02/25/2015 9:57 AM |


Dear Audrey,

I’m a feminist and a believer in body acceptance—a fat woman who has worked very hard to be happy with her body. Recently, though, my once gloriously bouncy boobs have started to sag in a new way that just bums me out. I know this is a natural part of aging, especially for the well-endowed. I can’t explain why this in particular bugs me—as I’ve gained/lost weight, had a kid, and aged, my body has undergone huge changes, and I’ve accepted them and learned to love what I’ve got. My mom and I have had a rocky relationship at times, and she is not into fat acceptance, but after years of fighting has agreed to stop nagging me about my weight. The other day after a few glasses of wine, I shared my sadness about my boobs, hoping this was a new phase of our relationship. She was immediately like, “Just get ‘em done. That’s what I did after I had you and your brother.” She even offered to help pay. At first I just laughed, but the thought has stuck with me. On the one hand, I feel like I’d be betraying what I believe in. On the other hand, it’s affecting my ability to enjoy sex. Even though my partner says he loves them how they are, I have found myself not wanting him to touch them as much, or avoiding positions that involve bouncing. It’s really bothering me and I have no idea why! Am I total hypocrite if I get my tits “fixed”?


02/11/15 8:46am
02/11/2015 8:46 AM |
Illustration by Katie Narduzzo

Dear Audrey,

One of my closest guy friends (I’m a woman) recently went through a divorce. He and his ex had been together since college (we’re now in our 30s) and I have somehow become his “back on the scene” confidante. I have no idea why—maybe because I was single for a lot of our 20s? My friend is average-to-attractive, so the odds are super in his favor because NYC has a shortage of decent guys, it often seems. The problem is that he is acting like he’s still 19. Or not even him at 19 because we were all big nerds, but some stereotype of a frat boy. It’s really weird and it makes me very uncomfortable. He rates women on a 1–10 scale with no irony, he talks about his “game,” he brags about being super great at sex (I know his ex well, and she says he’s average at best). He’s not acting like the person I’ve known all these years and I don’t really know how to call him on it. Like, I’m glad he’s getting out there, sleeping around, doing all the stuff he feels like he missed out on, but he doesn’t have to act like an ass about it. When I’ve tried to gently point out when he’s being a dick, he shrugs it off. What should I do here?


01/28/2015 1:51 PM |
Illustration by Lutkie

Dear Audrey,

I read on the Internet that if you eat pineapple it makes your cum taste better. As a guy who likes it when women swallow, I think it’s only polite that I do whatever I can to make the taste more pleasant. How much pineapple do I need to make a difference? Should I eat some every day or what?

Hold on, let me pull out my Journal of Comparative Jizz Flavor and see what the most recent studies are saying. Oh sugar, I must have let my subscription lapse. Asking your old buddy the Internet, I get everything from “some” to “a glass of juice a day” to “with every meal.” (more…)

01/14/15 8:55am
01/14/2015 8:55 AM |


Dear Audrey,

I’m a woman in my early forties who just got out of a long and, at the end, sexless marriage. I haven’t dated in almost twenty years, so I’m a little rusty. When my husband and I were first splitting up, I went pretty wild and slept with a bunch of men. There was one guy in particular I found a connection with (sexually), and we seem to have progressed into a kind of frequent hookup relationship. He’s significantly younger than me, and very hot, and it’s very fun to have him as a booty call. When we first started hooking up, he told me constantly that he “doesn’t do relationships.” Fine, I don’t want a relationship. I’m focused on a million other things right now. (more…)

01/05/2015 9:15 AM |


Dear Audrey,
I have what I feel like is a common problem in long-term relationships. My boyfriend is very particular about when he likes to have sex. If he’s not in the mood, no sex. His in-the-mood-ness correlates with him feeling successful or powerful. So if he has a good day at work, horny. But bad day at work, or someone makes him feel bad, no way. We got into a huge blowup fight about this, because it’s completely unfair that I’m always the one working around his “schedule” and he never conforms to what I want. The fight spiraled out of control pretty quickly, and at one point he was throwing feminism back in my face—that he shouldn’t ever have to consent to sex if his gut was saying no. But it left me thinking: Why do I (a woman) feel the need to say yes even if sex isn’t really what I feel like at the moment? How do most couples make it work?


12/17/14 7:25am
12/17/2014 7:25 AM |
Illustration by Rachel Clark


Dear Audrey,

I have a very specific fantasy, and it’s ruining my life. I, a man, imagine getting something stuck up my butt and having to go to the hospital to get it removed by doctors—ideally a female doctor, and ideally she lectures me and/or shames me. I’m focused on it to the point that I am not interested in sex with anyone anymore. I don’t have anyone currently in my life I can ask to role-play or anything like that, and I’m thinking about just doing it for real. My questions are whether I can get in any legal trouble if I go through with it and get visibly aroused while the doctor is there, and also could I hurt myself in a permanent way? Help. This whole thing is taking over my life right now.


12/03/2014 6:45 AM |
Illustration by Rachel Clark


Dear Audrey,

I’m a lucky lady with a gorgeous girlfriend who is getting into bodybuilding. In almost every way, this is awesome, except that she’s really stressing about getting lean for competition. My girl loves to eat, and we spend a lot of time cooking together and whatnot, so limiting her diet is hard for her. A while ago, we switched to natural/food-based lubes like olive or coconut oil. Recently it occurred to her that the calories from that might be messing with her diet, so I told her sex-related calories “don’t count” because you work them off in sex. Whatever, the amount of coconut oil actually going into her mouth has to be minimal. But so now she’s suddenly really into food play, licking whipped cream off me, or chocolate sauce, or whatever. This has never been a part of our thing. I don’t have a problem with it except that I worry that maybe sugary stuff like that will mess with her diet after a while? I want her to follow her bodybuilding dreams. Also, I guess I do feel a little weird that she is working out her food issues with our sex life. Is that unfair?


Ah ha ha ha. Whipped cream, the forbidden fruit. Your girlfriend sounds awesome, and I wish her lots of luck in her bodybuilding career. As far as feeling guilty for fucking up her diet, she’s an adult and she knows what she’s doing. I’m sure she understands that there is no such thing as calories that “don’t count.” 

I do think that unless she’s sticking a cupcake in front of your vagina and chomping her way through it every time you get busy (which, Cosmo has that donut dick blowjob so hey, free sex idea somebody) I can’t imagine she’s ingesting enough of anything to really make a difference. You guys would have to be licking whipped cream off each other multiple times a day for that to really start to add up, calorie-wise. The amount of showers and surface cleanup that would require would make it impractical before it got fattening, I’d think.

As to your second question, I guess that is sort of strange. I mean, in some ways it’s flattering, I think? Either it’s that she’s combining her
favorite things—sugar and you—as the ultimate in pleasure, or she is currently viewing sweets as so taboo that it’s sexually exiting to indulge in them. Whichever it is, it seems less like her working out her food issues on your sex life and more like her just finding new ways to have fun.

I think if this were a regular weight loss diet (oh excuse me, “lifestyle change”) and she was focusing so intensely on food, I might be concerned. But since she’s just doing this for a short-term goal, and she’s open about how it sucks and she just has to cut calories to get lean for competition, and presumably will go back to being the fun omnivore you know and love after she competes, I’d say don’t overthink it and just have fun with the extra licking.

If it does get tiresome at some point, you’re completely within your rights to be like honey, go eat a fucking ice cream sundae and come back when you’re ready to fuck. Who knows though, maybe this food thing will open up whole new horizons for the both of you.  

11/05/2014 4:00 AM |

Dear Audrey,

I (a man) have a newish girlfriend who I am really into. Things are going great and I love spending time with her. In fact, we spend nearly every night together. I think I might be falling in love! There’s just one problem, and I can’t figure out how to fix it. Most nights that we spend together we also have sex. The first time we didn’t, she got really upset. It was late after a show and we were both tired, so I just went to sleep, but the next day we had a big fight about it. It turned into a thing where if we don’t have sex when she sleeps over, she gets mad. I thought, “okay, this girl just has a voracious sexual appetite, that’s cool, I can try harder.” Except sometimes she also seemed not into it. So when I finally asked if she really enjoyed having sex every night she said no, that sometimes she’s not feeling it, but that it’s important to her to do it anyway, because that’s how you keep your sex life healthy, and that if I don’t have sex with her every day it makes her feel unwanted. I think it’s the opposite, that if you make sex a chore then you’ll stop enjoying it. So now I’ve just stopped seeing her nights I don’t feel like sex, but it makes me sad because I could see a future together but not if I have to have sad sex every night.

Well, I must say, this one’s a bit of a puzzler. A world where not feeling like having sex at that very moment is seen as a deficit of desire, or of her desirability, or a flaw in your sex life—that’s not a very comfortable world to be in. I agree with you that that seems like a recipe for unexciting sexual drudgery.

I think it’s certainly true that sometimes in long-term relationships one partner agrees to sex when they might not be 100% in the mood to make their partner happy, especially if they have kind of mismatched sex drives. But this is not that.

Sex definitely isn’t at its best when it’s a pre-bed box to be checked off, like flossing or taking out the trash. All you have to do is think of how deliciously lazy it feels when you once in a while decide to say fuck it and not floss (that’s not just me, right?) to imagine how this doesn’t work.
If you’re celebrating a night of not having to fuck your partner, that’s not really ideal.

But as far as how to fix it, I’m not sure. It sounds like you’ve gone as far as you can in terms of talking to her about it and telling her that you don’t agree. Could couples counseling be appropriate? I know it’s early in your relationship, but if you’re thinking this could be something serious, then maybe that’s not so strange.

It also sounds like something she might want to talk to individually with a therapist. I’m obviously not one, but it seems like she’s got some issues to work through in terms of sex and self-esteem. That is also a hard thing to suggest, though, this early in knowing someone. I hope that you can find a respectful way to ask her to work through it with you, though. You two kids sound really nice for each other!

10/22/2014 4:00 AM |

Illustration by Steven D’Arbenzio

I’m a bisexual, sex-positive, feminist woman. I’m in college right now. As part of some of the work I’m doing with my school, I’ve been speaking at other colleges about sex, sexuality, and consent, often sharing my personal stories about those things as part of the presentation. I’m surprised how many people come up to me afterward and ask if I want to hook up. I like sex, but I’m not going to just drop everything and go make out. A surprising number of these people get really offended when I say no, in a polite but not necessarily “nice” way, sometimes to the point that I feel slightly unsafe. So that’s question one: How do I deal with people who don’t take “no” well? Two is that my parents are saying this work is going to ruin my career and/or define who I am to potential employers. I think I would like to continue some kind of this work after I graduate, and maybe as a job? But they swear at some point I will deeply regret the doors this has closed. Should I be worried?

I might not be the most qualified person to answer question two, since I do not have the kind of job your parents clearly envision being “ruined” based on talking publicly about your sex life. But I’m willing to bet that it’s not the kind of job you’re looking at either. But also, a) it sounds like what you’re doing is actually prestigious and so an employer may well see it as a positive, and b) with social media and the Internet being what it is, no candidate is going to be completely “clean.”

I think your parents are just being parents and would worry no matter what you did to some extent. Tell them I said everything’s going to be okay.

The first question is a lot harder. As I’m sure you know, culturally we have a huge problem with women who say no to sex.

I guess I would have hoped after hearing your talk, these people might’ve come away with a more enlightened understanding. But I do think that some people hear “sex-positive” and think “great, she wants to have sex with anyone, any time” and

get all upset and yell “false advertising” when you turn them down.

I mean, again, it seems obvious to me that there’s a vast ocean of difference between “I’m sex-positive and I enjoy sex” and “it is my solemn oath that I will drop to the ground and fuck anyone who asks me right that second,” but lots of things that seem obvious to me in this arena are not to others, so.

Taking a polite-but-firm “no” badly is one of the worst qualities a person can have.

Women get accused of “playing games” when really they’re afraid of what will happen if they give a firm “no.” And rightly so; there have been several recent cases of women being attacked for declining to give men sexual access. It’s particularly treacherous for women of color.

I’m afraid there’s no easy answer for what to do, since I don’t think your unease about your safety is unwarranted. All you can do is go with your gut about whether you can ignore them safely or not.

Humans reading this, though, please note: Your ability to gracefully accept the word “no” is a basic requirement for non-assholery. Cultivate it.

10/08/2014 4:00 AM |

Dear Audrey, my long-time girlfriend and I had a great sex life, until about a year ago. She has always had migraines but suddenly she started getting them linked to orgasms. Not every time but like maybe 7 out of 10 times we have sex she gets a migraine. She’s gone to her doctor and they’ve tried a bunch of different things, but so far nothing has worked. I feel like a complete asshole initiating sex, knowing the pain it causes her, but then a few months ago she said me not wanting to have sex with her makes her feel sad and unloved. Obviously, it’s not that I don’t want to. She has told me that she absolutely will tell me if she doesn’t feel up for it, and that even though she can’t have sex as much as we used to or as much as she wants to, she doesn’t want not to do it ever. She’s also said she’s more than happy to just not orgasm sometimes (it takes a fairly specific series of moves) so that I can get off, and that pleasuring me is pleasurable for her, even if she doesn’t actually orgasm. So now I don’t know what to do—I can’t get over how bad the headaches make her feel, and it’s hard for me to enjoy myself knowing what I’m setting her up for. I don’t want her to feel unattractive or unsexed either, though! What should I do?

I dunno, listen to your girlfriend? She’s telling you what she wants, and since she’s the one in charge of her body, I guess she gets to decide. I’m not trying to dismiss your concerns, but if sex is important enough to her that she’s willing to get a migraine for it, then you should make sure to give her the best sex ever.

If you don’t feel comfortable taking her up on her offer to just get you off, that’s your choice. I think I, too, would be hesitant to satisfy myself with someone who has kind of explicitly said they’re not planning to enjoy the sex we’re about to have. But it was very nice of her to make the offer.

I mean look, it’s hard! What choice would you make in her position? It sounds to me like she’s hoping that she and her doctor figure out how to stop the headaches, and in the meantime, she doesn’t want to stop boning the person she loves. Makes sense, right? I think one thing you could for sure do is to be super supportive when she’s not feeling well, and make sure to provide whatever kind of help she wants from you during her search for a cure.

Plus also: TALK TO HER. If being asked to always initiate sex makes you uncomfortable, tell her that. Ask if she would be willing to take the lead more, so that you’re not always the one deciding when sex happens. Let her know how hard it is for you to see her in pain—not like, “Oh I know you feel bad but you should see how your pain affects my life,” but in the “I hate to watch you suffer” kind of way. In any situation where physical limitations are at play, communication is key. All of us inhabit bodies that fail us in various ways, so all we can really do is be kind to each other until we can become cyborgs.