Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

16-Year-Old Wants 28-Year-Old Woman

In Dating, Drama on March 8, 2010 at 8:11 pm

When Ashton Kutcher was 16, his wife, Demi, was 31!

Hi Yenta,

I’m 16 and i finish school in 6 weeks. In my last year i have had a great teacher who is Jamaican and immensely interesting, she is the most beautiful woman i have ever met in my whole life. She is 28 and has a 9-year-old kid. We share a lot in common, like we were both going to join the army and we both like the same music and stuff like that. Now i know this is wrong me asking her out but my question for you is how can i ask her out just as friends?

I know this is morally wrong but i like her a lot and she isn’t married so i would not be interfering with her life, she is not seeing anyone else either so it would be ok for me to see her. Also i would like to ask you two more questions.

Even though i am very confident around her and think i stand a chance with her i always tell myself “do not ask her out when you leave” because it will be wrong and awkward. i’m set on asking her out because i always think “what could have happened if i did ask her?” How do i remove this feeling from myself? I know full well that i have nothing to give her apart from security honesty and an un-dying loyalty but how can i convince her that although i may be a really young guy i deserve a chance at least.

Thank you in advance,


Dear Jamie,

It is not “wrong” to like your teacher, nor is it wrong to want to hang out with her. In fact, according to, “Dating someone without sexual contact cannot be considered a form of statutory rape, and is almost never illegal.” It makes sense that your beautiful teacher with many things in common with you would be someone who stirred your heart.

But just to help you understand why she might say “no” if you go knocking on her door, a few main points as to why a sixteen-year-old might not be the best mate for a twenty-eight-year-old with a nine-year-old child.

1) I think, if your beautiful teacher were to ever kiss you, it would actually be illegal. Last thing you want is to make your teacher a jailbird, leaving her kid motherless.
2) Even though she seems like the woman of your dreams now, the truth is there are twelve years of complex life between you. She has been in the world in a different way, and while loyalty and honesty are amazing traits in a man, understanding one another on a deeper level is also vital to a strong adult relationship. You may not be able to understand certain things about her life, and she might not be able to understand yours.
3) Even if you DO understand everything and have the maturity of a forty-year-old man, you still might not be the best candidate to father a nine-year-old boy. Yes, having a father only seven years your senior might be an awkward life experience. And your teacher, I have no doubt, will be shopping for a Dad in the men she dates.
4) Aren’t there a million sixteen year-old girls with no babies who want to hang out with a loyal and honest man?

Connecting to a teacher in high school can be powerful because sometimes they are the only people in your world who see you as an adult, who verbally praise your good mind, and who show great interest in your growth and well-being. Don’t, however, underestimate the force of hierarchical relationships on the heart. Somehow, these power-laden ties create strong complicated desires in both parties. This, though, may not be “love” as much as projected daddy/mommy issues.

So, my sixteen-year-old friend, this means you need to check in with your lonesome and see if you might be having trouble at home, issues with your own parents, a loss, a gap: something that ups the appeal of your prof.
My guess is that you are phenomenal. Be patient and know that while this woman might seem like the only one of her kind, and she very well may be, in due time you might find others who stir similar feelings in you.

You also might find that once the limits of teacher and student disappear, that your differences suddenly swell. All in all, I would say there is no harm in asking. You can say, “Teacher, I would like to hang out with you as a friend.” There’s no sin in that question. But be prepared for whatever answer she gives, most likely, a “no.” Don’t be broken-hearted, she needs to keep her job and stay out of jail and you need to look for women your own age, rather than mother-hen figures who might not be the romantic you are really going for.

Another thing to keep in mind: if you are, say, 23 and she is 35, then this relationship might be a wee bit more acceptable. Stress on the “wee bit.” If you think she is the love of your life, wait for her. Here, whatever you choose, use this CNN article, “Older women and younger men: Can it work?” to back up your case. She is lucky to have your devotion, even if she can’t take it home.

Should I Give Up and Move Home?

In Career, Mental Health on March 7, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Dear Yenta,

Several months ago I made a big, gutsy cross-country move, leaving a college that simply felt wrong. I don’t regret this decision; if nothing else it’s made me feel brave, accomplished, and that almost anything is possible. However, now I find myself unemployed, a “college drop-out” (with intentions to transfer when I attain state residency next year), and almost entirely without community. Though aware that I am unsatisfied, I’m unsure of where to turn from here. My family urges me to come home, but I’m reluctant to admit defeat. Should I stick it out and follow my original plan until things fall into place? Or is it time for retreat? Perhaps there is some middle ground?

Thank you,
Lost in the Possibilities

Focusing on dreams can slough away confusion.

I give you an applause and a standing ovation from my little studio. Hoorah for leaping and feeling brave and for facing the terrifying reality of possibility, expansion and change. Alas, those good things come with a heavy underbelly. Think about the matrix existence of Alice in Wonderland, “sometimes I dream as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

I went home to my parents twice after college, tail tucked and all. Both times were prompted because my life was in actual danger. That was when I knew I needed home and family, when I knew it was time to abandon the plan. I think this is a good law to follow: pursue dreams unless health/life are threatened. Then, put dreams on lay away while addressing pressing needs in immediate reality.

One thing no one tells us is how awful it can be, en route to the palace of our delights. I have had some amazing and good things happen in my life, but never without a price. In the end, only you know if this new place is a land of possibilities or a dead-end. Only you know if your dream is one of heart or one of ego, one of real positive trajectory, or one based on running away from another life.

Nick Friedman of College Hunks Hauling Junk, a kid I went to high school with, recently suggested people read this. It is like a ouji board of your own future. He wants people to make a collage of things they desire, a board that outlines the specifics of their dreams. My dad had a book on the same topic, I used to read it years ago, called Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Creative What You Want In Your Life by Shakti Gawain. Same concept: only one from a self-help guru, and the other from the author of Effortless Entrepreneur: Work Smart, Play Hard, Make Millions.

The unifying idea is to outline your goals so you can start visualizing them. The clearer the vision, the more you begin to shape your life towards it. And remember, the closer you get to your vision, the more things might feel like they are falling apart around you, when, in fact, they may just be falling into place.

Parents, friends from home and relatives can be tricky and often interfere with clarity of vision. Do not let their fear become your fear. Make sure they aren’t, in their attempts to console and comfort you, clipping your wings. I don’t think anyone gets on the phone with this intention, but people’s desires to have their friends and daughters near to them often translate as “don’t fly!” If all birds stayed in their nests, I think those nests would get top-heavy and fall off the tree.

One therapist once told me that my job, as a human, was to leave home and find my place in the world. That this, despite their efforts to squeeze me and keep me near, would be the ultimate way to make my parents proud. Find your own voice. Make that ouji board collage: focus on and locate the specifics of your goals. Giving up kills the soul. Only give up if your actual life is in danger, if you are hurting yourself in any number of ways, or if you feel completely blind.

Start being your own cheerleader. Write yourself kind notes, keep a log of what you did well and right each day. Pat yourself on the back whenever you can. In order to stay strong, you need to build an internal voice that will drive you. As my cousin once said, listening to my low self-esteem as a teenager: “If you don’t believe in yourself, you may as well be sitting on the bench.” You, I am guessing, are more like the star player than the bench warmer.

Your vision sounds alive and clear, so I encourage you to fly far, fly hard and fly high. Know that it won’t be easy, that there will be moments that you will be sure you are insane or lost or completely stupid. But if you have faith in a greater plan for your own life, those moments will be quick, and the fruits of your intent measureless.

For more help building dreams try:
The Creative Visualization Workbook by Shakti Gawain
The Millionaire Course: A Visionary Plan For Creating the Life of Your Dreams by Marc Allen
The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity
by Julia Cameron
The Complete Vision Board Kit: Using the Power of Intention and Visualization to Achieve Your Dreams by John Assaraff

Is Semen Vegan?

In Health and Body, Sex on March 4, 2010 at 10:45 pm

For a vegan, the thought of 40-600 million of those bad boys sliding down their throat might not be a turn on.


I am newly a dedicated Vegan. I loved, I mean LOVED, giving head, but suddenly feel a new gag reflex coming on when I think about it. Can I swallow the products of a human body without morally violating my vegan code?



Dear Milk-Free,

First, a definition. Vegan, according to “A vegan (pronounced VEE-gun) is someone who, for various reasons, chooses to avoid using or consuming animal products. While vegetarians choose not to use flesh foods, vegans also avoid dairy and eggs, as well as fur, leather, wool, down, and cosmetics or chemical products tested on animals.” Why? They say it is because it is an integral component of a cruelty-free lifestyle.

There is a forum on Chuck Palahniuk’s website asking “Do Vegans Swallow Semen?” One guy says, “This is more like…I don’t know…licking the spoon after mixing cake batter? It is, after all, human milk.” One vegan writes, “I look at it the same way as eggs, cheese, milk, butter, and so on and so forth. If you eat those then semen shouldn’t be wrong, otherwise it is. Vegans don’t eat animal byproducts either, semen is produced from men as all those are made from cows.” And still a third, “the guy is giving his semen (I assume) WILLINGLY whereas most vegetarians/vegans would agree that the cows sure as heck aren’t.”

Ok! So when it comes to veganism and semen consumption, it boils down to the vegan’s intention. If you are adhering to this food law based on a desire not to consume any product of human or animal, then yes, giving head is newly un-kosher. This, however, also bans kissing. I.e., saliva and semen are no different in terms of both being human (animal) fluids.

But it is my understanding that most vegans choose the lifestyle based on a desire to bypass animal cruelty. For example, as said in the Washington Post segment, “Modern Meat, A Brutal Harvest,” “hogs, unlike cattle, are dunked in tanks of hot water after they are stunned to soften hides for skinning. As a result, a botched slaughter condemns some hogs to being scalded and drowned.”

So. A few scenarios: Because giving head is not, in most cases, an act of cruelty, (unless, perhaps, scalding water is involved) and because no life is harmed in the act, then the product of a blow job should be vegan. Now, if your lover suddenly starts eating large quantities of pork, squid, veal, etc and then you go down on them, the content of their body no longer aligns with vegan law. I.e., if those pigs were put in captivity and raised as bacon, it don’t float with the vegans.

You are, in this case, what you eat. As one slightly gruesome person wrote in to an online discussion of vegan semen, “I would say NO because they would not put the (meat) in their mouth it the first place.” Another person argued that humans swallow their own “spittle” all the time, so would that make us cannibals?

Now, if you give head to people to torture them, or going down is an act of rape, then the ejaculate is no longer vegan. I.e., that is in violation of the preservation of life/no-cruelty to animals bit. Consent alters the morality of semen consumption.

A note on the content of semen: Semen contains citric acid, free amino acids, fructose, enzymes, phosphorylcholine, prostaglandin, potassium, and zinc. One amount of ejaculate may contain between 40 million to 600 million sperm depending on the volume and the length of time stored before ejaculating. Now, that means that 40-600 million live organisms go swimming down your throat. That being said, regardless of the high protein and zinc in semen, in lieu of veganism, that is consuming, like, a whole lot of itty-bitty lives.

All in all, this is what it boils down to:

1) No semen for a vegan who doesn’t eat animal products for the sake of not eating animal products.
2) No semen for a vegan if the semen-producer is a meat/animal-product eater.
3) No semen for a vegan if the semen is a product of rape.

And finally, in the words of Tom Regan, PhD, as quoted in’s “Why Vegan, Boycott Cruelty!” pamphlet, “I think everybody has that capacity to stop and think and say, ‘If I knew you, I wouldn’t eat you.’”

Happy frolicking.

Addendum: This just in via Facebook: “a single cell protein ….. means NOT vegan! So sorry … I love giving head as well! Not Vegan! Sucks.” Thank you, Ma’am.

Wedding Gift Blunder

In Drama, Roommates on March 4, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Dear Yenta,

About 2 years ago, I attended a college roommate’s wedding (I call her a roommate because we weren’t really FRIENDS per se, just friendly in that we lived together for a bit.).

Okay, the wedding was in Milwaukee, WI, so I had to fly out for it and stay in a hotel. I had decided beforehand that my wedding gift to her and her husband would be a check. Well, as it turned out, I had forgotten to write the check beforehand and had forgotten to bring my checkbook to WI, meaning I attended the wedding gift-less. I felt really bad about it but fully intended to put it in the mail the minute I got home.

A week or so later I get this e-mail from her, saying that she was hurt I didn’t get her anything and that she believed I just mooched my way into a free party to see and hang out with friends. Well, I let my worst get the best of me, because I immediately snapped, responding to her e-mail saying that the check was already in the mail and that if she weren’t such a greedy person, she could’ve stomached waiting a week. I also mentioned that the travels and expenses I’d undergone to attend her wedding proved I cared more about seeing her get married than just attending a party.

Eeek! I wouldn’t be so worried about this whole ordeal (as it WAS 2 years ago) if I didn’t have to see her in a couple months at another friend’s wedding. Avoiding is out of the question. How can I dispel my icky feelings toward her so as to suck it up for the occasion? How shall I behave and/or get along with her? I wanna be the bigger person, but I also know my limits–I’m fully incapable of feigning friendliness or pretending. Help!

-Wedding Drama

Just because you hate her now, does not mean you can't love her later.

Dear WD,

This whole exchange seems a bit bogus to me. First of all, there is the base fact that you don’t actually care too much about each other. Second, there is the oddity of the gift-giving etiquette in the scenario. It is common law that wedding gifts can be given up to a year after the wedding. Did you see the Larry David episode? One year, baby.

So, that this chick called you a week later upset about the gift was not only poor form, but odd and greedy in and of itself. Wedding gifts are not obligatory, they are gifts, like tips, like a choice to extend yourself on behalf of their union. And yes, like tipping, while not obligatory, they are expected. But no bride has the right to call and wonder, a week post-nuptuals, where her wedding prizes are.

Also, a word on weddings. Every wedding varies in price, but the couple makes a choice when planning that giant party. It is a choice to dish out a lot of dough on behalf of a union. Yes, the wedding is a giant party with lots of amenities, but we aren’t all shuffling across the country just for the fun. We arrive at these enormous soirees to celebrate love, to show that we are witness to a vow so that maybe, down the road, should the couple need help they know these witnesses are there to assist in upholding their promises.

It is not all pop-culture money-grubbing crap. A wedding is an event with a purpose and it sounds like your friend forgot. We all go slightly broke in our late twenties, thanks to bachelor and bachelorette parties, weddings with hotel stays and airfare, and those suits and dresses to fit the part. But we do it because we love our friends and have faith in their love for one another.

My honest opinion: you should not have attended the wedding of someone you don’t care about. Weddings are costly and emotional and in order not to resent anyone for the expenditures, your really have to want to be there. It sounds like you both resented the financial investment you made on one-another.

In regards to the post-wedding exchange: you were both out of line, her most of all, and I would say the best remedy is kindness. Be the bigger woman and approach her before the wedding, call or email, and say how glad you were to be there to witness her marriage, and that you hope your gift bought them something beautiful for their new lives. Talk it out by surpassing (not bypassing) the issue, so that hopefully you can smile and hug her when you see her again. Remember, somewhere inside of you you do care about this woman.

It is a powerful drug, wishing well on your enemies. None of our hearts are nearly as hard as they seem in these crude moments. This girl, my guess, was having some after-wedding traumas of her own. Just love her, and hope she can do the same. Worst comes to worst, you remembered your softer side.

They Hate Me Because I Am Hot

In Drama, Mental Health on March 2, 2010 at 10:13 am

Bitches get stitches. Although, in the unfair real world, beauty queens get stitches.

Dear Yenta,

I just realized that my best friend is a psycho. We go to grad school together and became instant buddies- we hang out all the time.

Lately, we’ve been fighting a lot. I haven’t had these types of conflicts since high school. It all started when a guy she’d mentioned she thought was cute asked me out. She has literally never talked to him, he’s just a dude among many that she’s said she thinks is attractive (we go to a big school). When I told her I was considering going out with him she FREAKED out. She cried all day and said she was having a mental break down. At the time I attributed this to other stress, but now I’m just starting to think she’s crazy.

Earlier this week she told me that another friend had been talking about me behind my back. When she told me what they’d said I was upset and confronted the person. I was so upset that I jumped to conclusions about what the person had meant and it turned out to be a big miscommunication. I worked it out with the third party, but my friend is now accusing me of being crazy and making her look like snitch. She actually called me and basically bitched me out about it. Now she’s giving me the silent treatment! PLEASE HELP ME! I feel silly even explaining this situation – it’s so juvenile! For some reason, though, it’s really upsetting me.

I am really shocked by all of this because I have been friends with this person for about six months and all of these things have only started happening in the past few weeks. Should I cut my losses or try to work it out? She’s one of my only girlfriends at school and it makes me sad to think that our friendship is over.

-Caught in the Drama

Dear CITD,

Your friend sounds like a mean disaster. For help on whether to salvage or ditch this friendship, see “BF(Forget It).”

For you, though, I am more interested in addressing a whole other possible dilemma. One thing we all do as we age is repeat patterns unknowingly. It sucks the life out of many of us until we learn the hard lessons negative behaviors eventually yield.

In this particular case it sounds as if you have a problem reliving old faulty relationship patterns. It is as if your problem is that you are pretty and your friend has a problem because she is insecure. When I was fifteen I used to have fights like this. All the boys loved my best friend romantically and I would often break down, always seen as a friend by guys. Everyone had a hot friend along the road who by comparison made them feel ugly. You are probably that hot friend.

So? So hot girls have it rough too. As they get hot, many people begin to hate on them. I remember hearing stories on the news of girls in New Jersey public schools who were slashed with knives to ruin their beautiful faces. Jealous and insecure women can be horribly vicious.

Your friend’s full-on breakdown is probably about her and her own demons. Your action hardly warranted hysteria. You and that unshakeable upset feeling might be something different. Everything in life, my grandfather said, can be learned from. He never, however, said that even hot girls need to learn to love themselves with time.

Look at your repetoire of voices from your past. Were you ever compared to someone? A family member, a friend, someone who was not as hot or gorgeous as you? Someone for whom you were asked to forget your beauty, blur your beauty, or more likely, feel guilty about your beauty? This is common among sisters, best friends, cousins. Is it possible that you are reliving those moments now, the moments where you were told to hate yourself for being so damn pretty?

Recipe for the hot hated girl: re-visit your body, your face, your perfect hair and see if you can remember who said what about you in the past. Check in the emotional mirror and try and find what messages are attached to your striking looks. Chances are you have learned to use them to open some doors and close others, and not always at the correct moments.

While everyone was seeing your facade, you were and are still breathing behind it. See if you can do the hard work to balance your interior and exterior. I don’t know what to do with this friend, but I do know that this situation is full of nuggets of life lessons. Remember that her pain is her pain, that no one owns a man, and that it is never ok to let someone else put their skeletons in your closet. Seeing more clearly could help you weather her emotional storm.

Also, some of these negative patterns, finding friends who force us to relive the ugly moments of our past, are best addressed with a trained professional. Especially when those friends are backstabbing liars. Beauty can have dire consequences, and to really see what these were, it might be nice to have someone hold your emotional hand.

To further explore this issue of feeling guilty and/or being persecuted for being gorgeous, read:

When Other Women Hate You Because You’re Beautiful,” by Ms. JD
Is It Normal To Hate Beautiful Girls,” in Teen Magazine
Wanting to Be Her: Body Image Secrets Victoria Won’t Tell You by Michelle Graham
and The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women by Naomi Wolf

Bitch Loves Yenta

In Career on March 2, 2010 at 10:12 am

The notorious Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture gave AskYourYenta a hefty shout out in this month’s Spring 2010 issue. Thanks to Andi Zeisler, cofounder and editorial/creative director of Bitch, Your 28 (then 27) -Year-Old Yenta is number 10 on this month’s BitchList, a list of the editor’s favorite emerging talent. For a former Women’s Studies major, this is the holy grail of media. Hollah.

Bitch: The Feminist Response to Pop-Culture, BitchList Spring 2010

If The Bachelor Had a Shrink

In Drama, Sex on March 2, 2010 at 3:47 am


If I could pause this absurd show that has sucked two hours of my Mondays for weeks now, I would. I would pause the show, send a trained professional to step onto those boats, put a towel on those naked girls, and witness a talking to with both parties involved. Yes, there should be an arsenal of therapists to walk these men and women through the darkness of their shoddy stabs towards intimacy.

Vienna, I fear, will cheat on the Bachelor and leave him, down the road, with a patchwork of a heart. Tenley, I fear, is insane and should probably be mourning somewhere with some tea rather than attempting to fall in love on national television. Note to self: never date anyone obsessed with former broken heart. Also, beware of anyone who does interpretive dance on a third date.

A few moments I would like to pause.

1) Vienna Meets the Fam
Dear Lord, if you ever take a woman home and she has the manners of a backwoods sixteen year-old girl, possibly on coke, then walk away. Yes, veneers are only veneers, but those moments can indicate a strong lack of class, further reflected in fugly tattoo choices.

2) Bachelor on boat with Tenley.
Bachelor: “I don’t feel crazy passion for you physically. When I met you, I felt something so deep I had never felt it before.” Mofo, you are describing something specifically called “intimacy.” He says the emotions are so intense but the connection is awkward. Isn’t that what happens sometimes, for those who haven’t gotten truly intimate in their lives?

Edging closer to the core of a heart and soul can wreak complete havoc. It can show you all your parts, the good the bad and the ugly. Think weird first kiss, think Lili Taylor’s sex scene in Dogfight. Nearing the emotional edge, nearing real love: this forces real self-awareness, real 20/20 vision to all flaws and, almost harder to stomach, all goodness. It yields, in some cases, awkward vulnerable sexy time.

3) MMM…I Love Rubbing Mud on Vienna
Really, Mr. Pilot, who wouldn’t? She is fun, she is curvy, and she is in love with you. But when a woman says she found herself when she found you, that is called creepy codependence. Step back. Quick. I foresee spastic phone calls, jealous fears, and a lot of infidelity.

And then this weird romantic chunk comes rearing through all my judgments and I wonder if Jake is meant to be with this low-class faux blonde. I also, though, wonder if he couldn’t handle real love, couldn’t handle real happily ever after. This dude loved that someone like Vienna, so hip and so hot, could love a dweeb like him.

The key phrase for me was when he said to Tenley, “I have never felt anything like this deep emotional connection.” Maybe she was a disaster, or wrong for him, but I like, in my non-Bachelor real-life vision of love off the camera, to have faith more in the deep stirrings of the soul than in the extreme heat between the sheets. I like the idea of both at once, but who knows what happens with a love so pure, a Tenley and Vienna sandwich could cause spontaneous combustion: like getting too close to the holy grounds.

The moral of this trashy story: sex can lead to marriage, love can be wasted, men can be naive, and never trust anyone you meet in a vacuum on national television to remain as such for life. Thank goodness this month’s smutty TV addiction has come to a close.