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…

Read the rest of 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.

On fun-sized advice

How is it possible to have amazing sex with a man who doesn’t attract me at all intellectually and whose body I find repulsive?
You’re just having a little hot ugly pig sex. It happens. Try not to overthink it.

Who should pay on the first date?
Whoever asked the other person out is the one who pays, unless the person who was asked voluntarily offers to split or pick up the tab.

He ended things with me a few months back because he wasn’t feeling “the spark” and we’ve been friends every since. But last night we were both at a party and I hooked up with someone. Now he won’t talk to me. How do I tell him to get over himself? Is it even worth it?
Nope. He can get over himself, or he can go fuck himself. Either way, you don’t have to tell him shit.

My wife is fit and attractive, but her c-section scar is a total turnoff for me. What should I do? Tell her? Ask her to look into scar removal treatments? Just keep the lights off?
You should become less of a shallow, insensitive asshole.

Is it possible to have daddy issues if my dad has been there for my whole life and is generally a very supportive and kind figure?
Sure, it’s possible. Hell, we’ve all got issues. If you feel the need to label them daddy, there’s probably a reason. It could be due to some unresolved conflict in your relationship with your father, but then again, it could just be that people throw around the term “daddy issues” a bit too easily these days.

Recently (like the past couple of months) I’ve been having rape fantasies. I’ll be doing my thing, suddenly realize what I’m thinking about, and stop in my tracks completely horrified. It makes me feel disgusting and worries me, but my mind keeps traveling there. I’m starting to have anxiety about it. Should I seek help?
Nah. You’re fine. As long as it’s pure fantasy and doesn’t stem from a specific traumatic incident, then it’s really not a big deal. Rape fantasies are quite common, and they don’t mean you actually want to be raped. I promise, there’s nothing wrong with you.

I’m really great at finding hot, fun guys to fuck and having a hot night of sex. Not so great at turning it into either a regular fuck or a relationship. Any advice?
Yeah, stop trying to turn one-night-stands into ongoing relationships. Going out for a hot night of sex and going out to meet guys are two completely different rituals with completely different codes of etiquette. Separate the two in your mind, and understand that you can’t do them both at the same time.

Why do I imagine what a relationship/love affair/one night stand would be like with everyone I think is attracted to me, even when I’m not attracted to them?
Because you’re the object of the fantasy, not them. You don’t need to be attracted to them to gaze back at your own idealized reflection of whatever you think they find attractive about you.

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

On after she finally left him

Do you know what happened to the woman who was beaten by her fiancée?

Thank you so much for that post. I showed it to my best friend and it finally gave her what I could never give her: the courage to leave her husband FOR GOOD. Thank you.

Yes. She and I remained in contact throughout the end of 2013. It took her a while, but with the help of friends and family, she was able to leave her abuser in February after another violent incident.

She has since made her story public. Her name is Jenna, and she’s one tough cookie who’s been through a helluva lot of shit lately. She has my utmost respect, and I wish her the very best as she makes a fresh start.

If you would like further details about Jenna’s current situation, she started a GoFundMe page that I encourage you all to visit. Of course, there’s no obligation to donate, but if you can, I know she would be very grateful.