Advice Column Thursday

Dear ACT: I think it’s time for a ♫ dance party ♫ up in this hot-ass boat of a building. What would you recommend?

Bated breath,
Auhail Zyitz

Hot-ass boat of a building, eh? You’ll have to give me a few parameters. Because right now I’m juggling the ideas in my mind. Should I tell you to A) turn down the A/C? or B) Raid the office freezer for ice cubes and throw them at random passersby with the catchphrase, “OFFICE SPLASHDANCE!”?

Speaking of which, I cannot endorse throwing ice, much less anything else. I had a friend at University of Portland who was almost blinded by a mini-Kit Kat. That’s not funny. No it’s not. You wouldn’t think so if you met her, because the IDEA is funny. The delivery most certainly was not. I wasn’t saying that facetiously. No, she was almost blinded to the tune of several surgeries. Bet you feel bad for laughing now, don’t you jackass?

Ok, so we’ve shut the whole throwing things at people idea down, so now what do we have?

The same thing we always had. An office building that’s hot as balls.

I am not the person to ask this question. I am the person that would get you fired for answering this question. I am a natural prankster in theory, because I love to think about pranking people without having to go through the messy aftermath. I just play it out in my head… I had a fantasy about revenge on an ex by a) putting blue Jell-o in her hot tub b)waiting until the middle of the night, dumping all the water out, turning it upside down, and putting the lid back on so no one would know anything was up. I am evil when I think of pranks, but at the same time, they live in my creative space. Doing them is right out. Unless you’re on a team of people and they’ve already accepted the blame unconditionally. Then, be my guest. Those moments in life are so precious, you just have to savor every one.

Back to your office party. The easiest way is to get the higher-ups in on the party before everyone else. In order to make a bangin’ party, you need to sidle up to power players first. There are two reasons for this: a) workers will be more likely to join the party if they see their managers there b) you won’t be put in the position of having to be the one that sulks up to the boss the next morning wondering if you’ve got a job or not.

This is done diplomatically. You’ll have to be mid-range yourself to even attempt this move, because honestly, what I’m about to say is more Mad Men than real men. It’s how I think it could go down, possibly. You could also wind up in a shitstorm of trouble, so don’t say I’m the one that put you up to it. I’m just protecting you with what I think might be good advice; put your neck out now so you’re not the one eating Cap’n Cruch at noon in your bathrobe wondering where your life went.

Among really high executives, the routine seems to go like this. They aren’t really like the little people, you and me. No, they can keep alcohol in their desks. You don’t have a problem with this in the slightest. You just want to charm the pants off THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE OF IT. That’s how the idea of this party comes into motion in the first place. No. You don’t want to start a party right now. You’ve just met the people that are allowed to have alcohol in their desks. Step one is not to ask if it’s ok to have an office party. Step one is to get INVITED TO THE PARTY THAT’S ALREADY HAPPENING WITHOUT YOU.

Then, and only then, will you ever have enough pull in the office to suggest, “hey, let’s throw a party.” It’s not that it’s a bad idea. It’s that its not your party. It’s theirs.

——————-

Check back every Thursday for new Q & A. Remember, the only way I can answer questions is if you send them to me. My e-mail address is LDLanagan AT gmail.com, and my Facebook profile name is ldlanagan

——————–

Dearest Auntie Leslian, (Editor’s Note: This is EXACTLY WHAT SHE WROTE)

A friend of mine is a bit discouraged about meeting new people. He meets quite a few a week in real life and adds them to Facebook. And that’s where the problem is. He posts quite a lot of things and is changing profile pictures daily. And gets kind of upset about the lack of feedback to his posts. In a perfect world, all posts would be visible, but in reality, I have like 400 “friends” and it’s impossible to like/comment/share everything I am able to see, much less the things I can’t. I’d imagine it’s the same for everyone else. But he takes it too personally.

My friend also is a member of a few groups that get together a few times a week. It’s a social group, but I think people in the group have their own friends and interests outside of the group. They use the group as a way to have fun, but not their only means of friendship. Social enough to add to their group, but at the end of the day/week, they don’t depend on it as much as my friend.

I keep telling my friend this but he doesn’t believe me. Still takes it personally. He goes to church, but he’s in that 30 and above crowd. Too old for the young adults, not as jaded as the older ones. I keep telling him to go do other things, things that interest him. Like maybe a photography class or cooking or something where the people around him at the very least would have a shared interest to start. But….yeah. He’s also kind of at the point of looking for a wife. Which as we all know is not something that one can actively do with much success without appearing desperate.

I’m running out of things to tell him and I’m trying to be as encouraging as possible while telling it like it is.

What else can he try?

Sincerely,

Out of Ideas

Dear Mom (because I know it’s really you trying to tell me to tone it down in disguise),

Facebook has a feature that distinguishes between friends that you want to see the most often. It’s called “Top Friends,” and if you search for it with the Facebook search bar, you’ll see several results. Scroll down until you see the picture of the cartoon star. That’s important because the other links are third party apps and you never know what you’re going to pick up from them. Anyway, a sidebar will load where you can add/delete from your Top Friends list. That way, I will appear less often in your feed. I figure if my web site is important enough, you’ll read it. You don’t need me to constantly harp on the activity going on at “Stories.” If it’s too much, just come to my Facebook page or my blog when you have time. You don’t need to come on mine (bah dum pum).

You can’t believe I just said that, can you? Uh-huh. I did. If Jim Norton and I were in the same room, I don’t think you’d be able to tell us apart.

As for your other stuff in your letter, like getting the dude to calm down about feedback, that I can’t help you with, because he needs to help him with that. Constantly checking on the funny things you’ve said to see if people remember the funny things you said? Pathetic. I do it a little bit. See? I feel better. I’ve released the shame.

Let’s move on.

The best thing that you can do is compliment him. Notice what’s special about him and most important, tell him so. This is done with extreme caution and care because you don’t want to give him the impression you’re hitting on him when you’re not. You just want to be a good friend instead of a crappy one. I honestly think that’s why there are so many mixed signals between men and women. Men do not take it well when they feel that you think they’re inadequate. We may or may not feel that way, but they project it on us, anyway. It’s the big chip on their shoulders that all women can’t just bow down and get started at will. You don’t feel bad that we feel bad about it… and worst of all, you don’t see the value in women as friends. This is just a generalization, but in my opinion, that’s how the world works. It’s gotten so much better as the civilization has evolved, but we’re not there yet.

Wow, that was a left turn at Albuquerque that I did not mean to take, but I’m going to leave it in, because it makes a valid point.

Back to this guy.

Basically, he cares about feedback because he feels inadequate. He is a constant hole of need, and uses other people to fill it when the only way it will close off completely is if he does it on its own. There’s no substitution for self-reflection and using it to better myself when I feel I’ve been too outrageous just for its own pleasure. But there’s some honesty in admitting it. I do. I’m a complete attention whore, but at the same time, it doesn’t take attention from people I barely kn ow to validate me.

So you have to choose. Are you going to take him off your top friends list, or are you going to confront him about his behavior? If it were me, I would want to know, because I can’t stand people not getting mad at me in the moment and then carrying it around forever until it becomes so huge in someone’s mind that it overrides their compassion.

Tell him that he’s isolating himself by being a douchebag, and if that doesn’t work, you’ll have to do the work of taking him out of your Newsfeed.

But a warning would be helpful, from my point of view.

As to being pressured to find a wife, it’s the same lack of confidence that keeps him posting on Facebook all the time. I will say that in my own life, I use Facebook, but to me, it’s not fishing for feedback. It’s trying to build what I’ve started to think of as Lanagan Media Group, responsible for “Stories” and the upcoming podcast, Dana and Leslie Love Media. I’m saying this because I don’t want to come across as hypocritical of another person. It may be that your friend is using Facebook the same way I am. If he’s not, he clearly has issues he needs to work out that he’s trying to handle by meeting strangers on the Internet, because that’s what you do when you go to one party with someone and they friend you.

Hope this helps,

Auntie Leslian

Check back every Thursday for new Q & A. Remember, the only way I can answer questions is if you send them to me. My e-mail address is LDLanagan AT gmail.com, and my Facebook profile name is ldlanagan.

My girlfriend is super picky and won’t let me do her up the butt. How do I get her to give in? Is there any hope?

AM I BEING PUNK’D?

See, this is the whole problem with answering other people’s questions. You have to answer them whether you want to or not. So hold on to your ass, because we’re doing this.

First of all, the way this question was worded was my first inkling that maybe this wasn’t for real and you didn’t think I would answer it. Never dare a Lanagan. Never.

You. Will. Lose.

Secondly, the way you worded this question was super creepy. If I didn’t know that there were going to be more people than you reading this column that might actually need this advice, I would have told you where to stick it. Literally. Man up. Write something glowing about your partner.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, seriously. We’re doing this.

Make sure that the person who’s being penetrated is healthy enough for anal sex. If there are any tears, rips, cuts, or rashes, don’t even think about it. Ignore this rule at your own peril, because if you do, you or your partner will likely have to stay home from work due to all the pain when he/she wakes up to those same cuts and scrapes except now, they’re loud, angry, and possibly infected. Fuck clean.

I don’t know how it is with men, but with women, you need to let her orgasm. If possible, it needs to be a vaginal orgasm, because this is one of the things that will help to relax her butt muscles enough that whatever you’re about to do won’t hurt as much. Even though you definitely need to use lube, and I talk about it later on, the muscles themselves have to be warm enough to stretch without pain. Rubbing the clitoris while you’re doing anything to her butt is the best way to make it pleasurable, fast. You’ll want to make it pleasurable, fast, or there will never be a second time and every time you bring it up her EYEBROWS WILL GO UP TO HERE. Marriage is long, people.

If you have never had anal sex before, start with something small, like a butt plug or some anal beads. Anal beads are better because the string of them is really small on the top and really large on the bottom. That way, you can put it in until you feel comfortable enough to graduate to something larger. You’ll want to work on accommodating larger and larger beads until you’re able to fuck without being freaked out by the in and out motion. Because you’ve never had anal sex before, I will go ahead and give it to you straight. If your anus is stretched enough, whatever is going up your butt is going to feel damn good, and then it’s not, because it’s going to feel like you’re shitting it out. It’s gross. It’s a truth akin to no one telling you you were going to poop on the floor while giving birth.

Use the right kind of lube. You want the heaviest, most viscous water-based lube you can find, because it will make everything more comfortable. They come in names like Boy Butter and Elbow Grease, which is kind of intimidating, but buy it anyway. You’ll thank me when you get home, because thin water-based lubricant like AstroGlide or Wet or ID or any of that shit will leave you in pain and possibly bleeding. If you are monogamous with your partner, you can use an oil-based lube. This is because in order to use oil-based lube, you cannot wear a condom. The petroleum will literally eat it. The thing is, though, the thicker the lube, the less anal hurts, and that’s what makes most people afraid of it. You need to do as much as you can to stop the friction, because that’s what will really make your experience great. It also helps to shower afterward and then put a little lube back up there to calm your ass down.

If I were you, I would not have anal sex with someone I didn’t know like the back of my hand, especially the first time. You want to make sure you have a partner that will go as slow as you want to go, and you have to know in advance that’s what’s going to happen. If you don’t set the boundaries before you get into bed, it can lead to frustration as one person is obviously in pain and the other is trying to push it to happen even when the other person isn’t ready.

And one final note, women like to be on top, too. If you’re in a heterosexual relationship, you owe it to your wife to at least once in your life, take it up the butt from HER. Fucking someone is power. Let them have that over you. Elevate her power so it’s equal to yours.

In conclusion, the only thing that might change your lady’s mind is you. go. first.

What are the differences in traditional male/female roles?

Before I start writing the answer to this question, please know that this was ACTUALLY sent to me and I didn’t just make it up. Therefore, there are people out there that want to hear what I think. However, even if you do want to know what I think, please write it off immediately. I don’t live with a man, I only have male friends. You have been warned. Anything that comes out of my mouth should be written off as bullshit, because I am seriously making this up as I go along. What do I know about traditional male/female roles?

Oh, wait. Let’s hold on, here. Maybe it’s because I’m a lesbian, maybe I’m just empathetic anyway, but I am like, “The Guy Whisperer.” I think they come to me because I understand women, and they don’t have to posture around me. Although, I do believe they think I know a lot more than I do, because you can understand women like you can understand the universe; the sea of possibilities is infinite.

What I notice about men just in general is that they are quicker to anger, quicker to judgment, and threatened by tears because it generally means they need to give in when what they want is for their significant others to get mad with them and spar. Because that’s how guys work things out when they start to forget who and where they are.

Because men are also protectors, providers, and the first people you come to when you’re not looking for an ear to listen, you’re looking for ACTION. Men show love, more love than you can possibly imagine, when they’re at work. When I worked at a huge oil company, I had several co-workers talk about how if they had to do it over, they wouldn’t have taken the job, because it left them with no family time at all. It’s maddening sometimes when you want them to change gears, but a lot of men feel their job is to make the money to provide for the shelter, the food, the sustenance and that is love. It may not look like love when they’re distant, but it’s there… a heartbeat away and yet so far.

Men begin to insist on women being in their stereotypical roles when they start to feel like they’re losing control. It is animalistic and fierce, that fear, because protection of the family is tantamount and to lose a member of the family is to lose a limb of the “body incorporate.” It’s to drop someone from the tribe, like a mother watching a predator eating her young and being frozen in helplessness.

Because men have been in control of women for so long, women act accordingly. This is not a new thing; it has taken place over generations of grandmothers, mothers, and daughters. The idea of the patriarchy is firm only because a lot of us are scared to take the leap and start acting equal to men because it threatens them and suddenly bad things start happening. Losing a career. Being shamed personally and/or professionally. Called out on not being good mothers because they didn’t choose to stay home with their kids and the subject of gossip at work because she’s back so soon and now she’s “one of those people.” In reality, she’s most likely broke and has to come back to work because she never had a chance to make that decision. Now she’s one of “those” people. You know, the ones that go home early because it’s not like she can change the time of day her kid gets out of school and take more days off than everyone else because not only does she have to manage her family and her career when she’s well, she has to do it perfectly when she’s ill, too. She’s become the subject of ridicule, one of those women we love to hate on at work but never see just how hard her life can be.

(Author’s note: If you are a lesbian in the work force, your role will be that of the asexual hobbit…)

That’s the negative part of a woman’s role, but there is so much more positive. For starters, we smell better (most of the time).

Additionally, I think women have a deeper emotional understanding of the world, partially by nature and exceptional growth with years of practice. I think that’s because the paintbrush used by women to paint an emotional picture has so many more colors on the palette. Men may not be able to emote as well, but that’s not exactly their fault. It’s like a “Who Can See Further?” game show in which your competition is a Golden Eagle (who can see a hare from a mile away). It’s not that they don’t love you. It’s that their way of showing it looks different than yours.

Men and women both need to take each other’s jobs until everything I’ve written is destroyed in a new culture creation- one in which everyone can be who they are (within limits) without shame. Men can be knitters and warriors. SO CAN WOMEN.

Hope it helps.

Leslie

What are the qualities I should be looking for in a significant other?

Signed, The AntiCraisin

You know, I have several friends who are going through relationship problems right now, which is awful, but at the same time, I get asked this question a lot because of it. I think Dana and I having a successful relationship is part of it, but the other part is that with a 50% breakup rate, this stuff actually IS really hard… and it’s not that I’m so good at advice. It’s that I am the type person that when you say you need me, I am the person that shows up to listen.

And that, my dear Fanagans, is everything about every relationship (even romance) you need to know all rolled into one.

SHOW. UP.

Say that you are currently single and looking. Do not even think about asking for a phone number unless you plan to use it. When you receive said phone number, call within three days. That is a hard and fast rule, even if you ARE NOT interested. It’s the equivalent of writing to someone who was nice enough to offer you a job interview. You are not (necessarily) inviting them to go out again. You are thanking them for the good time you’ve ALREADY HAD. Obviously, you made a connection, and that person’s feelings matter just as much as yours. Calling someone after a date is just as much about you.

If you want to see them again, you’ve got it made. If you don’t, you need to bat cleanup so it doesn’t come back to bite you in the ass later. You all know what I mean by that, right? You don’t call, you don’t intend to call, then you show up at a bar with some friends or (gasp!) another date, and you are toast, complete with scotch all over your suit. I was once dating three women at the same time, but I wasn’t intimate with any of them. I just wanted to see what they were like, and god forbid, grab some dinner.

One saw me at dinner with another, and it was bad on so many levels. The problem came in when I thought that all three of them knew about each other, and one of them didn’t. I had gone on a grand total of three dates by that point (one with each), and this woman came after me like I had killed everything that was good about the world and had pissed on her hair just for spite.

Batting cleanup is also about expectations. Especially with lesbians that thrive on emotion and think one date is equal to marriage. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

If I had done my homework, and been a little more careful with my communication, I might have avoided the situation entirely. But I missed the cardinal rule, and didn’t really show up to listen. I showed up to talk, and I missed A LOT in the process.

The next thing we need to talk about is how you’re trying to find said dates.

Thinking that you already have best friends and it’s easier to stay home on Saturday night is just another big excuse not to show up. You can hole up in your house for days, but unless you are going to marry the maid or the person that delivers your pizza, you will be alone until you die, and it will be all your fault. I know. That’s harsh. But the more you avoid social situations, the more you absolutely cut off all outlets for meeting someone new.

Although, truth time…

I did think about asking for the pizza girl’s phone number, once. That’s the thing about dating the pizza guy/girl. First rattle out of the box, and you know two things: 1) They are employed 2) They have a vehicle.

Never date someone without a car if you live in a city without public transportation.

You meet at the bar, have a great time, and then for the rest of your relationship, you’re going to be hauling his ass around. That’s really all I have to say about that after watching my sister put up with it for a VERY. LONG. TIME. Resentment sets in quick over driving, folks. Again, that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Next, online dating.

If you are a freak that can’t leave the house and think that dating online is a good idea, don’t even bother unless you’re really weird. That’s jaded and mean, but in my experience, it’s true. Weird people find love together and I’m sure it’s great. But here’s the thing. With online dating, you are liable to give a stranger details of your life you wouldn’t tell your family. You have the safety of the quiet, you have the warmth of someone on the other line, and it feels like you know each other.

And then you meet, and that person that came across the interwebs and touched your heart is the furthest thing from anyone you’d consider dating material in this lifetime.

Fair warning. I hope it helps.

Love,
Leslie

In a relationship, how honest is too honest?

Man, you don’t roll any punches, do you? This is the heart of all communication, and so easy to get wrong. Most of the time, if you’re thinking about a situation you need to address, you need to go over it in your mind, first. In fact, it might not have any resemblance to the actual conversation, but at least you’ll have some idea of what you want to say. The easiest answer to this question is that it depends on the person. For people that are really intense and like to get into the nitty-gritty details of an emotional temperature of the relationship, you can probably share more than you can with people who don’t really want honesty. That’s because it only exists if both people have it. If someone is not being vulnerable with you, you won’t get anywhere, anyway. Your words will stick to their armor and never get through.

You know if you have to say something that hurts. My own personal preference, which works about 68% of the time (because you’re never going to get better than that, really), is to write it out. There are several reasons for this, but the most obvious is that it doesn’t put people on the spot to respond. If there is anything that you want to avoid, it’s catching someone off-guard. They won’t know what to say, anyway, and if they go on the defensive, they’re not going to hear what you need. They’re too busy defending themselves from the slight (real or perceived- all emotions are valid).

And lastly, if you’re talking about a wife or husband, there are two cardinal rules:

  1. You hate the behavior. You do not hate them. If you say “I hate you,” rather than “I hate that you leave your socks all over the house,” you are setting a precedent in their heads that says, “I don’t like you.” That will resonate with them and it will just push you further apart.
  2. If you can’t be honest with your wife or husband, you’re probably in the wrong relationship, anyway.

My ex-husband and I are coworkers. After breaking up, we were best friends and we were very close, but we have drifted further and further apart as our lives have changed. I miss being his friend though. How would you suggest I rekindle our wonderful friendship? Or should I even try to?

Signed, Ms. M’beebeeeff

If you don’t have kids, you need to get the hell as far away from your ex as you can. This is not to ditch him. This is to give him some space to breathe, move on, and forget that you broke his heart (or vice versa). Every relationship needs a cooling off period, and for some it’s longer than others. Given past behavior, is this someone that has taken everything you’ve said seriously and has a lot to get over? Were you married in Vegas overnight? How long have you been together? The answers to those questions are directly proportionate to how much space you should give someone to process an old relationship. In some cases, it can be done. But in the meantime, you know it will make both of you angry to watch each other’s lives progress beyond each other’s love and affection. Wait til that part is over. I am friends with most of my exes, and the only thing I will say about that is in every case, it took thermonuclear war to find it.

You also have to question your motives. Are you in a relationship now? What are you looking for if this person reciprocates? Could it lead to a quick and easy affair? Could it lead to a long, drawn-out hot mess of a situation? Maybe not, but from my experience in talking to people, they reach out to former lovers when their boundaries are threatened and they want to go back to a time they felt safer. You have to look at your own motivations first, because either direction (towards each other or apart) will lead to mis-communication if you let it. It’s amazing how those old memories quickly turn into flirts. I know. I’ve seen me do it.

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