It Came From The Search Terms: February (just under the wire!)

Once a month I try to answer the things that people typed into search engines to find my blog as if they are questions. It’s an exercise in mixed results.

1.

if he doesnt want the title does that mean he doesnt want u

If you were a Princess and he said “I love you but I don’t want the title of Prince-Consort, I’d rather just be Bill” you should definitely talk through your wants and expectations. If you’re doing sex with someone and you say “are we boyfriend and girlfriend now?” and they say “Babe, let’s not put labels on this,” it’s a sign that they aren’t really planning a future or a serious relationship with you, so think through your wants & expectations.

2.

i had my first kiss and we teeth bamged is that bad

Most of the kisses we see in cinema are first kisses between the partners – a release of tension that has been building up, a grand sweeping statement of a feeling, like “true love’s kiss” in a Fairy Tale. Or they are last kisses or first AND last kisses – “In case the alien invasion succeeds and I don’t come back!”, etc. The stories want us to think that these kisses are extremely meaningful and perfect and that they are a sign of everything syncing up and falling into place for two people via the visual metaphor of two mouths meeting while the camera spins around. Those kisses are choreographed, framed, and designed by a team of people to be perfect on screen because the entirety of that relationship – the tenor of what future sex will be like, the chemistry between the characters and the performers, the depth of their connection – has to be hinted at and summed up on screen by that one kiss.

Actual humans in kissing-type arrangements take a lot more trial-and-error, and since all of our kisses don’t take place the night before Final Battles, we fortunately get to conduct more trials.Teeth happen, noses are sticky-outy, braces exist, glasses get in the way, sometimes you don’t know what to do with your hands, sometimes you both lunge at the same time, sometimes you get a weird thought in your head and you can’t stop laughing. Imagine framing up a photograph and adjusting the focus on a manual camera. The image is blurry at first, but you gently move the focusing ring back and forth until you find the sweet spot on the lens and suddenly it’s clear. Different lens, different subject, different spot, you’ve got to mess with the focus again to make it come right. That’s what learning to kiss someone new is like – fiddling about, gently, until suddenly it works. If you like this person and they like you, adjust your trial to error ratio with more trials.

3.

when a spouse gets home real late,and dinner is on table for them,do majority put food away after eating or leave for wife in bed to clean up

I’ll take sad Family Feud poll/questions for $200, Alex! Not sure what the wider statistics are, but I’m pretty sure that whoever searched for this is within their rights to say, “Hey, can you clean up your dishes before you come to bed and not leave them for me anymore? I’d really appreciate it, thanks.” There are no rules about which gender does which housework, so you can and should negotiate everything.

4.

leave me alone military masons…i aint got shit to do with your polyamery

Alan Rickman in Galaxy Quest-alien-makeup, looking very very very confused.

5.

hallmark cards for friends considering divorce

An overlooked market. Not sure they make that card that you could (or should) send to both people in a floundering marriage. If you’re closer to one of them, a nice card letting that person know you are thinking about them, maybe with an offer to catch up over coffee or lunch or a movie would probably be appreciated. Offering to watch their kids, if they have them, and give them some free time is a nice gesture. Breaking up a longstanding partnership is a lonely affair, so whatever you can do to say “you are loved” without getting in the middle of their business will probably go a long way.

6.

why do exes apologize when its too late. what do they want?

Sometimes they genuinely want to see if they can make an old wrong right – their behavior isn’t sitting right with them and they hope that acknowledging the wrong they did will give closure to the situation. Sometimes they want to preserve the story they tell about themselves where they are a good person. Abusers apologize to gain continued access to their victims.

You don’t have to acknowledge or accept every apology that comes your way. Just because someone said it, doesn’t mean it’s about you or for you to deal with. If it gives you perspective, and healing, great. If not, put it behind you with the rest of that relationship.

7.

how to know ur ex still loves u,even when u both ain’t in good terms

Assume they don’t, or that even if they do, it’s not important to what you decide to do next. The hardest thing, I know.

8.

what does it mean when guy posts things to your facebook wall

Depends a LOT on the content and on the frequency. What happens to your perception if you interpret it as “Hey, look at me, look at me, look at me!”?

What happens if you interpret it as “I just really really wanted you to know about (topic of this article I linked)!”

What do you want it to mean?

9.

is it wrong to invite people that you don’t know well to a party

I’m having a party, I’d love you to stop by if you can” is a nice way to show someone you’d like to get to know them better. Not wrong.

If you’re not the host of the party, that’s a different story – check in with the host first.

10.

is it weird to want to.touch a waitress

Review time: Don’t hit on customer service people when they are at work, and for fuck’s sake don’t touch them. We all admire people we find attractive, but not everybody we find attractive needs to know those thoughts.

11.

guide to loving a man who hates himself

For the first draft of this guide, so far I’ve got:

Prevention is best, so, if you meet a man who is really broody and down on themselves, it’s cool to decide not to hang out with them more. Wean yourself from the fairy tale that the brooding negative guy is more interesting than the friendly, relaxed guy. Carry this comic with you at all times as a reminder.

If it’s too late for you, and you’re already in a relationship with a man who hates himself, remember: You can’t love someone into loving themselves, so make sure that you keep loving yourself and prioritizing your own well-being and happiness. Love what is actually present, not his potential. Avoid becoming this man’s sole source of emotional and social support. Make sure you have a strong Team You and that he is not your sole source of emotional and social support. A functional adult relationship takes effort and maintenance, but do not romanticize the idea that struggle, heartbreak, and work somehow make love more true or real or sweet.

 

If he’s mean to you, leave and don’t look back. Mean is a choice, and mean self-hating dudes almost always get meaner.

It’s a work in progress. What do you think?

12.

is he shy or asexual

Dunno. Some questions that might be more relevant to you at this time:

  • If you were sitting alone at a table in a public space, like a library or cafe, and he came in, would he drop by your table to say hi to you at some point?
  • Would you drop by and say hi if the roles were reversed?
  • If you talk to him, does he enthusiastically respond and try to keep the conversation going?
  • If you ask him out, does he want to go?
  • If you go out on some dates and that’s all going well, and you bring up the idea of sex, what does he say?
  • If you are the kind of person who really wants to be asked instead of doing the asking, is “he” the right fit for you at all?

13.

book on how to get along with neighbors that just drop by?

I don’t know of a book about this, but what would happen if you a) modeled calling first to check if it’s okay before going to see them, b) the next time they drop by and you are not in the mood, said “Wow, great to see you, but this isn’t a good time! Howabout I call you tomorrow and we’ll set up a time to catch up!” and then close the door and go back to what you are doing (then call them when you said you would), c) if it keeps being an issue, ask them directly to call before dropping by. If you always stop what you are doing to let them in, they can be forgiven somewhat for thinking that you are okay with it, so, give it some time.

14.

when u tell girl that you want the relationship to break up if she say yes what the that mean

I think…it means…you broke up? Which you wanted, and she agreed to immediately, so, yaaaaaaaaay! /

15.

how do i talk to my daughter about her dysfunctional life

Does she think her life dysfunctional, and does she want your advice or help? I’m sure you have a long list of worries to work from here, but maybe start with spending some time with her where you don’t critique anything about her life (do something for the pleasure of each other’s company). Then ask her how she is doing and listen to what she says. Don’t jump in with advice unless she asks for it. Try treating her as you would treat a dear friend. If she brings up problems, listen, empathize, but don’t jump in to solve them – “That sounds hard. What do you think you’ll do?” If you can get in a groove like that one, you’ll be in a better position to be able to say “Daughter, you don’t seem like yourself lately, is there anything I can do to help?” and have her really hear you.

16.

why does a married man not only brag about his genitals on craigslist but also have a picture on it?

He wants people to look at his junk. Maybe he’s trying to hook up with people for actual encounters. Maybe he just gets off on sharing the pics. Posting on Craigslist has several distinct steps that prevent anything from “accidentally” being posted there.

17.

my boss is confident i won’t leave so gives me work but no promotion

Sounds like a good time to polish your resume and see what else is out there.

18, 19, 20, and 21: STAR WARS: A NEW NOPE

my girlfriend wouldn’t wanna have sex with me. what to say to confuse her
should i duck my girlfriend when she is sleeping
i wan to fuck ma gf btt she is not ready plzz help me
how to seduce a girl to an extent of having sex
The face I made when I read these things.

Real dismay captured in real time with real hat-hair.

My young Jedi searchers, please do not join the Sith. Please read all of Scarleteen’s resources on consent before you talk about or attempt sex with another human being. Maybe start with How Can Men Know If Someone Is Giving Consent Or Not? Here is Doctor Nerdlove on the topic of enthusiastic consent, for a dude-to-dude take on the matter.

It’s okay to want and desire sex with someone, but good men do not pressure people for sex. Good men do not “confuse” or “surprise” their partners into sex. Good men show their partners that they want them to be completely ready and on board for sex before attempting sex. Good men know that sex is something you do with someone with their enthusiastic consent and not to them, unawares.

Please educate yourselves, and be good men who have good sex.

 

—————————-

Thanks for your kind support during Winter Pledge Drive Week. Happy Get The Fuck Out Of Here, February! Day to all.

 

 

85 comments
  1. Theocraticjello said:

    Military masons? Polyamory? What does that mean?

    • JenniferP said:

      alan rickman in galaxy quest looking super-confused

      • cavyherd said:

        Thank you God for the internet, for those times when there are no words—

      • MellifluousDissent said:

        The answer to #4 made me laugh so hard I cried.

        Then I got past it and finished the entry.

        Then I got to this part of the comments and laughed so hard I cried again. I’m pretty sure this gif will never not be funny.

      • The Awe Ritual said:

        :forehead smack: Apparently, Captain Awkward is the person who turns up when people search for the anti-Heinlein.

      • This gif is the best and most perfect response.

    • The Awe Ritual said:

      I want it to be a quote from a terrible science fiction movie, and I want to see that movie VERY MUCH.

      • chicken said:

        In the future Freemasonry has developed into a military sect which practices a highly ritualised form of polyamory in which sex involving mathematical instruments, blindfolds and aprons plays a key role. Trouble arises when these sacred sex toys go missing and suspicion immediately falls on Starless Bess, space adventurer and champion of Pluto’s lesbian separatist colony…

        Bess takes a slow drag on her Martian cigar and surveys the crowd of slightly sweaty men before her, in their rumpled one-legged jumpsuits.

        “Get away from me”, she drawls, “I ain’t got shit to do with with your polyamory.”

        • somebody please draw this

        • Fierce Passion said:

          Where would you like your internet sent?

    • SpiderKitten said:

      Not gonna lie, that one +the response gave me a laugh I really needed today.

      • roramich said:

        Indeed!

    • “Military masons” makes sense to me since I grew up in a Freemasonic family, so it’s “freemasons who are in the military”, which is indeed a secret club many people try to get you to join like, maaaan, you should have been at the lodge drinking party last night! However, Masons are exclusively male except in a few places, and now I’m imagining a lodge of Masons on a military base, so they’re all part of this secret society, and all having polyamorous gay sex, and actively trying to recruit new members, and…? I feel like this is the nonmagical AU of a slashy fanfic based on something with werewolf marines.

      • innocentsmith said:

        I would read that Teen Wolf fic.

      • golden peanut said:

        Masons have women’s auxiliaries, or whatever they call them. I pictured much the same thing as you, except that I doubt that the polyamory is limited to being between men.

        • But the women’s auxiliaries meet on different nights than the men, which raises its own set of possibilities.

    • golden peanut said:

      Sometimes individual chapters of larger organizations take on a particular … culture … of their own. When I was active in the SCA, there were many times when I exhibited the same sentiments, just replace “military masons” with “shire of _______ scadians.” My guess is the searcher/searcher’s male partner was invited to join a Mason lodge which is largely or totally comprised of polyamorous military dudes. My follow on guess is that the invitation was not welcome.
      It’s hard to be polyamorous or to have an open relationship in the military. I’m not surprised at all that some local club or other became the go-to for non-monogamous military members.

    • Dizzy said:

      I have been in the military and also am polyamorous and I also went ????????????

      Was military mason a slang term I never heard? Was it a slang term in a branch I was not in? Would I have heard it if, say, I was dating soldiers but not soldiers myself? Truly this is the mystery of the ages.

  2. #10

    It’s not weird per se. But remember that waitresses and other customer service people are paid to be nice to you. Their income could be on the line if they’re mostly living off tips. You’re starting off on a uneven playing field. They’re not going to be rude to you if they can help it, but that doesn’t mean that they’re interested in dating or sexing you or even like you as a person. Don’t be handsy!

    If they’re interested, they can make the first move.

    and #5, I once handmade sorry-you’re-getting-divorced-but-congrats-on-moving-forward-and-you-are-awesome-and-I-love-you-call-me-anytime-if-you-want-to cards to a couple of friends splitting up. The more glitter the better.

    • Emmers said:

      Preeeetty sure the glitter should go to the half of the marriage that you like less. 😉

    • onamission5 said:

      Yeah I think it is pretty common for (lonely?) guys to develop crushes on women who work in the service sector, because A) socialization that women are there to take care of you and B) socialization that a woman taking care of you means she likes you-you (rather than liking, say, having a job, healing the sick, making a delicious omlette, or doing fantastic customer service) and C) live woman in your presence, actually taking care of something for you as if it was a ready made relationship (it’s not!). So it’s not exactly weird to feel like one might want to touch one’s waitress. It’s just inappropriate like whoa to actually do or to share* with her in any manner.

  3. Emma said:

    #2

    Educational (not really) story time!

    My gf and I are very silly. For a while we made a habit of, when one of us wanted to kiss the other, going “Cacaw!” and diving in like a confused bird of prey.

    You can tell what’s coming next, right? One day we were getting ready to leave on holiday with her family. We’ve finished packing. Everything’s ready to go. We turn to each other. Simultaneous “Cacaw!”s, diving, and we basically bounced off each other’s faces.

    My teeth still hurt when we got to the holiday destination, a good five hours later.

    She has a visible chip in her front tooth.

    I don’t think you need to worry, LW.

    • AthenaC said:

      This has got to be the best kissing collision story ever.

    • Nanani said:

      A kissfail to look up to :’)

    • Anna Sthetic said:

      One time many years ago when I was younger and EVEN MORE MALCOORDINATED than I am now I went to kiss my partner on the forehead at the same moment she went to kiss the underside of my jaw.

      One nosebleed later…

    • Kittentastic said:

      Love the kissing bird of prey story.

      My first ‘kiss’ ending up being a mouthful of his coat collar. I’m not even sure how it happened other than I’m quite short and he was quite tall. He leaned down to kiss me and I somehow got all tangled up with a mouthful of coat and no kiss.
      Didn’t try for a second date and that was that.

      • Oh god, my first ever kiss was like that too. He was much taller than me, we were awkward teens…I think I kissed his ear? Maybe? I’ve tried to blank the whole thing out, basically.

    • NOLAroll said:

      When I had my first boyfriend in 7th grade, our braces tangled together when we kissed one time, and we were stuck for a couple of minutes. A classic. I was terrified we would have to find a way to get help.

    • MadDissector said:

      Oh, kiss fail stories!

      Two Christmas ago, my BF and I were visiting my family. One afternoon, he decided to spend a bit of time reading on the bed. A bit later, I entered the bedroom and I saw him, lying on his back. He had picked one of my favourite comics out of the blue, which was a first. I felt a spurt of love towards him: I kneed on the mattress to lean over him and give him a Kiss (with capital letter).

      Long story short, I didn’t know that the mattress had slipped a bit over the bed frame. When I displaced my weight on my knee on the edge of the mattress, I hadn’t any support, and fell forward. Instead a Kiss on his lips, he got a Masterclass Nutcracker Elbow Punch in his Sensitive Areas.

      I had a hell of explanation to give to my parents when they entered the room after they heard his scream, and saw him in fetal position, with tears on his eyes.

      He keeps mentioning that elbow punch in every meeting/party/gathering: “That time that MadDissector decided to show me some love…”

      • OMG – I’m reading this at work and trying to laugh silently (I sound like Mutley). I have tears running down my face, this is so funny !

  4. Louise said:

    guide to loving a man who hates himself

    You’ve made a good start, but can I point to ‘Loving The Self Absorbed’ by Nina Brown and suggest she’s done all the hard work already. That book was amazing because I wasn’t ready to leave, I wasn’t ready to read books about how you shouldn’t stay with your miserable partner, so I read this one. And the strategies it gave me for disengaging with his crazy neediness whilst still being a kind and considerate wife meant I *then* had the clear-headedness to realise I needed to leave.

    • JenniferP said:

      Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Dizzy said:

      Usually my response to how to love a man who hates himself is “Don’t.”

      • TJ_Rowe said:

        Or ‘from a safe distance’.

  5. Copcher said:

    #6 – I think some recently-made exes also might apologize, and possibly have some genuine intention to change their behaviour, when they realize that their actions have consequences that can affect their own lives. As in, “I wasn’t sorry that I hurt you when the result was that you were hurt, but I am sorry that I hurt you now that the result is that we are no longer together.” And, you know, maybe the behaviour would actually change if you give them another chance, but the fact that they only apologize to eliminate negative consequences to their own lives is a huge red flag for me.

    • ZeldasCrown said:

      Exactly. They didn’t apologize when they caused the hurt; they apologized once it became apparent that hurting you was going to negatively impact their life.

    • fir3dragon said:

      This comment appears to be about my own very recent ex. Sooooo true.

  6. Alicija Lopez said:

    I think No. 11 covers the main points as is.
    “A functional adult relationship takes effort and maintenance, but do not romanticize the idea that struggle, heartbreak, and work somehow make love more true or real or sweet.” — This is an important and interesting aspect, which requires further amplification. Perhaps the “if he’s mean to you” angle does too, with some indication of how to tell the difference between inevitable conflict and human imperfection and abuse.
    Another related issue is the importance of not being flattered by jealousy, possessiveness or even fear of abandonment.

    • This reminds me of the play The Fantasticks. Two of the teenage characters fall in love, despite their families hating each other. It turns out that the families never hated each other, but wanted their kids to marry each other, so they created the artificial obstacle to make it more romantic. Once they actually are allowed to be with each other, they realize that they’re not nearly as into it. I think a lot of times obstacles can make a relationship seem better than it is. It’s so easy to blame distance, lack of time, health issues, etc. when the problem is actually incompatibility. There’s also cognitive dissonance, that tends to make us want to value things more if we work harder for them. If a relationship can survive both obstacles and a lack of obstacles, a long, steady, dramaless, peaceful stretch – then I’d really give it good odds.

  7. duaecat said:

    In the TMI side of things, my husband thinks the very hottest part of kissing is if your teeth bump during it. It takes some careful coordination to keep it sexy and not ouch for either of us.

  8. Shakti said:

    #3. Oh god. I was expected to stay up to clean up the dishes and put away the food after my brother came home from work when we had a family store. If I failed to put away the food it would rot. This meant I was doing dishes at midnight almost every day for five years. Of course if I was working the late shift, I had to put away all of the dishes and the food, which had to be done in a persnickety time consuming way (handwashed just so) or else. Pushing back against this meant I was “unloving” and “mean” and had a “bad attitude”.

    #6. if either of my exes contacted me again, it would be because their boners were lonely and they needed to feel pretty again. If my ex actually apologized, it would definitely because he needs to feel like a great moral person.

    • Yeah, my ex’s apologies are so that he can say “I apologized, but she still doesn’t like me! See how I am such a Reasonable Better Person and she is terrible!”

      I think you actually have to stop Doing the Thing for an apology to count.

  9. Maggie said:

    Yeah, I had an ex come apologize to me, and it was because all our mutual friends and acquaintances were telling her that she’d been treating me like shit during and after the relationship. She wanted people to stop thinking badly of her, so she tried to apologize. (Badly. It was all about how she felt and what she wanted. She wasn’t sorry that she was awful to me; she was sorry that people disapproved of her.)

    Fortunately, it did not work, and she has gone away to be awful somewhere where neither I nor my friends have to deal with her.

  10. Trix said:

    #2

    Sometimes the kissing does not work WITH THAT PERSON. First kisses are often a bit awkward, but if it’s not rocking your world in less than 15 minutes, then maybe it’s not ever going to. That’s not always anything to do with technique – yours or their technique might be fine with other people. Sometimes their technique is just never going to work for you. Sometimes they don’t smell right or feel right.

    That being said, your world might be rocked by them in ways other than kissing (if their kissing isn’t so bad that it actively puts you off). I went through an entire awesome relationship with great sex and no kissing whatsoever (we broke up for reasons that were nothing to do with sex). Except once when I forgot and went for it.

    On the other hand, I’ve encountered awful kissers who pretty much killed off any zing from me within a few minutes. Nothing to do with teeth-banging, awkwardness or whatever. Drooling buckets into my mouth is an excellent way to put me off for life.

    • wondering said:

      Yes. Sometimes How You Like To Kiss is not how another person Likes To Kiss. Maybe you love deep French Kissing and they love to mash lips together and maybe suck a bit on your lower lip. There are surpisingly large numbers of kissing styles.

  11. #2

    I still love “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. And one of my favourite scenes is at the end of Season 3. [spoiler ahead, for those who still haven’t seen it!] Wesley and Cordelia have been showing interest in one another for much of the season, and they’re approaching the Boss Fight of the season. So Wesley finally gets his courage up to actually articulate his interest instead of just firthing. They kiss.

    It is awkward and non-sexy and doesn’t really do anything for either of them.

    They break apart, looking confused.

    They try again. Still no sparkage.

    They both mumble something about “hope to hear from you at some point” and get back to preparing for battle.

    I love the scene, because it’s so unusual for a TV show to have a non-perfect kiss at that place in a story.

    • Yes! So much UST up until that point, and then *pfft!*

      I also thought of “The Big Easy” in which Dennis Quaid and Ellen Barkin bump teeth when kissing. It just made that scene.

  12. Plu said:

    Here’s my Hallmark divorce card.

    Front of Card: A winter scene, perhaps of a doe and buck staring majestically off into opposite directions. The text reads, “To my dearest friend…”
    Interior: Please know that now, in the cold and bitter winter of your marriage, you remain in my thoughts. We will all be here waiting when you wish for spring and decide to dump that sleazy motherfucker.”

    As for number 10 (also applicable to 18-21, really), I don’t think it’s weird to *want* to touch a waitress. I, for instance, want many things: sometimes I want to gently remove someone’s fedora and beat them about the head and shoulders with it until they see reason; when I see someone wearing corduroy pants, I want to go and scritch the corduroy because scritching corduroy is really satisfying; other times I want to go and lie prostrate across the 6-person table at the coffee shop that is being monopolized by one person who has spread their detritus all over the place. However, I am a grown-up, and know that my wants and needs hold no more or less importance than the wants and needs of the people around me. Your desire to touch never, ever, trumps someone else’s desire to not be touched. Find someone whose wants and needs complement yours, and keep your hands to yourself until someone invites you to share them.

  13. bostoncandylady said:

    I think #3 has an important corollary question along the lines of “Will most wives still want to leave dinner on the table for husbands who won’t clean up after themselves?”

    And I mention this in part because I used to wash, dry, and fold my ex-husband’s laundry, which he would then throw on the floor. I did that for a few months and then I told him he was in charge of his own laundry.

  14. dee said:

    “how do I confuse a girl” – I suggest you put a weasel on your head and dance naked whilst making giraffe noises. It would confuse the shit out of me.

    • Myrin said:

      In a similar vein, I immediately thought of this.

  15. attica said:

    Here’s a story for # 2.

    In the dvd commentaries for the late, lamented tv show Deadwood, the (imo) very handsome actor Timothy Olyphant describes his first kissing scene with (imo) the very pretty actor Molly Parker. Now, Olyphant has been a working actor for a long time, but the Deadwood role was really his first turn as a romantic (among other traits) leading man. And as he’d been a married man for twenty years prior to this role, there was presumably not too much opportunity to make out with women other than his wife. (Presumably. So he says. I’m willing to take him at his word here, why not.)

    Now, the characters had been building up this massive sexual tension (she a widow with a gold mine, he a sort-of lawman married to the widow of his late brother, who hadn’t yet come to town), that each had reasons to avoid. But, this being tv, avoid they did not. And in one ep, the longing glances turned into a touch, which BOOM! turned into a passionate embrace.

    In the commentary, Olyphant’s co-commenter asks him if the scene was awkward to film. He said. “Heck no! [In my enthusiasm,] I chipped a tooth!”

    So even for pretty people paid to make out on camera professionally, teeth knocking happens.

    Go and mash faces in peace. 🙂

    • x, said:

      That is amazing. The kiss question was my favorite in this bunch!

  16. lalouve said:

    I love the line from the new Hawaii five-0 series, first episode: Your apology is noted, acceptance is pending. That is a line I seriously needed in my life.

    • Nashira said:

      With optional finishing line noting that they are not welcome to check back later to review status of acceptance.

      • Lalouve said:

        I think in the episode the response is ‘you let me know’, which I find OK – yes, I’ll get back to you if acceptance ever happens.

  17. Oh lord, those last four questions are terrifying. 😦
    Thanks for the Scarleteen shoutout; my favorite of our consent articles is this one. It’s a love that goes both ways, as many volunteers like to share links to or quotes from your relationship/abuse columns with our users when they’re applicable. ❤

  18. FindAStone said:

    I have a good Ex Apology Story.

    So I dated this guy for like a week in high school. (Many moons ago.) It wasn’t really working out and I called it off. For the next two years of high school this motherfricker dogged me. He made fun of me, stole the books out of my locker, taped a tampon to it, told everyone that he broke up with me and that I was jealous and miserable and all this crap. Basically made my life a living hell anytime we were in the same room for more than five minutes. (And never got into any actual trouble because of any of this, either) I was never more relieved when he graduated and I had a year of peace without him.

    And then like eight years after graduation, I get this Facebook message. He apologized to me for being such a dick to me in high school. I was stunned. But that was it. It wasn’t like “Hey, sorry for being a dick, wanna hang out?” or “I said I’m sorry, we should be friends.” straight up apologized, and didn’t ask for anything else beyond that. I was absolutely floored. So sometimes apologies are really actually just that.

    However I believe they are probably the exception to the rule.

  19. Oh, and by the way. If you ever miss the end of the month, you can backdate the post and then totally gaslight us when we complain that it appeared late. Lolz.

  20. #12 made me laugh, but also made me want to know more about the situation in question. Like, is this a case of “I am dating this guy and he gets spooked when sexy things start happening” or is it, as the Captain wrote about, more of a “I can’t tell if he’s interested in me” thing? Because if the latter, this asexual is rolling her eyes. Asexual =/= not interested in dating.

    On the other hand, maybe I should be glad that asexuality is a conclusion some people jump to about other people now? I dunno, that phrasing just weirded me out a little.

  21. SMK said:

    Re Question #2. My spouse and I have been together 4 years this summer, and we are the kind of disgustingly in love people who smooch while washing dishes together. But one time last winter, when we were snuggling in bed, we both went for a kiss at the wrong time, in the dark, and my nose collided with his skull. I cried, because OUCH but I also laughed because it was hilarious. Spouse said he heard my nose crunch through his skull-bones and he felt terrible about it for a long time.

    • Hlyssande said:

      I accidentally headbutted my mom once, and I still remember the nose crunch through my skull.

      We had an unfortunate moment of me standing up when she was leaning over in the same space. Not sure it actually broke her nose (she never went in to get it checked), but oh how I remember that sound.

      • gillyc said:

        Charlotte, is that you??

    • KL said:

      Not exactly a kiss-fail, but when my partner and I were fairly new (<1year, I think), she poked me right in the eye during sexy times.
      It was pretty uncomfortable, but it was more absurd, and I started laughing immediately. As soon as she discerned that I wasn't seriously hurt, so did she. Reader, I married her.

    • BF and I were once lying in bed together reading before going to sleep. I was lying on my front and had started to doze off when he said “hey, [name],” and I jerked my head up, thinking he was trying to get my attention and being startled out of my doze. Welp, at that moment he was in fact leaning over to kiss the back of my head, and I whacked him in the face. REALLY whacked. He fell over clutching his nose in both hands and I was really terrified I’d actually broken it – the noise was that loud.

      It felt awful at the time, but it’s a great source of mirth now – whenever he wants to (jokingly) guilt me into something, he starts with, “Hey, remember that time you HIT ME IN THE FACE when I was trying to be AFFECTIONATE? You ATTACKED MY NOSE, it’ll never be the same, NEVER”

      • Angel said:

        Oh, god. The hilarious guilt stories.

        I tried to pick up my water glass at IHOP during a book club and managed to instead knock it over. Onto my fairly new boyfriend. Literally a full glass of ice water, sploosh, all over him. He had an iPod in his pocket at the time, and I don’t know how it wasn’t utterly destroyed. I was mortified and amused at the same time, and even the waitress joked about it during the evening. Boyfriend brought it up all the time (in the same way, “Hey, remember that time when you DUMPED WATER ALL OVER ME AND MY EXPENSIVE ELECTRONICS?”), though apparently four/five years is long enough to forget about it.

        I tell this story to kids now when they’re embarrassed about spilling stuff. Something about dumping an entire glass of water onto the person you’re in love with resonates with them for some reason.

        • deyne said:

          When I was first dating my boyfriend, my now-wife asked him out for coffee (as we usually do when someone starts getting serious with a new partner – it’s nice to get to know this person who will be occupying some of your love’s heart-space).

          Boyfriend was so nervous that in the first 5 minutes, he spilled coffee all over Wife, all over their backpack and all over the floor. He quickly cleaned it up and literally *ran* away and out of the shop! We all laugh about it together now, it was super adorable.

  22. AltoFronto said:

    My first kiss was awkward as hell, and to be honest, it didn’t get any better with subsequent kisses with that person, but I have since had many smooth and enjoyable kisses with other partners, so sometimes it’s just about individual styles and techniques.
    And to reassure #2, I’ve been with my Beloved for 4 years, and we still occasionally bump teeth/ lose balance whilst hugging/ squeeze too hard/ accidentally knee each other in the crotch. These things happen.

    #3, if your spouse wants you to clean up your own dishes after they cooked for you, you’d better clean up your own dishes. Otherwise, make a mutual agreement over who does what chores, and try to be as equitable as possible.

    #9 – if it’s your party, invite who you think is going to be fun to hang out with. You can invite Person A as part of getting to know them better, or you can choose to only invite people you know well, and pick another occasion to get to know Person A.
    If you’re not the host, I think the default position is to not invite other people to someone else’s party… unless they are your S/O, or a particularly close friend whom you wish to introduce to the host, and only if you have agreed with the host that that a plus-1 is ok.
    Don’t invite people you don’t know well to any event hosted by someone else that requires meticulous planning and limits on numbers (e.g. pre-booked paintball sessions, weddings).

  23. DameB said:

    I’m a huge fan of Dr. Lindsey Doe’s Youtube channel “Sexplanations.” In it, she offers some advice on many of these issues and I recommend them as supplementary materials to the Captain’s awesome advice — kissing and kissing questions, consent, and even asexuality and polyamory episodes. I won’t link because I know that trips up the spam filter some days but it’s easy enough to find.

    • storyranger said:

      Lindsey Doe, Captain Awkward, and Erika Moen (of Oh Joy Sex Toy fame) are the Holy Information Trinity who taught this shy awkward repressed gal how to do. Cannot recommend any of those three highly enough!

  24. SarahTheEntwife said:

    #3 — I am mildly fascinated at the use of gender in this question, but also — the “spouse” can also clean up after themselves in the morning when they’re not falling-over tired if they’re not feeling up to it.

    • Elsajeni said:

      Yeah, that’s a good point — I can see some possible ways in which this could be a “good intentions, bad execution” problem, like, maybe the spouse [is super tired/doesn’t want to make a racket and wake their sleeping wife/has a higher mess-sitting-out-for-a-while tolerance/etc.], leaves the mess with the best intentions of getting to it in the morning, then [forgets/runs out of time/sleeps late and their wife gets to the mess first and cleans it up while thinking “I can’t believe that jerk left this for me to deal with again”/etc.] The good news is, if that’s the case, the Captain’s suggested script will probably work really well!

  25. Regarding #2, see Bill Plympton’s animated short film “How To Kiss”. (Probably not safe for work. Certainly not safe for coffee.)

  26. 17 happened, more or less, to my girlfriend. Her last day at Evil Bees Inc. was this past Friday.

    Is 18 improved if you hope assume “confuse” is a malapropism for “convince”? In the sense of “persuade” rather than “browbeat.”

    • AW said:

      High five your GF for me.

      As for #18, it would at least make more sense if they meant “convince”. As it is, I can’t figure out how confusing someone gets them to have sex with you.

    • Linden said:

      Not much improved, I don’t think. Trying to convince someone out of their “no” on having sex is still a dick move.

    • Alcor said:

      I’m guessing they mean “confuse” as in “make her confused as to whether she wants to or not” which is, to that person’s logic, probably the same as “ooh, now I get an open door to convince her since she’s unsure instead of firmly convinced she doesn’t want to.”

      • RP said:

        Yuck. I change my mind, I’d rather it not make any sense.

  27. Alcor said:

    If your significant other won’t have sex with you and you really consider it that important, break up and find someone who will sleep with you. Sexual desire is a real and important thing, and so is consent, and someone who won’t consent + someone who won’t tolerate a relationship without sex = bad times. It will probably end in either cheating or resentment. Just acknowledge that you two aren’t in the same place in your general approach to sex, and that *that’s okay.* But it does mean you should let them go and find the non-sex-having partner of their current dreams and go find the sex-having person for you. Because sitting and chewing your nails until they decide sex is a go could take years, and they will sense the anticipation and resentment and wink-wink-nudge-nudges steaming off you every time you two are alone in the house together, no matter how hard you try to keep a lid on it. For some reason people seem to think that sexual incompatibility isn’t a good reason to break up, and that it’s shallow or petty to try to find someone who shares your preferences, so they try to wheedle their current partner into doing what they want, or try to force themselves to do what their partner wants and sit unhappy about it.

    • Thanksforallthefish said:

      YES this! I can’t believe how long it took me to learn this. My last BF would crawl into bed every night and sorta suggestively paw at me a few times before giving up and going to sleep. It always came across as this playful/hopeful move and he seemed ok with being turned down but I really HATED it when I had had a grueling long day and I was exhausted and it was already late….the whole exchange just irritated me but I thought there was something wrong with me for not being all about teh sexytimes and I should just be grateful a guy wants me.

    • Linden said:

      Exactly, and that’s why I’ve never been a fan of the “have sex even when you’re not into it and it will build intimacy” advice. Don’t like oatmeal? Eat it every day and you’re bound to love it! Uh, what?

  28. VooDoo said:

    #2 There was a guy I went on a date with that almost didn’t get a second date because the kissing at the end of date 1 was so weird / awkward / bad. He was a friend of a friend, and we’d clicked conversationally, so after some internal debate, I did go on a second date with him.
    We ended up dating for the better part of a year, had wildly successful sexytimes and subsequently great kissing. Not sure if it was nerves or what on date #1, but boy was it bad! In this case, it wasn’t a first kiss for either of us, we’d both successfully kissed before.
    (can’t really recall my first kiss – it might be the kind of awkward in the dim ages of memory that I have decided not to preserve in the memory banks).

  29. DFTBAwkward said:

    #2, like everyone else has said, don’t worry about it too much. Sometimes teeth bang and bad kisses happen, but if you like the person and the person likes you it is totally recoverable. 🙂 With my current BF, the first time we kissed was on my porch. After he said goodnight I walked inside and sort of fell back against the door all breathless and excited like you see in romcoms. It was a great kiss! The second kiss was so bad and awkward I burst out laughing when it was done and I had gotten in my car to leave. But it was ok, we liked each other and are still together 2 1/2 years later. Sometimes the kisses are still awkward but they are, for the most part, really great. A little teeth bumping is totally survivable. 🙂

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