Dear Miss Fagan,
I’m currently 20 years old with zero experience with the fellas. I had a boyfriend (in the 9th grade) and I have hooked up with boys (but still a virgin). I just turned 20 if that makes anything better.. (it doesn’t). I think the main reason why I don’t dive into a relationship now is because I am so inexperienced and it will be weird for a guy (“20 year old virgin.. must be something wrong with her!”) PLEASE help me try and fix my problem so I can get myself out there.
First and foremost, there’s nothing wrong with being a 20-year-old virgin. There’s nothing wrong with being a virgin at any age, but 20 is certainly nothing to make someone recoil in terror. In fact, the only guy in your age bracket who’d scoff at your decision to wait until now would be a toolbro of the highest order from whom you want to stay far, far away.
I know that we live in a culture that is so sex-positive that we’ve come full-circle from expecting virginity until marriage to looking at any virgin over the age of 16 as a crazy, deformed recluse—but that view is just as bad. The truth is, not everyone should be having sex, especially when they’re younger. Your choice to be a virgin is nothing you should feel strange about, and the fact that you’re not running around your campus with your underwear around your ankles doesn’t mean you’re not cool. It only means you probably don’t have HPV, unlike the majority of your peers.
I’ve never had a one-night stand, so though I can’t discourage them from experience, I would definitely suggest you don’t have one to lose your virginity. It can be painful, you might bleed, and you want it to be something upon which you’ll look back on fondly (or at least without cringing and shaking your head in disbelief). You’ll want to be with someone whom you trust, whom you care about in some way, and with whom you really want to do it. It shouldn’t just be with Joe McFrathouse after a night of jell-o shots.
Get into a relationship (or at least don’t be afraid of them), and take things slowly. You said you’ve already hooked up, so you’re not completely in the dark. Be honest with the guy and just enjoy yourself. Don’t live in your head, and don’t let your peers or pop culture tell you that just because you have a more conservative sexual or lifestyle choice that you’re not cool or not in step with the rest of your generation. The hook-up culture that we live in is fine for some, but it’s certainly not for everyone—so don’t feel pressured to rush into sex just to “check it off your list.” Take your time, and find someone who is truly worth it.
Dear Miss Fagan,
there is this genuinely sweet boy, and I do like him, but he’s so fucking naive and innocent and generally un-worldly, that I often like a hybrid mother/babysitter. Then he has his redeeming moments and then I’m like ‘ok this could work’. But there is this OTHER boy, who is more interesting and has more personality, but not as eager for me. I’ve kissed both, but still indecisive. I think I’m leaning towards the latter, but then, how do I make him fall in love with me?!
Speaking with experience as someone who perpetually dated the nice guys who would iron all of your clothes and listen to you complain about the last episode of Mad Men (WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT PROPOSAL) before he lovingly dropped you off at a train station to go visit the much more interesting guy who lived two states away, I know how this feels.
There’s that side of you that wants to mate for life and would eventually like doilies with matching initials embroidered on them, and that side wants you to take care of and nurture this little man into all that he can be.
Then there’s that side of you that just wants to drink bloody marys and make out in the back of gross bars with peanuts on the floor, and whose ovaries explode at the mere sight of a douchebag dressed in all black. I’m assuming your description of him as having “more personality, but not as eager for me” means that he’s probably trying to hit it and quit it, but can make you laugh and looks like sex under a glass case compared to your Lamb Chop sock puppet of a boyfriend.
So, first thing’s first, ditch the poor lost lamb. You’re not doing him any favors by babysitting him/complaining about how much you want to leave him, and judging by your explanation that you’ve “kissed” both, I’m guessing that a) you’re 15 years old and b) this Nice Guy is about three solar systems away from even getting laid out of this deal. You’re stringing him along, cut the cord.
Next, unfortunately, there’s no Konami code for making interesting douchebags fall in love with you. He’s either into it or he’s not, and I’m guessing that right now he’s probably just waiting it out until you let him hit it once or twice and then he’ll move on to the next PYT who’s rolling her eyes at her adorably incompetent boyfriend. Either enjoy him for what he is, or move on.
And, in the end, you’ll hopefully find someone that is a nice combination of the two. He can hold a conversation—maybe even get a chuckle out of you—and doesn’t need his hand held through every trip to the grocery store, but he also pays his taxes on time and doesn’t call you “gurl” in text messages.
Just hold tight, he’s out there.
Here’s a situation I’ve been tossing around my head for a few months now. I have a job that I dedicate 50 hrs a week to, and the real reason I’m there is because of the big fat paycheck I get every week. I’m devoting so much time to this damn job that my life is becoming boring and cyclical, not to mention I have little time and less energy to devote to my “passion business” [aka blog and other things I feel drawn to]. But if I quit, I’m broke. So. Money and no time or Time and no money?
All I can do is tell you what I would do if I were you, and I’m gonna be pretty predictable here—
Follow your passion. Honestly, you’d be surprised how little you need. You’d be surprised how much you can budget yourself down, and if you are being fulfilled by what you do—it makes up for so much, money wise.
Also, you’re young and attractive and talented (and don’t have a husband and kids weighing you down)…there’s never going to be another time like this in your life, is there?
I think you know what you want to do, otherwise you wouldn’t have written this question.
Take a chance, I think you’ll be happy.
Dear Miss Fagan,
I’m a Canadian, fluent in French, thinking of moving to Nice. These plans have been in my head for a long time and I feel totally ready to do it, but through conversations with some [white] friends, I’ve procured that my being of Indian background might be problematic.
I never really factor in my race when deciding on doing things [why should I?] but I guess I’ve never left the continent, either, and maybe I take the equality I feel around here for granted. I’m still 90% sure my friends are just stupid idiots — tell me they are?
There are racists everywhere. Some are in France, that’s true.
Nice is a pretty open city, though.
And honestly, you’re not Arab, which is 90 percent of the battle here/Europe in general. It sucks to say, but if you’re Arab/Northern African, you pretty much have an uphill battle your whole life on this continent.
Marseille is fairly racist, too, as far as big cities go—but you’ll be far enough away from them.
I’d recommend finding out which cities have elected representatives from the Front National party and avoid them altogether.
But all in all, France is not as racist as your white friends have made it out to be. It’s no better or worse than anywhere else, I’d say. You have your ugly little pockets of racism, but everyone generally deals.
Besides, Pocahontas was super hot.
Dear Miss Fagan,
I hate my friends. I just feel like all of my friends are really shitty and fake and don’t actually like me for who I am. We’ve known each other for a long time and it feels like I can’t escape from the situation, especially since my boyfriend shares most of them…I don’t know what to do, but I feel really stifled by my social group.
It doesn’t help that most of them come from really rich families and are constantly doing shit that I can’t afford/keep up with. I don’t know. I’m gonna stop complaining.
And yet another question that falls under the all-encompassing umbrella of “get out there and fucking do it, bro.” It should be said that with any question of this nature, the serious development of a sturdy and highly functional pair of balls is going to be necessary to see any improvement.
With that out of the way, what to do exactly? Well, you could always pull a Chelsea Fagan and move the hell to France. That’s always an option. And interestingly enough, on a related note, I was just talking to my mother today about how I’ve really found out who my real friends are by taking myself out of the convenience of their daily lives. People I expected to be talking to every day have fallen by the wayside, and true friends have really shown their colors. It’s unnerving how many people we think are friends that are actually just acquaintances we happen to be at the same parties with a lot. Familiarity and proximity are emotional quicksand.
But if you don’t want to start over in a new country and find all-new friends, which I can understand is not feasible/appealing for many people for many reasons, there is always the option of just…seeing them less. As I recommended in my last answer, with this black magic we call the internet, there are nearly limitless ways to meet other people with whatever weird/illegal interests you have and make new friendships. The internet’s not just for anime porn and free music anymore.
I don’t know if you go to school or work or just collect welfare checks and beat your overweight daughter, but no matter what the case, there are always ways to meet people so long as you’re willing to…you know…actually talk to them. We’re all going to have to collectively get over this strange fear of saying hello to people when we’re not drunk/in forced socialization.
As far as your boyfriend, unless he’s a dick, he should respect your desire to start making new friends. You don’t have to completely abandon the old ones, just maybe not be so entwined in their circle. Spend a little less time with them. It’ll probably be pretty natural and gradual if you go about it the right way. Avoid holding a press conference where you call all of your old friends used tampons and tell them how much you hate them, and you should be pretty good.
I don’t know, maybe I’m not too helpful, I just have never been afraid of getting out there and meeting people, so maybe I have no sympathy for people who don’t like to do that. But I suppose if you want to die surrounded by people for whom you feel nothing but a vague contempt, more power to you.
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Dear Miss Fagan,
I had my first “OHEMGHEE I’M ENGAGED” phone call today. And so that was really cool. You know, it’s your first friend that’s like, YOUR AGE (23-24 ish) and they are embarking on this amazing new journey together to start this whole new little family. I mean, pause for a second, an entire new family. Isn’t that just freakin’ beautiful? And while I was SO UTTERLY EXCITED for her, I couldn’t help but spend the rest of my day a little… down. Like, this is it. People are getting engaged now. Starting new families. I’m not a child anymore. It was like, the most complete, “I’m grown” realization I’ve ever had.
And then I just got really depressed cause everyone else like, has these boyfriends and stuff and I’m just… ALONE. I can almost feel my standards lowering every hour. I don’t want to date a guy just because I’m lonely, but I definitely see the beginnings of the parental “I WANT GRANDKIDS” and the “OH SHIT WHO AM I GONNA TAKE TO THIS WEDDING SO I DON’T LOOK LIKE A CAT LADY” moments. I don’t know how to stave off that fear of drying up on the inside and being alone for the rest of my life.
I guess I don’t really have a question per se, I just would like some advice on how not to fall into a deep, dark hole of despair and cat hair.
Very, very single.
Look. I get it. I’m 22, I’m in that bracket, I’m getting those calls/Facebook messages. (By the way, I kind of feel like if you’re announcing it via Facebook, you are too young to be getting married. Personal choice.) Anyway, I know the feeling of OHMYGODIMGOINGTODIEALONEITSNEVERTOOYOUNGTOBEANOLDMAID. It’s scary.
But then, I have a boyfriend, so maybe the sting isn’t that bad.
How to not fall into a pit of despair? Fucking MEET PEOPLE. I feel like the key to success, the key to happiness, the key to satisfaction in life, is to just get out there and do shit. But I know you’re just like, “HOW TO I MEET PEOPLE THE ONLY PLACE TO MEET PEOPLE IS WHERE SOCIALIZATION IS FORCED LIKE COLLEGE AND WORK AND I WORK AT A DAY CARE AND I’M TRYING TO SUPPRESS MY PEDOPHILIA NOT FOSTER IT.”
Not so. You wanna know where to meet people? Here’s a few places:
Go to meetup.com. Find an interest or hobby—maybe one you know, maybe one you’re interested in—and go. Meet other people who have interests outside of work and getting drunk. Take dance lessons. Get on OKCupid. Go to themed happy hours or mixers. Find out about social events in your area in your newspaper. (Remember those? The things you line bird cages with?) Fucking put an ad on Craigslist. Let the sociopaths come to you.
In all seriousness, though, just do it. Don’t go with the intention of falling in love. (Since when are we jealous of people getting married at 23? Since when is that the gold standard?!) Just go with the intention of having a good time and broadening your horizons, maybe you’ll meet someone cool along the way. Who knows? Who cares? Life is short, get out there and do stuff that requires a Hello My Name Is tag. Christ, people, it’s not that complicated.
And you only have as many cats as you allow yourself, I’d set a cap at 19.
Dear Miss Fagan,
I’m 19, and I want to stay friends with an ex-gf of mine (as we get along), but she keeps giving me an excess of info about her current BF problems. Call me stoic, but I don’t want to hear about the minutiae of every fight with her on-off paramour; I just don’t find the events as earth-shaking as she does. I keep trying to change the subject, and tell her I don’t want to hear about it, but she’ll keep trying to sneak it back in or else labelling me ‘cold’.
I’m not some British military type from the 40s, whose monocle drops into his glass at the mere mention of an emotion; it more that I doubt she even *wants* to talk about the stuff, more that she needs attention and an emotional dumping ground, as it were. Do I ditch her entirely or am I being callous?
I liked your monocle comment, so I’m actually going to tell you what she’s doing.
I know it, because I’ve done it, when I was an idiotic teenager myself. (Now, at the wizened old age of 22, I know better.) Looking back, I know what a terrible, terrible person I was being, but at the time I think I may have convinced myself of some absurd notion of being “open” with my ex or whatever bullshit.
Honestly, she’s using you as an emotional punching bag. She knows you care about her (clearly, you’re writing the world’s most bogus advice column asking about it) and she’s going to ride that for all its worth—getting you to make her feel better about herself while she flaunts her new relationship in front of you.
She wants to have her cake and eat it, too.
And even if she was curing cancer and cooking you roast chicken and potatoes every night, exes shouldn’t “try to be friends” right after a relationship—especially at 19.
You sound like a really nice guy, which is your downfall. You are going to be perpetually finding yourselves in situations like this with the manipulative, interesting, intoxicating, stupid women you are drawn to like a Shins-listening moth to a flame.
Forget about her, have sex with women who aren’t her, and maybe do a couple of hallucinogens while you’re at it.
Dear Miss Fagan,
I’m currently sat at my computer, slightly drunk, listening to the emo ballads of my youth (the soundtrack to my early heartbreaks), and drowning in nostalgia. I’m desperately longing for 2003. Do you ever find yourself in this state? Am I destined to sit here all night crying?
A guy who should probably just grow the fuck up
My life is too incredible for nostalgia, even more so for crying.
That being said, for the benefit of my lonely readers, I’ll share with you all what I was doing in 2003.
- Being fourteen.
- Not growing breasts. (In fact, one of the more traumatic experiences of my youth was being asked via AIM whether or not I would wear shoes if I didn’t have feet, then subsequently being asked why I wear a bra.)
- Writing a terrible novel called “The Vanilla Surfboard,” about three girls who…oh, why even bother? Just picture The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, minus everything that made it semi-readable.
- Waiting for my boyfriend to kiss me, fighting with him in front of the 7/11, thinking it was terribly romantic.
- Listening to a lot of Sum 41 and Avril Lavigne. (So much angst, so little time.)
- Wearing—and revealing this is truly a testament to how dearly I love and value my readership—a black Hello Kitty hoodie with safety pins in it.
- Still not growing breasts.
- Hating everyone at my school.
- Just entering my lifelong foray into the sexy world of acne medication and orthodontic devices.
- Wearing these glasses that were so heinous no words can fully describe them. (They were almond-shaped with thin metal fra—you know what, I really can’t. They were just terrible.)
- Pretending to be drunk at birthday parties in people’s basements.
- Smoking a cigarette one time and thinking I was going to die.
- Being more interesting than you.
Seriously, though, I think we all have our moments of crying in front of our computer screens, listening to music that would be more embarrassing if discovered than 10 gigs of anime porn. I recommend a big glass of wine and some cats.
Dear Miss Fagan,
I’m attending a black tie awards banquet and I don’t own a tux. Surprisingly, there really is not such a thing as “high-end” tux rental in my city. You can either buy a well-tailored designer tux or rent an ill-fitting prom tux from the men’s wearhouse. I’m not buying a tux because I rarely go to black tie anything.
I own a very nice, well-tailored, dark navy suit. I have worn it in the past to black tie and though I feel a bit under-dressed, at least I am not wearing a cheap tux that fits like a grocery sack. This time I am debating renting a tux because I will be sitting at a table of colleagues all in tuxedos.
Question: Do I go underdressed but in a sharp suit or dressed appropriately in a shabby tux?
I am anything but a fashion guru, however, I feel like you would be better off in the rented tux. It takes a sharp eye to notice a cheap tux, anyone can see the asshole in the navy blue suit.
Dress it up with a nice tie or something. Go to a few places until you find one that really fits you well.
Just don’t wear the blue suit.
Dear Miss Fagan,
I am a 22-year-old guy who loves your writing and you seem like a cool girl, so here goes.
I am not a virgin, but my sexual experiences up until this point have been really…lame….and certainly not with a girl I cared about. But my new girlfriend is different—she’s amazing and I am really falling for her.
Thing is, we haven’t had sex yet. And I’m reeeeeally fucking nervous.
I’m cooking her dinner tomorrow night and putting together a playlist to “set the mood,” any music recommendations?
Please answer, time sensitive.
Lame Bro is Lame
Awwww, adorable question is adorable!! Seriously, I’m throwing as many good vibes as possible in your direction ::throw throw throw::. I can’t even be snarky about that, you are falling for this girl and you’re gonna sleep together for the first time, that’s a big deal! Yay!
That being said, I have never in my life even considered what would be a “sexy” playlist. I listen to “sexy” songs when I’m alone writing in my room because they calm me down. Think John Legend, Marvin Gaye, etc.
However, I don’t think I could ever get down to that stuff…wayyyyyyyyy too much pressure to feel sexy. It’s like rose-between-your-teeth, champagne and strawberries shit and I am just not equipped to deal with it. Sex is awkward and ridiculous, I don’t want my music to be telling me how sexy it all is.
Plus, I think if you cook dinner and have “bow chicka bow bow” music on in the background, she’s gonna see pretty quickly what’s on the agenda, and no girl wants to feel like dinner is just a placeholder until you can bump uglies.
I suppose if I really wanted to advise you, I’d suggest “Let’s Take A Walk” by Raphael Saadiq—that and anything like that. Something swanky, sexy, and soulful without being too overtly “yeah, girl, ooh.” Kinda go off of that and see where it takes you.
Side note—I think if I were this girl, I would totally want the guy to put on ridiculous, over-the-top “sexy” R&B songs that are so in-your-face they are no longer sexy, like “Birthday Sex” or “Neighbors Know My Name” by Trey Songz. It would lighten the mood and we would both have a good laugh over it.
But I have a weird sense of humor, don’t try that on your girlfriend.