On an easy one

When me and my ex broke up, I lent her some money for new furniture, a computer and such, which she promised to pay back when she got financially stable again. That was 8 months ago and in the few e-mail conversations we’ve had, she always mentions how bad her money situation is and that she can’t pay me back yet. Which I would be fine with, if it weren’t for a friend of hers who recently told me she has a steady job again, flies to her boyfriend who lives abroad every other weekend, goes horseback riding and more seemingly expensive stuff. Now maybe her boyfriend pays for that stuff, I don’t know, but I can’t shake the feeling she’s lying about her situation. What would be the best way to handle this?

Tell the bitch to pay up.

On doing what needs to be done

My friend-with-benefits sent me a text saying “You need to back away from me until you can control and handle your emotions. You’re being clingy, obnoxiously attached, and irrationally upset for no goddamn reason. Until then, please do something constructive instead of sending me a text.” He just sent this straight out of the blue and I’m about 5 seconds from kicking his ass to the curb. I can’t keep giving him second chances. I need advice. Help. Anything.

You can only give somebody one second chance. After that, “giving him second chances” is just code for putting up with more of his bullshit.

And let’s be clear, he didn’t send that text straight out of the blue. You may not want to admit it, but you know damn well why he thinks you’re being clingy, obnoxiously attached, and irrationally upset for no goddamn reason.

I’m not saying he’s right. I’m just saying quit acting all surprised. Even if he is right, he’s still behaving like a gigantic asshole, and you shouldn’t tolerate that kind of disrespect from a friend, with or without benefits. It’s doesn’t sound like a healthy relationship, so you should probably take your five seconds and then go ahead and kick his ass to the curb.

Now, here’s the real question. Can you do what needs to be done, or are you just in this for the drama…

Read the rest of this week’s column over at Nerve.com.

On fun-sized advice

I fucking hate the shoes that my boyfriend wears.
I fucking hate the shoes your boyfriend wears too.

How do you feel about men in crop tops, a la Cudi?
Kid Cudi’s crop top was a stage costume at Coachella, not a street look. That’s the only reason it worked. Don’t anybody forget that.

He dissed my taste in music. Why does that feel like such a deal breaker?
An incompatible record collection is a classic deal breaker. It’s right up there with bad kisser.

Aren’t Putin’s actions in Crimea and Ukraine similar to Hitler’s, down to the forced registration of Jewish people?
The actions of de-facto dictators are always gonna be similar, especially if they have the capacity to wage war on a global scale.

Please help, I am calling on you in my hour of need. What are some websites I could buy a ball gown from that won’t require me to sell a kidney?
Don’t buy. Rent. (No, they’re not paying me for the link.)

Don’t you need Facebook to use Tinder? I thought you’d denounced the big blue monster.
Dude. You’re supposed to set up a bullshit Facebook account just for Tinder. If you’re a regular Facebook user and you also also want to use Tinder, never — I repeat NEVER — sign up with your regular Facebook account. Trust me on this.

Are you only answering questions from Nerve now?
Nah, last week was Coachella, and now I’m just crazy busy traveling for work.

The thought of you just existing in the wild at Coachella is really, really weird to me. Like you should be in an ivory tower with all the other VIPs, away from the common folk.
Yeah. It’s called the artist compound. That’s where I was.

Who are your role models?
Fuck role models.

On living in sin

How do I break it to my religious, highly conservative parents that I’m moving in with my boyfriend? Just to provide some context: they got me a “purity ring” for Christmas when I was fourteen, and they likely still maintain delusions of my virginity. I don’t want to hurt them, and I really don’t want to irreparably damage my relationship with them, but I need to move on with my life and I feel like it’s time that I stop living according to their values and not my own. Every time my mom hears about someone moving in with their significant other before marriage, she snarks about “living in sin.” Is there a way to manage this situation respectfully and relatively calmly?

I don’t know your age, but I’m guessing early twenties. Based on your grammar and punctuation, I’m also guessing college educated. In other words, you’re an adult — young, but nonetheless fully capable of making life decisions according to your own set of moral standards.

It’s good that you want to remain respectful, but you need to start making a distinction between showing respect for your parents and showing respect for their belief system. They aren’t the same thing.

Showing respect for your parents means being honest and straightforward with them about your decision to move in with your boyfriend. It also means being patient as they come to terms with the fact that you’re an adult who makes her own decisions. Beyond that, though, you don’t have to put up with their conservative religious bullshit…

Read the rest of this week’s column over at Nerve.com.

On fun-sized advice

What’s your favourite part of Coachella?
It’s different every year, but there’s always a magic hour, usually on Saturday evening just after the sun sets when the air cools and everyone catches a second wind and whatever pill I dropped the previous hour starts melting my face as some undercard band pulls a crowd under a tent and transforms a thousand happy sweaty kids into a unified pulsating entity of screaming dance-fueled bliss.

Colbert as the new host of the Late Show. Thoughts?
CBS is lucky to have him, and I sincerely hope he does something fresh with the late-night talk show format.

My friend is begging me to go on a cross country road trip with him and says he will pay for gas and hotels. I know that it will be an amazing trip but I am completely broke and looking intensely for a job. I feel like if I ask my parents they would give me a few hundred dollars for this trip but I feel like I have been leaning on them my whole life. What do you think, one last fun ride or should I grow the fuck up?
Go on the road trip. Grow the fuck up. You can do both. Quit making false dichotomies out of your life.

How would you feel/respond if a guy told you “If you’re gonna act like a slut, then don’t expect to be treated as anything more.”?
It depends on who the guy is in my life, but I assure you, a blatantly misogynistic comment like that tells me everything I need to know about how little he values women, and I don’t allow people in my life who display that level of disrespect.

Sometimes I just want to ignore the guy I’m dating even though I really like him. Why?
It’s one of the ways you exert control over the power dynamics in your relationships. (Remember how your mom used to give your dad the silent treatment? Yep, there you go.)

What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned from the submissions you receive on here?
We are all exactly the same. Every last one of us.

On the helpseeking experiences of men

How is that abused men are revictimized by DV hotlines and shelters (The Helpseeking Experiences of Men Who Sustain Intimate Partner Violence: An Overlooked Population and Implications for Practice by Emily M. Douglas and Denise A. Hines. J. Fam Violence. Aug 2011; 26(6): 473–485.) but aren’t considered victims of sexism? or holding up women’s ability to abuse at will?

Just fuck off already. Abused men aren’t being revictimized by domestic violence hotlines and shelters. That’s not a thing.

Men’s rights activists like to wave around that bullshit study as an excuse to demand equal time on domestic violence issues, but I actually read the damn thing, and it’s a fucking joke. The sample size is tiny, the correlations are ridiculous, and the results are statistically useless.

Basically, a couple of social workers who wanted to justify their PhDs got some federal grant money to conduct the academic equivalent of this gif:


On fun-sized advice

I’m almost in tears writing this. What are we going to do when Bill Murray dies?
Don’t worry. When he dies, on his deathbed, he’ll receive total consciousness. So, he’s got that goin’ for him, which is nice.

How do I become better at confronting someone with my true feelings in the moment? (Versus hiding behind an email or text an hour later)

Why does it have to be a confrontation?

Why doesn’t my husband want me to fuck other women?
Um, I dunno. Why don’t you ask him?

He’s never going to like me back, is he?

Do I have to tell my boyfriend that I was raped?
Hell no. You are never obligated to tell anyone. That’s nobody else’s business unless you want it to be.

With all due respect, I feel like you throw around the Freudian daddy issue thing quite a bit. Fuck me, eh?
The one I throw around is more Jungian than Freudian, but sure, fuck you. (With all due respect.)

Do you take Xanax recreationally or do you have anxiety?
Anxiety. Specifically, PTSD related panic attacks. I don’t recommend taking benzos recreationally. There’s way too much risk of addiction for relatively little psychopharmacological reward.

Attractive millionaire, 45, offers you $1 million to sleep with him. You were gonna fuck him anyway. Do you still take the $1 million?
Are you fucking kidding? Up front. In cash.

Who are you most excited to see at Coachella?
Outkast, HAIM, Glitch Mob, Lorde, Kid Cudi, Fatboy Slim, Nas, Galantis, Naked and Famous, Flight Facilities, Daughter, Pet Shop Boys, Calvin Harris, Pharrell, Flosstradamus, Disclosure, and as always, Arcade Fire.

On the edges of relationships

A guy, a friend, who I’ve had a peripheral crush on for a year and a half is breaking up with his long-term girlfriend. What is the most respectful way to mention “hey, remember that time we joked around about how I would totally hit that if you weren’t in a loving, committed relationship? So for real now.”

Chill the fuck out. Seriously, take a deep breath and contain your glee at the prospect of jumping on this guy’s dick while it’s still warm from the ex-girlfriend’s dismount.

Think about the consequences. Unless you’re prepared to lose a friend in a flurry of awkward rebound sex, don’t offer yourself up as his break-up gift bag. Even if you don’t mind the potential mess, try and play it cool. Keep it simple. No strings, no bullshit.

You may just want a little sex, but anyone fresh out of a relationship can be a raw nerve. Don’t let your peripheral crush add to his drama.

Last night, I had to fantasize about my recent ex in order to get off with the new guy I’m sleeping with. Guess that means I shouldn’t be having sex again yet, huh?

Nah, it happens. Quit punishing yourself and just enjoy your damned orgasm.

I slept with a good friend of mine who is a few years younger over a month ago and it’s taken that amount of time for him to stop being awkward and distant with me. I would like to hook up with him again, but how do I go about that while still keeping our friendship intact?

You don’t. Learn your fucking lesson. Not everyone is prepared to combine sex and friendship. It’s not your fault if your friend can’t handle it, but it is your fault if you let sex detonate the friendship when you should already damn well know better.

My boyfriend doesn’t give me head, ever. Maybe twice in our entire 3-year relationship and only when I practically begged him to. It bothers me because I love performing oral on him all the time and just making him feel good in general. It’s like he is scared of my vagina or something and it really fucking offends me. Yet he has no problem dick-probing it. Whenever I ask things get kind of awkward… What’s a girl to do?

Get another boyfriend.

I’m not kidding. Either open up your relationship and add in a new guy who loves to eat pussy, or if you’re a serial monogamist, break up with your current boyfriend and replace him with one who isn’t cunniligually challenged.

It may seem drastic, but I assure you, it’s the only solution to your problem that involves anyone ever willingly going down on you again.

Read this week’s column over at Nerve.com.

On conscious uncoupling

What do you think of “conscious uncoupling”? Is is just an overly-spiritualized way of saying that you should look to what you’ve learned from your partner when you’ve out grown them and/or your relationship? Is there something more?

"Conscious Uncoupling" is nothing more than half a twelve-step program sold as a break-up remedy by a hack shrink who’s equal parts Dr. Phil and the Prancercise Lady.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with conscious uncoupling, but please don’t call it “overly-spiritualized.” It doesn’t use the language of spirituality. It uses the language of bullshit psychobabble.

Treat it like harmless self-help snake-oil, not actual wisdom.

On more fun-sized advice

Belle Knox: feminist trailblazer or starry eyed idiot?
Neither. She’s just a sex worker getting a college education. It’s really not that big a deal, folks. Happens all the time.

What do you think of the Kim and Kanye Vogue cover? Please tell us.
Honestly, I resent that we all feel obligated to have an opinion.

Any words on the death of Fred Phelps?

How do I stop feeling lonely when I’m with him?

If being with him makes you feel lonely, take the fucking hint.

I’m a straight woman. My friend is straight. Why is she hitting on me?
Maybe she wants to fuck you. Maybe you’re just bad at reading signals. Maybe sexual orientation is a complex and fluid aspect of the human condition that can’t be reduced to a simplistic binary label.

I treat my boyfriend badly for no reason. Why?
Because he lets you, so you don’t respect him, so you treat him badly, and thus repeats the cycle until you both hate each other.

Why do I feel awful about the fact that she makes him happier than I can?
Because your jealousy and codependency have a longer shelf life than your relationship.

What do you think about euthanizing the more useless members of society? Like, the poor or insane?
Don’t be silly. The useless members of society are the idle rich.

I hate my life and it won’t stop.
Yes it will.

Why is it that most guys like me up until I like them and then it seems they lose interest in me?
It’s not you those guys like. It’s the chase.

What kind of guy says “I don’t have one night stands” - and then disconnects from you after you sleep together?
The kind you’re better off never hearing from again.

Do you have any say in deciding what pictures accompany your Nerve columns? (I guess not.) I love your words, but the pictures provide an unintended laugh.
No, I don’t pick the stock photos. Yes, they’re ridiculous. I’ve started collecting them. I think there’s potential for comedy gold.