Articles by

<Audrey Ference>


Dear Audrey,

I’m a bi woman. I love sex, and have a reputation of being very forward among my friends, which is stupid. If I were a guy, nobody would think twice about it. But generally, if I want to get with someone, I ask bluntly. I also don’t personally do monogamy, but I do respect others’ relationships. I have never knowingly pursued someone who was in a monogamous thing. So a few weeks ago, a group of old, close school friends all took a trip to the beach for a long weekend. One of the women, who has been married for a long time to a man, revealed that her husband had given her the “weekend off” of their marriage as part of a thing to liven up their sex life. I have always felt that there was sort of a spark between us, and, after double-checking that her partner was cool with this, we had a weekend fling. Fast forward to last weekend and I hear that she’s getting divorced and her husband is telling everyone it’s my fault. Apparently he didn’t think she’d get with a woman and was angry and weirded out, and I guess because of my reputation, he’s sort of implying that I pushed her into it, which is NOT TRUE. I’ve definitely always gotten the vibe that she was into chicks, so it’s weird that he didn’t feel the same? Anyway, she has not leapt to my defense, and I’m pissed. Several friends are taking his “side” on Facebook and this whole thing is just so childish. What do I do? Do I defend myself? This is exactly why I don’t fuck with monogamy. I now know not to sleep with anyone on a hall pass or whatever, but I don’t feel like I can let the implication that I took advantage of her somehow just sit there.

I’m sorry that you’re finding out the hard way that some people you had thought were your friends aren’t your friends after all. Not that it matters, but from everything you’ve said, it sounds like their marriage was going down the tubes anyway. It’s incredibly shitty of your hall pass friend to let you take the blame for her marriage falling apart—she should be making sure everyone understood that your fling was consensual and wanted.

To be honest, they both sound like selfish, childish assholes who are enjoying distracting themselves from their failing marriage by stirring up a bunch of shit. None of this is fair or your fault, but maybe this is a great time to take stock of those old friendships and stop hanging out with anyone who doesn’t respect and love you for who you are. It sounds like you already face a lot of judgey-ness for doing life the way you want. Why do you even like hanging out with people like that? I think it’s the perfect time to let some of those old friendships die.

I know it would be satisfying to go on FB and write a rebuttal/play-by-play, but honestly I think that would give them exactly what they want: more over-the-top drama to roll around in. Instead, correct anyone who says anything to you, maybe talk to a few of your closer friends about it, and let the gossip mill do the work for you. The people who stick by you are the only ones you really want in your life anyway.

07/01/15 8:42am


Dear Audrey,

I’m not sure what advice you can even give here, but I would seriously love any insight you can provide, as this problem has been making my sex life puzzling and miserable. I’m a happily single, horny woman. Generally, when I want to get laid, I go to a bar or on Tinder and find someone, hook up, and that’s it. It’s a great system. Only I have had four different dudes experience extreme dick dysfunction in the last few months. To the point where I’m starting to wonder if it’s me somehow?

I totally get that ED is a problem that guys are ashamed of but shouldn’t be and I’m all for being like hey, it happens, no worries. But several of these dudes fessed up to the fact that they’ve been having ongoing issues with it, and one got all weepy, and one wanted to “just talk” instead of fucking. Uh, no, I’m not your girlfriend. Why, why, why would you respond to someone just looking for sex knowing your dick doesn’t work? And if you do, or if you’re just rolling the dice and hoping this time it will be okay, shouldn’t you at least work to get me off with your hands and mouth, instead of expecting me to sit and listen to you talk about your problems for an hour? I’m not your wife and I’m not a sex worker.

The first few times I was really nice about it, like wow, this poor guy, I bet he feels embarrassed. But it’s gotten so frequent that I’m starting to get pissed! Dudes of Brooklyn, stop wasting my time! (more…)

06/03/15 12:16pm


Dear Audrey,
I am a straight man with a straight man’s problems. My girlfriend hates period sex, and she gets upset when I come on to her when she’s on her period. She gets horrible cramps and sometimes migraines, and is just not in the mind space for sexy-times. Her period is pretty regular and I try to remember when it’s coming, but sometimes I forget. The last few times I’ve forgotten, she’s gotten upset and said it felt like I was pressuring her, since I obviously knew she wasn’t feeling well. I did, of course, notice she wasn’t feeling well but thought it was just a mood and that maybe fooling around would made her feel better. My question is: Several of my friends love their period tracking apps; would it be super weird to get one on my phone for my girlfriend’s period? If I’m doing it in the name of not making her upset about sex at that time?

Oh poor sweet bone-headed straight man, bless your poor sweet bone-headed straight man heart. You are trying your best to do the right thing and I appreciate that. I really do. But don’t get a period tracking app on your phone for your lady’s period. This is not a good plan. Can you imagine how she would feel if she found it? If she was borrowing your phone and a notification about HER PERIOD came up on it? It would be that episode of Community where Abed is giving Britta and Annie chocolate times a billion.

And listen, I totally get that you’re in a pickle here. I have often, the few days before my period, wondered why I suddenly hate myself, all my clothes, and everyone around me, only to be like, ah yes, it’s you, old friend, when the blood starts flowing. And yet, I would be furious if I was feeling down and anyone—but most especially, a man—was like “Oh sweetie, could it be your period?”

You see, period-having humans are in the same pickle, only worse: Many of us do experience unpleasant stuff around our menses, but thanks to centuries of shitbags being like HAW HAW MAYBE YOU’RE ON THE RAG, admitting this often feels humiliating.

Most people of all genders are controlled by their hormones, this is literally what hormones are for. And arguably it’s penis-bearing individuals who are the most likely to make stupid decisions based solely on their reproductive systems. Yet actual human adults have expressed concern about a female president because: What if she has PMS and nukes Russia?

Which is all to say that PMS is real, but because of the patriarchy, lots of times we have to pretend it isn’t, and ask that right-hearted non-menstruators join us in this delusion. Plus, even if a feeling is being caused or heightened by an oncoming period, it doesn’t mean it’s not a real feeling and valid. Hearing “you’re just PMSing” when I’m upset makes me feel like a toddler being told she’s just tired. You don’t want to get in the habit of assuming it’s her period every time your girlfriend is cranky or feeling unwell, that’s bad too.
So what to do? In a world where a period was a biological function like any other, the app would be perfectly fine. Instead, I would suggest a much subtler solution, like a recurring calendar reminder with a euphemistic name. “Meeting with Uncle Sexno,” perhaps.


05/20/15 11:33am


Dear Audrey,

I’m a straight guy in my early 20s. I’ve been having sex pretty regularly since I was 16, and I thought I had things figured out. Until last week. I was at party and a few girls I had sex with were there—one was an ex, though from college, the other someone I had a kind of friends-with-benefits setup with for a little while. We’re all friends, or so I thought; neither of the relationships ended badly. They were both super-duper drunk and started making fun of me for being bad in bed. I think I was pretty obviously hurt because they both stopped and apologized, and the next day the ex-girlfriend texted to apologize again, saying they were drunk and just kidding around, etc. I’m not sure I believe them; they both seemed to be telling the truth in moment, and I can’t stop thinking about it. I don’t want to be bad in bed! They didn’t say any specifics, really, so I don’t know how to diagnose and fix the problem. I’ve read all the basic advice like communication and stuff, and like I said I thought I was pretty good! Most of the women I am with usually have an orgasm. Could they all be faking? My confidence is shaken and I’m not sure what to do here. (more…)

05/06/15 7:25am
illustration by Sarah Lutkenhaus

Dear Audrey,

I’ve been with my guy for a while, and a few months ago we had a drunken come-to-Jesus moment about how our sex life isn’t as great as it used to be. He stepped it up and went on the Internet and found some forum about sex (he’s a geek-type guy so this is his usual method for researching anything) and there was tons of useful info there about rekindling the spark, etc. Great, fantastic, I absolutely adore that he took the lead on making our sex awesome again. However, now I feel like he’s a little too into the forum for its own sake. If I don’t want to try whatever thing they’re all talking about that week, he pouts because he can’t brag to his buddies. The worst part is the new flavor of the month is how women “should” be able to have all of these different kinds of orgasms: clitoral, vaginal, g-spot, anal, etc. He downloaded some kind of vaginal orgasm-training manual and wants me to go to work. I feel bad because I laughed and it hurt his feelings. I’m perfectly fine with the orgasms I have. He says I’m limiting my own pleasure, and that his ultimate goal is to make me squirt. Oy. What do I do here? I don’t want to be discouraging. (more…)


Dear Audrey,
I have done the sex version of the thing where you’re trying to be polite about a food you don’t like and the maker of said food becomes convinced it’s your favorite and always makes it for you. Early in our relationship, the woman I was dating (who is now my pretty serious girlfriend) showed up to our date in crotchless panties and a shelf bra. She kept kind of flashing them at me during the date, which was incredibly hot, and we later fucked up against the wall of a dimly lighted street—also wildly hot. Unfortunately what she took away from this was that I found her lingerie incredibly sexy, which is not the case. I found the teasing and the public sex amazing, and I love what crotchless panties allow you to do in public, but if we are in the bedroom, I’d rather just see her naked you know? There’s also this one lacy bit on one of her pairs of panties (yes, she has multiple pairs now because I “like them so much”) that rubs on my dick and hurts it. She refuses to take off the panties when we have sex because “that’s what’s fun about it.” At this point, I cannot tell her that I find crotchless panties sort of silly. How do I fix this? I could see myself marrying this woman; will I be stuck with this forever?

04/08/15 10:45am


Dear Audrey,
I’m a straight woman, I’ve been dating a guy for a little over a year now, and generally things are good, sex-wise. But: He’s way more into anal than I am. I’ve tried all the stuff they say to try to get off on it as a woman and nothing has really worked for me. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either—I mostly do it for my dude. He’s always been kind of a pest about wanting more anal and doesn’t really get why that bugs me. Recently, I’ve gotten really into watching pegging porn so I was like okay, fine, I’d like to try pegging, let’s trade off. Like for every time I take it in the ass, he takes it in the ass. He freaked out and said I was being vindictive, that guy-on-girl anal is “normal” but girl-on-guy is “fetish” and “not what he’s into.” I don’t see the difference, especially since he actually HAS a prostate, so it will probably feel nice. It’s not like I want to give him a taste of his own medicine. I am sincerely interested in pegging; I think it’s super-duper hot. Am I wrong here?

You’re not wrong, but you’re not 100 percent right, either. I’m not really that into the idea of any kind of tit-for-tat sex calculations, because I feel like that’s a great way to make sex super petty and boring. Like, imagine if you kept a spreadsheet of every time he went down on you and every time you went down on him and then demanded that the less active oral-giver make up the difference every month.

I mean, actually now that I’m typing that out, I’m sure there are people who are way into accountant porn and would love that set-up, but you see what I’m getting at. If someone is honestly like, “I don’t want to try that,” I think it’s unfair to be like “I did this for you, now you have to do this for me.”

However. It’s pretty clear your guy is not arguing from a place of good faith. He keeps pushing you to do something you don’t really like, which sucks. Wheedling is one of the least attractive sexual poses: I think most women have memories of doing a sex act they weren’t all that into just to shut someone up, and they’re not usually very good memories.

You should remind your boyfriend that it wasn’t so very long ago that guy-on-girl anal was considered “fetish” stuff, and surely attitudes about straight men getting things up their butts are rapidly changing. Despite what I just said in the preceding paragraphs, I do find it bratty that he is demanding you stick his thing up your butt but refusing to let you stick your thing up his butt. He didn’t even say like, “let’s start with a finger” or “tell me why this is hot to you,” he just knee-jerk said “ew, yuck no way.”

So you could go on an anal strike of your own, or you could sit him down and have him watch some pegging porn so he sees how hot it is to you, or you could have a long talk about your feelings and his feelings. But honestly, this guy sounds like kind of a poop who is boring and bad at sex. I dunno, my gut reaction reading your email was just: She could do better. So dump him, maybe? •


Dear Audrey,
I (a guy) and another male friend are both friends with benefits with a third (female) friend. She and I have great, fun sex and I never really thought more about it. Then I was out for drinks with the other guy and we started talking about our mutual hookup buddy. It came out that with him she is super freaky and into all kinds of fetish stuff, while we have just pretty “normal” sex. I’m not a jealous person but for some reason this hurt my feelings, which is stupid, I know. Even more stupidly, the next time she and I hung out I drank too much and brought it up to her. I’m not sure what I was hoping for—maybe an explanation? In my mind it was all about why she didn’t see me that way. Instead she got FURIOUS that we were talking about her and yelled at me, ended our relationship, and told me she was going to end her relationship with other friend too. So now he’s mad at me which is dumb because this is half his fault. I guess I just assumed most people talk to their friends about their sex lives and it was no big deal. Anyway, I know I fucked up, but how do I make it right? Furthermore, how do I stop worrying that something about me says “vanilla” to women who are into interesting stuff?