Fun-Sized Advice

On more fun-sized advice

What is God?
Deus Sive Natura

How is it possible that my dumbass is dating the most wonderfully kind, intelligent and simply gorgeous woman in the whole world?
You’re sweet. Don’t fuck it up.

If you, um, felt the need to look into acquiring a dual citizenship somewhere, what country would you choose?
Canada.

I know weight-loss surgery is a valid option. I know people can fix their lives with this. I know it would greatly improve my health. Why does it feel like cheating? Like I couldn’t do it with exercise and a balanced diet.
It’s not cheating. You’re still gonna do it with exercise and a balanced diet.

I’ve written to you countless times about real shit in my life. Stuff that you probably can’t even come close to relating to in your frivolous, smug, faux-party-girl existence of yours. And the only responses I’ve ever received from you have been needlessly vicious and petty attacks on my character. You’re honestly such a cunt.
Gee. I wonder why I attacked your character?

How do I tell someone or explain “You’re a wonderful friend but I don’t want your creative input or assistance, ever.” Under normal circumstances I don’t mind just listening and ignoring it but they constantly want to collaborate and I absolutely do not want to do that.
I think you’ve chosen a lovely set of words to use. By all means, use them. Set your boundaries with kindness and compassion, and remember that you are not responsible for this person’s feelings.

My cousin’s new husband is an idiot dirtbag racist (“all Muslims should be exterminated” levels). He’s also applying to the Secret Service and has asked me for my full name and SSN (I was born on a military base overseas and apparently he needs that info?). I A) DO NOT want to give it to him and B) DO NOT want this guy serving in the Secret Service (though he is dumb as shit; an assassination attempt on 45 might actually go through). Do I flat out refuse, possibly instigating a family war? Do I report his racism (documented online) to the Secret Service? Do I just comply and wait for his inevitable failure? I feel gross and uncomfortable and stressed already. Coke, what would you do?
Yeah, this is an easy one. Tell him to go fuck himself, and when the feds come to interview you for his background check, spill the tea and show receipts.

I wrote to you in 2012 panicking about climate change and you said “calm down, Chicken Little.” It’s strangely comforting to see that on Twitter now, you’re on the same page about the climate being fucked and the future being bleak. Your writing has helped me come to terms with the fact that I’m not having kids. I do dearly hope to get to be an old woman someday, though.
I think the not-so-distant future on this planet will be unimaginably horrible and then potentially really interesting. The climate will change. Our species will adapt. Humanity will survive, but there will be about five to seven billion fewer of us over the course of about a hundred years starting about a hundred years from now. I just hope we retain science and knowledge and don’t fall into another dark age. I prefer to live this current life of relative comfort and ease, but I still think it would be kinda cool to skip to the other side of the impending extinction event just to see how it all turns out.

I know weed did/does make you paranoid. Is that still a thing, or do you smoke more now?
I’ve gone the way of the THC vape pen. Clean, easy, and a consistently good high.

Do you consider what you do here “emotional labor”?
This is how I relax.

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Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

Apatheia, ataraxia, or nirvana?
Fuck nirvana. Marry ataraxia. Kill apatheia.

You have control over anyone’s mind for one hour…who and what do you do?
I can’t answer this question explicitly without risking a visit from either the Secret Service or the FBI, but let’s just say that if I had one hypothetical, magical hour of mind control, then by late January of 2019, Donald Trump would be charged with five counts of murder, President Nancy Pelosi would be nominating three new Supreme Court Justices, and Mitch McConnell wouldn’t be around to get in her way.

Coketalk, everytime I go to my (good) mate’s places I end up in bed cuddling them for a good while. I never let it cross the line into something sexual, but the cuddles are intimate. Is this wrong? Should I stop?
You’re absolutely adorable. Good for you for recognizing that the cuddles are intimate. There’s nothing wrong with physical intimacy between friends, but you need to pay close attention to the ebb and flow of platonic and romantic emotions — both yours and your friend’s — so as to prevent any misunderstandings or potential boundary violations.

Why can’t I stop thinking about how my boyfriend once fucked his roommate?
Because it speaks to his character, and you don’t like what it says.

He has a polyamorous approach to relationships. I don’t, and probably won’t ever be. Am I wrong to ask him not to be poly if he’s with me?
You’re not wrong to ask, but you’re wrong if you think the relationship will last longer than six months.

How do you dirty talk? I can’t take myself seriously and don’t know what to say.
I answered this many years ago, but it bears repeating: Dirty talk consists entirely of describing whatever it is you are doing in the moment. Just narrate the action, but you gotta own that shit. Curl your lip. Say it with brass. Don’t think. Growl.

Are all cops bastards?
No, but the number of cops who aren’t bastards is essentially a rounding error.

Have you ever passed by a stranger in your new city and thought, “I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you on tinder.” Or whatever dating app, multiple dating apps you use.
Sure. It happens all the time. Hell, it used to happen in LA. (Then again, I used to do a lot of ecstasy, and that always made people seem familiar to me.)

I am going back to school to get a master’s degree to become a therapist. Should I be alarmed that so many of the other students in my program (also aspiring therapists) believe in “crystals” and talk about their healing properties?
You must be in California. Don’t worry. Those people tend to get weeded out on their way to licensure and end up as yoga instructors or life coaches.

Coke, are you still a raging bitch? I remember you said you’ve moved the party upstairs. You sound more of a calming presence than anything, to be honest.
I’ve always been a calming presence.

You’re a child playing grown up.
Thank you!

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Advice

On being pursued

If a guy doesn’t offer to pay for the first date I never see him again, even if the date was really good. After about a month of dating it’s fine to split the bill, but until then it’s a deal breaker for me. My friend says it’s because I think they owe me for my time and I consider my time more valuable than theirs. It’s probably true and I’m embarrassed to be that kind of person. Thoughts?

 

Your friend is a closeted misogynist who thinks that all women are inherently prostitutes, and not in a cool way. Don’t listen to them.

The simple truth is that you were taught this rule, and you’ve never really bothered to question it. As you mature, you’ll start to realize that you were taught a whole bunch of rules that you’ve never really questioned. Some of them are useful. Some of them are shit. This one is a mix of both.

Courtship rituals are constantly evolving, but it is still reasonable to expect the guy to pay for the first date if he is the one who asked you out. That’s the underlying rule here: whoever does the asking out is the one who pays. It’s not about him “owing” you. It’s about a pursuer/pursued relationship dynamic implicit in the initial phase of the courtship ritual. It’s about you believing pretty strongly that you should not have to pay to be pursued.

There’s nothing wrong with thinking like this, but it’s a lot better if you understand why. The useful part of this rule is in respecting the relationship dynamics of a healthy courtship ritual. The shit part of this rule is that you can too easily make it about the money and not about the fact that your date isn’t pursuing you properly.

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Fun-Sized Advice

On more fun-sized advice

My ex is dating a model who is so thin, she is absolutely anorexic. It’s so apparent, it made me gasp. I’m slim thick and he loved my body to the point of idealizing it at times. What?
The easy answer to your question is that your ex idealizes whatever body type he’s currently fucking. The difficult answer to your question is that you should stop comparing your body to other women, especially women your ex is fucking, and even more especially models.

I got ghosted. I invited him to come over, he said sure. The night approached. He never texted. I didn’t either. It’s always what happens. I spot the ghosting coming so I don’t say anything and therefore only get half ghosted. Am I being smart?
You got what you wanted. That’s what you need to start admitting to yourself. This pattern serves a purpose for you. You get a tiny jolt of excitement from the initial connection, and you get just as much pleasure when the plans fall through. Your needs are getting met. If they weren’t, you’d behave differently. The question now is to discover why you’re satisfied with so little.

I think I’m working for an actual (corporate) psychopath. How do I navigate this situation if I want to stay with this company and advance my career?
Well, you’ve spotted the predator. That’s important. At the very least, it means you aren’t the weakest gazelle. Stay alert and don’t allow yourself to become prey. Be useful and unobtrusive. Do your job well, but do not seek praise. Avoid interaction to whatever degree possible. I don’t know what you do or how your company is structured, but you would be wise to get clear of this psychopath’s range of authority as soon as possible.

If I’m so supposedly liberal and accepting, why do I hate the idea of Burning Man? I’m not sure if “capitalism” is the right answer. What if the answer is “don’t touch me”?
You can be liberal and accepting and still have personal preferences. The point is to live and let live. The whole “let live” part of that is being cool with other people doing their thing even if you hate the idea. As for why you hate the idea of Burning Man, the reason is envy. You see those people as a bunch of insufferable assholes, but you also see that they have something special, and you want to have something special too. You just haven’t found your special thing yet. Once you do, you won’t hate the idea of Burning Man anymore. You’ll just think it’s silly.

Why have I been losing feelings for men after I sleep with them?
Those feelings you’ve been losing weren’t really for the men. They were for you. In other words, right now you’re only in it for the chase. For whatever reason, you’re not emotionally available beyond the initial phase of the courtship ritual. It’s up to you to figure out why.

Do you still like coke? I’d love it if we were cycle twins on being over coke. It’s how I’d want my imaginary friendship with you to progress.
I can’t remember the last time I blew a rail. It’s a social drug, after all, and the people who did cocaine in LA a decade ago were a lot more interesting than the people who do cocaine in my current city today. (I had to check myself with this answer. Was my LA crew really more interesting, or was I just a lot younger and less discerning? Honest assessment: both.)

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Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

After three years of working a thankless admin position, I was unfairly reprimanded at work. I’ve put up with so much fucking shit, but now I’m just demotivated. I’ve always wanted to quit, but they won’t even let me do that. How do I keep going?
Demand respect. Stop putting up with so much fucking shit. Start looking for other work. Convince your co-workers to unionize. Frame your boss for murder. Burn down the building. Lead an armed insurrection against your capitalist overlords. Go do something with your life.

He wants to be more than friends. I told him politely I wasn’t interested in more and he understood and accepted… But then a couple of days later he asked me if our 20-year age difference was a factor (I’m 40. He’s 60). It is, in part, but I can’t say that, can I?
Of course you can say that.

Does life require purpose and meaning to be fulfilling?
Fulfillment doesn’t really exist as an idea without some concept of purpose or meaning.

Why do I sleep with every single one of my friends?
Because you’re shit at maintaining boundaries.

Being around republicans is bad for your soul and I don’t recommend it.
Thanks for the tip.

Does life get better or worse as you age?
No.

I don’t know what an evergreen tweet is. My friends talk about it and I just nod. I’m exhausted. What’s happening to me?
Any type of media referred to as “evergreen” means that it continues to remain relevant and/or doesn’t lose meaning despite the passing of time. Also, you should probably start taking naps. Naps are awesome.

First proper, long-term relationship. I’ve started recognizing some toxic behaviours in myself (stemming from jealousy and insecurity, most often). I don’t want to be like that. Now what?
Go a level deeper than the jealousy and insecurity. Find out where those two emotions are rooted. Separate rational thinking from irrational thinking, and do the hard work it takes to start choosing healthier behaviors.

How can you tell the difference between inner peace and numbness?
Numbness is feeling nothing. Inner peace is being nothing.

What do you do when you get sad?
I eat like shit and forget to shower.

Sorry if this has been asked before, or if it comes off creepy. I’m genuinely just curious. Has anyone ever correctly guessed your identity before? And if so, have you told them they were right?
Yes. I had a colleague whose girlfriend straight up asked me if I was coketalk once while we were all out having dinner. Apparently, she had been reading my shit since her high-school tumblr days and knew enough about my life to call me out. I flatly denied it.

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Thoughts

On never forgetting

Heeey, happy Affirm Your Patriotism or Be Called a Terrorist Day! Seventeen years since we collectively agreed that any privacy means The Terrorists Win. Sure, the roots go down further, but what a relief we can now call anyone with a skin tone that doesn’t complement our prejudices a threat to national security, rather than the olden days when they had to form unions and political parties first. We’ve come so far; who would’ve thought back in Jr. Bushwacker’s early days we’d be staring down the barrel of fascism? There’s a glittery all-caps NEVER FORGET on every T-shirt and bumper sticker I see, but I can’t find anyone who remembers in the first place.

 

Co-signed.

I can’t wait until November 8th.

I can’t wait for 2020.

I can’t wait for all these old white men to die.

Fuck the police.

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Advice

On how to stop dissociating during sex

Every time I go to sleep with someone, or when it becomes evident that it’s a real possibility, something in my body always recoils and shuts down. It’s less shame and more abject terror. Even if I’m the one who initiated. Something in me can’t handle the reality of sex with another person. I always fake it through and give it my best shot, but my shit is numb and it doesn’t feel like anything for me. And there’s no connection; it’s like my head is at the bottom of a well somewhere. Then before I know it I’m some dirtbag’s sexual servant because he catches on to the fact that I’m never gonna get off while he’s in the room, and he stops caring. Therapy isn’t helping. If you have any advice for me, I would greatly appreciate it. Love you.

 

You’re describing two distinct problems. The first is that you dissociate during sex. The second is that you fuck dirtbags. These problems are interrelated, and you have to solve them both or you’ll stay stuck in this larger pattern of unhealthy intimate behavior.

Here’s the question: Do you feel safe enough with any of your current or potential sexual partners to openly discuss the terror, recoil, and shut-down you experience during sex? If the answer is no, then do yourself a favor and stop having sex until the answer is yes. If the answer is yes, then do the hard thing and have the discussion. Be vulnerable and ask for help from your safe partner.

To be clear, a safe partner is one who cares about you enough to help you work through this, one who is willing to set his needs aside and do what takes to slow things down, remain connected, and allow you to experiment through your sexual response cycle until you figure out how to stay present.

One place to start might be allowing your safe partner to be present while you masturbate. Literally see if it’s possible to get off while he’s in the room. Start out with him just laying next to you with no physical contact. If that works, move on to masturbation with some kind of physical contact. Keep testing your ability to stay present with ever increasing amounts of intimacy throughout each stage of your sexual response cycle until you figure it out.

Now, if you’ve read this far and you think that sexual experimentation with a safe partner sounds like a ridiculous impossibility, that’s fine. After all, you do have a problem fucking dirtbags, so I can imagine how that level of intimacy and vulnerability sounds like advanced math in a foreign language. I promise you, though, it’s not impossible. This is the part where you’ll need a damn good therapist to help you understand your process of sexual parter selection.

You say therapy isn’t helping, but I wonder, are you doing the hard work? Are you addressing any past history of trauma that might be contributing to your problematic partner selection and subsequent sexual dissociation? Would you feel comfortable talking with your therapist about how best to discuss your dissociation with a safe partner? Be brutally honest about how much effort you’re putting into the process, and if you really are doing your part, then be willing to go find a different therapist who is a better fit.

This is a complicated question with lots of ways it can go, so feel free to meet me in the comments section for a deeper discussion about how to move forward.

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Fun-Sized Advice

On more fun-sized advice

How do I spin “the startup I’m working at has top-level executive and management problems that are causing it to implode” as I search for a new job in a different legal department?
Perhaps try “Opportunity for growth with my current employer has reached its potential, and I’m eager to devote my time and energy to a company with a clear vision and stable leadership.”

Is it true what they say, that creativity is like a muscle? If you work hard enough, anyone can develop it?
I suppose creativity is like a muscle, but don’t kid yourself. Some folks are just born with more than others, and no matter how hard you work, there are natural limits to what you’ll be able to develop. (Oh, and taking the right combination of drugs definitely helps, but for some reason our culture considers that cheating.)

If we’re supposed to be getting rid of Ego, is there any situation in which we should “have our pride”?
The egoless version of pride is dignity. Try having that instead.

ugh dating in the Bay Area is just as obnoxious as in LA, the ego is just a different flavor. But I met a good person who has his shit together and I like everything about him except one thing. One very. small. thing. Now what?
I’m much less concerned about your indictment of his penis size than I am about your lukewarm use of “good” and “like.” Is “great” and “love” a possibility with this guy? It just feels like you’re settling. Plus, the phrase “has his shit together” feels like a red flag. Not for him. For you. It’s code for the fact that you tend to date losers, which clues me into why you might be settling.

Any advice for watching your best friends destroy each other in a failing marriage that they both refuse to give up on? I’m keeping out of it (was stung earlier) but they’ve become impossible emotional sponges.
Yeah, you’re not keeping out of it. They won’t let you. You’re basically in an emotional threesome, and it’s time you learned how to set a proper fucking boundary. Tell them to go get a couples therapist. Find one for them if you have to, because you’re done being their third party. Don’t let either of them bring anymore mess into your house. Be firm. Be rude if necessary, but refuse to be a passenger on their sinking ship.

A close friend is about to get married. She hasn’t known him all that long, and is still in the honeymoon period of the relationship (she said so herself). They’ve never had a single fight. She can’t even name one annoying habit he has. She’s always been a very rational person, and now she seems to be under some bizarre love spell. I don’t trust him at all. I feel like this marriage is a mistake, but I know I can’t say anything to her without ruining our friendship. But I’m dreading the wedding and what will come after. How do I get through it?
It really depends on why you don’t trust him. How good are your instincts with shit like that? Is he dangerous? A little shady? A garden variety asshole? Or is it possible that your mistrust is a manifestation of jealousy over your fading friendship? Personally, I wouldn’t say shit unless you have hard evidence that he poses some kind of risk to her health or safety. Otherwise, this is her mistake to make. It happens all the time.

Superficial question: have you ever been at the Burning Man? You sound like the kind of person who has almost founded it. Just curious.
I can’t tell if this is an insult or a compliment. A good portion of my former LA crew were burners. I’ve helped build art cars and I’ve counseled countless costume choices, but I could never go myself because the week always landed during my busiest season. I suppose it’s a subculture I understand from a distance, which is kind of the way I prefer it.

Should I dry clean these jeans? They say I should, but they’re jeans.
Call your mother.

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Advice

On pretending to know things

I get the feeling that you’re really good at pretending to know things, but you don’t actually know anything.

 

Well, yeah. I’ve said from day one that I am completely full of shit. That’s not really the same as pretending to know things, but it’s close enough to what you meant. I’m also totally cool with the Socratic paradox, which is to say I agree with you that I don’t actually know anything.

So, now what? Are you done coming at me like I owe you some lengthy treatise on Camille Paglia’s brand of feminism? Are you done being butt hurt that I called you a child for suggesting that I support the worst politicians?

I don’t owe you anything. You seem to think you’re entitled to me, but you aren’t. You don’t know me. I’m just a figment of your imagination. Every single opinion you have about me is pure, uncut projection. Every single emotion you have about my work is a reflection of how you feel about yourself.

This ain’t about what I know, honey. It’s about what you know to be true when you look in the mirror.

(And of course, feel free to meet me in the comments section. I know you’ll have plenty more to say.)

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Fun-Sized Advice

On fun-sized advice

We’ve been dating three years, his parents paid for us to go on a $10000 cruise, we’ve talked about marriage, kids, and our future. He won’t take care of his mental or physical health (something we talk about regularly), and when he offered to co-sign my student loans, this pit of fear being chained to this man suddenly emerged. This fissure’s occurred and now I find him annoying, whinny, and recoil from his touch instinctively. What do I do?
Talk to him. Tell him he’s annoying and whiny. Tell him you’re losing interest. Tell him he has to get his mental and physical shit together by Halloween or you’ll be gone before Thanksgiving. It’s ultimatum time. Or maybe not. Maybe you’re already done and it’s just time to fucking end it. Whatever you do, tell him how you feel. Use your words. USE. YOUR. WORDS.

What do you think about Camille Paglia? Specifically, what do you think of a) her argument that America’s current obsession with transgenderism is a sign of cultural collapse; and b) her critique of current trends in feminism as “fainting couch” feminism? Surely, she is not one of the right wing lunatics that you’re critiquing – is she?
Yes, she is. Camille Paglia is absolutely without a doubt a gigantic right wing asshole. Are you not paying attention? That’s her entire schtick. Maybe you’re distracted by the fact that she’s an academic, but don’t let the tenured professorship fool you. She may have the vocabulary of a critical theorist, but her critiques of transgenderism and contemporary feminism are more the stuff of Alex Jones than Simone de Beauvoir.

I am envious of my best friend. She has everything I want: a good career, several friends, a cute butt, confidence, intelligence. It has gotten so bad that I actually get so happy when something unfortunate happens to her. What am I supposed to do about this?
Keep the small portion of envy that drives you towards positive change. Jettison the rest, because it is poison. Easier said than done, I know, but few people get intelligence, even fewer get a cute butt, and you don’t need either to be happy. Most importantly, quit using your friend as a measuring stick. Go do your own thing.

I’ve had penetrative vaginal sex with a few people, and it’s always been painful and horrible as fuck. No amount of lube helps me. Do I need to stick it out and hope sex gets better, or are there other people out there like me who want to have mind blowing awesome sex but their vaginas just won’t cooperate?
Yeah, it sounds like you’ve got vaginismus. Go to the doctor.

Met a hot guy. I flirted, he was (for me, anyway) unusually unresponsive. Said he had a girlfriend when I asked for his number. Gave me his number anyway. Why?
Um, why do you think?

Is it ever a good idea to forgive your dad for calling you a bitch?
Absolutely, but the forgiveness is for your sake, not his.

You only answer the easy questions people ask you about politics. Anything that requires further analysis or depth you shy away from.
Ha! Whatever, Ben Shapiro. The assumption that you’re somehow challenging me with deep political questions reeks of a smug sense of entitlement. I’m not here to debate you. If you want to argue politics, catch me in a mood over on Twitter. Otherwise, come at me in good faith (I can tell the difference) and frame your questions in such a manner that doesn’t presume to know my position ahead of time.

I wanna ask you for advice but I have a long story.
If you’re the long story type, I highly recommend including your email with your submission. I’m much more like to respond to you privately than I am to publish your memoir on my site.

You’re bisexual yeah? Will you marry me?
Yeah, maybe. Send pics.

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