Archive for February, 2010|Monthly archive page

What to Give HIM for V-Day

In Dating on February 14, 2010 at 3:00 am

Dear Yenta,

I feel like a bad wife, but what do you give a man for Valentine’s Day? Help!


Maybe renting a vintage car is the way to stimulate his aorta. Photo courtesy of

Dear G,

I watched a terrible episode of the Today Show with the “my bosses are at the Olympics” stand-in cast where they had an “expert” on how to please your man on the show. This dude, truthfully, was slightly rude and mostly lame. But…his big suggestion for a woman who was receiving everything from her man, was to give him sexual favors in return.

I like this idea, but I hated his delivery. Chocolate and romance don’t equal blow jobs, but they can if you wish for this to be the trade. Yes, sexual favors, tricks, a whip, some handcuffs, a negligée, an apron and nothing else: these things can please a man. According to the dufus on that show, this is how you keep a man. I like to think there are more ways to a man’s heart than through his penis.

In fact, as a vote for the humanity and complexity of men everywhere, I suggest the following ten gifts as byways to his heart:

1) A love letter that tells him how much and why you love him. Yes, men need reminding too.

2) How about pleasing other body parts? Give him a card good for one foot rub, back rub, scalp rub by yours truly. Or, purchase a massage from a professional.

3) Take him somewhere he has never been. Yes. A good man loves to be reminded how amazing his woman-friend is by being surprised by her depth and complexity. Show him a hike, a restaurant, a part of the city he has never been. Take him away and expose him to knowledge, you genius.

4) You say flowers, he says plants. A real man will appreciate living flora and fauna too.

5) Show him you know him. Find him a book or magazine subscription on a subject he appreciates. This is an amazing gift when it reflects that you listen to and notice him.

6) Indulge his vanity. Clothes. Underwear. Shoes. A Tie. As long as you aren’t trying to change his style, outfit your man with things you know he wouldn’t buy himself.

7) Dance classes/Yoga classes/a gym membership. This only works if he is already into exercise. DO NOT GIVE A FAT MAN AN EXERCISE GIFT, unless he has already begun the commitment on his own. One is cruel judgment, the other is support.

8/ Food, baby. Food. Cook him something he loves and make it clear it was for him and his desires specifically.

9) Or…buy him groceries. This is a fantastic gift. Buy him a week’s worth of food for his fridge and wrap those Trader Joe’s bags with a giant bow. Make sure this fits with your relationship and doesn’t come across as a cynical “here, take care of yourself, you lump.”

10) Do what he loves with him. Show him you want to know his world. Ie, if he loves Masters of Warcraft, tell him the plan is pizza and video games, together. Rent his favorite car for an hour/day. Is he a runner? Go on an early morning run, but plan the route and treat him to breakfast at the end. A junk hauler? Haul the debris.

These are only a few ideas. Remember not to think of a man as two-dimensional. The media shows us that men are simple and boring. They aren’t. Remember what you know of him and then shower him with the gift he would never give himself.
Romance is a two-way street.
Make him LOVE Valentine’s Day.

Is Cheating Wrong If the Partner Knows?

In Dating, Drama, Marriage, Sex on February 12, 2010 at 2:36 am

Infidelity yields all kinds of results. See Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven for one scenario.

Dear Yenta,

I am a man having an affair with a married man whose spouse knows about us and looks the other way. Is it still morally wrong?


Dear C,

That’s a tricky one. It comes down to a number of things, mostly between the married man and his wife/husband. There are such things as open marriages, where the couple, despite their commitment to one another for life, choose to open their beds to others (see PiggyBack Dating for more). If this is the case, continue to ride the bull guilt-free.

But let’s play with some other scenarios, shall we? Let’s say this man you are sleeping with is married to a woman and the woman is not into open relationships. Ok. She catches her husband, whom she thought loved women such as herself, sleeping with male you. That blows on so many levels that she might rather go on pretending. In this case, it is definitely morally wrong.

I met a couple once, a man and a woman, who found each other at a support group. It was a group for people whose spouses left them for same-sex lovers. Ie, both this man and woman’s respective wife and husband went gay, they fell apart, and then found each other at my-wife/husband-left-me-for-homosexuality-anonymous.

Another time I met a man who was sleeping with men and cheating on his wife. They tried to make it work for 6 years until things fell apart. When they divorced he became very gay and very happily ever after. You never know what the deal is with a couple, if they are meant to be together, or if you are a bump on their road to moving on to stage 76587 of their existence. Regardless, it is messy to be tooting a married man’s horn.

Another option, you are sleeping with a man married to a man who is cheating on his husband. Forget the gay factor, infidelity SUCKS. People who don’t tell and accept the situation might be in a loveless business transaction marriage, or might be too terrified of losing their spouse, or maybe don’t care one way or the other. Either way, I am inclined to say that yes, no matter what the situation, it is always morally wrong to break a vow.

So, you know if you are involved in vow-breaking based on what you know of the scenario. Also, the onus falls on your lover, most of all. He is the one with a commitment that he is violating. You, on the other hand, are simply an enabler.

Moral of the story: check the waters before you jump. If you are already swimming with the sharks of infidelity, then ask one, “Sharky, are you married with benefits? Is your wife a repressed woman denying your homosexuality? Is your husband getting his heart broken?” Find out exactly what you are dealing with and then judge yourself accordingly. Generally, even if a marriage is already dead, an affair helps to put that fire out. I like building marriage fires for long slow lifelong warmth, so try not to mess with the flames.

It also boils down to you: why are you choosing married men for lovers in the first place? A question for you, yourself and you.

Dog Licks Face During Sex

In Sex on February 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Dear Yenta,

Can you train your dog to stop licking your face when you are having sex with your boyfriend?


She's a sexy poodle, but does she belong in your bedroom?

Dear S,

Hmmm…I imagine so. Is it polite to have sex in front of your dog? This is the real question I have. If dogs are as loyal as Mickey Rourke says, then shouldn’t doing your man in front of a puppy be like doing your man in front of your sister/brother/son/daughter/best friend? Isn’t this rude? Or is it a threesome? I know a dog is an animal, especially clear to those of you who enjoy domesticating them, but don’t forget the living breathing feeling being inside that body.

Who am I, though? A Yenta without a pet. For all I know dogs LOVE watching their “owners” have sex in front of them. So, if you don’t opt to close the door and leave your dog out of your sexual forays, then this is probably like anything else you train your dog to do. Just remember what you did to train your pup to sit, roll over, fetch, pee outside – it shouldn’t be too much different.

Or, as one woman suggests, “Try putting bacon between your toes.” That’s a solid use of traif if I have ever heard of one.

My TV’s Got a Hold On Me

In Health and Body, Mental Health on February 9, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Turn your TV into a fishtank with help from, but keep your Hulu account.


I think I watch too much TV. This past month, I started watching an Australian rodeo soap opera from the eighties with alarming regularity (3-4 hours a day, give or take). It has reached the point that I occasionally lapse into an Australian accent in my mind and think of the main characters as close friends. I know I should be doing something more productive, but I lack self-control when it comes to remotes. It’s cold out and I’m not the only American planted in front of the tellie for long hours, but with seven more seasons to go, I’m a little worried for my sanity. How much television is too much? Should I pull the plug?

Sweet Couch Potato

Dear Sweet Couch Potato,

When I taught creative writing to juvenile delinquents, everyone wanted to go outside and smoke during our break. Seeing that my students ranged in age from 12-18, it was highly unlikely that I would ever let them out. Instead, we played a little breathing game. I had everyone who was aching to smoke raise their hand. “How bad do you want it?” I would ask. “So bad” they would answer.

Then, we all sat and breathed for maybe three minutes. They surprisingly loved this, silent breathing. I told them to just listen to their breath, in and out, in and out. Five minutes later I asked of they still wanted to smoke and no one raised their hand. My point? Addictions seem like necessities until the moment passes and we forget what we wanted to begin with.

I.e., when Mondays come I ache for The Bachelor and sit there for two whole hours numbing out to some sadistic dating nosedives. It feels like I can’t live without it, but in truth, what would I do for those two hours without the TV? You know the answer. I would read a book, write a book, make art, exercise, cry…any number of things far more productive than sitting and watching these women crush themselves for a vapid aviator.

Too much TV is when a) you can’t control how much you watch b) when it is keeping you from doing the things you need to do c) it is used to avoid dealing with your own feelings. Remember, though, TV is not wholly the devil. There are merits here. It can be a source of mental relief, a source of connection (think Millionaire Matchmaker), and a source of education. But when the TV prevents you from facing your feelings or doing your work, then its time to shut that bad boy down. You know if this relationship has gone too far.

Pulling the plug seems impossible, but I promise, like my teenaged badass students, you will be surprised by how little you miss your crutch when it is gone.

Living without a television is empowering and permits opportunities to find deeper parts of yourself. Pull the plug! All in all a happy Hulu medium is great. Online television is the best because unlike a TV, accessing it is a bit more involved, which means you need to be more conscious about turning it on. Limit yourself to one show a day or week, if possible. Then, watching Gossip Girl or Aussie trash or Extreme Paranormal will feel like icing on your day’s cake. Some of us need TV, in moderation, to give our brains a rest from introspection.

Take this TV Addiction Quiz from Your Complete Guide to a TV-Free Lifestyle.

Also check out Kill Your Television, especially this Television Addiction Identification and Self-Help Guide.

One more: The Center for Screen Time Awareness at

Addicted to A-Holes

In Dating, Drama, Mental Health on February 9, 2010 at 12:00 am

It is time to look elsewhere for the love you used to find in boy-toys. (Photo of Jenny Holzer postcard)

Dear Yenta,

I just graduated college where I had some lovely boyfriends.
After these guys I thought I was over being treated badly by men.

Now, since I’ve graduated, I keep getting into these relationships with
guys that don’t treat well. I keep saying that I want a meaningful
relationship, but I put myself in situations with guys that are only
interested in sex, then end up hurt.

But, those are the only guys I meet!

How do you make meaningful relationships after college?

-Confused Post Grad

Dear CPG,

Honey, you absolutely do not have to date everyone you meet. Oye, just imagine. Meaningful relationships begin with the self. The difference between life in college and life after can be enormous. In college, for some, it is a safe cocoon where people can be trusted and support networks abound. When we feel safe, we tend to make safe choices because we choose out of something beyond need. In those cases, relationships are perks, not crutches.

After college, however, it is like being thrust from a womb. No more emotional umbilical chords, no more unlimited meal plans. Just think about the shit you are faced with: insurance, rent, jobs, strangers, an entire world as your oyster, feeding yourself, clothing yourself, and wandering the terrain of your own mind. That is heavy, and in college so many of those things were tied into a single package. Loans or no loans: getting needs met was a one-time shopping deal.

So, this leaves us at dating. This wild open new post-college world is a dating mecca, for some. But for others, this time outside of the cradle is torture. If life is at all hard, it could fuel your decisions. This means that you are choosing “the ones you meet,” even though they suck, as if having one is a necessity. If the pickings are slim, it is ok to stop harvesting the crop and wait for a better season.

If you are thirsty for sex, invest in a more extensive masturbatory regimen. Check out Toys in Babeland to cultivate a more exciting relationship with your own body to tide you over and keep you from your unhealthy dependence on bad men.

Choosing bad relationships is common, and related to clinging and cleaving to someone in fear and desperation. Ie, if alone, you might have to hear your thoughts, face your heart, deal with your vision of yourself/your career/your future. By seeking the eyes of another, you can easily defer this job to them. They get to love you when you don’t love you.

Too bad that system sucks. When you don’t love you, nine times out of ten, neither will they. Use this time to figure out what hurts that you are letting men walk on you. This bad string of men are simply teaching you about your heart and how to guard it for the knight in shining armor to come. For a gentle way to get to know yourself, your strengths and your demons try The Artist’s Way.

I suggest hunkering down with a good book and some hot cocoa, writing in a journal, making some solid girlfriends and waiting this low season out. Work on your life and loving yourself; this is how meaningful relationships emerge. The ones you meet don’t mean they are the ones you are meant to be with. They are just there, and so are you, too precious to shell out your heart to whichever bozo happens to be waiting on your corner. When you do find a meaningful relationship it will be easy and fueled by mutual admiration, not desperation.

For more dating help, try reading If the Buddha Dated by Charlotte Kasl.

Also, re-read: Top 10 Ways to Meet Singles on how to meet better single friends, and, eventually, a better circle of men.

Ah! Mom, Don’t Get Plastic Surgery!

In Health and Body, Parents on February 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Dearest Yenta,

I was at my parent’s house looking for a book and came upon a surgical plan for facial plastic surgery for my mother. I’m not sure if she ever went through with it — they did a damn good job because I can’t tell. But I feel sad for her (I think she is beautiful naturally), angry (this is something that she should have at least run by her kids), and ashamed (I think cosmetic surgery is superficial). Should I just suck it up and not say anything? Or do I ask her about it?



You never know what she'll look like when she comes out!

Dear A,

What we think we know of our parents is generally the tip of an iceberg. This is a scary/nauseating realization: that we may not even know our own guardians. In this situation, the plastic surgery is first and foremost, your mother’s business. It is her face, her youth complex, her body afterall. I don’t know that she has any obligation to run the prospect of realigning her face by her children.

Ideally, yes, it would be nice to be informed if someone we love takes a knife to their affect. I used to cry hysterically when my father just shaved his beard: the shift in a face I knew terrified me. Your sadness is totally understandable. But remember, plastic surgery can mean a million things. It can indicate self-hatred, yes, but it can also be done for complex health reasons. Example: I know a woman whose eyes were drooping with age. Eventually her own eyelids were blocking her vision, so she had her eyes done. Click here for more on reasons for plastic surgery.

A pamphlet, is also, just a pamphlet. If you feel so close to your mother that you think she should share this information with you, why not approach her about it? “Mom, I found this. Is it yours?” But approach, if possible, without judgment or desire to change your mother. Ask her about her motives, try to understand where she is coming from before attempting to change or shun her decision. Some of her adult issues are hers and cannot be changed and altered.

The best you can do is say “I love you! I think you are gorgeous just as you are!” Maybe she will hear you, maybe not. Ultimately, your blanket view of plastic surgery as superficial will prevent you from hearing, seeing, or understanding your mom’s motives. Even though you like her the way she is, she might not like her, which can be an intense thing to learn about your parent. Work to just listen to her.

Just like you want to be seen as an autonomous adult without a judgmental eye, so do your parents. You never know what kind of skeletons people have in their closets, so be gentle as you approach her not as a baby, but as a mommy with a real history.

Maybe ask how she would feel if you wanted to do the same, it might, at the very least, push her to probe her moral assessment of the surgery. Show this video of Heidi Montag’s mother’s reaction to her daughter’s facial rearrangement for fodder.

For Positive Accounts of Plastic Surgery Experiences, click here and here.

On Plastic Surgery Gone Wrong, click here or here.

On Religious Perspectives on Plastic surgery, click here.

Truckboy Was Crooked

In Dating, Drama, Mental Health, Roommates, Sex on February 7, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Ok! For this one, I deliver first the answer, and then the question.

Answer: Education always comes first and is never selfish. No matter how crooked, long, wide, or weeny your boyfriend’s penis, your education STILL comes first. Let go of any man who abandons you repeatedly, causes extreme and regular crying, and shows little to no signs that he loves you. Be wary of using sex with men like drugs, they will not lead you to personal truth.

To you, my confused young friend, I advise a career in fiction writing and a potential year of celibacy.

An Escalade might be huge, but it won't get you a job or intellectual satisfaction.


Dear Yenta,

For funnsies I’ll call everyone I’m speaking of by the car they drive

Explorer, my most recent boyfriend, and I started dating about two and a half years ago. At the time I was living in Santa Fe, and he in Albuquerque. After a few months of dating, we decided that I would transfer to UNM and move to ABQ. In January, after I’d moved down there to be closer to him he told me that he was planning to go away for the summer to Mexico and then he wanted to do an internship in Spain for the Fall semester. This absolutely freaked me out. I became very sick in February and Explorer was too busy to take care of me. I wasn’t able to leave the house for I could not stand or walk for 5 days. So one of my roommates friends, Honda, was there to take care of me. Later on Explorer told me that he was definitely going to Mexico for two months and he wasn’t sure that he was committed to the relationship. I decided that I didn’t have to be either.

Come Spring break, I dreamt that I was interested in exploring things with Honda. I sat with those feelings for Honda for another two months before I did anything about it. In May, towards the end of the semester I went to Honda’s apartment and we made out for a long time. The next day I broke up with Explorer. Honda and I saw each other for a couple weeks, and then we broke up too. A month later I got back together with Explorer for a couple weeks before he went on his Mexico trip. It was then obvious that he wasn’t going to Spain anymore. We agreed that it wasn’t appropriate to wait for each other. So we went on our ways. In three months I slept with four guys. I realized after being kinda slutty that I wanted to be in a relationship where the person treated me fairly and wanted a commitment again.

A month after Explorer returned from Mexico we started dating again. We both decided to let our little other fling things subside and we were back into a pretty serious relationship in a matter of weeks. He said to me that he was planning on going to grad school in about a year, at the time it was October. Nothing else seemed to matter, not even that our relationship was on a clock. He moved in with me after he finished his undergrad degree. He started working at a Diner. He was reading a lot, running, biking, and going on backpacking trips with his friends. Meanwhile, I’m doing lots of busy school work. We had the most incredible year together: massages, cooking, watching movies, doing yoga, hanging with friends, loving each other deeply, and bla bla bla.

So a friend of ours, Toyota, short, gay, latino, pretty silly, moved into the apartment next door. Toyota and I became closer very quickly and it probably had something to do with the fact that we’re both Scorpios and love to talk about sex. One day I was upset with Explorer for not wanting to have sex with me very often because he was jerking off too much. Explorer already had a pretty low libido and I over here am a well oiled machine that likes to get it at least every other day if not every day. So I complained to Toyota about this tragedy at the laundromat. I shared with him my many issues with the relationship: he drinks to much, looks at porn & J’s it almost everyday, expects me to bend over backwards; calls it “making plans together”, makes messes all the time, makes fun of me for things that are inappropriate (old men; food), he doesn’t like to talk about anything deep, unavailable to talk about emotional things, and doesn’t like to kiss during sex. However it wasn’t always this way, that’s the hardest thing. He was getting bored of me and it was driving me crazy.

In a nutshell, after sharing all these things with Toyota he tells me that Explorer shared with him that he was planning to move away. I was furious. First of all I knew nothing about it, and as I started talking to more of our friends about it, I realized that I was the ONLY one that didn’t know. I was so embarrassed. I forced him to tell me what was going on. He was planning to move to Lake Tahoe to be a ski instructor for the winter and then wanted to start grad school at the University of Reno in the Spring. I had told him that I wanted to negotiate a way that I could move with him. I offered setting up a National Student Exchange to a city that we could both go to. He didn’t want to, he just wanted to leave. The whole time before he left I was crying all the time, uncontrollably. Obviously, he left. He moved everything out of my apartment back to his parents house. He told me that he wanted me to come visit him during my winter break. I agreed. We agreed that we would try to work out a long distance relationship. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to wait for him for very much time. I knew that I was also too angry with him to wait.

The morning he left, December 7, I waddled my crying self to Toyota’s apartment. He was living there with three guys, one who’s name is Acura. I thought Acura was pretty hot and had thought so since he moved in. That day I also talked to Explorer’s mother. She said that she thought that Explorer was going to come back to me, however she knew that he needed to find whatever he was looking for. It was my finals week. I cried every day for 6-10 hours. My eyes were swollen and I made myself sick as a beast. I wasn’t able to get anything done, and I didn’t do very well on my exams. I was also extremely jealous. He was giving me the vibes that he was looking for someone else to hook up with during his first week there. He basically told me that he wasn’t looking for anyone but if they showed up he wouldn’t say no.

I went back to my old job in Santa Fe during winter break. I was working full time so it helped with all the pain I was enduring. I stayed with my mother in her bed when I stayed in SF. I love my mom, however it is hard to sleep with her, let alone the fact that I was so lonely and wanted my Explorer back.

After ten days I stopped crying as much. I spent a lot of time with Acura studying and eating. There was hints that he liked me. I kept talking to Toyota about it. It took a while and then Toyota finally admitted that Acura did indeed like me too. On New Year’s Eve, I went out to a party with Toyota and his other hotty for the night. Acura was spending time with his family. So at this party I ran into a guy that I’d had the hots for ever since I met Explorer, name: Truckboy. They were old roommates and running buddies. Bad I know. Truckboy and I danced all night, he kissed my neck, and at the end of the night we pecked each other, no tongue. He asked me to stay the night with him, I said no, he said it would be just cuddling, I still said no. Now Toyota was super angry about it because he felt that Truckboy crossed the friend’s ex-girlfriend rule thing.

The next day was New Year’s day. A bunch of the boys from next door and I went ice skating and then we went for late night tacos, and then we went home to watch a movie. Now, Toyota AND Acura invited me to stay the night. They all live in one bedroom, so privacy is shaky. We watched a movie. Toyota fell asleep. Acura and I went to the third base. He wanted to have sex but I said no. Let me mention that dick size is rather important to me, and Acura’s cock is a few notches bigger in the girth department than Explorers and it’s straighter. The next day Acura asked me where our thing was going. Now I had bought a ticket to visit Lake Tahoe for January 10th. I told Acura that I had to go to Tahoe to figure out what I was doing. I went to work that day and spent time with my mom and we discussed the details of the situation. I decided that I didn’t need to go to Tahoe and that it would be better to break up. It also bothered me that if I went to Tahoe that I would probably miss the opportunity for anything to come of Acura and I… even though I’m not looking for a relationship, I could settle for a casual sexual thingamajig, with communication and whatnot.

The next day, Jan 3, Explorer and I broke up. It was pretty mutual. He didn’t seem like he was completely committed to the relationship either. At the end of the conversation he said that he still wanted me to come to Tahoe. I thought he was crazy. It took me until Jan 6 to finalize that I wasn’t going to visit. When I made that decision I was very clear that we were breaking up. I was ready to let the whole thing go and move on with my life. On Jan 7 I spent the night with Acura and we went to the 3rd base again. I still felt that I wasn’t ready to have sex.

After that Acura got really busy and started ignoring me. Toyota told Explorer about Truckboy hitting on me. It wasn’t like Truckboy was completely responsible, I was very responsive… lol. I was in Santa Fe on Jan 12 and went for beers with Truckboy and his best friend Bobby. During beer drinkage, Explorer randomly called Bobby, and we immediately had to acknowledge the huge gorilla in the room. Bobby told Explorer that I was there not knowing that there had been any confrontation between Toyota and Explorer about Truckboy and I. We agreed on a believable alibi for hanging out and that night I went home with Truckboy. He and I also went to the third base. However, Truckboy’s penis size was a few notches smaller than Explorer’s, so I felt that I didn’t want to go there with Truckboy again.

I found out on Jan 14 that Explorer was pretty upset that Truckboy was hitting on me and thought that I was going to have sex with him. I didn’t want to be jealous about something that wasn’t something to be jealous over. So I had to confront him about it. Now Explorer is trying to get me to wait for him when he comes to visit in March. He hasn’t told me how long he’s going to be here for. He hasn’t decided if he’s going to move back for the summer, and he wants to go on a trip. He may also decide to go to grad school in Reno next Fall. He decided not to go to school this semester. So he has no reason to stay in Tahoe after the season ends. I see that no where in any of this that he’s thinking about me. He just wants me to wait for him until March, and then there’s no other commitment.

On Jan 15 I saw a friend that I’m attracted to. I’ll call him Cadillac. He’s not connected to this whole slew of gossip between friends. None of my friends, not even Toyota knows I’m talking to him. We had lunch. At the end of our conversation we admitted to each other that we would potentially like to start a casual sexual relationship together. He does know my friends. However with discretion and trust it would be easy for us to have some intimate human contact without the drama. We made a pinky swear at the end to our complete secrecy — maybe there will be something and maybe there won’t.

So what I see now is
Explorer wants me to wait for him in March with all of the above mentioned BS
Acura and I may have something
Cadillac and I may have something
Truckboy is out of the question
I want to be selfish, think about myself, and focus on school because my #1 priority is to school and being successful in my educational endeavors.

I do love Explorer. I can see myself being with him for a long time. I’m learning though that I have to not waste time on things that haven’t happened. I can’t be with him the way I want to. I know that if he were here that I wouldn’t be interested in other people. I acknowledge that ALL of this is in reaction to him having left me.

I come from a family that highly values sobriety, independence, and celibacy when needed. My childhood upbringing led me on a path of challenging and sometimes spiritual confrontation. I learnt that relationships could not be had out of codependence, fear, or addiction to substances or sex. Well, and what I found is that I’ve had no relationship that was void of all of those things. I understand that I need to find a place within myself where I can attract people to me that are “right” for me; and that I have to be that for them.

So… How do you know when it’s time to let go?

Finding Lube in the Kitchen

In Health and Body, Sex on February 5, 2010 at 2:55 am

Avocado Oil is great for a slick ride. But NOT with a condom.

Dear Yenta,

Even when I’m so turned on I’m begging for it, I’m still practically parched between my legs so sex can be uncomfortable. The thought of putting some synthetic product like KY jelly in my body makes me cringe. I try to stick to organics but really want sex to be more fun/comfortable/lubricated. Is there anything I can do naturally to give my sex life more glide?


Dry As a Riverbed in the Grand Canyon


Woohoo, there are many solutions to your problem! For one, start by drinking up. One way to replenish natural lube is to drink your 8 cups of water daily, if not twice that and/or lots of herbal tea. Maybe cut things like coffee, diet coke, etc out of your diet. These diaretics can squelch your liquid supply.

Also try taking a spoonful of oil in the morning. Literally ingesting oil, ie, a spoon of soybean, canola, olive or soybean oil can help. That, and ladies remember your kegels. Flexing the muscles and walls of the vagina can help produce more sexual fluid.

Next, check in with a doctor to be sure there isn’t anything fishy going on below. If you haven’t gone through menopause, then you should be pumping lube pretty easily. Also, one more preliminary trick: have your partner put a finger inside of you to draw out your fluids. Sometimes when you secrete during sex it doesn’t reach the outer lips, bring it forward. For those still working towards their first orgasm: this increases the pleasure involved in clitoral stimulation tenfold.

As for natural lube from outside sources, there are many options. Beware of a few things from the get go. (Click here for more on food in bed.)

Oil-based lubricants will basically rot your condom and get you unprotected in seconds. This means NO Vaseline, etc. Things that seem smart, but will kill the condom and get you sick or preggers.
2) Don’t use anything you or your partner is allergic to. Ie, if mayonnaise causes a rash, don’t go using it. Same goes for peanut oil and a peanut allergy. Be rational.
3) Avoid sugar-based substances. Sugar left in the vag will cause a yeast infection. No dice.

Natural Lube Options

Safe With a Latex Condom:

Yes Organic Natural Lubricant
FireFly Organics Lube with Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter
Sliquid Organics

Egg Whites

Safe (But NOT Safe w/ a Latex Condom)

Olive Oil
Peanut Oil
Corn Oil
Sunflower Oil
Vegetable or Mineral Oil
Avocado Oil
Whipping Cream

Beware, if applicable: there is no spermicide in natural lubricant.

Also, a note on the lubes we used…

According to Emma Pezzack in “How to Green Up Your Sex Life: Organic Personal Lubricant,”

“Most [standard lubricant] ingredients are various forms of petrochemicals such as propylene glycol (often used in car batteries as anti-freeze), synthetic preservatives (such as the family of parabens, which have been found in cancerous breast tissue and are known endocrine disruptors encouraging an over-abundance of estrogen), glycerine (which not only is drying over time causing skin to potentially become even more absorbent to harmful ingredients, but it’s also a sugar, therefore can feed candida, or thrush, bacteria), and sodium hydroxide (which is very harsh and irritating to skin).”

This means that potentially, the lube some of you use is ironically slowly killing your sexual organs. (Or something like that…)

Go organic, egg whites could be fun!

Med School Vs. Art School

In Career, Health and Body, Mental Health on February 4, 2010 at 3:11 am

Dear Yenta,

I’ve had seven internships over the course of eight years because I’m afraid of job commitment, and haven’t found anything that excites me. I finally chose a career path to become a physician because I wanted to make a difference.

Although I got accepted and will get a free ride, I’m not excited and am confused. I view myself as more of an artist than an intellect, and want to pursue my art, although I want to help others and know I am good with people. What should I do?

-Lost in Med Schol

Jenny Holzer does what she loves AND helps the world.

Dear LIMS,

Have you really not found anything that excites you? Or is it more a matter of not allowing yourself to do the things that turn you on? Honestly, honey, eight years is long enough to spend avoiding your dreams. Art school beckons your name.

Why on earth would you go to med school if it does not excite you? You want to do good in the world and help others, so do good and help others. This is not limited to physically saving lives in an ER, it extends to every moment of every day. You can do good to others by helping a friend, by lifting someone’s heavy load, by doing Tong Len meditation, by doing yoga, by volunteering your time.

And…you can help others by doing art. As Pipilotti Rist, my personal favorite artist said in “The World’s Most Colorful Video Artist,” a New York Times Magazine article: “The whole question of how to put art into regular life is what interests me the most. I treat art as a service. I think of myself as a service worker.”

Artists are healers. They speak to the unspeakable and allow for the repressed undercurrents of society to breathe and be spoken for. Without the artistic so many humans might shut down. Just think about how music, fashion, film and words affect your daily life. Shame on you for presuming art to be a selfish path, it is the ultimate act of giving and serving – of making a real difference.

Ah, and “selfish” is a myth. In seventh grade my girlfriends and I used to use “you are so selfish” as the ultimate insult. Later, after college, it was shown to me that selfish is selfless. What does this mean? By actually facing and addressing yourself, from your darkest corners and demons to the best and most beautiful parts of you, you are serving your community, your family and those you touch with your work.

By repressing your dreams and living an empty life, you are dragging people down with you. Lift yourself, and those you love, by actually addressing your heart and your spirit. If you need help, so be it. Find a life coach or career coach or therapist; or, sit down and force the good out of you. If you really can’t, you might have some internal dragons to slay. Brave moments of truth are never regretted in time, only those decisions guided by fear and doubt.

A lot of people feel worthless unless they can outwardly be seen as a do-gooder. Learn to love yourself on your own because you will die. I promise. And so, before that death, why not bother beginning to live? This means really sitting and remembering what feels good and attempting to build it into your life. And be patient, it might take a hot minute to manifest. But I guarantee, when you are true to what makes your heart thump and your eyes widen, it always comes to you in ways you least expect it.

A numb doctor saving lives who can’t see herself is no good to nobody. She’ll trip and fall. Save yourself, baby doll, and then save the world. Give that full ride to someone who dreams of being a doctor and can’t afford it, someone who will love their job and bring that love and glow to their patients. Last thing you want to end up as is a fifty year-old doctor resenting her daily life. Going to art school could mean you become the doctor to the social subconscious.

Other artists that use their talent for the greater good:

Jenny Holzer, Installation Artist
Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Roberto Sifuentes
, Performance Poets
Davis Guggenheim, Filmmaker
Joshua Cogan, Photographer
Kara Walker, Visual Artist
Guerrilla Girls, All of the Above

Add every other person who dared to depict their interior, the interior of another, or the gruesome many sides to issues the rest of us are to afraid to venture near. For you to become this amazing artist that you are, step one is unlocking your own pent up inner world.

She Says She’s Too Fat For Love

In Dating, Health and Body, Sex on February 3, 2010 at 3:38 am

The Body Shop's Love Your Body Campaign

Dear Yenta,

Every time I want to have sex with my boyfriend, the second he touches me, I feel terrified that he’ll touch my stomach. I am so scared that he’ll think that I’m too fat to love and he’ll change his mind and just leave me there, naked and alone.

He says that he loves me just the way that I am, and would love me no matter what, but I can’t escape the voices in my head telling me that he’s delusional and it’s only a matter of time until he sees me from a certain angle and it will be all over. Generally, people think that I’m pretty skinny.

I know that there are people out there that feel bad about themselves, but I just feel lost and alone. I know that deep down inside I’m just not pretty enough, and if I was skinnier my life would be better.


Fat Head

Dear FH,

Chances are, if he says he loves your body, he loves your body. It isn’t, however, him or his love for you that I am worried about. My guess is that this has very little to do with fat and very little to do with your actual boyfriend, at least not in the obvious ways. There are a number of issues here, mainly revolving around a) your actual stomach and b) your body image, and they all fall on you to solve.

I am no doctor, but I like solving puzzles. With this, I want to start with the choice that your stomach is your feared location. In certain Acupuncture modalities the stomach region often relates to issues with power. If you fear your boyfriend’s rejection of your belly, could it also relate to issues with accepting your own powerful nature? Or, could you fear your femininity, pointing to your uterus more than your stomach?

You can play that game too, it is called, “name that subconscious cause” and often, once discovered, relieves a great deal of suffering. This is a fun game to play with a psychotherapist. Yup, find one by clicking here.

Then, the body image question. What does your size have to do with how loved you are? Unless, of course, you are severely overweight and using weight to hurt yourself and harm your health; but this sounds like something else. Body image issues to this degree are not acceptable, however normal they are. They need to be addressed and evaluated, overcome and discarded. We tend to project our fears and issues onto our bodies, rather than coping with them separately.

You need help. Not in a harsh or judgmental way, but in a “I want you to be happy and love your body and boyfriend and sex life kind of way.” There is something beneath the surface provoking your fears. It could be as simple as someone called you fat in 5th grade and you never forgot it, or as complex as being sexually abused as a child. These issues, however seemingly large or small, need to be addressed with a trained professional who can help guide you towards self-acceptance rather than starvation.

Another option, try Emily Stern’s Food Body Connection. A former fat activist turned health food fanatic and community educator, she uses the exploration of eating habits and mindsets about the body to probe larger life themes. She offers a free consultation and then a 6 session phone package that includes bi-weekly checking in. A lot of people seek this kind of directed support without a long term commitment and she comes highly recommended.

Other things to do on your own? Get educated on The Fat Acceptance Movement. You can find information on the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance website, or by reading this Time Magazine article. Also check out, recommended by Bitch Magazine.

You might just need a support group for learning how to love those handles. Take The Full Body Project’s lead.

Also: try reading: The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls to look at how society may have shaped your self-hatred.

Think it could be more than disordered eating, but an actual eating disorder? Go to

Think your partner has body issues? Discuss this post with them and offer these many resources as real viable options.

The Body Shop's Love Your Body Campaign used corporate advertising to combat social ills.