On doing what needs to be done

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

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

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

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

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


Any argument or disagreement with my boyfriend crumbles into the basest expression of spluttering animal emotion. There is absolutely no room for rational conversation.

I’m no angel but my intentions are good. I try to address, redress, apologize, take responsibility… and he’s too busy bellowing over me to even take it in.

I don’t know how to resolve conflict with him. He shouts + rages + raves + doesn’t even hear the apology he’s asking for. Shouting back, speaking calmly, letting him know he is being heard, silent treatment…. I’ve tried everything I can think of. I am so, so tired.

Break up with him. You know you can do that, right?

Trust yourself when you say you’ve tried everything, because there are no magic solutions to this kind of problem. If your boyfriend is insufferable, then quit suffering him.

Life’s hard enough without a partner who’s constantly leaving you emotionally exhausted. It’s one thing to struggle with incompatible conflict resolution styles, but you should never have to put up with verbal abuse.



Best-Of Advice

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.

No doubt their ideology is deeply intertwined with their identity, so don’t be surprised when your parents will take an open rejection of their values personally. You’ll also find them rather impervious to rational discussion, which means you’re going to have to accept a certain measure of disapproval as an inevitability.

Get comfortable with the fact that you’ll never change their minds, know that they love you, and don’t ever expect their approval. I’ll say it again, because it’s the most important thing you can possible learn from this: Know that your parents love you, but don’t ever expect their approval.

Moving in with your boyfriend might be a huge mistake. Then again, it might be the best decision you’ll ever make. It’s impossible to know, and that’s not the point. What matters is that you give these decisions careful consideration and start making the best possible choices for yourself that you can make according to your own set of moral standards.

It’s okay that your value system is different, and if “living in sin” damages your relationship with your parents, so be it. Just remember, you won’t be the one doing the damage. They will.




On the edges of relationships

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Get another boyfriend.

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

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



Fun-Sized Advice

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

Best-Of Advice

On brutal fucking truth

How do you get over a guy you never wanted to be broken up from? We had been together for five years. I know our relationship needed to change. There were communication issues and some lack of compassion near the end. But I always wanted to fight for us, whereas he doesn’t want to be in a relationship at all. At times I have clarity and know I can’t be with him, not because of his refusal, but because I need more for myself than what our relationship was. But most of the time, I hope that we’ll end up with each other. We’ve been through a shit load, including an abortion which was a mutual decision, but left us both with the want to eventually have a family together. I’ve never done this before and I feel like I’m trapped inside of myself.

Ugh. I know your type. You’ve been annoying the shit out of your friends with this emotional autopsy for weeks now, and you’ve gotten to the point where you’ve distilled your shitty relationship down to a bunch of sad, tired self-deluding clichés. This is going to seem cruel, but somebody needs to slap you upside the head with some brutal fucking truth.

I’m sorry, but your relationship didn’t “need to change.” That shit needed to end. He was fucking miserable, and you just didn’t know any better. Sure, it was great in the beginning, but that was half a damn decade ago. Neither of you are the same person anymore, and if you’re honest with yourself you’ll start to acknowledge that your relationship probably ran its natural course in the first two years.

After that, he checked out emotionally, and you stubbornly refused to let it go. You wanna know what “I always wanted to fight for us” really means? It means he was trying to break up with you for years, but you were so relentless that he couldn’t figure out how.

Oh, and I promise, he never wanted to have a family with you. Ever. Not even a little bit. That was just a bunch of bullshit he thought you needed to hear while he was holding his breath through your abortion. Yep. It’s terrible, but that’s what guys do.

You want some clarity? Let me be crystal fucking clear: He doesn’t love you anymore. You two are never going to end up together. It’s time for you to accept that it’s over. Pull your head out of your ass and move the fuck on.

Yes, it hurts. No, it’s not fair. Tough shit. The sooner you get some emotional distance from this relationship, the sooner you’ll realize that there’s nothing particularly special about this guy other than the fact that you happened to fall in love with him.

Now, take a deep breath. Exhale. This was harsh, but it needed to be. The good news is you will get over him. The time you spent together wasn’t wasted. You will learn from this, and you will fall in love again, probably more than once. In the meantime, quit romanticizing the past. It’s time to start letting go.



On mixing friendships and relationships

Up until a month ago, my guy best friend and I (a girl) talked all day, every day – we were best buds. A few weeks ago we stopped talking, and I would ask why, and he would ignore the fact that we haven’t been talking or blame it on being busy. I found out today that he’s been seeing someone. Why would that affect if he can talk to me or not? Why would that affect our friendship?

Yeah, sometimes friends disappear when they fall into new romantic relationships. It’s just one of those things that happens. It sucks, and you can be angry about it, but don’t act like an idiot. He’s getting his emotional needs filled by her now, and there’s a decent chance that she doesn’t want him hanging out with you. It should be obvious how that would affect your friendship.

Try not to take this personally. I know that sounds impossible, but I promise, this isn’t about you. He doesn’t think any less of you, and the new girl doesn’t even know you. This is about the quality of their character, not yours. That’s cold comfort, of course, but it’s important to understand that you aren’t being rejected so much as he’s just being a shitty friend.


Hi Coquette. I’m hanging out with my best friend’s ex tomorrow. He’s a cool person and I know nothing will happen because I have a lot of respect for my best friend and my boyfriend (and so does he) but I feel a lot of anxiety because I feel like I’ll have to lie to them about where I’m going and who I’m going with. I’m a shitty liar, especially to the people I love and I’m getting anxiety because I don’t know if hanging out with him will cause either of them to lose some trust in me or make them upset. But I really want to fucking hang out with this cool person. Do I just need to fucking relax? I’m making a big deal over nothing, aren’t I?

Nope. This is a big deal. You’re making a huge mistake, and if you’re not careful it could very easily ruin everyone’s relationship.

If you feel like you have to lie to your best friend and your boyfriend in order to hang out with your best friend’s ex, then you’re already doing something wrong. You damn well know it’s wrong, and the anxiety you’re feeling is you conscience screaming at you that it is all very, very wrong. Listen to your conscience…

It doesn’t matter if nothing happens between you and your best friend’s ex. That’s not the point. The point is you’re betraying your best friend and your boyfriend by not telling them. You are deliberately deceiving them through an act of omission, and there will be consequences when everything comes to light.

You should also take a hard look at whatever shady part of you wants to hang out with your best friend’s ex. It’s not innocent, and you damn well know it. (If it was innocent, you’d have no problem being open with everyone involved.)


I want to sleep with my friend’s ex-wife, should I?

Hell no. What kind of moral cripple asks a question like this? Your friend’s exes are off-limits. Everyone knows this. Unless your friend explicitly sets you up with an ex and everyone involved is cool with it, never sleep with a friend’s ex. Even under those rare circumstances, it’s still probably a bad idea.




On your silly crushes

I have a knack for developing crushes on men that turn out to be unavailable. I overheard the last guy I had a huge crush on (I work at a coffee shop and every time he came in I would start shaking a little) telling someone that he’s not looking for a girlfriend right now. The guy I currently like is divorced, and it wasn’t that long ago that the marriage ended. I’m assuming he’s fairly unavailable as well. Anyways, is there something wrong with me? It’s not like I see a wedding ring and then I’m attracted to them…I literally just develop very strong crushes on guys that turn out to be unavailable for one reason or another.

If you’re in your late teens or early twenties, then there’s nothing wrong with you that a few good years of maturity won’t naturally fix. If you’re in your thirties, then perhaps you’re a bit of a shallow twit, but even that’s correctable with a little well-timed introspection.

Either way, your problem isn’t what you think it is. I understand why you’d be concerned if you thought you were only capable of being attracted to unavailable men, but that’s not what I’m hearing from you. What I’m hearing is that you seem to have confused infatuation with more legitimate romantic emotions.

Crushes aren’t that big a deal, especially if you’re still in a phase of life where you’re having a lot of them…

Read the rest of this week’s column over at

Best-Of Advice

On taking it up the ass

I love anal play and anal sex, but it always feels a little degrading for me. My boyfriend is super respectful when we do it, but I can’t help thinking he – and most men – feel somewhat superior for getting to stick it into my ass. I hate to think he validates his masculinity by fucking me from behind, and him not letting me get anywhere near his region only reinforces the superiority/inferiority dynamic. Is there a way to ever get comfortable and to change these internalized misconceptions (both his and mine) about anal sex?


Hmm. Sounds like you’ve got a little cognitive dissonance going on when it comes to your butthole. It’s no big deal, really. All you have to do is identify why anal sex feels a little degrading for you, and if I had to guess, there was probably a guy in your past, perhaps the very guy who introduced you to butt play, who also got off on dominating you inappropriately, or at least behaved in some manner that made you feel degraded, and now you associate those emotions with taking it up the ass in general.

Like most women, I’m guessing you went through your bad boy phase in your early twenties, and while you were expanding your sexual horizons (a good thing) you also spent time in romantic relationships with a dirtbag or two who treated you like absolute shit (a bad thing), and it would seem you’re still storing some of that emotional baggage up your butt.

The biggest clue here is that you feel there are power dynamics at play with regard to anal sex, but not necessarily with regard to oral or vaginal sex, because I assure you, the kind of men who feel superior for getting to stick it into your ass are the kind of men who feel superior getting to stick it anywhere.

If your boyfriend really is super respectful around your butthole, and you do in fact love anal sex, then take a hot minute to step back and look at your sex life retrospectively. Identify and acknowledge the source of your degrading feelings about anal sex, and then leave that mess in the past where it belongs.

Now, as for your boyfriend’s attitude towards his own ass, there’s not really much you can do. If he doesn’t want anything up there, then that’s his loss, but don’t make it about a superiority/inferiority dynamic when it’s really about your boyfriend just being typical and unadventurous. Most dudes are just like that. They go their entire lives not realizing they’ve got a prostate in there that can do tricks. Poor bastards.




On platonic versus romantic

Coquette, How do you let friends know that, despite the sexual tension between you, you aren’t going to sleep with them? I hate meeting men and hanging out with them and then having the awkward “just friends” talk.

Yeah, I don’t do the “just friends” talk. It’s a bullshit cliché wrapped up in a fundamental misinterpretation of platonic versus romantic relationships.

It’s better to be brutally direct. If a guy in your life is making unwelcome sexual advances, hit him hard and fast with what he really needs to hear. Look him in the eye and say, “We are never going to have sex. Ever. It’s not gonna happen, so back the hell off.”

Leave no room for confusion. Of course, part of leaving no room for confusion is not allowing sexual tension to build between you in the first place. If you’re never gonna have sex with a guy, it’s not fair to lead him on like that.


Could you spell out the difference between platonic and romantic relationships? Maybe this should be self-evident to me, but it’s not. I feel like once you take away all the bullshit of romantic relationships, they basically become platonic.

The biggest misconception about romantic relationships is that if you drain out all the lust and limerence, you’re then left with a platonic relationship.

Nope. That’s not how it works. Platonic relationships are not merely sexless renditions of romantic ones. They are fundamentally different, built entirely on their own spiritual and intellectual foundations.

It’s a shame that “platonic” is commonly used as a polite substitute for “non-sexual,” because that only further confuses the subject. Quite frankly, it’s an insult to the idea of platonic love that people constantly assume it’s the same thing as romantic love minus the sex. Plato himself would have turned up his nose at such a simplistic interpretation of the concept.


Is there an advisable period that a “just sex” relationship should last?

The implication you’re making by calling it “just sex” is that the relationship is neither romantic nor platonic. Be careful with that, because to some degree, any relationship that lasts longer than it takes you to orgasm is more than “just sex.”

Keep that in mind as you move forward, and make sure to only let the relationship last as long as everyone involved is on the same page emotionally.




On your average penis

In a moment of completely fucked up clarity, my ex girlfriend admitted that she was always underwhelmed by our sex life owing to my penis size (5 inches). We’re long broken up and with new people now, but this still stung and has made me feel inadequate even with my current partner. Not sure what I want you to say, other than affirmation that she was out of line to say this at all. What do you think?


What I think depends entirely on whether you’re one of those incredibly annoying guys who pesters his ex-girlfriends for a list of reasons why things didn’t work out. If that’s you, then sorry pal, you got what you deserved.

If that’s not you, and your ex just happens to be a magnificent bitch who decided to assassinate your ego for shits and giggles, then I’m genuinely sorry, because you didn’t deserve that at all.

Either way, now you’re stuck with the knowledge that an ex was always underwhelmed with both your penis size and your former sex life. A lesser man would let that kind of bullshit bother him, which pretty much sums up your entire problem, because now you believe — literally and figuratively — that you’re somehow a lesser man.

Quit it. You’re not a lesser man. You’re just an average man, literally because your penis size falls within the median range, and figuratively because you’re like most dudes who assume that the dimensions of your genitalia are somehow a direct measure of your sexual prowess.

You should really stop thinking like that. Sure, size matters, but not nearly as much as you assume it does. If your ex-girlfriend really was sexually underwhelmed, then an extra inch or two wasn’t going to be the thing that suddenly overwhelmed her.

You need to just accept that you weren’t all that sexually compatible with your ex and get the rest of this mess out of your head, because the fact that you feel inadequate is infinitely more likely to ruin whatever current sex you’re having than the actual size of your penis.