On my upcoming book

I’m sure you get this one all the time, but if you put Dear Coquette (or even just your Best Ofs) between hard covers I would buy the shit out of it many times over. You’re the best.


So yeah, last month I announced on Twitter that a Dear Coquette book is finally happening, and if you’ve already pre-ordered your copy, thank you so, so much!

If you haven’t yet, please, please, please order it now. Order two. Hell, order ten. You’d be doing me a huge favor, because pre-orders are a super important part of the book’s eventual success.

As for the book itself, I’m in the final phase of the editing process, which means that now is the perfect time to open up the floor to any and all recommendations. If you have an all-time super-duper favorite Dear Coquette post that absolutely must be included in the book, use the comment section and let me know.

After all, this book is for you guys. I want you to love it!


195 thoughts on “On my upcoming book

  1. CC says:

    Preordered 4 copies – one for myself, my best friend (who also adores you), a friend who’s a talented actress (who, despite being So Hot Right Now, is young and has little life experience), and my sister, who will be in the midst of college apps by the time the book comes out.

    I’ve been reading CT/DC for 6 years, and probably don’t *need* this book. But I have a feeling that a lot of us who have been with you for a while know plenty of people who could use a copy, and will be spreading your wisdom via hard copy come October!

    (Oh, and I Amazon Smile-d that shit. Because if I have to give money to The Man, I might as well make them give a teensy bit of it to charity).

  2. Chris says:

    The one where u answered the guy who felt it was morally wrong to buy cocaine because he spent 2 weeks in Mexico was fantastic.

    Another was from a girl who said she was like 19 and her guy 42, and your answer was something to the effect of “why not ask your dad. Oh right, he was never there for advice.”

    You had a few that have the answer “no one cares about your stupid hair,” and a huge laugh was had from the woman who said “how do i suggest Viagara without crushing his spirit” to which you said, “if he wanted to fuck yiu, you wouldnt have to suggest it.”

    I’ve read from current back to 2009 so far and working my way to the beginning.

    You’re great and I’ll have my local library order a copy.

    • Chris says:

      Just remembered some other gems.

      “Why would my dad tell people he paid for my college” He didn’t pay anything.”
      Because he’s a piece of shit

      “I love a guy in a bad marriage. That’s okay, right?”
      It takes a soul-stained bitch to go after another woman’s man

      “Should I tolerate a boss who yells and throws tantrums, or go live with my parents?”
      It is more dignified to deal with a child than to be one in adulthood

      “My sociology professor says we need to recognize inequality and work to get rid of it……..”
      As her to renounce her tenure.

      “Is it okay to put a lollipop in my vagina?”
      Shit, it’s 3:30 AM. You better be fucked up right now.

      On Basic Fucking Economics, and the precluding one about why you can’t work hard to get a Bugatti (I think they’re different)

      So much good stuff from you, Coke.

      I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again; you have ruined me for all other advice columnists. I had 3 before I found you, and now I just have you. Someday we’ll no longer be a thing, but it’s so great while we do!

  3. Meemzi says:

    I can’t ever find it, and I’m probably not remembering correctly, but my favorite was the one about responding to “Can’t you take a joke?”

    Something along the lines of “Everyone in this room knows you have a tiny penis. Oh, can’t you take a joke?”

    K I L L E R

  4. Richard says:

    Bought three for all of the important women in my life.

    Love you, and thanks for putting the book together for the ones who just don’t spend that much time online.

  5. bang says:

    Please, put the basic douche slap in there. The “aww, lighten up little lady” one, I loved that shit so much.

    • VeryOff says:

      In any industry it’s used to gauge demand. That is then used as information project profits or influence reaction. In some rare cases underwhelming orders can even cause a project or product to be canceled. In this case, my guess is that whoever is managing the number of books printed will use that information to maximize the number of books sold within a period of time. They don’t want to just print a fuck ton of books, even if it is cheaper to do more, because then they have to pay for storage. So there’s an optimal number of books that should be made, and pre-orders will help decide what that number is.

      But that is just my guess.

  6. Dude says:


    That post was like hearing a church bell toll.

    Also, paying my aunt so I can use her credit card and pre-order.

  7. John says:

    The one where she gets accused of cheating for no reasonand you tell her, she’s been cheated on. Relationships 101.

  8. Katie says:

    I’m insanely excited for this and happy for you, but I have to ask—will we ever have a Coquette-penned novel to look forward to/manically pre-order?

  9. JP says:

    Make the excerpts from critics or even the back where the synopsis usually goes little snippits from people taking shit about you.

  10. VeryOff says:

    I ordered.
    I do wish there would be some new content that wasn’t available on the website. That, or charge me a dollar a month to read the site.

  11. Alice says:

    Are you set on that cover? It undersells you, and looks rather cheap. Would you consider doing something more graphic, with cleaner, bolder elements, and using larger type, either sans serif or a display font?

      • zhana says:

        Hey CQ,
        I’m not a graphic designer and sorrry for being a nag, but if you can still change the cover, please do. I know you have this thing in the US where you go all pink/fairy/vagina on covers for books by female authors and you do talk a lot about sex etc., but this cover is tacky as hell and a disservice to your multi-layered advice and original voice. Hell, Playboy Magazine had the same one: . Not sure that’s what you’re going for.

          • JP says:

            Some fabulously manicured nails with awesome jewelry cutting a line, or holding a straw up to a line.

            That or someone’s ass in an amazing pair of undies, but that’s not as good.

            I do like the layout of the photo being landscape and text portrait.

          • Sarah Woolley says:

            I kind of expected it to be a red 1961 IBM Selectric typewriter. Did it ever show up under your tree? I’ve been staring at the jacket of The Muse all day. Maybe the typewriter is in a street lined with palm trees…maybe that’s a BIT too try hard.

            (For anyone who doesn’t know what I’m talking on about: this was a lovely blog post: )

            Or a similar image to the banner of the More Coquette section with the copy spelt out in laser cut jewellery. Again, perhaps too obvious.

            Or something with this vibe

            Anyone else got any thoughts?

            Either way I’ve pre-ordered mine and everyone I know will get one too.

          • Blackbeard says:

            Some time ago you wrote about the juxtaposition of having a concealed carry and medical marijuana card in your wallet at the same time. Is there a way to play off of that? You can still have your ultra feminine pink background and glam nails.

          • Charlene says:

            I’m surprised no one yet has suggested to incorporate the Stay Wild motto in the cover or something that makes reference to it.

        • hanbanjo says:

          I liked the cover to the first book and I agree that the cover could be better for this one.

          I wish I was a graphic designer so that I could help you out. It’d be cool if you could somehow incorporate like a “Best of” images – like mosaic all of the images that you’ve used from your playlists or from your coke talks of the day or whatever.

          Fuck, I don’t know. Just don’t use the current one.

          • The Coquette says:

            I really wanted them to be pink leatherbound with gold foil lettering as if they were a bunch of profane Bibles, but that shit turned out to be way too expensive.

          • Edward says:

            I do like the idea of something that would make my southern baptist grandmama blush, but only after she stews on it for a second or two.

            A play on coquettish maybe?

          • Spot says:

            You could still do the flat wrap-around photo version of that. Not quite the same experience as embossed leather, but still pleasing to look at and an excellent preview of the contents.

          • Anon E. Mouse says:

            Or offer two versions? One standard edition using the method Spot suggested, and one numbered limited edition using the expensive method you originally wanted.

            You mentioned the book publisher is in London, right? There’s a printers in one of the northern, smaller cities, Leeds, called Smith Settle who prints and binds affordable numbered limited editions for a small British publisher called Foxed Quarterly. You can see some of their work here:

            Would that be an idea you’d be open to? You can see how they manufacture the books, here:

          • Hanbanjo says:

            Yes. That sounds more like it. Mmm. I really love the play on bibles bit. Throw in a vibrator and some face mask/spa shit and it’d be the perfect little goody bag for my best friend. Pink with gold-lettering sounds perfect. It doesn’t necessarily need to be leather bound. Save that for a special edition later on, maybe. I’d buy that shit.

            I want signed copies of your books. I’ve been whining to you about this for ages.

      • Mercy says:

        For what it’s worth, I’m a professional graphic designer and I think the cover is just fine. It’s eye-catching and cute, the colors are lovely, and you can get picky about fonts if you want, but it’s probably thematically important that this one represents a typewriter, right? I would just have the text printed with a spot gloss/UV coating to make sure the white stands out, but that was probably going to happen anyway.

        The only thing I would change would be the thick white lines. I would either make them thinner (it’s always important to me to visually organize content, so don’t get rid of them entirely!), or make them a small, tidy dotted line, or even throw the title or subtitle into a thin white box.

        If I had a low-resolution version of the image file, I could mock something up to show you what I mean, but regardless, there’s nothing wrong with the cover image itself. It’s a perfectly made-up, socially acceptable sweetheart mouth that makes people think about all the filthy things they wanna do with someone’s vagina <3

      • Alice says:

        You could go bold colors or monochromatic, but graphic elements, no real-life imagery. Let’s say you were hopping from a mouth; instead of indulging in a vaginal reference, think of something along the lines of ‘Silence Once Begun,’ where you let the audience assign the meaning instead of making it gratuitous. Also: make it classy and get rid of the typewriter –come up with new clichés.

  12. Kym says:

    I’ve just ordered, however I love love love the post on your virginity… if I ever have kids (unlikely) or a young person approaches me on sex I plan on showing them your response to that question! It is the best advise and explanation of sex I have every seen

  13. coskel says:

    pre-ordering happened.
    Maybe we should all fill this thread with our fave Coq post, for those who may never have seen it?

    I know I’m off to do some reading through the archives based on suggestions in here.

  14. Barefootsie says:

    Ego death, talking pieces of meat, and one of my random new favorites is the one on neurolinguistic programming.

    It’s so hard to choose, but those are the first few that drifted to the top of my chum brain.

  15. Wendy says:

    Your recent one on what to do after finding out something life-shattering was great. The ‘treat yourself to a fantastic meal’ one.

  16. Rainbowpony says:

    A series contrasting posts about developing your self to maintain appropriate boundaries and relationship expectations, versus posts about destroying your ego.

  17. A/c says:

    My favorite piece of writing from your blog isn’t from dear coke talk, but from your original blog. It’s the post about you arguing with a lady w/a baby over whether you were in a bar. I show everyone that post when I’m trying to get them into your blog, because it’s so perfect. Can you include it somehow?

  18. Sillyhomo says:

    I wrote to you years ago about Jennifer Lopez sex robots and your agent provacateur valentines day play suit. It’s so crazy to think that was five years ago. Just pre-ordered your book on amazon. I like the book cover, though it would be interesting to play off the accidental guru vibe (I’ve always pictured you as a buddha with pink leather and stiletto nails). We’ve grown with you as much as you’ve grown with us, and thats been a beautiful thing to be a part of. This book is a magnificent reminder of the scars that you helped pave into roads of enlightenment. I’m rooting for you!

  19. Brooke Petersen says:

    Pre-ordered all the way down here in lil ole New Zealand, spreading the good word to everyone I know. WHAKAWHETAI KOE, THANK YOU.

  20. Lotcal says:

    Longtime reader and I’m ordering one for myself and my younger sister, a newly admitted lawyer who is saving her money for Burning Man 2016 (we live in Sydney, Australia) even though her car just broke down and mum had to drive her to work. Life is hard. That being said, maybe I should buy one for mum too.

    • Sarah Woolley says:

      The night I first read that is so clear in my memory. It saved me. And it introduced me to Sufjan. I saw him for the first time on the Carrie and Lowell tour and cried the minute he started to sing. Everyone was crying and sat down like church. When they got into a 20 minute jamming session after My Blue Bucket of Gold they played the gigantic church organ that sits at the back of the Royal Festival Hall and you could feel it in your bones. One of the most intense experiences I’ve had sober and it started with that post. Incredible.

  21. Aaa says:

    I hope this is obvious but “on self worth and acceptance” has to be there. I love what you write but that one was the only one that ever made me cry.

  22. Nat says:

    Im sure it’s already in there, but ‘On the point of relationships’ is a goodun.

    I also liked ‘On changing your hair’ because I want hair not to mean anything, but it does.

    I feel like maybe it has less impact now (or maybe just for me, because it’s more obvious to me now), but at the time I loved ‘On prince charming disease’… And that’s the one that got me hooked on reading your stuff.

    • Nat says:

      I just remembered another one that I liked a lot… I can’t remember the name of it, but the sentiment was something along the lines of people don’t want to be friends with someone because they have some list of cool achievements, people want to be friends with people who make them feel good.

    • nora says:

      I think this is in my top ten of your best advices.
      I do read through your archives regulary and everytime it makes me so happy that I found your blog five years ago.
      The best and also fascinating thing is your consequent anonymity. It reminds me of my (freudian) therapy. I layed on the couch and spoke to myself and heard my therapist asking questions or commeting from the back like a voice from the off, as I didn’t see him. Reading your blog and advices evokes somehow the same or a similar feeling.
      While reading your advices, I’m deeply touched inside, and while feeling insignificant in the grand scheme, I am happy with me.
      Thank you so much for this!

  23. E says:

    I don’t know if it’s already in there but your post on Supersymmetry by Arcade Fire ( ) is the reason that I count that song as one of my favourites ever. I’ve shown the post to so many people and then played them the song and they all find it an amazing experience. I understand there may be like a copyright element to that entry but still, if you could!

    I haven’t pre-ordered the book because I am a lowly, poor student and have to wait until I’m paid, not to mention have to figure out how to stretch my money between your book and these ( jumpers. I don’t know if you can order them outside of Ireland but thought you’d be interested – all proceeds go towards the Abortion Rights Campaign, a campaign trying to get the 8th Amendment (which makes abortion illegal in Ireland) repealed. I thought it’d be something you’d be into.

    I’m so excited for the book. I have a load of your posts bookmarked but it’ll be nice to physically hold your words in my hands. As for the cover, I think the covers looks good but was surprised you didn’t go with this image>>>

  24. Mo says:

    The most brilliant, moving, and relevant piece of advice I ever read from you. It helps that the question could’ve come from me. It didn’t but it could.

    I don’t know if you could include this but I think it’s important. It changed my outlook on what being an adult means.

    “I know. It’s an uncomfortable sensation when you realize that your neurochemistry is finally done letting you try to annihilate it. You feed it the same old shit, and all it gives you back is static and sand.”

    Gives me chills every damn time.

  25. hanbanjo says:

    Think you could somehow include that think piece on beauty and also that blog post on that decadent weekend in Malibu?
    “It would be naive and egotistical of me to think that I could satisfy every emotional and physical need of another person, and yet under the traditional monogamous paradigm, that’s exactly what is expected.

    The healthiest relationships I’ve ever known are those based on unwavering mutual respect and the kind of gut-level honesty that most folks can’t handle. Add to that an intelligent, emotionally healthy habit of saying “yes” instead of “no” to your partner whenever possible, and suddenly you find yourself open to all kinds of possibilities.”

    Monogamy and fidelity are not the same thing.

    I read those words when I was 18 years old. They changed my life and stayed with me.

  26. Jess says:

    Preordered! Damn excited for your book.
    These lines kick around in my head most. I’ve quoted them to people.

    “Nothing has to matter for you to be a good person.”

    “I use profanity because I’m profane, you persnickety cunt.”

    “I think you’ll find “I’m not your fucking sweetheart” to be one of the most deeply satisfying phrases in the entirety of the English language.”

  27. grouch says:

    – On Whining

    – On Not Going Places

    – On my view of religion (almost a favourite, nice to hear a smart person saying “fuck Islam/Christianity”, but not something to actually bring up in a discussion)

  28. MP says:

    “On a broken-people magnet” is one fucking solid advice. Seriously, great, clear stuff. It fast-forwarded about six months of the “epiphanies” I was having in therapy. Back then, the first few times I’d read it, it was like my entire life was finally revealing itself to me. I printed the advice and took it to my therapist, we discussed this for a whole month, she fucking loved it too. This advice is probably what is mentoring 2016 for me.
    Thanks a lot, Coquette.

    • Nope says:

      I must not be getting it, because I really really dislike that one.
      Why are selfhelp books for losers ? I mean, coming here to read CTs advice is not that different?
      But most importantly, I still have that post as a reference in my mind as to why suicide would actually be a sound move. What is there to look forward to? A fucking huge amount of exhaustion and all that to keep some shitty depressing job to finance a shitty depressing life.
      I am not suicidal at the moment, but man that post did not help.

      • Daniel says:

        I think she´s trying to get some sense into her. Of course there are a lot of people that do cool things and have a interesting life but the majority of people will work 9-5 job and live a pretty “regular” life and in order to not do that you´ll have to be ready to work really hard and sacrifice other stuff.. I loved that post.. it gave me a boozt!

        • O. says:

          Okay, the LW in ‘On not going places’ sure as shit didn’t help themselves by losing the only decent job they’ve had and dropping out of school four times. Sure, change your major if you are deeply unhappy after your first year and switch to something more applicable to your interests/the career you wish to build, then stick with it because in the end, most employers don’t care what you studied, they care what experience you learned while you studied for a qualification in your respective field, which is when internships and summer jobs and volunteering in your free-time help. If it took you a lot longer to graduate than most people you’d better have a good reason for prospective employers. Something more than “I’m fickle and lose interest quickly,” which is what the LW’s post equates to. I’d say there are only a handful of respectable reasons for that. One example would be I was taking care of a dying/severely disabled relative and studying simultaneously. As an employer that shows dedication and responsibility and if you can get a qualification and experience in that situation, then you’re pretty hard-working too.

          The LW needed some tough love from Coke. Mainly because even with all the shit they’re experiencing, with the world handing their ass to them, they still had this naive belief that their situation would improve through positive thinking. Like they hadn’t learned a thing in college (all four attempts, not even how to critically analyse their situation, make a plan and stick to it). Coke’s suggestion of taking a shitty job, holding it down and demonstrating to themselves and potential employers that they can stick at something is straight to the point and honest, although I do agree with some commenters that the LW could still leave their hometown and go somewhere else. In order to do that, they need to put the legwork in first such as implementing Coke’s advice. If they still want to leave, and can afford to do so, fantastic. If they can’t and decide to stay put, then as Coke says: They’ll be just fine. It might not be the life they dreamed of or aspired to when they were innocent and weren’t willing (or able) to put the hard graft in, but they will be fine.

          The only thing I would say with regards to including that post in the book is that it would be pretty ironic to include ‘On not going places’ in what is, essentially, a self-help book because of that comment about getting rid of self-help books. Other than that, the post acts as a cautionary tale of what can happen to you if you’re flighty and fickle about life decisions that are not beyond your control.

          • Nope says:

            Yeah, i mean it pretty much is ‘if you don’t or can’t seamlessly integrate into the job market, then eat shit and damn sure be thankful for even getting to taste that turd’.

            No thank you.
            As i’ve said, hate this advice even if it might be “true” or “what needs to happen” or whatever. That was what i meant. My stomach dropped when i read the part how LW has to do endure these shitty jobs for the rest of her life.
            But somehow it won’t be so bad? Sure, sure.
            And i’m not even getting at some kind of special, suprrduper interesting life/career with tons of money. Just a decent existence.

          • O. says:

            I guess when I read that particular response I agree with you that it could have been phrased differently. However, if the LW chose to make a positive change in their life as a result of that advice rather than doing the same thing and expecting a different result, say, actually sticking at something instead of appearing flighty, which reading the contents of the submission their then-current resume would suggest, then they won’t be stuck in shitty jobs for the rest of their life. I guess it depends on what they want for their existence, what they perceive a shitty job to be and how quickly working that job makes them see that the only way out of that situation is to save as much as they can, get some sort of qualification in their chosen field while they work and leave again, if they wish/can afford to.

  29. Erin says:

    I’m sure it’s in there but The Point of Relationships. Such a quintessential Coquette piece. I think I read it for the first time during my junior year of high school. I frequently revisit it.

    (Also it was my friend who did the graffiti of it that’s your cover photo on Twitter)

    We love you!!! Already pre ordered my copy and will order more after the next paycheck.

  30. MO says:
    This one. My relationship is about to go from seeing my bf every day to a LD relationship and I’ve read this piece more times than I care to admit over the past few weeks. It’s reminded me multiples times over we’re hard-core motherfuckers on fire. We got this.
    This one is amazing too. I got back to it often.
    Super dope seeing everyone else’s favorites, too.

    Already pre-ordered. Proud of you, Coke. I’ve been reading you since I was 20 (6 years!) so it’s kind of surreal seeing this all unfold and giving some feedback to someone I’ve listened to for so long.

  31. Maria says:

    One of my favorite parts of reading through old posts is looking back at how much we (and everything) have grown and changed. Thank you for everything. If it helps, here is my short list of posts I keep around because either I need them regularly, or I am always sending them to friends.

    I’d love to see some of the old stuff:
    On wisdom. We were already hooked, but this gave us perspective on you. On your way to the pool is still how I imagine you most times.
    On revenge. It reminds me personally of being young and brave and much too smart for my own good. But more to the purpose of the book: the drunk driving analogy is hidden gold more kids need to read.
    On someone out there.
    On prince charming disease (2011). In my opinion, this is the single most helpful thing you have ever written.
    On grabbing a tiger by the tail. It’s the other side of the Prince Charming coin.
    On verbal adoration. This taught me how to communicate what I want in relationships. Fuck love languages.
    On after the fireworks. I cannot wait to park my ass in a lawn chair for the evening.
    On profanity.
    On loneliness. It captures what it is like to live in a big city on your own and how to get through it.
    On integrity.

    Here’s what helped me become the woman I am today:
    On various states of ruin. I am not yet a parent, but I have long thought this is one of the kindest, truest, most powerful pieces of advice you have given.
    On greatness and killing your ego. I was already doing this, but I couldn’t have said it this eloquently.
    On changing your hair. At least I know why I want a perm so badly, now.
    On all that matters. This makes me tear up every time I read it. One day, I will write to you to ask if I can quote this for my vows.
    On making your bed. The advice I give everyone.
    On fuck the police. Authority has always been good to me; this got me finally questioning why.
    On being easy. Yes and yes and yes. (Alternatively, On its own reward.)
    On being smart and bored.

    Things the world should read/I just want to see included.
    On that dollar in your pocket.
    On Gloria Steinem.
    On arguing with the upper class. I always want more to this answer, for the times it hits you in person, in people you love.
    On being present in your terror. This has haunted me since you wrote it.
    On cultural appropriation. No one else is explaining this.
    On grief (2016). I know I will one day need this.
    On the eye of the beholder. I think this would be a beautiful way to end the book.

    I just like these:
    On what’s wrong with you.
    On real haiku.
    Fun-size, June 29, 2013. Rate your level of hotness.
    On kale chips.
    On kind, good, and nice.
    On advice for the ages. I tuck these nuggets into birthday cards all the time.
    On a pirate queen.

    All of the book lists! Maybe include a Further Reading section?

    If I had to pick just one, it would be On all that matters. That’s the one I carry with me.

    Part of me wants a serious cover, because your words have helped so many of my friends who would have never taken advice straight from a “raging bitch” but then again, that misses the point. I like the idea of using some images/an image from your various blogs. All of the reader tattoos, you wearing all the Neivz jewelry, your photo of the predawn LA skyline.
    Regardless, thank you again for making your book a reality for us!

  32. Hickerson says:

    I wrote to you in 2011 to ask your advice on a new relationship. You told me to have fun, but not get too invested. Your advice got me out of my head and kept me from overanalyzing everything we said and did. Last month we celebrated five years together (married for three). I don’t think we would have gotten to this point without your advice. I think about it even now whenever I jump to the most dire conclusion in a situation. Thanks.

  33. Really dislike the cover says:

    I really dislike the cover. Feels tacky. Even something far more simplistic would be an improvement.

  34. M says:

    I’ve definitely got my copy pre-ordered. As for sections to include: Please put in the response where you explain the difference between crazy and wild. Towards the front, I’d suggest.

    That helped me understand your approach to life more because “stay wild” is one of your mottos. I think that will be very, very important for new readers. Otherwise telling people to “stay wild” can induce a lot of eye-rolling.

  35. Larissa says:

    On someone better

    On why you weren’t good enough for him

    Pre-ordered from Powell’s. Very excited for this 🙂

  36. LO says:

    Other than “On fucking the police”, I can’t think of any individual entries. However, it’d be nice for the selection to include a good balance between your older, more biting entries and the recent, more nuanced and compassionate ones. I’ve been faithfully reading your column for over 5 years, and while I’ve greatly enjoyed the progression of your advice, I wouldn’t have achieved my level of personal progress without your earlier truth bombs. For newer readers, that could be beneficial.

    • Kie says:

      Are you talking about the comments on the On My View of Religion post?
      CT replied in the comments ‘I swear, at this point the “No True Scotsman” fallacy should really be renamed the “No True Muslim” fallacy.’

        • n says:

          I think an example would be responses to terrorist attacks in the vein of “terrorism has no religion.” Or that even if a bomber is Muslim and claims their actions are done out of religious reasons, they are said to “not do the religion right.” I live in a place where the majority populace are moderate Muslims, and I see that while most people do condemn acts of terror, they simultaneously defend their own Muslim belief/identity by insisting that such acts could only be a result of extreme teaching and does not reflect the “correct, peaceful” Islam. Which exemplifies the No True Scotsman fallacy perfectly.

  37. Doof says:

    I’ll never forget ‘on an asshole’ from 2013; the first bit of writing I ever read from you. It was a fantastic introduction to Dear Coquette, because the question was so bland that I didn’t suspect a thing, right up until:

    “This may be tough to swallow, but your real problem isn’t that you’re lonely. It’s that you simply haven’t realized yet that you’re an asshole.”

    Many of your bits of advice would make equally great openers for a new reader, but that one is my favourite!

  38. Cat says:


    End the book with your reading lists and include the entry about your ‘new favorite book’, the hardcover you bought that smelled like tobacco.

    These ones are awesome:

    Okay, let’s be real, just put it all in. 😛

    Are you going to be writing any new content for the book?

  39. cw says:

    About what percentage of your income comes from this gig?

    Gonna have to change your answer to that one soon 🙂

    • O. says:

      CW, she must earn something from this gig. Not directly from this blog but definitely as a consequence of this blog. There’s two books published, this one and ‘To My Husband’. There’s been the jewellery line, the bag line, the pieces written for other publications such as Playboy and Nerve and the Daily, to name a few.

  40. Willow says:

    The ~two artists~ who were addicted to loving and had darkness and the girl whose mom wouldn’t let her paint her nails. May comment more later.

  41. Chris says:

    Totally forgot – On Getting a Cat Together – where you explain that the guy got the cat because he loves her, not because it’s them together forever. That one was so spot-on.

  42. CL says:

    I really loved the post about the subtle difference between what is good, what is nice and what is kind. It’s really changed the way I think about people’s actions as well as my own.

    • Rainbowpony says:

      Agreed. I think about that difference all the time.

      Also one of my favs: the one in which you say the only thing worse than a woman who thinks her pussy is lined with gold is one who thinks it’s lined with social justice (or something like that) so true and I laughed until I cried.

  43. Ellie says:

    For the last nine years, you have developed my moral compass and guided me through all the isolating issues. (Even when it was CokeTalk. Party etiquette matters.) You nurtured a community that made me feel, not less alone, but part of a greater power. I’m curious: what will the introduction look like? Is there a way to receive a signed copy? I pre-ordered as soon as I saw your tweet and will jump through any and all loops to be one of the lucky recipients of a signed copy. No doubt your signature is a piece of art. Thanks, dude!

  44. Vera says:

    Been reading you for many years–you’ve gotten me through some shit, along with it seems everyone else reading. So glad you, and this book, exist. Just preordered 4 copies, and I’ll likely come back for more. xo

    Oh, and I second Ellie ^ I’d pay extra bucks for a signed copy!!

  45. Damien Otis says:

    I’m so excited that this is coming out!! finally you’ll make some bank on this project. no best of posts come to mind. just looked at the archives and it goes back to 2009. yikes I didn’t realize it’d be that long. congrats!

  46. Kristen Lee says:

    Oh my! Definitely Prince Charming Syndrome,Special Snowflake Syndrome…..I remember reading one where you told this chick she and her friends sounded like a bunch of terrible people out of a Brett Easton Ellis novel (That made me crack the fuck up!) and on a Teenaged Walmart Bride….

    I love what you’ve become,I do miss the older tone of Coke Talk,but We all have to grow up I suppose. Even the people who write in have more serious questions and concerns. Either that or you are picking the more serious.

    I’m gonna have to buy a bunch as Xmas Gifts!!!

  47. Rebecca says:

    Can you include the post about making your bed every morning? Your words literally saved my brother’s life.

  48. Kris says:

    There should be a whole Coquette Dictionary section for all the words/concepts writers have asked you to define.

    I would also love to see:
    -On a nice guy vs. a good man
    -On letting it be okay
    -On self-worth and acceptance
    -On goal-oriented dating
    -On being easy

  49. LB says:

    Idk what post this quote came from, but it has been my Facebook “about me” (lol) since you wrote it…. it embodies one of the biggest lessons of wisdom you taught me and I’m still in love with it…

    “Anyone with the slightest sense of scale recognizes that nothing we do matters. In a universe so infinitely vast, our lives are entirely without meaning. The trick is being able to laugh at the abyss because you recognize the freedom it affords you.”

  50. AA says:

    I have your “You do not exist” post from your blog and the “Do you think we’re a benefit to the Earth” advice written down and sitting on my bedside table.

    I first read your blog as a green teen in high school, and am pre-ordering this with money I’m earning a degree and a few jobs later. You pretty much raised me, Coquette. I mean, no pressure, but I’m even more excited about what you have for us after this.

  51. VeryOff says:

    I know this would be a burden, but it would be nice if there were a few reflective words between the longer posts. That could be anything from why you felt a post was important enough to include to “this is particularly funny because.” It could be a reflection of how you came to answer it. There are just so many questions we all have as your die hard fans that the real cream in the book isn’t the book itself, but the context that gave rise to it.

  52. Carrie says:

    Here is all the advice I’ve copied into my Notes, because it seemed relevant to me:

    Why am I always suspicious of men who express an attraction to my looks? What am I afraid of?
    It’s not that you’re afraid. It’s that on some fundamental level, you don’t believe them, and so that automatically makes you suspicious.

    Bitch, if I had a short term solution to teenage body issues, I could rid the world of Proactiv commercials while making it rain Oprah money. Unfortunately, none of you little twits think I’m serious when I tell you to burn your fucking magazines and boycott every toxic source of unattainable beauty standards.

    There is no magic to this, and the truth you’ll never believe is that you look fine. Hell, at eighteen you’re pretty much hot by default. You’re not a fucking runway model, but you’re not a dumpster troll either, and that’s just life in the 99%.

    If you can’t be happy with where you are, tough shit. You’ll be miserable right up until you quit missing the point. In the meantime, try and remember that confidence isn’t a byproduct of body image, and happiness and beauty aren’t even close to being the same fucking thing.


    How do I find the beauty to become confident if I hate everything about myself?
    You did not hate yourself as a child. Somewhere along the way, you learned how. Retrace your steps and unlearn. Forgive yourself, and get rid of the negativity.


    How do I build confidence and become emotionally self-sufficient?
    It’s simple. First, find beauty in yourself. Then, don’t seek external validation for that beauty.

    What is the difference between having high standards and having unreasonable expectations?
    Expectations will disappoint you if they’re not met, and they will never be met if they’re unreasonable. High standards don’t come with built-in disappointment, only the rare pleasure experienced if they are finally reached.

    Just remember, sweetheart, you can still trust. You can trust that regardless of their flaws, your parents want the best for you. You can trust that no matter what, both your mom and your dad will always love you very much

    Take it one day at a time and just say no? Your shrink sounds like Nancy Reagan at an AA meeting. Success isn’t not giving in. Success is not having anything to give in to. This isn’t about saying no. This is about not getting off on sleazebags in the first place.

    Don’t kid yourself into thinking you’ve gotten your act together. You’ve only learned how to play house. You are still damaged goods. You know it, I know it, and all the sleazebags sure as hell know it. You may be intelligent and self-aware, but that’s no cure for your flavor of crazy. Your intelligence merely allows for more complicated means of self-sabotage, and your self-awareness merely prepares you for the inevitable disasters.

    Come on, girl. Just because therapy got you to stop looking for sadists, that doesn’t mean you’re cured of masochism. All that introspection just armed you with the ability to mask the same self destructive tendencies you’ve always had. Your therapist calls it progress because that’s what he’s trained to do, but you’re still a hot mess.

    Sure, you’ve come a long way now that you’ve landed a guy who treats you with respect and looks after your little boy, but that’s all window dressing until your partner knows your whole heart. Unfortunately, you’d never show him, because you’re terrified that he’d run screaming for the hills.

    Well, guess what? He won’t. Just because you want to run screaming from yourself, that doesn’t mean the people in your life feel the same way. He’ll stick by your side, but you have to be brave enough to let him.

    If this is the man you’re going to marry, then you have to share yourself completely. I’m not suggesting you confess your infidelity. You shouldn’t, not yet anyway. Confession isn’t the same thing as baring your soul, and showing him what you’re capable of doing isn’t the same thing as telling him what you’ve done.

    Until you really dig deep and entrust your fiance with all the dark and sticky parts of yourself, you’ll never believe in the kind of love that he gives you. Of course, that’s your real problem. You’ve felt worthless all your life. You still do, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. So much of your identity is still tied up in hating yourself that you act out in ways that you know damn well may ruin your life.

    Quit it. There’s no excuse. Enough with all the psychological Band-Aids. Success is finally realizing that you’re an amazing woman who deserves the love that you’re getting in your healthy relationship. Once you finally feel worthy of that love, the thought of betraying it with some sleazebag will seem repugnant.

    Overweight. Underweight. The terms are judgmental in and of themselves. They imply a standard. That’s fine if the standard is based on health and well being, but it’s not okay if the standard is based on an idealized notion of aesthetic perfection.

    Unfortunately, most girls don’t seem to make the distinction between their desire to meet a healthy standard and their desire to meet an aesthetic ideal. Your question doesn’t make the distinction either.

    You’re asking me about sex appeal and desirability as it relates to weight, but sexiness isn’t something that comes down to a number on a bathroom scale. On the heavy side, I have a massive throbbing lady boner for Christina Hendricks, but I find Beth Ditto to be downright unattractive. On the skinny side, I’ve always thought Kate Moss was kinda gross, but I would spend days going down on Keira Knightley.

    Weight has very little to do with whether I think you’re hot. That shit’s just a measurement. Sure, it correlates to other things that do affect my attraction — self-confidence, physical fitness, personal style — but too often girls get caught up with hitting a dress size or a weight goal and they neglect the stuff that really matters.

    This applies to the guys too, by the way. Your weight is far less important to me than whether you’re healthy, well groomed, stylish, and confident.

    Still, let’s not kid ourselves. Morbid obesity, by its very definition, isn’t healthy. The American version of overweight is usually unattractive because it is the direct result of a shitty diet and a sedentary lifestyle. Of course, the American version of underweight is equally unattractive because it’s usually the result of an eating disorder or some other physical disease.

    Being healthy almost always implies being at an appropriate weight for your body type. Is that judgement? Maybe, but I probably wasn’t gonna fuck you anyway, so what do you care what I think?
    People have the right to support homosexuality. People also have the right to not support it. Do you agree or disagree?

    It depends on whether you’re talking about natural rights or legal rights, and whether the notion of support is defined strictly within the scope of individual liberty.

    I would agree that people have the natural right to their beliefs as a matter of individual liberty, but I would not agree that people have the legal right for their belief-based actions to infringe on the legal rights of others.

    In other words, it’s fine if you’re just another asshole who doesn’t support gay marriage, but that doesn’t mean you get to enact legislation to deny gay people the right to get married.
    Virginity isn’t a special gift, because your vagina isn’t a commodity. Whether you’re gifting it or selling it, only prostitutes treat pussy as an article of exchange.

    The irony here is that the same sanctimonious pricks who condemn prostitution are the very ones to tell you that your virginity is something that you should hand over to a man under select circumstances. Those people are full of shit, and you should stop listening to what they have to say about your vagina.

    The truth of the matter is that your body is nobody’s business but your own. Your virginity is yours to keep, lose, or shrug your shoulders at for as long as you like. You’re ready when you’re ready. If you’re not, just hang tight until it feels right. Despite all you’ve learned from popular culture, there is no rush to start fucking.

    As for virginity itself, it may not be a gift, but that doesn’t mean it’s not special. You only get to lose it once, and if you bring your heart and mind into the decision, you’re much more likely to be prepared for any emotional or physical consequences.

    Sex can get sticky. Literally. Sure, there’s the obvious stuff you learned in health class. Don’t get pregnant, make him wear a condom, and all that. It’s important, but really, those are just the instructions printed on the side of the box.

    What they don’t ever really tell you is that once you start having sex, you’re dealing with a sudden increase in the potential depth and breadth of the level of intimacy in your interpersonal relationships. It can be both wonderful and terrible, and it really depends on everyone’s level of emotional maturity.

    The most important thing for you to have as you make this decision is self respect. After that, I’d suggest you focus less on how or when to lose your virginity, and more on why.

    If you know why you’re doing it, and you respect yourself, whatever else you decide will be fine.

    Stop all this “trying to learn to realize” bullshit. You’re tripping all over yourself with lists and strategy and reasoning. This isn’t a process for your ego or your rational mind. You’re not going to think your way into loving yourself.

    Sorry to get all Yoda up in this bitch, but love or love not. There is no try.

    The simple truth is that you are worthy of love. That goes for every last motherfucker on the planet. Whether you realize it or not is purely a matter of getting out of your own way.

    Seriously, don’t you get how amazing it is to be alive? One day you won’t be. In the meantime, the skin you’re in will wither and age, your personality will ebb and flow, and everything around you will be in a constant state of flux. Ultimately, none of it really matters, except for those moments of joy you carve out for yourself, and you can only experience joy when you forget all the bullshit and remember that you really do love yourself after all.

    This isn’t about self-confidence. It’s not even about self-acceptance really. That’s the fucking irony here. Loving yourself isn’t about the “self.” It’s a difficult concept to communicate. I’ve hinted at it before, but once you’ve had the experience of truly letting go of your ego, you’ll understand what I mean. There’s a freedom that comes in accepting in its totality both the extraordinary nature and fleeting insignificance of the human condition. For some reason, afterward, it’s really fucking easy to love yourself.

    Don’t worry, I’m not gonna start singing Kumbaya or some shit. You wanted to know how I did it, and that’s pretty much it. I guess all I’m trying to say is, it’s not that you ever really learn to love yourself. In the end, if you’re lucky, you just forget not to
    The human condition is a fun ride, but don’t ever forget that we’re all just a bunch of talking meat wrapped around a sack of warm shit programmed to eat, sleep, and fuck.

    We’re social animals with a biological imperative to reproduce. That’s it. That’s all. Love is a neurochemical response with a shelf life long enough to perpetuate the species.

    And hey, I don’t wanna hear you complaining about it either, because quite frankly, you’re one lucky motherfucker to have air in your lungs and the opportunity to be confused by it at all.

    The last breath you just took is one more than a hundred billion human beings who came before you will ever get to take again, and one day, the last breath you just took will be the last breath you’ll ever take.

    That day is the point of relationships, that day when you cease to fucking exist, because it’s guaranteed, my friend. This shit all ends, so cram as much love, joy, and shout-it-from-the-rooftops happiness as you possibly can into whatever time you can make for yourself.

    Meet as many interesting people as you can. Make as many friends as you can. Fall in love as many times as you can. Fuck if it hurts sometimes. You’re one of the lucky ones who’s still breathing.

    All we have in this world is relationships with other people. At this stage in our evolution, nothing else matters.
    I don’t know who’s filling the right side of your brain with this lazy bullshit, but starting your sentences with lowercase letters does not make you ee cummings.

    Great writers can ignore grammar because they know it in the first place, and a condescending opinion on top of a shitty attitude isn’t evidence that you know anything at all.

    This isn’t about rules. Fuck the rules. This is about fundamental beauty inherent in the system. If you want to deconstruct the language in furtherance of personal expression, by all means, I’ll give you a poetic license to kill, but don’t piss on me and tell me it’s raining.

    I can tell the difference between a deliberate and meaningful manipulation of words and the ramblings of some half-retarded teenager who wouldn’t know where to stick an apostrophe unless I lubed it up and put it in myself.

    This shit isn’t petty. I’m not walking around with a red pen and a stick up my ass. People write to me for help with their problems, and if I’m pointing out that they can’t string a sentence together, it’s for a reason.

    Mastery of language is the primary indication of intelligence, education, and grace, and the inability to effectively communicate is at the core of pretty much all the mental anguish we inflict on ourselves.

    Just being intelligible isn’t enough. Style matters. Make all the excuses you want, but whether it’s on paper or on the street, if you come at me all sloppy, I’m not gonna respect you.

    I’ve got standards, motherfucker.

    It doesn’t matter how old you are. Stop referring to yourself as a “never been,” and start considering yourself an “about to be.”
    Your real problem is that you think you have a problem. You’re not experiencing bad luck, you don’t need to re-evaluate your judgment, and you’re not a fucking dairy cow.

    Perhaps you should start questioning the underlying notion that you exist in a binary state of either couplehood or singlehood, and that the former is somehow superior to the latter.

    After all, you’re the type who “just sort of falls into relationships.” It seems like you’re long past due for some introspection into why you even bother.

    Why are you looking for a man? Do you need a man to feel safe? Happy? Fulfilled? Do you want a best friend? A partner in crime? Someone to pay the bills? Do you want kids? Come on, why are you even out there dating? Let me guess, because that’s just what you’re supposed to do.

    You have no idea why you’re out there engaging in the courtship ritual. All you’ve got is some nebulous set of external relationship guidelines that you’ve pulled from popular culture and whatever your mother taught you. None of it is relevant to your core self, because you haven’t take the time to reflect on what it is you want out of a relationship.

    Now is as good a time as any to start figuring it out. The cool thing is, there’s no wrong answer here. Just be honest with yourself. What do you want?

    Not to get all Cheshire Cat up in this bitch, but until you know where you want to go, you’re wasting your time wondering why you’re lost.

    Your relationships didn’t fail. They simply ran their course, and the part of you that believes you were a failure in love is the same part of you that believes your value as a human being is directly tied to an arbitrary beauty standard you happened to meet in your youth.

    I can’t point you in the right direction. There is no direction. There’s nothing out there that you can smoke, seek, fuck, find, or read that will suddenly give you the self-love and acceptance you’re so desperate to discover.

    You wanna know why? Because all those things you tried were just different flavors of the same old broken-souled search for external validation. All that bullshit, and it still never occurred to you that the only thing you ever had to do was forgive yourself.

    Just fucking forgive yourself. Let go. That shit was never yours. It didn’t belong to you. The beauty and the talent and the hubris and the superiority — they were all someone else’s idea of you, and they felt so good for so long, you made them a part of your identity. It was all a fucking fiction, and you can just let it all go. It’s okay, really. Have a good cry, shake it off, and then forgive yourself.

    Keep forgiving yourself, and keep rejecting every instinct you have to seek external validation until one day you wake up and realize that you are worthy.

    You’re worthy of love. You’re worthy of acceptance. You’re just plain inherently worthy. Trust me, you don’t even know the meaning of real freedom until you finally discover what internally validated self-worth feels like.

    All you gotta do is let go.

    I can’t help but envy the depth and texture of your life glimpsed through the anecdotes you’ve shared. It feels like my life choices, or maybe just my nature, have limited my opportunities for adventure and spontaneity. Then I remember conversations where friends or strangers would gape at my own more modest experiences. Is it all in the eye of the beholder? Is there some Rock Star bell curve we all fall onto or is it all in the presentation?


    Both. There is a rock star bell curve, and still, it’s all in the presentation. There are echelons of heiresses and overachievers who make my minor adventures seem quaint, but I tell a better story than they do. Not that any of it really matters, because you can find depth and texture in any experience — and in anyone’s life — if you only bother to look. It’s the looking, the examination itself, that reveals the depth and texture.

    Don’t envy the life you’ve glimpsed through my anecdotes. Don’t compare my life to yours. That feeling you have about your nature, that your life choices are somehow limiting your opportunities, it is the essence of wistfulness. Feeling wistful is a powerful emotion, one that can easily turn into envy and melancholy if you start comparing yourself to others. Resist the urge to compare, and never let the thought of missed adventures bother you.

    You and I and everyone else are all inherently limited by our choices. There are an infinite number of adventures that we will never get to experience — some beautiful, some tragic, and some so magnificently transcendent that our tiny brains aren’t even capable of imagining them. Every choice we make collapses the possibility of every other, forever limiting our opportunities for all those grand and unknowable adventures, but that’s the singular nature of time and the human condition, so fuck it.

    We only get one go of it, and the brutal truth is that some people have more fun than others. Some get a few more spins around the sun. Some get a pile of shit and suffering. None of it’s fair and none of it matters and the only way to get it wrong is to live an unexamined life.

    The most important question you asked me is whether it’s all in the eye of the beholder, because that’s exactly where it is. All of it. The eye of the beholder is everything, and the sharper your eye, the closer you look at the world, and the deeper you examine your experiences, the more depth and texture you’ll reveal about your own life no matter what adventures come your way


    • Jessica Sen says:

      Michael Faraday worked as a bookbinder for years. One day, he attended a talk by Humphry Davy, the chemist who discovered sodium and calcium and held one of the first displays of electricity. Faraday wrote a transcript of the talk, bound it, and delivered it to Davy.

      That’s how he became Davy’s apprentice and the rest is history.

  53. Jessica Sen says:

    To CQ fans: If you share on Facebook, it now comes up with the thumbnail of her book. It’s classy subtle marketing.

  54. abab says:

    Hi, so happy to hear you’re publishing a book! I pre-ordered mine, will pre-order more soon as gifts for friends… I am constantly pointing people your way and linking them to your posts. Here are a few of my favorites…a running list I add to every once in awhile, some with favorite quotes included:

    *** “You and I and everyone else are all inherently limited by our choices. There are an infinite number of adventures that we will never get to experience — some beautiful, some tragic, and some so magnificently transcendent that our tiny brains aren’t even capable of imagining them. Every choice we make collapses the possibility of every other, forever limiting our opportunities for all those grand and unknowable adventures, but that’s the singular nature of time and the human condition, so fuck it.” —
    *** “Stop making sacrifices for the men in your life. Love is not sacrificial. No part of you needs to be destroyed in fulfilling a man’s purpose. Ever. Period.” —
    *** “Pain is inevitable. Relationships end. You are going to get hurt — maybe by this guy, but definitely by someone you care about, and there’s nothing you can do but accept it. If you live your life trying to avoid the possibility of future pain, you will end up a numb and timid creature without any stories worth telling.” —
    *** “The vast sea of nothingness after your death is no different than the vast sea of nothingness before your birth, and yet you’re not the least bit terrified of what happens before you are born.” ON AN AFTERLIFE:
    *** “What exactly do you classify as cheating? Willfully participating or conspiring to participate in an act of intimacy with the foreknowledge that your partner would reasonably consider that act to be a breach of the mutually understood and agreed upon terms of the relationship.” —
    *** “Pondering your purpose is philosophical masturbation, and the only way you can make yourself cum is by surrendering rational thought to religious doctrine. / No thank you — I don’t need god. I already have a clit.” —

    If you could include the book lists and that one entry about the book that smelled like tobacco, that’d be amazing. But I understand if you’re sticking to a formula here 🙂 I think the cover looks great and am looking forward to reading more from you. TAKE MY MONEY! 😛 <3

  55. zhana says:

    Off the top of my head: “On not being used”, “On how to beat an xbox” and “On not being a doormat” are some of those that lead me to a whole new level of awareness. The advice itself didn’t apply to me directly, but that principle of intransigence changed my life for the better.

    The first thing I read here was “On laziness”. I loved it at the time and I’ve been hooked to your writing since, but it turned out to be harmful advice to me personally and I hope it will not make the book.

    That being said I’ve pre-ordered five copies so far, I love you, and thanks.

  56. Gergő says:

    Ah, you put my favorite slit on the cover? Bless you.
    I’ve ordered my copy to join the ranks of Hitchens, Harris, Roth et al. in my Kindle library.
    I don’t suppose you’ll be doing much book signing, but if you come up with a way to sign digital copies, I’d love to get my receipt signed:

  57. Sarah says:

    May have missed the boat timing-wise, but “On All That Matters” is the post I’ve read the most, sent the most, quoted the most. It distills everything I treasure about your advice, and life. Would love for it to be included in the bound-up version of your greatest hits, feel so strongly about that this is my first comment. Pre-ordered today.

    Much love to you and all best,

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