Every month (thanks to nice Patreon supporters!) we examine the things that people typed into search engines to find this place.

1. “My bf is younger to me by two years and is half bald..but still he criticizes my looks.”

Criticizing your partner’s looks is not a good dynamic. What would it take for both of you to decide “I like the way you look and will say only nice things about that“? Because that’s what you deserve.

2. “My husband hates when I masturbate.”

Has he explained why it bothers him? How does he know when you do it? Does he masturbate? What’s your sex life like together? What would happen if you masturbate anyway?

I think that the relationship you have with your own body is your business and even if he is uncomfortable with it you should still do it! But before anyone issues ultimatums or makes “rules” for the other person, it’s worth getting to the bottom of what this is really about. Control? Envy? Feeling left out?

3. “Tried to be friends after relationship but it didn’t work.” 

Sometimes it just doesn’t work. Here’s a poem:

Friendship After Love
After the fierce midsummer all ablaze
    Has burned itself to ashes, and expires
    In the intensity of its own fires,
There come the mellow, mild, St. Martin days
Crowned with the calm of peace, but sad with haze.
    So after Love has led us, till he tires
    Of his own throes, and torments, and desires,
Comes large-eyed friendship: with a restful gaze,
He beckons us to follow, and across
    Cool verdant vales we wander free from care.
    Is it a touch of frost lies in the air?
Why are we haunted with a sense of loss?
We do not wish the pain back, or the heat;
And yet, and yet, these days are incomplete.


4. “How can I make my make my male crush whom we’ve been been chatting come visit me?”

There is no making, there is only asking. “Would you like to come visit me?”

5. “My boyfriend keeps following me wherever I go.”

This is creepy and smothering. What would happen if you told him you didn’t like this and asked him to stop?

If the thought of asking him to stop is scary to you – you can imagine him being furious or refusing to stop or “punishing” you somehow – think about calling a trained person and talking through some ways you can safely get away from this guy and his behavior.

6. “How to write a long overdue apology.”

Keep it simple. “I realize this is long overdue, but I want to tell you how very sorry I am for (what I did). I hope you are well. Sincerely, (you).”

Don’t ask the person for anything, don’t justify, just say you’re sorry and be specific/take ownership of what it is that you did to hurt them.

7. “How to say no after you’ve already said yes.”

“I know I said I would (do the thing), but I thought about it more and it turns out I won’t/can’t/don’t want to/won’t be able to. So sorry for the confusion/inconvenience/change of heart.”

8. “Husband always asking if I’m okay.”

Some questions come to mind:

Are you okay? Is everything okay?

Is there a question you wish he would ask instead?

Is there an elephant in the room?

Does he think that you seem tired/sad/down in the dumps/cranky/not quite yourself/are you behaving in a way that would make it seem like something is not okay?

Is HE okay? Like, is he asking you if you are because he wants to talk about something but doesn’t it want it to seem like his idea? Is he a particularly anxious person?

This could be an annoying tic he has or it could be that he’s observing something about your health/happiness and wanting to check in. Figure out the subtext of what this question really is.

9. “How I can creep sex my friend.”

a) Watch this video. Put on your Halloween costume. Ask your friend to put on their Halloween Costume and if the two of you can have sex with you while you both have your Halloween Costumes on. Creepy, right?

b) Go to Scarleteen. Read every article on the site. Especially look at anything about “consent.” Don’t have sex with anyone until you fully understand consent.

10. “Short story on boss seducing his junior wife for promotion.” 

I think the site you are looking for is called “Literotica.” It should have come up on the first page of search results, but, anyway, you’re welcome.

11. “Why does my mom find something negative in all my boyfriends?”

I don’t know, maybe but it’s worth asking her this directly. “Mom, why do you find something negative to say about all my boyfriends?” It could be she thinks that you have terrible taste, it could be that she thinks that you want her opinion, it could be a control thing. Has she noticed this pattern? 

12. “Staying with him just because he was your first sex.”

Staying with someone maybe needs more/better reasons than that? Ongoing, current reasons, like being in love and having a healthy, good relationship that makes you feel great in the present day?

13. “A guy who is still on dating sites after he proposes to you.”

This is definitely worth talking about. “Why are you still on dating sites even though you want to marry me? Can you help me understand?” Make sure you both have the same needs & assumptions around monogamy, commitment, what “cheating” is and isn’t, transparency, flirting, etc. and that you’re both comfortable and on the same page with this before you get married.

If he says he’s just looking for “new friends,” please remember: MeetUp.Com exists. There are ways to find new friends that are not dating sites and that don’t make you feel suspicious and uncomfortable.

14. “How to tell your son his girlfriend is not right for him.”

Realize that you only really get one shot at this, and that the end result might be your son distancing himself from you instead of leaving her. Is she mistreating him? Is your worry for him worth the risk of having him turn away from you?

Son, I know you love (girlfriend), but ever since you have been with her you seem really unhappy. There seems to always be conflict in your relationship, when I’ve seen you together she doesn’t seem to treat you with kindness or respect. I know as an outsider I don’t have the whole picture, but as someone who loves you and wants you to be happy, I don’t feel right staying quiet when I can see that you are suffering. I love you, and I’ll try my best to accept (girlfriend) for your sake as long as she’s in your life, but I hope you’ll think about what I said. You deserve to be with someone who treats you well.”

15. “9pm to 4am sexing”

Change your dating profile name to “Diligent Night Owl”?

16. “When a boyfriend wont introduce you to anyone in his life.”

This is never a sign that things are awesome, is it? Either something is fishy, like, he has another partner or spouse and you are a “side” relationship, or something is really messy with his family & friends and in trying to “spare you” the “drama” he is making you question his commitment and your place in his life, or he wants to keep you a secret for some reason. If you aren’t a Capulet and he isn’t a Montague and your families aren’t mortal enemies bent on mutual death and destruction, ask to be introduced. If he won’t introduce you, ask him directly, “Why not.” Maybe stop seeing him if he refuses or if the answer does not satisfy you.

Dear Captain,

I’m not sure whether my partner is happy in our relationship, and I’m hoping for scripts to help us to talk about this. I only want what’s best for her, only I don’t think that’s me. I know it sounds like a silly thing to say, but I think she’s only going out with me to please her family/friends by going out with a man when she possibly prefers women. I knew she was bisexual before we started dating, but I’m starting to think that she has a strong preference for women (if she finds men attractive at all). I know I may have the wrong idea and she just doesn’t like me, but this is what my thinking is based on:

  • She only watches lesbian porn as she doesn’t like the men in it. (Understandable).
  • She’s scared of penetration so much that I can’t put a finger inside her (could be a number of medical reasons).
  • With our sex life, it’s usually me getting her off with her not reciprocating. She’ll ask me to go down on her but she doesn’t seem interested in my body. (She may just be a selfish lover).
  • She’s so scared of sperm: we’re not having sex, she’s on the pill, I wear a condom and she still insists on being fully clothed when she touches me (just in case).

I’m thinking with all her hangups with getting with a male, she may be better off in a relationship with a woman. Obviously, I may have this all wrong and this isn’t really my decision to make. What’s a good way to get her to assess our relationship, to be honest with herself and to see if it’s what she wants? If this is what she wants and she’s just having a hard time opening up sexually, what’s the best way I can support her?


Wanting to be supportive

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Dear Captain,

I’m (cis-woman) in a graduate program and I’ve got this friend (cis-man), who’s also in school, but an undergrad. We are both a bit older than the rest of our classmates, in our mid-30s. So of course we self-identify as members of the same tribe and become fast friends. We both love thinking hard about the same intellectual pursuits, we share a cynical attitude towards pop culture, millennials.

Lovely, right? But here’s the thing. Mike* doesn’t have a whole lot of emotional support. There’s me and an ex who moved away recently.

So pretty much every time we hang out he does the emotional download. He occasionally suffers from bipolar disorder, so it can get intense.

We also engage in intellectual debate – fun! – but he’s the assertive sort that has to Win. I like to learn. I don’t want to win. In fact, competition stresses me out. Meanwhile, Mike’s a freight train when it comes to verbalizing his inner monologue. To contribute to a conversation, I have to pluck up the energy to actively interrupt him. He lets me do this. And when I do, he listens. Unfortunately, I really want him to ask me what I think. To ask *me* questions for once.

Why this irritates me — I flashback to Depressed Mom who suffered from depression’s peculiar kind of narcissism. I was socialized to be a Good Listener — and I don’t want that job anymore.

Pretty much I was navigating this. I thought I was doing a decent job compartmentalizing the mommy issues. but THEN he wants to introduce sex into the picture. Sex is nice, he’s a good friend, win-win. He sold it pretty well.

Nevertheless, I sent what I thought was a thoughtful email about how I wasn’t interested in FwB. It would just turn into a mess for me. I’m in NYC. I’m *up to here* with “caz.” It would make me hate him. He responded well, and things went back to normal.

Sort of. After percolating for a few days, I got angry. I felt like a free-therapy-blow-up-doll. The idea of hanging out with him became exhausting. But I thought this was my issue, not his. So I soldiered on.

He didn’t bring up sex again for a few months…until this weekend. and I want to block his phone number. I want to punch him in the face.

I think a lot of my anger derives from stereotypes about male privilege, my own less-than-ideal past experiences with exes, and the aforementioned mommy issues. Can you help me untangle some of this???

My peanut gallery/greek chorus says dump him. It sounds like, they say, I just don’t like him. I do like him. I think?


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I am trying to figure out the words for a situation I’m in. I’ve been in a poly relationship for about three months with my husband’s enthusiastic support. Jack, my “boyfriend” for lack of a better word, is married to a lovely woman named Jill and I’ve double dated with her and her lover, so everything is super above-board. I like Jack very much; he’s funny and dear and has enough of a bad boy past to be fun.

Here’s the problem: the relationship is great, but the sex, not so much. Backstory: Jack is depressed and on medication that commonly causes impotence. He and Jill are trying to conceive, and are close to the cap on their fertility benefits, so Jill is understandably very edgy and depressed about the whole thing. Jack has a prescription for little blue pills to help with his medication-induced problems.

Problem 1: Jack does not take his blue pills when he’s going to see me. He says it’s because they are so expensive, but since one pill is the equivalent cost of less than the drinks on a night we go out, this excuse doesn’t ring true to me. It’s starting to make me feel like I’m not worth “wasting” a pill on, which makes me unhappy, as does the lack of sex. In three months we’ve not managed penetrative sex even once. The only reason I can think of that he wouldn’t take the medication is that maybe (and I have no basis for this other than the personalities involved) Jill has told him that he’s to use the pills for procreative sex only?

Problem 2: Jack is somewhat lazy in bed. I don’t have an orgasm from intercourse, and I don’t have one every time from oral, but I do have them reasonably frequently if some effort is put forth. Jill, I’ve been told, can have an orgasm every time there’s a stiff breeze. Although I’ve explained to Jack that I do not have orgasms super easily, and I’ve told him how they can be achieved, he still seems to make a token effort and then quit on me. His idea of making this work was that I should bring my vibrator to help myself out when we see each other. I’m really frustrated by this, and feel dismissed. (If it matters, I tend to be a pretty oral person and, while it’s difficult due to the medication, I have given him orgasms.)

I don’t want to break up with this guy, but honestly, this is a secondary relationship and sex is a primary consideration. I really like him, but it’s driving me nuts to go out with him and come home unfulfilled every time. I want to give this a last-ditch effort before I back off from this relationship or break up with him. What words can I use to help him understand that I’m not happy with our sex life without making him feel terrible? I tend to be fairly blunt about advocating for myself, but I know this is a touchy subject. Blue pill or not, I don’t want to make him anxious in bed, since that’s not a recipe for good sex, either. Are there scripts for this? Thanks!

–But What About Me?

Dear What About Me?

You can’t control whether Jack will feel anxious in bed after you talk to him. You can gently – and specifically –  ask for what you want and then see what happens.

Hey, Jack, I love it when you go down on me – can you keep going with that until I come?

“Could we try something where you get me off first, and then I get you off?”

Do things change after conversations like that? Or does he put in a perfunctory effort and then tell you how much easier it is with Jill? (And, like, whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy do you know that about her?)

Howabout “Jack, you mentioned that the pills are expensive – would we be able to skip drinks next time we hang out/let me contribute some $ to take the pressure off?” Awkward follow-up question, if he demurs or things don’t change: “Is there another reason you haven’t told me about that penetrative sex has been off the table so far?” If he’d just prefer to not do that right now, for whatever reason (“I’m really trying to do everything I can to help Jill get pregnant, and I don’t have more than that in me just now”), wouldn’t it be better to know?

You’re only three months into this thing, so the question I gotta ask is, how much work do you want to do on this?

Hello my Captain!

I’ve spent some time scrolling through the “sex” tag and I can’t really find something that fits the issue I’m currently having.

I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for about 6 months. The sex has been great, for the most part, but lately I’ve been feeling neglected in bed and I’m not sure how to bring it up or address it. He never seems to care if I get off or not, and sexytimes always end when he does, unless I specifically ask him to get me off. Last night things really came to a head (heh). He asked me for oral sex, finished, and then…went to sleep. I cried myself to sleep. I don’t know how to bring it up with him, or even if I should. He seems completely unaware that anything out of the ordinary happened. I feel so hurt and used. How can I bring this up with him after the fact?

Blown Off

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