicap the candidates:

(1) I like the idea that sex is understood to include condoms and that sex without condoms needs a special term. But tons of people suggested that "saddlebacking" should be the opposite of "barebacking," so here it is. (2) Seems unlikely to come into common usage, but I like the point the reader is making. (3) Technically this kind of assfuckery is a form of frottage, but like a woman doing a man in the butt with a strap-on dildo, this particular brand of rubbing off could use a name of its own. (4) One of my favorites — but does a Haggard or Craig tumble out of the closet often enough for the term to come into use? (5) Hilarious — and an entirely appropriate way to honor Reverend Warren, who is a proponent of abstinence education, the "sex ed" that has convinced so many Christian girls and boys that buttfucking isn't actually sex. (6) A common move that could use a name. (7) Makes sense, so here it is. But I imagine Warren would approve of this definition — except when lesbians used it.

Okay, Savage Love readers, "saddlebacking" is in your hands now. Vote for your favorite definition from the list of nominees by sending an e-mail to You must include "saddleback" and the number of your preferred definition in the subject line to have your vote count ("saddleback: 1," "saddleback: 2," etc.).


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