On national football


The Super Bowl for me means the trails and museums are less crowded, a great time to run errands, etc., and then I recently read an article revealing the spike in human trafficking in host cities to meet the demand for our other “national past times”…so my sense of superiority is now paired with disgust. What else am I missing that might fuel this sense of superiority and disgust? (p.s. I don’t give shit about concussions)


This is a list of NFL franchise owners.

Each person on the list should provide you with a lovely little jolt of disgust. It consists almost entirely of grotesque old white male billionaires, and on the rare occasion when owners are neither white nor male, they are inevitably corrupt oligarchs or heiresses.

Green Bay is the only franchise that is in any way owned by what might be considered “the people.” It is the exception that proves the rule.

Football is the national pastime of a magnificent and horrifying plutocracy. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.


On books about the police


Can you recommend a good book on this “fuck the police” stuff? I want to look deeper into this.


Rise of the Warrior Cop by Radley Balko
If you only read one book about police in America, this is the one. It’s well researched, politically balanced, and it will let you decide for yourself whether you wanna say “fuck the police.”

Our Enemies in Blue by Kristain Williams
Again, if you’re only looking to read one book, this is another great one to consider. It’s also well researched and incredibly thorough, but its entire premise is “fuck the police,” and the author makes no excuses for his position.

Police Brutality: An Anthology edited by Jill Nelson
I haven’t read this, but it looks like a decent collection of essays.

Brotherhood of Corruption by Juan Antonio Juarez
Juarez is an unreliable narrator and a poor writer, but there is still a lot of brutal, street-level truth to be found in this book.

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
This is a seminal work. A must read. It’s less about police and more about systemic racism, but you need to understand the big picture.

Crook County by Nicole Van Cleve
This hasn’t been published yet, but I got my hands on an advance copy and it’s a groundbreaking indictment of the court system.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
This is a personal book about the realities of being black in America, but it’s beautifully written and touches on police violence, so it goes on the list.

Understanding Power: The Indispensible Chomsky edited by Mitchell and Schoeffel
Honestly, you can’t read enough Chomsky. This collection is a great starting point. Focus on his ideas about state power, but by all means, go wherever it takes you.

Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault
This book is the most difficult, but it’s also the most important. It’s a philosophical masterpiece about society’s relationship with incarceration. It will challenge you. Accept the challenge.


On smoking your problems away

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My boyfriend is making me a chain smoker. Not literally obviously. I just can’t tolerate an hour with him without a cigarette. We’ve been together almost 3 years and we live together. I love him and I’m sure of that. But he gets on my fucking nerves. I mean the little shit like him not understanding my humor or never cleaning up after himself. I get so annoyed that it becomes near anger, and I’ve got to smoke to calm down before I become a bickering bitch. After my cigarette I’m nonchalant and fine and we continue on like nothing ever happened. I’m worried not only for my health but for the health of our relationship. Any advice?


Yeah, no. Your boyfriend is not making you a chain smoker. You are responsible for your own behavior, especially where addictive substances are concerned.

Now, as for the rapidly cycling conflict pattern you’ve described, that takes both of you, each playing your part, each getting something out of it, each satisfying a need whether you’re aware of it or not.

As far as I can tell, you get an excuse to smoke and a convenient way to avoid facing the painful fact that your boyfriend sucks, and he gets five minutes of peace and never has to be anything other than a dimwitted slob. There’s probably a lot more going on than that, but it’s certainly enough to keep the basic pattern endlessly repeating itself.

You’re right to be worried about the health of your relationship, because things aren’t fine after you’ve had your smoke. They haven’t been fine for a while, but every time you’re reminded of how unhappy you really are, you rush off to get your fix of nicotine and denial.

I’m guessing at this point you’re up to at least a half pack a day, and if the feedback loop keeps escalating without some kind of intervention in your relationship, you’ll be a pack a day smoker by the time this self-poisoning defense mechanism stops producing the desired effect and you finally decide you’ve had enough.

I don’t doubt that you love him, but having to be so sure of it is another sign that you’ve already gut-checked yourself on whether you want to be in this relationship. There’s also the inertia of three years and the convenience/inconvenience of living together. You’re in a tough spot.

If I were you, I’d quit smoking now. Cold turkey. Just get it over with. Stop the pattern, face your denial, and let the real fights happen. It’s okay for you to have standards. You don’t have to live with a dimwitted slob, and if your boyfriend isn’t capable of improving himself, then it’s also okay for you to leave him.

Stop poisoning yourself, physically and emotionally, merely to avoid facing the inevitable.


On mutual infidelity


While I was on vacation with my friends I cheated on my boyfriend of 1 1/2 years and fooled around with a guy I met. I came clean and he forgave me, but a week ago, he told me that after I confessed, he made out with a girl at a party. I feel like I don’t have the right to be mad, is that true? Are we even now? Do I have to forgive him because he forgave me?


It sounds as though he made out with this girl as a deliberate and direct act of retaliation to your infidelity, and if he felt the need to retaliate, then he never really forgave you. He may have said the words, but it wasn’t actual forgiveness.

You have a right to be mad because you are entitled to your emotions, and you don’t have to forgive him, even if he did forgive you (which he clearly didn’t.)

Still, you’ve both fucked up now. It’s not that you’re even, but in a way, a certain kind of balance has been restored. You’re both hurt and you’re both mad, but at least you’re both in the same boat. I think it’s probably best for both of you to really and truly forgive one another.

It’s okay if you’re both still low-key mad at each other, but you should talk openly about any anger or resentment so that it doesn’t build up and detonate your relationship.

You should also start talking openly and honestly because neither of you trusts the other anymore. That’s the worst part of all of this, and it’s the part that’s gonna keep gnawing at you, so if you can’t handle open and honest communication, consider ending things now, because this mutual infidelity is either gonna bring you two closer together, or a lack of trust will be the slow poison that kills your relationship.


On your hot boyfriend


He’s gorgeous and I’m average and I know it shouldn’t bother me, but it does. The thing is, he’s always been the one to pursue me, and I’ve been the one to pull away. I’m smart and accomplished and realize I’m worthy of pursuit, so it’s not so much a self-esteem thing as it is a perception of imbalance.

We’re giving it a proper go now, but I still can’t silence the voice that says that he should be with someone prettier. How do I tell her to shut the fuck up?


You’re lying to yourself. Lying, lying, lying.

It is a self-esteem thing. It’s entirely a self-esteem thing, and it’s not anything other than a self-esteem thing.

Quit lying to yourself and fucking embrace it. Your boyfriend could easily be with someone prettier, and that’s awesome, because he wants to be with you.

Don’t silence the voice that says he’s too good looking for you. Laugh at that dumb bitch, and enjoy your hot boyfriend.

Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice


are politics + economics just our egos fighting each other over who is right?
Nope. Politics and economics are just our species fighting over who gets the limited resources.

I have an opportunity to work in New York doing what I love. I currently live and work in Miami, where I’ve spent all my 25 years. I’ve been pushing to leave, but now when I have the chance, I’m terrified. I feel like I’m at a standstill.
Go. Just do it. You’re ready. It’s the perfect time, and being terrified is half the fun.

You answered a question I wrote a while back about cocktails, and while I still love them, my drink of choice is now Scotch. Should I be concerned that my tastes are so easily influenced?
Is your drink of choice now Scotch because I led you to the simple discovery that whiskey is fucking delicious, or did you stop drinking cocktails because I said that nine times out of ten they’re too sweet for my taste? If it’s the former, you’re fine. If it’s the latter, you should be concerned about how easily you’re influenced.

“I need to be loved to feel worthwhile.” This is the answer that came up when I asked myself in half sleep why I would feel depressed if I saw no friends this week-end, because I don’t have real friends in this town I have lived in for more than three years. Is this fucked up?
It’s not fucked up if you can shorten your phrase to simply, “I need to be loved.” We all need to be loved, but feeling worthwhile can’t ever depend on someone else’s love or approval. That’s super unhealthy. It’s the primary ingredient in every enmeshed and codependent relationship.

I wish I could have told you everything, so you could have warned me.
It wouldn’t have mattered. The person you were then wouldn’t have recognized the warning. Some shit you just gotta learn the hard way.

My mom found my copy of The God Delusion. She cried.

This is kinda random and really nitpicky, but why do some of your @ replies on Twitter begin with a period before the user’s Twitter handle? It’s just something that I’ve noticed over the years.
That’s a thing people do if they want an @ reply to show up on their main feed like a regular tweet. It’s the equivalent of inviting everyone in the room to listen in on your conversation.

You’re definitely looking for deep connection. Is it because you moved to a new place? When I moved across the country I was super desperate for connection.
The exact opposite, actually. I moved to a new place because I was looking for a deep connection.


On your pussy


This is a painfully embarrassing question but one that I have needed to ask since I ‘developed’ and my best friend shamed me.

My inner labia hang about a centimetre and my outers are tiny, I feel hideous and struggle to engage in foreplay because of this.

The boyish culture where I live means I frequently hear comments such as, pussy like a dropped lasagne, meat curtains etc to which girls and boys react by also shaming big ‘lips’.

should I get surgery?


Hell no.

Your pussy is beautiful, and you are surrounded by fucking idiots.

Say it with me, “My pussy is beautiful, and I am surrounded by fucking idiots.”

Everybody now, “My pussy is beautiful, and I am surrounded by fucking idiots.”

(As far as daily mantras go, you’ll be surprised how universal and deeply satisfying this one is.)


On writing a bunch


You’ve been writing a bunch lately. I’m certainly not complaining. It’s been great. I’m curious if it has to do with your move? Did you change your profession? Do you have more free time because you’re still adjusting to your new surroundings, meeting new people, etc? Or is wherever you moved less busy and fast paced compared to LA? Or are you simply more invested in your blog than before? You are my favorite part of the internet, hands down.


All of those things. Every last one. (And thank you.)

Also, and this is particularly interesting, the number of submissions lately has exploded. I’m not sure why, but based on the quality and content of the questions, I think a whole new post-Tumblr audience may have stumbled onto Dear Coquette. So yeah, If you’re new, thanks for reading. I’m really glad you’re here.

Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice


I keep getting this fleeting empty feeling inside my chest. I’m not even sure if it’s emptiness or dread. It feels like when a coke comedown hits although I haven’t done hard drugs in years. It lasts a few seconds each time and it’s happening more frequently. What is going on with me?
That’s what’s known as a limited symptom panic attack, but since technically you’re describing mild chest pain with increasing frequency, I’m supposed to tell you to go see your doctor. If you do, make the trip worthwhile and ask for some Xanax.

Sex is disappointing. I am still attracted to him. What now?
The term “disappointing” is vague, but it implies room for improvement and a willingness on your part to give out gold stars. If you’re into him and you’ve got the patience, then you know what they say. Practice makes perfect.

Can someone have a legitimate relationship with a person whose identity they fetishize? (Legitimate in this circumstance is defined as loving, long term, and egalitarian.)
Sure. I know plenty of Jewish guys in loving, long-term, and egalitarian relationships with Asian girls.

Why does him not wanting to fuck me anymore hurt even though I’m in love with someone else?
Because even when it’s appropriate, rejection is still rejection.

He’s an arrogant, asshole, condescending lawyer, but I’m so into him. Why am I so into him?
Because you haven’t learned your lesson. (Yet.)

Are all talented artists insecure, hypocritical, high-maintenance and generally toxic? Or is it just that I’ve been exposed to an unfortunate select few who were actually human garbage?
I mean, not all of them are, but yeah, you’ve stumbled into reliable territory with your characterization.

Supreme Court nominees aside, don’t you think Cruz would be marginally better in terms of how other countries view America?
Set the balance of the Supreme Court aside because you’re concerned how other countries might view America? Are you fucking kidding me? That’s like setting aside the cure for cancer because you’re concerned what other people might think if your hair falls out.

It doesn’t bother you that Megan Kelly is racist?
Dude, she’s a Fox News anchor. I don’t wanna date the woman. The fantasy was a hot older lesbian hate fuck. The fact that she’s racist kinda makes it hotter.

Why do people care so much about your age?
People want to know my age so they can triangulate my wisdom.

I miss your long-format personal writing. Please tell me something good.


On almost but not quite


I’m having trouble committing to the guy who wants forever with me because I can’t stop thinking about the “almost but not quite a relationship” I had before. I want some space but I’m 90% sure the forever guy won’t wait for me to figure my shit out, and I don’t particularly blame him.

Am I going to be in limbo forever? Am I just being selfish? Help?


I know your type. The guy who wants forever is probably gonna end up being your next “almost but not quite.” If six months from now you wake up and suddenly feel that, please remember this post, recognize this is a pattern, and know the problem is you.

Meanwhile, if you need some space, you need some space, but if forever guy won’t wait a hot minute for you to get your shit together, then you probably should stop calling him forever guy.

And while I’m smacking you with a little truth, lemme get one more in so you feel it. The reason you’re having trouble committing isn’t because you can’t stop thinking about the “almost but not quite” guy. You’ve got it backwards. The reason you can’t stop thinking about the “almost but not quite” guy is because you’re having trouble committing.

This is just your particular flavor of self-destruct button. Watch. You’ll stop thinking about him the moment you detonate this current relationship.