Formspring Friday: There’s No I in Team

You guys have so, so many feelings and questions! And you share them on Formspring and we love it and it’s great! Occasionally you have more feelings and questions than Riese, Rachel and I can process alone or together, even in a hotel room. It’s then that we turn to the world at large and say “Please! We haven’t the capacity / experience to answer these inquiries! Will you help??”

help us please

And that’s how Formspring Friday got born, bitches! Share your advice in the comments. Everyone will be a better person before the weekend’s over, just you wait and see.

21 Formspring Questions for You to Answer:

1. How do I create my own lesbian identity? i.e. I don’t know how to identify as a lesbian because I’ve only just figured it out, so what do I have to do to understand/feel comfortable with the idea of this being me?

2. I’ve never really ‘done anything’ with a girl. But I’m going to be heading to college this fall, and I’m nervous. I’m gay. I’m sexually oblivious. I guess what I’m trying to say without sounding really awkward is should I shave my girly parts?

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3. I just realized that I can’t remember whether or not I’ve ever met Lil Bow Wow and am moderately distraught about the following things: 1) Why do I care? 2) HAVE I ever met Lil Bow Wow???

4. I think I determined I’m gay but I’m scared and confused and have people telling me all this stuff..what do I do? How do I sort things? This is one of the smaller issues in my life but I really dunno what to do :S

5. I’m a femme and no one knows I’m a lesbian. Where can I find erm, gay clothing? Or shirts that are related to being a lesbian I suppose?

6. My gf & I have been together for several yrs but in the last few she’s changed in ways I never imagined–not all of them pleasant. Lately it seems we don’t share a single interest anymore. We seem to be polar opposites now. I’m confused about what to do.

7. How off-putting is bad skin? I’m an adult but I have eczema&other hereditary problems. I think I’m a decent person, but I feel like no one will take the time & get past what they see. Thus far no one’s proven me wrong & my self-esteem is kinda plummeting.

8. Westboro Baptist Church make me lose all faith in humanity, they make me too sad for words and I don’t know what to think or do about this. Is there anything I can do to counteract them?

9. So my girlfriend asked me to choke her. I was like… uhh, okay? And I did. Now I’ve done it more times, but I just don’t like it. She loves it. We’ve been together for a year. She always wants more intense things out of sex. I was content in September.

10. I’m very feminine and dont look gay so I am assumed to be straight by EVERYONE! Thus, I am forced to choose between coming out to errybody, which sucks, or enduring comments that suggest I am straight (bad cuz being gay is important to me) It Gets Better?

11. I think my mom got really confused when I compared being gay to roller coasters. Like before I go on a roller coaster I have to tell myself that the 23423 people before me came out alive, kinda like the millions of gay people. Is that a dumb comparison?!

12. So I kinda like this girl, and she likes me. she’s awesome, really. EXCEPT she has huuuuge stretched ears. I don’t mean small plugs I mean FUCKING HUGE okay. And I just…. I cant do it. I am SO SO SO turned off by it. It’s ruining her for me. I cant even go on a date with her. And she’s hot and lovely and my friends say I’m being too picky and shallow but like…. it’s her head! IT’S HER FACE! It’s horrible. It’s the same with nipple piercings and shitty tattoos. They’re deal breakers for me. Who is right / what do I do?

13. How can I get my mom to stop using gay and queer as an insult? I’ve had the rational ‘it’s hurtful and wrong and this is why’ conversation…but she basically just said that was silly and people are entitled to their opinions. How do I make her listen?

14. The wife and I are about to drive across country on vacation! We are trying to eat healthy and avoid fast food places. Any suggestions?

15. My girlfriend is moving away and she wants me to follow and move in with her. I’m concerned that it’s early in the relationship and she doesn’t know my craziness well enough to want to cohabitate. How do I tell her without it seeming like a break up talk?

16. Last night my gf broke down and told me that she was scared everytime we have sex… She feels guilty that I do ‘everything’. She doesn’t seem to hear that she makes me feel so good every single time! Got any tips to help me build her confidence?

17. I have a friend who is a dude and I think he likes me. I’m totes homo. I think he thinks a chasing Amy situation could happen. How do I nip this in the bud without being awk about it. I do love the guy, just not penis in vagina-style.

18. My mom says really awkward things such as “college admissions people cream their pants over that shit.” Especially in public. How do I make her stop?

19. I make THE WORST first impressions. I’m a really cool, smart person, but I just insane nerves and come off as really stupid and boring or annoying and out of control. i imagine you make really fantastic first impressions. do you have any tips?

20a. I started dating a real, live poet. She’s adorbs, but…I feel emotionally inept. SO many feelings. How do I share?

20b. How do people who cannot share their emotions share their emotions? I would really like to, especially since I’ve been getting all these ~feelings~ lately and I don’t know what to do.

21. Is there a cure for lesbian bed death? I’m afraid we may have hit a brick wall.

Mkay go ahead an yell at me for calling you bitches and THEN help make these people whole, won’t you?

Totally unrelated thumbnail kitten imagery via sirhatdemiroglu

Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and you're the reason she's here.

Laneia has written 927 articles for us.

88 Comments

  1. 6. My gf & I have been together for several yrs but in the last few she’s changed in ways I never imagined–not all of them pleasant. Lately it seems we don’t share a single interest anymore. We seem to be polar opposites now. I’m confused about what to do.

    i feel like people either grow together or grow apart. when you get too far apart and can’t see each other anymore sometimes you have to move on.

  2. #8: The marvelous thing about Westboro Baptist Church is that everyone else hates them, including evangelical Christians who “don’t agree with the gay lifestyle.” WBC is really just a tiny group of crazies who get a lot of media attention.

    If they show up near your town, you should probably do one of three things:
    a) ignore them completely and make sure no one is there to greet their protest. This is the DON’T FEED THE TROLLS approach.
    b) make funny signs and get your picture taken with the protesters. This is the TROLL THEM RIGHT BACK approach.
    c) stage a demonstration across the street. Make it fun and cheery–don’t have a counterprotest to the WBC but an outpouring of love and support for the gay community. This is a chance to show that sane, tolerant people dramatically outnumber the crazies. If you can, make it so big that it draws media attention of its own that barely even mentions the WBC! This is the OUTSHINE THE TROLLS approach.

  3. 14, stop at grocery stores and buy bread and deli type of things and make sandwiches? you could keep sandwich supplies in a little mini special sandwich cooler! like lettuce, cheese, butter and some sliced ham or something. it lasts pretty long, or as long as you’ll eat it. you can also buy food at grocery stores and cook it at local camping grounds I think.

    it would be like a never ending picnic. or like little salads too.

    • I second this. We did this last summer & it was so much better than anything I’ve ever bought on the road. We also had paninis and grilled cheese, made at home, then wrapped in tinfoil. Wraps with a little spread are also a great idea.

    • 14:
      Dar Williams (yes the singersongwriter, who has done a LOT of touring…) wrote a book called the Tofu Tollbooth about natural food options across the US. It was awhile ago, prly unfortunately some or many places may no longer exist, but they may! Some coops are feisty buggers! Also, Foodies are very concerned with this question and have written books/have websites with tips for eating delish/homecookin’ for cheap across the US. I found dang good fried chicken once this way.
      Sandwiches and road food may indeed make you ill after a few days–happened to me once. Have a good trip!

  4. I’ll just assume you’re calling us bitches in a http://www.bitchmagazine.org sense and then there’ll be no need for yelling. Tonight a fellow queer talked some smack on me for being super-feminine, so the two femme ladies who wrote in have my heart.

    5. Don’t compromise your self-expression for ‘gay clothings’, ok. If you’re gay, and you are wearing clothing, you are already wearing gay clothing. If other people are too narrow-minded to realise that, it’s their problem.

    That said, there’s a difference between compromise and signalling… my roomate reports that she gets the ladies when wearing FCKH8 t-shirts, especially the ‘some chicks marry chicks’ one (http://fckh8.3dcartstores.com/T-Shirts_c_16.html). However, if you don’t wear t-shirts all that often, you could try a rainbow bracelet, earrings or ring. A tote bag with a GLBTI slogan or even badges to pin on your clothes or bag might be another.

    10. I think it’s more that you actively have to displace the assumption that you’re straight. While this is annoying and requires constant effort, it’s nice in the sense that you have control over who knows about your sexuality and how much they know about it. You can proactively mention a girlfriend or something that screams I AM GAY. You can wait til they mention something implying a boyfriend or husband etc, and then take the opportunity.

    You can also just challenge people’s assumptions – like when they say boyfriend, say “or girlfriend”, or “why do you assume my partner is male?” etc. I find this good because it alerts people to the possibility that I’m not heterosexual without really telling them anything concrete about me, which is how I like it unless I’m with close friends. Or if it’s not safe, you can just stay silent, which sucks but sometimes is the best option.

    If anyone has any advice, though, on politely explaining to someone who actually thinks that “dresses reinforce the heteronormative patriarchy” why their view is both stupid and personally insulting, I would be so grateful. FFS, I thought we had a sign a contract promising to make room for everybody in the rainbow tent before they sent us the toaster oven.

    • have you gotten snarky comments about “femme privilege” yet?
      those are fun, too!

      it doesn’t really give you an answer, but i do love ivan coyote’s femme piece.

      i’m pretty fluid in my homo presentation – so a lot of the time i’m not even particularly femme-y. at least in my city, i’ve gotten really tired of the socially-policed ‘acceptable’ ways to be a queer girl: though to be fair, how lucky am i that i live in a place where the only personal attacks i’ve faced regarding my sexuality has been from other queers?
      pretty lucky. it’s still kind of shitty, tho!

      • wow, I am loving Ivan Coyote, thanks for sharing!

        Also, I present as super femme, but don’t feel super feminine in my personnality while my girlfriend is more flexible which I love in her! Just be who you are and if you’re feminine and not stereotypically queer, that is okay, you are who you are!

  5. 1. For every person it’s different, that’s why it’s an ‘identity.’ You ‘identify’ as being a lesbian because you are one, that simple. There is no special thing you have to do. There is no lesbian club you have to fit into or anything because you are you. And being you should be the most important thing. Some people can just accept being a lesbian really easily, and for some it takes getting used to. It’s like a new haircut that you love, but you still have to get used to how it feels in your hands until one day you don’t notice that anything was ever different. We are all growing changing people every single day and right now you just figured out something new about yourself. It’ll take a little time. Just explore it and don’t be afraid of it and ask yourself questions. The only way we learn anything about ourselves is by asking questions. Ask yourself questions and ask other people questions. Be curious. Ask other people what they think about being lesbian, ask other lesbians how they dealt with figuring out they were lesbian, take a little from here and there and use the information to comfort and help you figure out your own path. Your path is yours and no one else’s. It’ll be different. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are not lesbian enough. No one really fits into any categories, we kind of do, but in the end we have our own categories. Loving you for who you are is one of the keys to a happy life.

    2. Ok girl, here’s what you gotta do: be informed. I’d never ‘done anything’ with a girl and from what I’m told I was pretty good. For starters, think about what you do to yourself and what you would like done to yourself and how that translates to another person. Secondly, READ. No joke. Read about sex. Read about what not to do and read about what to do. What are your questions, your specific questions; look them up online. There are all kinds of resources online and elsewhere. People like sex, people write about sex, people write about how to have better sex. I read this article about how smart girls are better at sex because they read…it’s kinda true. The more you know, the more prepared you are and the better you will be straight from the get go. It’s surprising (I guess surprising to me, maybe not to other people) how many people know pretty much nothing before hoppin’ in the sack. Besides you already have one step up because a girl has got the same parts as you and surely you have a fairly good idea how those parts work. Thirdly, don’t do anything you’re too scared to do, be honest with your partner, most people won’t force you into anything and if they try to then you should leave. Also, build up your confidence and be confident going into the situation and you will be fine. Tell yourself YOU ARE AWESOME. Dive right in and see what happens. If you’re not doing something “right” your partner should let you know by their reactions. You should be able to talk about it with each other and see how you can both make it better for the other. First times with anyone are bound to have some awkward moments, you’re just learning and figuring each other out. It’s not as scary as you think. And as for the shaving, it’s up to you. It’s your body. And if your partner doesn’t like your bush they need to get over it. Personally I don’t like a shaved cooch, it’s a little weird and when it’s prickly it’s a big turn off. For mine, I like to make sure it’s not too crazy down there; I trim it up a bit. Everyone has their own opinion; do what you are comfortable with and when you get in the sack with someone, be prepared for any type of hair, no hair, shaved craziness.

  6. 5. I’m a femme and no one knows I’m a lesbian. Where can I find erm, gay clothing? Or shirts that are related to being a lesbian I suppose?

    I hear that there’s going to be another Autostraddle shirt soon.

  7. 1. How do I create my own lesbian identity? i.e. I don’t know how to identify as a lesbian because I’ve only just figured it out, so what do I have to do to understand/feel comfortable with the idea of this being me?

    I’ve had this issue with a lot of aspects of myself, too. What has worked well for me is just sitting with myself, getting to know who I am as a person. I ask myself why I’m not comfortable/scared/whatever negative feeling is impacting my self-perspective. Having a conversation with yourself will help you become more comfortable being you.

    You can do this in a variety of ways. I usually pace a lot when I do it and rub my hands, because sensory input helps me. If I can’t do that, I write it all out. A friend once told me that fear tries to run our lives, but facing it, recreating what scares us into something positive, can also make the world more comfortable and exciting.

    I hope this helps.

  8. hello i am replying to my own post like it’s a thing:

    16. would it be possible to maybe squeeze her or pull her hair or something to let her know when a thing feels particularly good? because really, you have to give feedback of some sort. it doesn’t have to be audible, but how is she ever supposed to know when something is working?

  9. 9. So my girlfriend asked me to choke her. I was like… uhh, okay? And I did. Now I’ve done it more times, but I just don’t like it. She loves it. We’ve been together for a year. She always wants more intense things out of sex. I was content in September.

    This is kind of tricky, and requires some good communication skills. Being told after an extended period of time that your partner really didn’t like the sex can be kind of hard to hear, but you also don’t want to be put into a place where you’re being asked to do things that you’re not comfortable with/aren’t getting anything out of. Maybe try this exercise? Come up with a list of sexual activities, then each of you divide those activities into “yes” (love it, keep doing it!), “maybe”, and “NO.” Compare results, and discuss where you’re both coming from. Maybe you can reach a compromise.

  10. 6. “Now it’s done, watch it go. And you’ve changed so-o-o-ome, water run from the snow. And am I so dear, do I run rare? And you’ve changed so-o-o-ome, peach, plum, pear. Peach, plum.”

  11. 21. Make a strict no-sex rule for at least 2 weeks. During this time go sex toy shopping together, roam around in lingerie, anything to tease her….be unavailable the day the breaks ends so that there isnt any pressure….it should explode after.

  12. 13.
    I have two suggestions for you.
    1- Every time that she makes a comment outline how she sounds ridiculously uneducated. I would vary these comments from nicely telling she is uneducated to harshly telling her that she sounds like an idiot. This may condition her out of it.

    2- Start using hetero as a negative adjective. When she tells you it is hurtful or stupid you can compare it to her actions. In combination with the above it may get the point across.

    • Not good for moms, but if it ever comes to it break glass in case of emergency.

      When people say something like “what a fag”, I interrupt and say, “Hey jerk, I’m a fag.”

      Juvenile? Yup. It’s the equivalent of hitting someone back. But when respectful conversation doesn’t drive the message home a little name calling does the trick.

      I have not tried this on my parents, but co-workers and casual acquaintances respond positively strangely enough.

  13. 3. I just realized that I can’t remember whether or not I’ve ever met Lil Bow Wow and am moderately distraught about the following things: 1) Why do I care? 2) HAVE I ever met Lil Bow Wow???
    ————————

    Do you drink? Because one time I thought that I dreamed about meeting someone famous & was telling a friend about my dream & he said that it had actually happened b/c he was there too but we were just completely hammered.

    So I mean – did you have a dream about meeting Lil Bow Wow? And if so, were any of your friends in the dream? I’d ask the friends in your “dream” & I’m sure you can get to the bottom of this.

    I really hope you did meet him though. Because then you could have that moment of, “Fuck..what else do I think was a dream??!” And that, my friend, is a special kind of feeling.

    • This was my FAVORITE question on today’s Formspring Friday!

      Also, Cynthia, your advice is spot on: the same thing happened to me once. It turned out the famous person I met shared his home-made vodka with me…which probably explains why I thought things weren’t real.

  14. WALL OF TEXT INCOMING

    1 – Being a lesbian just means that you’re inclined towards being in love/in bed with women, nothing more. As a human being you’re much much more than your sexual orientation, just be your good ol’ self :)

    2 – Why should you alter your body for the sake of others? If you personally feel like shaving/waxing/trimming/braiding do it, if not don’t do it. No matter what you choose some women will like it and some won’t like it and some won’t give a shit, find the ones who do like it/don’t care and tell the others to go fuck themselves/someone else.

    3 – idk

    4 – Everyone has their own ways of processing so I can’t tell you how to do it, but in any case it’s something you have to do yourself. Stop listening to other people and find supportive people willing to listen to you (tip : LGBT associations may be a good place to find them).

    5 – Idk, I’m femme too and I don’t feel the need to do it. Just tell people and flirt with women maybe? Works good for me. Otherwise I’ve heard there’s this website called Autostradlle who will soon sell awesome tshirts online.

    6 – People evolve, change and sometimes even regress in ways that can’t be predicted. Someone might be good for you at one time and then not be anymore, whether you still love them or not. If you think she might still be good for you, you’ll have to talk through your issues and work things out, but if you think she can’t bring any positivity in your life anymore it’s time to move on.

    7 – Ugh, I don’t have skin issues but I feel for you, we all have physical imperfections. All I can say is keep on looking, you’ll find someone who loves you the way you are eventually, and start/keep on looking for medical help and taking care of your body, it can only helps, if anything at least for your health.

    8 – I’m not American so I don’t know about the WBC in particular, but if you can’t fight them directly, at least you can indirectly by getting involved in positive associations and social movements. They’re awful people who say and do awful things, but there’s also amazing people saying and doing amazing things out there! The bad voices are louder, but they aren’t any more powerful.

    9 – Relationships and sex involve compromises, try to talk and find a balance between the things you like and the things she likes. It’s not healthy if there’s just one partner doing everything the other wants all the time, neither it is if one feels like she shouldn’t have to make compromises in order to please the other. And even though pop culture wants to make us believe otherwise, sex do matters in romantic relationships, if you really aren’t compatibles maybe being “just” friends would be a better idea.

    10 – I KNOW RIGHT IT’S SO FRUSTRATING. Things won’t get better if we don’t make them better though, I guess we’ll just have to keep coming out over and over until people understand.

    11 – I never thought of that comparison but I like rollercoasters so I think it is awesome.

    12 – Jesus fuck political correctness needs to die. If someone doesn’t physically attracts you for whatever reason it’s your absolute right to not be attracted to them and not date them, and you can’t do anything about it anyway.

    13 – I hate it but it’s the only way to get to some people : if she won’t listen to the rational, get emotional. “OH MY GOD MOM DO YOU REALIZE YOU JUST INSULTED ME IM YOUR DAUGHTER IM SO SO HURT I THINK IM GONNA CRY MY HEART IS BLEEDING WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME MOM.” If she has the slightest drop of maternal instinct she will feel baaaaaad.

    14 – Again I don’t live in the USAs so i don’t know about places but go you, it sounds cool! Maybe if you feel like it you can buy fresh stuff and make your own sandwiches and little dishes everywhere you go? Or check for vegans/healthy food-inclined people on couchsurfing.com and organize meals with them, you’ll get to meet locals at the same time.

    15 – Ugh… Lots and lots of diplomacy and tact and calm, rational explaining? :/ If she turns it into an ultimatum don’t back down if you really don’t feel like moving in though, you might end up miserable.

    16 – First you need to make sure if she really is just guilty about you doing everything but ultimately likes it better that way, or if she’s trying to say she wants to be more active but is too scared. I don’t see much solutions apart from a lot of talking and keeping telling her how good she makes you feel. You may try to make her read books and/or blogs written by/about top-bottom dynamics in lesbian relationships if you’re both comfortable about this kind of stuff. The only one I can think of right now is Sugarbutch, she has some awesome stuff about it.

    17 – I had this happening to me a couple of times, and I’ve learned that head-on and awkward talks need to happen or else the longer it drags the worst it gets. Good luck.

    18 – I can’t help, I’d find it hilarious if my Mom said such things!

    19 – I don’t make good first impressions. a) lots of inner work and self-awareness and building good confidence and trying not to give a shit if it doesn’t work or b) alcohol.

    20a – I don’t date a poet but I can relate so much. Try to state your feelings in a direct and clear way even if it comes out as awkward, and/or find poems expressing them and make her read them and say “this is how I feel”.

    20b – Same as above, just practice sharing them as clearly as you can in rational terms (even if it is “I can’t rationally explain why”). You’ll feel vulnerable and awkward and misunderstood, but over time you’ll get better without realizing it. Practice.

    21 – Try to think about what makes you feel hot and why you find your partner hot and experiment new things? Never experienced it so I don’t really know.

  15. Boy, where to begin? This is right up my alley (I have given a lot of advice because I was always Lindy the “Lez” that everyone knew):

    Some real quick ones to stat:

    1. Your thinking of this wrong. There is no such thing as a “lesbian identify”. Every lesbian is different. The important thing is to be yourself and act naturally. Wear the clothes that fit who you are and outwardly be the person you are inside. Besides you want to attract the girls who like you for who you are, not the ones looking for an image or identity.

    2. Only if your comfortable. There is no rule except the mother rule of all rules – don’t do anything your not comfortable doing. If you want to share yourself with someone you care about, and feel comfortable, than it is the right thing to do. Just remember to be responsible (safe sex).

    9. This may sound harsh, but get a new girlfriend. She is asking you to do something that you are not comfortable doing. While S&M in the right situation and with the right partner can be erotic and safe, in this situation it is neither safe nor healthy. You clearly are uncomfortable with choking and I commend you for that. It shows you are a caring, sensitive person. Find a partner who deserves you!

    19. Welcome to the world of dating!! Virtually everybody makes bad impressions. Dating is naturally awkward, you are probably just more sensitive to it. Sometimes the people who think they are the most confident and never make a bad impression, actually are the worst! The best advice, is to put yourself in situations where you are already naturally comfortable. Maybe you like outdoor activities, certain sports, going to museums, skateboarding or hiking? Those situations will feel less artificial, you will be more comfortable and you will be fine. Besides don’t be overly concerned about awkwardness, there are many people, I am one, where awkward is really, really cute and sweet (because it means the person cares enough about you to be nervous)!!

    16. This is normal. Some people don’t have a lot of experience and feel nervous or afraid they will do something wrong. They lack confidence. The best solution is very long foreplay. Find an evening where you two can have hours of uninterrupted time and tell her to slowly take your clothes off but leave hers on. Let her explore on her own without your direction, every crevice, feel every curve, lick and taste every part and let her really get comfortable with your body. This is all about her, let her explore, question, giggle, get excited and just have fun. You are the vulnerable one here so she has nothing to fear or be nervous about. Then when she is ready, gently, with her permission, remove her clothes but don’t have sex right away. Watch some good videos or look at pictures and discuss what you each like to do and what feels good. Good sex is a very slow dance and some people take more time than others. There is also nothing wrong with “practicing”. Find some good girl-on-girl videos where there are good closeups (I have many examples) and position your bodies to the video and take turns practicing movement by movement. Sex like everything is learned. But like riding a bike, one you learn, you will never forget!!

    • “You clearly are uncomfortable with choking and I commend you for that. It shows you are a caring, sensitive person. Find a partner who deserves you!”

      I sincerely hope you’re not saying that people who are into BDSM/power-play/all that kind of stuff are uncaring and insensitive sickos who only deserve to be with other uncaring and insensitive sickos. “Commending” people for being or not being into particular sexual kinks is close-minded, judgemental and utterly stupid (of course I’m talking about consensual acts here).

      • Hi, and thanks for the opportunity to clarify…I said earlier in the paragraph that “S&M in the right situation and with the right partner can be erotic and safe”, which is to say that there is nothing wrong with it, with the right partners.

        In this case the person was clearly not comfortable with it and wanted not to do it so he was the wrong partner.

        I would never imply that its wrong, for sickos or anything of the like because that isn’t how I feel about it. For the right partners its erotic, exciting, fun and potentially a way to liven up sex. Its just has to be mutual for both partners.

        Sorry if that wasn’t clear in my response. I tried to keep things succinct so not always room to convey all my thoughts.

      • Don’t want to blunder into things I don’t really know enough about… But I think Dan Savage (!) has suggested that choking is never a good idea, because even i you feel fine and it’s only a little pressure you can without realising cut off some of the blood flow to the brain and cause a little bit of damage – i.e. which can build up if you repeat it!

        ALSO as a law student I gotta point out that choking/sex is a thing where it’s a very small distance and matter of degrees from sexy to death. Totally accidentally doable. And besides legal stuff you could seriously hurt someone. EVEN IF you’re super careful & consensual.

        So, in conclusion – from stuff I’ve read I have a feeling that even if both partners really wanna do it and are informed and super careful & consensual it might just be a Very Bad Idea Anyway.

        • As another law student I second this. There is some harm that you can legally consent to and some that you cant. Choking, where I live anyway, is iffy in terms of consent. If any bodily harm were to be done, then you can actually be legally liable for serious assault or even manslaughter etc and consent is not a defence.

          I am not anti-BDSM but I think before you engage in it you have to be aware of any legal liabilities.

  16. 2. Shaving is nice, I think, but it’s not a deal breaker or anything if a girl doesn’t shave.

    7. My gf has psoriasis. The right one will look past all that, I’m sure.

    8. There is this thing called evolution and I feel like it does a better job at explaining everything. The beauty of it is that it doesn’t discriminate against your sexuality or anything of the sort; in fact, it created homosexuality/bisexuality in many a species beyond humans. I guess the only downside is you’ll just have to learn to trust nature and you won’t have a pretty story to rely upon for your after-death concerns.

    9. Um, I like said act, so I’m not sure how to tackle this one.

    10. Please tell me your name is Kelley and you’re in my marketing class.

    11. I like it.

    12. Move on? Stretched ears don’t unstretch.

    13. Huh, moms . . .

    15. IT’S TOO EARLY. Tell her it’s too early, and if she doesn’t understand and she breaks up with you, then it wasn’t meant to be. Do it before it’s too late.

    17. WTF, the saying is “nip this in the BUD”?!?! I have been saying “nip this in the BUTT” my entire life. Why does nobody tell me these things?

    18. I think you just deal with it. I think I think this because my mom is a leo, which means she’s always right.

    20. I think you start pressing enter in the middle of your sentences. Let’s use your question as an example:
    “She’s adorbs,
    but…
    I feel
    emotionally inept.
    SO
    many feelings.
    How do I
    share?”

    21.

    • As I was saying before I accidentally pressed submit:

      21. Did you try having sex ON the brick wall? No really, there are so many factors that play into this one. Things like situation, attraction, boredom, depression, comfort, etc. I mean, I think figuring out exactly why this is happening is the first step.

      I have been with my gf for almost five years, so I know the feeling, believe me. Certain factors played major roles at certain times. We used to live with her parents, so back then it was a situation thing. There have been others, but I’m not going to get all personal here. I guess just figure out which one it is for you. If it is a matter of unattraction or boredom, then there might not be a cure.

  17. 1. Re: Identity — honestly, I’m about to turn 30, have been aware/out for ten years, and I still feel as though I’m molding and working my Identity. Some days I feel utterly awesome about myself, and others lend a “is this really who I am and am I ok with that” feeling. So let your identity flow… don’t get hung up on your new Lesbian Title. You’re still YOU, gay or not. So be _you_, as a lesbian. The rest will fall into place.

    2. I once knew a girl with the online-handle of shaveyoshitgrrl. Don’t do that — the name or the shaving. Well, do the shaving if you want to do it, but the name is a bad idea. The growing back process of a fully shaved snatch is not pretty/peaceful/palatable. If you want to trim up, which is definitely a good idea, I suggest using an electric razor, conveniently used for “men’s beards.”

    4. The best way to sort things is to get out there and experiment, worry less about what “everyone” is telling you, and do what feels right to you. Only you can determine what’s right for you.

    6. If they are changes you can work with, work with ’em. If they’re not, move on. People grow and change, and thus grow apart. If she has become someone you’re not in love with, let her go. You’ll find someone else who will grow & change WITH you, not against you.

    7. I’m just saying, my girlfriend has (and hates) pretty rough, acne-d and acne-scarred skin on her back and back of neck, and I still love the shit out of her. Like, a lot.

    12. Okay, I totally hear you on the shitty tattoo deal breaker. And I can understand the huge plugs being a turnoff. But… do her other assets outweigh the pluggage? I would at least go out on a date with her. You might be wowed by her charm, etc etc and forget about the plugs for an hour. I’d give her a try. You could miss out on something awesome if you give it up for something so surface-level (purposely did not use “superficial”).

    15. Funny story: of my exes, those who said they were crazy were actually crazy, but the one who didn’t say she was crazy was the craziest motherfucker of all motherfuckers. So, did you tell your gf about this self-proclaimed “crazy” you experience? If you did and she still wants you to go with her, she clearly accepts the crazy. However. If you don’t think it’s a good idea, it’s probably not. There’s nothing wrong with waiting before co-habitating. Try telling her that you need more time in the relationship before making a huge decision like moving away and moving in. (That is a _big_ decision, no joke.) You want to be with her: say that. But don’t do something that you’re not ready to do.

    17. “I do love the guy, just not penis in vagina-style.” I have no advice for you other than to explain to him that your loving is fingers-in-vagina style, and he doesn’t have one, so obvs this is not going to work.

    19. Uh, I personally have been told the following things about the first impressions I give: I come off as a bitch, a snob, a conceited person, or a very quiet person who doesn’t want to talk to anyone. While most of things can be absolutely true, that’s not 100% of my being. Really, though, the only thing you can do is be yourself. People who see something in you will want more time to get to know you. Those are called Good People, and they are the people you’d want in your life. Anyone who writes you off over an unincredible first impression isn’t worth your time. So be yourself, take deep breaths, and smile. Or don’t smile, I hate smiling.

    20a. I started dating a real, live poet. She’s adorbs, but…I feel emotionally inept. SO many feelings. How do I share?
    –Just saying, I’m an emotions-infused poet, and I prefer people who don’t have as many feelings as I do. Too many feelings = clusterfuck. Emotions and depth are two different things, though, so show that intelligence and willingness to expand your mental horizons. Don’t stress so much over the feelings. She might write you long, intense poems, but is probably not expecting the same thing from you, you know?

    I think the moral of today’s advice is: be and love yourself just as you are, because baby, that’s all you’ve got, and we love you for it.

  18. Another real quick one, more later:

    21. Yes, its called variety! Every couple, straight or gay, gets to a point where they have done everything they normally do and hit the proverbial headboard – what can we do that is different and fun again? My recommendation is check out some good girl-on-girl videos and even some good lesbian sex manuals with detailed pictures. Watch and study them with your partner. Don’t be afraid to talk about what looks fun, what doesn’t, even take notes!! I know it sounds silly, but you might find that the simple act of talking about and discussing new positions and acts is incredibly erotic. Chances are you will be having sex like rabbits again and you won’t be able to get enough of it!!

  19. THIS IS THE BEST ADVICE ANYONE COULD GIVE, I SWEAR!

    1) re: Lesbian Identity. Just be yourself, I think. But a version that’s cool with lovin’ the ladies? I don’t think my identity has changed much since ‘coming out,’ but I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I was the gayest child ever.

    2) re: Shaving. Only if you want to.

    3) re: Lil Bow Wow. I haven’t met him, so you must’ve, probs.

    4) re: Gay/issue. If this is one of the smaller issues in your life I would suggest sorting out everything else first. I don’t know what to say beyond that.

    5) re: Gay clotheses. Accessories accessories accessories. And/or flannel. You can find these things pretty much everywhere.

    6) re: LTR. Have a long/awkward conversation. And/or therapy. And/or run away and find Shane.

    7) re: Bad skin. I think this varies from person to person. I really don’t notice bad skin that much (it’s all about the INNER beauty y’all/y’inz). If your skin is a deal breaker for someone then they’re probably shallow douchebags anyway.

    8) re: WBC. People seem to be really big on counterprotests. You could do that. Or move to the UK – they’re banned from entering the country, more or less.

    9) re: choking. No comment?

    10) re: feminine. Do gay things and meet gay people. Talk to #5 about it.

    11) re: rollercoasters. I really really hope more than 23,432 people have survived. Just saying.

    12) re: piercings/plugs. Is it a deal breaker? (is that two words? hyphenated? this is bothering me) If yeah, well, there’s your answer. But if she’s THAT awesome then you’ll get over it. Or you could give her a hat that covers her ears. Those can be cute, sometimes.

    13) re: mom. I dunno. Do/say something that’s annoying to her. And/or cry. This is terrible advice, btw.

    14) re: food! Grocery stores are everywhere (I know! Amazing!) and are cheaper than restaurants. Buy lunch meat, hummus, carrots, etc etc. Fill a cooler with ice. It’s like a picnic all the time!

    15) re: ldr. Tell her she’s nuts for not thinking you’re nuts. And also, that’s a lot of commitment. Tell her you don’t like stereotypes. Or U-Hauls.

    16) re: crying. Let her do ‘something?’ Unless that’s not your thing. Then I guess have an actual conversation centered around that and hammer the point home. Use the word ‘SERIOUSLY’ a lot.

    17) re: chasing amy. Reiterate your 100% gayness through indirect means. Talk about your fear of penises. Talk about hott chicks together. It’ll be the beginning of a great lesbromance. I’m living with my lesbro right now, it’s awesome.

    18) re: awk mom. I think your mom is awesome for saying things like that. You should give her more high-fives. It’s less awkward when you don’t act embarrassed. Like, actually.

    19) re: first impressions. Read ‘The Game’ by Neil Strauss, even though it’s super creepy and weird. It’ll teach you how to deal with people better. And/or: Be mean to a person in a way that makes them want to gain your approval. Also say ridiculous things. Caveat: You can only get away with this if you exude confidence and non-weirdness. Come off as cool and carefree – not creepy. General tip: Don’t give a fuck.

    20a) re: poet. I don’t think you should feel obligated to share unless you want to. This may or may not involve a lot of smiling, nodding, and saying things like “oh yeah, i totally agree.”

    20b) re: emotions. Write write write write write. Preferably not on the Facebook. Also, drinking will probably help you out a lot.

    21) re: lbd. I don’t know, I’ve never had this problem. I think most people suggest watching porn.

    Note: I give bad advice. But it’s also awesome. I should totally get on Formspring. #fuckyeah

  20. Dead #18,

    My mum is also entirely inappropriate. And so is my grandma And my grandpa, most of my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I was mortified the first time I brought my first girlfriend over to my house and my mum walked in talking on the phone about how my brother was probably experiencing some serious shrinkage after sitting in an ice bath after cross country. Anyway, my cousin deals with it by giving her mum a weekly quota. I just try to laugh because my family is also really really fun.

  21. 7. I have eczema, too. It’s bad enough that I have to use prescription stuff with a “black box” warning daily, or I end up with massive blotches all over my body.

    At one point last spring, I ran out of my medication and couldn’t afford to go to my dermatologist or get more for a while. I was so, so self-conscious about how visible all my eczema patches were, but I found out that most of my friends didn’t even notice. I also got hit on more than I had in years.

    I think most of the time, we’re all worried about our own perceived imperfections, but don’t notice what makes others insecure when we’re getting to know someone. And once you’ve reached naked-time, the other person is probably into you – for your personality, your heart, the way you look when you smile that one way – and will find you beautiful, eczema and all.

    If you can afford treatment and over-the-counter ointments/diet adjustment doesn’t help, you may want to try a dermatologist. Even if you can’t, though, maybe you could try to find something that makes you feel awesome about your body, skin problems or not. Running and going for walks on a regular basis helps me feel a lot more comfortable in my body.

  22. 5. Try the shirt from the Stonewall foundation, “Embrace Your Inner Lesbian”. or get the one of the FCKH8 shirts. Otherwise, stock up on plaid.

    7. My dad has really bad eczema and it never put my mum off, haha. So I guess you just have to tough it out and wait till someone beautiful and awesome sees past it.

    8. Ignore them? They seem to thrive on attention. Also, see if you can watch the Louis Theroux documentaries on them. He basically makes it really easy to laugh at them, which makes them seem more like uneducated trolls than dregs of humanity.

    12. If you really can’t deal with it, just tell her. There’s people who’s into that, she can find one, and you can find someone who doesn’t.

    13. I punch my friends whenever they say gay, fag of faggot as insults. Not hard, but enough to let them know I disapprove.

    20a&b. I’m pretty emotionally inept… ironically, i act like a pretentious hipster and write poetry.

  23. 1. You do you. You’re still you, you just have realized some stuff about your sexuality. This doesn’t mean that you have to get an alt style haircut, cargo shorts, and everything Tegan and Sara ever recorded. But you could if you were really moved to.

    2. What everyone else said: Shave if you want to. Trimming is generally a nice thing and depending on the coif you were born with, might make navigation easier.

    3. If you’re anything like me, you probably care because you can’t remember. Any kinds of hiccups in memory can be pretty disconcerting. I don’t know if you really met him, though. Is there anyone you can ask, who might have been present at your hypothetical meeting?

    4. You sort things by not listening to other people w/r/t your sexuality. Do you think you might be gay? Explore that. It’s hard to know just what to say because I don’t know what people are telling you, but generally speaking, everyone else can butt out when it comes to one’s perceptions of one’s own sexuality.

    5. Femme invisibility. I was just talking about this yesterday. You can change your style if you want, but I’m always a fan of wearing whatever you are comfortable in, and using the dyke nod to great effect. Smile at that cute girl walking down the street. She might smile back and give you a once-over and that great feeling that you have just been recognized, like a secret handshake.

    9. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. If this is non-negotiable, and it becomes “sex must have choking,” then leave. Hopefully she’ll respect your boundaries in that way.

    10. Sometimes I feel like I am coming out to everyone forever, all the time. There are some people who are going to assume everyone is straight, and you aren’t obligated to correct them if you don’t want to. Correcting them might open their world up a little bit, though. If I had a dime for every time I’ve been told that I don’t “look gay”… See No. 1: Gay looks like you, like me, like anyone, and helping people realize that might be a good thing. On the other hand, coming out in certain places might have negative effects, so you should take that into account. I’m not sure any of this is helpful.

    11. Historically, I think roller coasters have been less fatal, honestly. That said, if you mean it’s like embarking on a scary journey that you will most likely survive and be really elated by, then I love the comparison.

    12. Being physically attracted to someone is often huge in a relationship (not always, but your comment implies that it is). If you don’t think your feelings towards her ears are going to change, then don’t pursue it. It’s not your thing, but there are going to be people for whom it is their thing, so don’t guilt yourself.

    13. Have her read up on gay bullying and how semantics can enable it? I really don’t know.

    14. Shop at farmer’s markets and grocery stores for things that are mostly nonperishable. Downside: Hard to find stuff that isn’t perishable, and it will most likely take you out of your way. I bet Sarah Croce and Alex Vega will know.

    16. Tell her why the sex with her is great for you. Tell her, elaborately, everything that you like about it. Also talk more about why this all scares her, because that stuff’s serious.

    17. I tend towards bluntness, like “Are you into me? It’s okay if you are, I’m not upset, you just need to know that I am gay. Like *gay.* And that isn’t changing. You’re an awesome dude, but you’re just not the gender I am into.” Do this alone, but not with alcohol involved, and don’t use trite sayings like “I love you as a friend.” Hopefully you’ll both laugh it off and then change the subject and he’ll maybe start to understand that gay means gay means “no thanks, no penis, but you’re still my friend!”

    18. If she won’t stop, just accept it as part of her and realize that you’re probably never going to see the people who are overhearing you again.

    20a. If she’s worth it, it won’t matter how you express your emotions, she’ll appreciate them. I, too, am dating a creative woman, and sometimes in the beginning I would look at the emails I would send to her and go “oh god I am sending this to my supremely talented girlfriend, will she judge me?” She didn’t; she thought they were wonderful. Your girlfriend will probably love however you end up expressing yourself to her. It’s you and her and your feelings. She isn’t going to be worried about scansion.

    20b. What do you mean by “cannot”? Have you tried multiple mediums like writing, drawing, music, dancing, punching pillows, et al? If you have tried all these things and more, but still feel like you can’t open up and want to, consider talking to someone with a license that says “I am good at helping people with their emotions” – by which I mean a therapist.

    21. Talk about it. Write about it. And then try different locations, different positions, different times of day. Break up whatever routine/rut you have gotten yourself into. This might also be prime time to experiment with something that you wish you both did, that you haven’t done yet. I also find that being able to laugh at yourself is the answer to 90% of things in life.

  24. 2. Do whatever you want, the important part is that you feel sexy and comfortable. I don’t think fully-shaving is so much of a “thing” anymore, and it’s quite unpleasant in my opinion.

    10. I know. It sucks. But the more you come out to “errybody” the less of a big task it is, and it does, how we say, get better. I used to have to make myself do it all the time, but you kind of learn a few subtle tricks and then it’s no big hassle. I rarely do the “I AM GAY” come-out; I find a little reference to a girlfriend, an ex-gf, or a hypothetical gf is easier.

    11. I think you & your comparison are clever.

    13. Is it her opinion that they are bad things worthy of use as insults? Unfortunately, I think you might have bigger fish to fry than the occasional “that’s gay”, my dear.

    17. I don’t have much help, but you phrased your question in a super cute, light-hearted, non-awkward way, so I think you can totally handle this situation you are in.

    21. I feel for you. I’ve never been there. Umm.. maybe try watching some porn together (something good like crash pad)? Maybe buy a new toy, read some sexy books? Maybe try to fantasize about things and then just tell each other about them. These are all just suggestions from someone with no experience with LBD. I hope you work it out.

    Also: LBD used to mean Little Black Dress to me. Now it makes me really really afraid.

  25. 19.

    Me too. I’ve found in professional situations there’s not much I can do except know that I’m like that and, without making myself EXTRA nervous, just trying to be aware of what I’m saying – sometimes that just means I’m really quiet for the first meeting/couple of days/whatever the first in the situation is. In interviews I do things like: grip one wrist with the other hand to stop myself waving my hands about, and PRACTICE the interview – this is KEY. Find someone you know who interviews people as part of their job, someone who has hired someone, give them a job description, and get them to give you an interview. or five. whatever it takes to be chill with it. In university or class groups, I make a huge effort to just shut up for the first week or two, until I’m not a nervous freak anymore.

    The plus side is that socially and date-wise there’s heaps to be done, but mostly I recommend activities rather than candlelight dinners for first dates. At minimum, go to an art gallery or something, it’s cheap and you can sound cultured talking about art and you never run out of things to say because, hey! just move to the next painting, boom, more conversation! Plus it gives you an opportunity to listen to her, to find out about her tastes, etc. (You sometimes need to have experience with art galleries, go to a few by yourself and think about them.) (You should do this anyway because art is important. But it doesn’t have to be heavy gilt frames and Turner, pop art is art, it’s usually REALLY EASY to find stuff to say about modern art.) Also you can: go bowling (I know, it sounds stupid, but it’s a great group activity), go to a drop-in dance class, go to a movie (time to calm down and then you can get coffee after and talk about the movie and if things are going well you can also maybe get dinner). DON’T just go get coffee if you can possibly avoid it, don’t definitely don’t get lunch or dinner or brunch. That situation is huge pressure because it is just you and her and you both have to be sparkling and witty and attractive and feel like you’re entertaining the other person and no-one can keep that up, jesus.

  26. Picking up a few more between classes:

    4. Only you know if you are gay and be careful of random “advice” from others…because you really don’t know whether it is good advice. The rule of thumb is follow what you feel inside and seek good quality, reputable advice hopefully from a good LGBT resource in your area. There are plenty of very knowledgeable, wonderful people in the LGBT community willing to help and give good solid advice.

    5. There is no such thing as lesbian clothing. If you are femme, i am as well, wear the type of clothes you would normally. The gist of your question is “how will girls that I might like know that I am a lesbian”? The best way is to go where other lesbians hangout, if there is a known lesbian bar, go there. If there is an active LGBT community, participate. You will have no trouble finding like minded, femme lesbians that attract you.

    6. You may be falling out of love. This is common and you need to explore if its time to get out of a relationship. As relationships mature and they move beyond the “crush” phase, you begin to really know the person. Sometimes you find that you don’t have all that much in common as you thought you did. This is normal and happens frequently. Honesty is always the best policy. Explore with your partner whether you have enough in common to sustain a relationship. If you are feeling this way, chances are very good she may be feeling similar.

    7. As with any medical condition the best advice is make sure you get it checked out with a doctor, if you haven’t already. Get the best medical treatment you can. Assuming you have done this and it still is a problem, it shouldn’t prevent you from having relationships. I would be lying if I said that it won’t be a little harder, given that we live in a society obsessed with beauty and perfection, but there are many people who look beyond the surface and are looking for a really sweet partner that shares similar interests and values. You will find someone.

  27. 2. Dont shave all of it. Trim the bush and maybe shave it into a landing strip, if you want. Definitely shave vagina-surrounding area

    8. Yes. Ignore them!

    10. I’m very feminine and dont look gay so I am assumed to be straight by EVERYONE! Thus, I am forced to choose between coming out to errybody, which sucks, or enduring comments that suggest I am straight (bad cuz being gay is important to me) It Gets Better?

    12. Maybe keep telling her how naturally beautiful she is and how you wonder what’d she’d look like without the facial piercing-but you bet gorgeous. If she pierces just for the hell of it or something, this might work. If she truly has a passion for it, too bad for you.

    You can’t do much about the ears though.

    13. Cry.

    14. Grocery stores! Cheaper too! Maybe take a camping stove with you that you can use at stops? You can probably find a microwave at least somewhere.

    Find organizations like Food Not Bombs in all your stops across the city and print out info for a good, healthy meal.

    It also might be good to find a ghetto little Arab store and buy a BUNCH of cans of hummus for 99 cents each.

    Fruit is a good idea. Its a quickneasy health snack

    Basically, think outside the box.

  28. One more:

    10. I can totally relate to this. I am by nature very feminine. Its something that is part of me and while I am 100% lesbian, I don’t want to have to compromise the way that I naturally am. The solution for me and perhaps might work for you is don’t worry if some people think your straight. What matters is you know who you are and the people closest to you, your friends, family etc., know who you are. I am guessing that you have given this probably much more thought than the people you run into everyday. The person serving you coffee likely is not thinking whether you are straight or lesbian, they’re just trying to do their job. Don’t worry about it. Whether the people around you know you are a lesbian or not shouldn’t have any impact on your perception of yourself.

  29. 18. Your mom sounds like all kinds of fantastic to me and I kinda want to hang out with her, partly because I have a filthy mouth too and say shit like that in public. Though not about college admissions, I was done with those 7 years ago, thankfully.

    I mean, college admissions folks creaming their pants over your application? How awesome a mental image is that?

    Try: relaxing and working on feeling less mortified, as someone suggested above, or asking her to keep the volume down a bit?

  30. Dear #2: Do you know what’s sexy? Girls who shave. Oh, but do you know what else is sexy? Girls who don’t. I used to think I liked it better when girls shaved until I started sleeping with a a girl who didn’t. I dunno though, maybe I just like girls. Probably any girl you have sex with is going to feel the same way.

    Dear #7: I spent 5 years with a guy who had psoriasis. He was pretty cute. :)

  31. re: #9, choking: Have the uncomfortable conversation without judging her for her interests. Let her know that you’ve been trying this with her because you love her and because you wanted to explore for yourself, and that you have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t work for you, and that it makes you feel bad about yourself to do it. Let her figure out whether that’s a dealbreaker or not. Respect her decision.

    re: #18, embarrassing mom: Your mother is probably aware that part of raising children is knowing you will embarrass them their entire lives and that they will likely find you a total harsh from pubescence to approximately age 30. For example, my hypothetical future children will undoubtedly wince and think I’m terminally uncool for saying things like “a total harsh,” but when one grows up in New Jersey in the ’80s that’s what happens so they’ll have to deal. You deal, too. Say, “Mom, you’re embarrassing me.” She may sigh or laugh in your face, but you guys will be having an honest conversation about your feelings and ultimately that’s what the parent/child relationship can be about at its best and highest expression.

  32. Hahaha, so as the asker of #18, I just want to say thank you for all the advice everyone has given. I have to admit, when she said it, I was hysterically cracking up because she was COMPLETELY 100% serious. I suggested that she didn’t say those types of things in public, but she told me that it was her job, so I guess I’ll just try to make the best of it, haha.

  33. 5)+ 10) I feel like these are kind of related.. I have the same problem, everyone who I’ve told I’m gay has been totally surprised (apart from my high school friends, but that’s because I used to ignore my boyfriend and make out with girls in front of them, so.) Knowing that when I walk down the street I’m assumed straight by 99.99% of the population can make me feel a little crazy, and I’m sometimes seized with the random urge to out myself at every possible opportunity: coffee shop, hairdressers, on the bus..
    I’ve been looking for an answer to the “how do I remain myself/a femme and still let people/other lesbians know I’m gay” dilemma for a while now, and haven’t found the perfect one as yet.. yes we could all wear plaid and rainbows, and cut our hair short, but I like my clothes and long hair, plus conforming to a stereotype doesn’t seem to be in-line with the desire to come out and thus be my true self.
    Sorry, that’s not very helpful, more like a mini-rant.. but the fact that there are so many of us out there who sympathise is hopefully doing something good for your soul(s) :)

    7) Confidence is key here :D as a former teen with truly awful acne I really sympathise, but trust me its the sort of thing which you probably think is a huge deal and others hardly notice, or only notice when you draw attention to it. (and if you’ve not tried it, Roaccutane worked a treat for me)

    5. I’m a femme and no one knows I’m a lesbian. Where can I find erm, gay clothing? Or shirts that are related to being a lesbian I suppose?

    7. How off-putting is bad skin? I’m an adult but I have eczema&other hereditary problems. I think I’m a decent person, but I feel like no one will take the time & get past what they see. Thus far no one’s proven me wrong & my self-esteem is kinda plummeting.

    10. I’m very feminine and dont look gay so I am assumed to be straight by EVERYONE! Thus, I am forced to choose between coming out to errybody, which sucks, or enduring comments that suggest I am straight (bad cuz being gay is important to me) It Gets Better?

    • arghh, forgot to delete Qs at the bottom.. but I DID come up with a brilliant solution to no 10:
      go round humming the L word theme tune, LOUDLY.

      Actually forget humming.. why not just sing the actual words too? Perhaps with some literal dance moves thrown in. Yeah.

    • Your rant on 5&10 is my story too. Thanks for typing that up!

      Also your suggestion of singing and dancing to the L word theme song is AMAZING. Now if I could only figure out if the cute girls in plaid at the bar are lesbians or hipsters…

  34. #6: i was with a girl once, and was certain that i would love HER forever because she loved who I WAS and then i started growing into myself and she laughed at the person i was becoming, and i left her. we were just becoming so different. it happens.

  35. #4: Don’t listen to everyone else. Just listen to that little voice inside and it’ll help you figure things out. If you believe in your heart of hearts that you’re gay, you are. No one else knows you as deeply as you do…don’t let others influence your trust in yourself.

  36. #3: You probs met Lil Bow Wow, but then he changed his name to Bow Wow like it would make a difference and you got real confused. Or you met him and it was really underwhelming. Maybs you were drunk. I DON’T KNOW YOUR LIFE, however, this question is awesome.

  37. 1) It’s like creating a superhero identity: you need a cool name and spandex.

    2) Shave if you want to. Or don’t if you don’t. But don’t use Nair no matter what, that shit’s awful.

    3) 1) I don’t know 2) well, have you???

    4) Making lists helps. When I was coming out I made a list of people in my class and checked off who I found attractive. Surprise, girls won!

    5) Buy a cheap plain T-shirt. Take a marker. Write “I’M A DYKE” on the shirt with the marker. Boom, you’re done.

    Or you can just make out with girls in public, usually tips people off.

    6) Sometimes people change, and not in the same way. Sometimes they find new things to share, like pottery-making or threesomes.

    7) Human skin is, on average, 2-3 millimeters or a tenth of an inch thick. There is so much more to you than your skin. (Your kidneys, for instance.)

    8) BE GAY. Be the gayest proudest happiest little rainbow-loving pussy-licking queermo out there and you’ll prove them wrong. We’ll all prove them wrong. That’s why they’re so scared and angry.

    9) It’s okay to not want intense choking sex. It’s not okay for her to get you to do things you don’t really want to do and feel uncomfortable doing.

    10) It CAN get better, because you actually have a superpower. You are the stealth gay that straight people don’t see, like Nightcrawler, and then BAM you’re gay and they’re all, holy shit! You break their minds and mess with their stereotypes every time you come out.

    11) That is an awesome comparison. Also, roller coasters terrify me.

    12) Why are you looking at her ears so much? Why not her eyes or face or collarbones? Maybe you should just kiss her and see if that matters more than the ear thing.

    13) Write her a letter, maybe she’s better at reading than listening.

    14) Avoid Mississippi.

    15) For starters, don’t use the word “break-up” in the talk. Tell her the other stuff, those are good reasons.

    16) Talk it out. Tell her exactly what she does or what you do to her that makes you feel so good. If she wants to do ‘everything’ to you, let her (unless you’re stone or something? idk). If she wants to cuddle or wear a blindfold or go dancing, try that too.

    17) Man, I hated Chasing Amy.

    18) Out-embarrass her. Talk about how you want to lick honey off of Jennifer Beals’ tits while in the college admissions building.

    19) My first impression of a former roommate was that she was a stuck-up prude. Later we hooked up, and boy was I wrong.

    20) a) Congratulations! Poets are a shy species, not easy to catch outside of their native habitats (coffeeshops and open mics).

    b) Paint. Draw. Journal. Dance. Get drunk and/or high and sit with a friend on a stoop talking about your middle school and how everyone’s a little fucked up, really. Just don’t get a tattoo when you’re feeling emotional, it’s a bad idea.

    21) Have sex against the brick wall. Can’t have LBD without the bed, right?

  38. 1. http://xkcd.com/150/ (except substitute “grown-ups” with “lesbians”)

    4. Find a way to be alone for a little while, take a deep breath, and think about things. Your feelings are your feelings, and it’s okay to just feel them and think about what they mean and not listen to whatever people are telling you.

    11. I think it’s an awesome comparison.

    13. Start using her name as a pejorative. Like, wherever she would use “gay” or “queer” in a pejorative way, say similar things, but with her name in place of it. It’s the only thing I’ve found that’s ever made people realize how awful it can feel when someone’s using your identity as a punchline or a slur or an insult.

  39. Hi, my name is Liz and I have answers to all the things! Please note, I have no right to be doling out advice, and I cannot guarentee it’s any good. But it’s 1:30 in the morning and I can’t sleep, so here you go.

    1. How do I create my own lesbian identity? i.e. I don’t know how to identify as a lesbian because I’ve only just figured it out, so what do I have to do to understand/feel comfortable with the idea of this being me?
    What was your ‘straight’ or ‘unsure’ identity? What was your personality before you were gay? That’s still you. You’re just a now more self-aware you. But being comfortable with this new part of yourself takes time. Hell, being comfortable with yourself in general takes time (I’ve got 21 years of being me, and I still haven’t adjusted to feeling comfortable with myself. Except, ironically, for the gay part. That part I’m perfectly at ease with.) Basically, you do you, like Riese says. Eventually, you’ll get used to it. And if not, buy some awesome new clothes, because then you’ll at least look good while you’re trying to be cool with you.
    2. I’ve never really ‘done anything’ with a girl. But I’m going to be heading to college this fall, and I’m nervous. I’m gay. I’m sexually oblivious. I guess what I’m trying to say without sounding really awkward is should I shave my girly parts?
    I shave. My girl trims. I’ve been with people at all ends of the spectrum. Most ladies are just happy to see a willing vag, they don’t care what it looks like. That being said, if you want to shave, by all means, go for it. But please, for the love of god, try shaving BEFORE the night of a big date. If your skin down there gets irritated by the shaving, you do not want to find out while that hot chick you just met is about to go down on you.
    3. I just realized that I can’t remember whether or not I’ve ever met Lil Bow Wow and am moderately distraught about the following things: 1) Why do I care? 2) HAVE I ever met Lil Bow Wow???
    If you can’t remember, I’m gonna say no, no you didn’t.
    4. I think I determined I’m gay but I’m scared and confused and have people telling me all this stuff..what do I do? How do I sort things? This is one of the smaller issues in my life but I really dunno what to do :S
    Do you feel attracted to the ladies (assuming you are one?)? Yes? Congratulations, you’re gay. Seriously. Even though it can take time to come to terms with it, that’s really all the sorting there is. You like who and what you like, and that’s that.
    5. I’m a femme and no one knows I’m a lesbian. Where can I find erm, gay clothing? Or shirts that are related to being a lesbian I suppose?
    Urban Outfitters, men’s section. American Apparel sells the Repeal 8 shirts. But like… Why? Why would you want to change yourself to look gay? If you’re really that worried about it, buy a pride bracelet and wear it daily
    6. My gf & I have been together for several yrs but in the last few she’s changed in ways I never imagined–not all of them pleasant. Lately it seems we don’t share a single interest anymore. We seem to be polar opposites now. I’m confused about what to do.

    Has she changed in unforgiveable, to you, ways? If yes, go your separate ways.
    7. How off-putting is bad skin? I’m an adult but I have eczema&other hereditary problems. I think I’m a decent person, but I feel like no one will take the time & get past what they see. Thus far no one’s proven me wrong & my self-esteem is kinda plummeting.
    I think, some people see bad skin and think ‘ew, that person must not have good hygeine’. But most of us? Really don’t care. Just be yourself, and you’ll find someone who loves you for you, skin and all.
    8. Westboro Baptist Church make me lose all faith in humanity, they make me too sad for words and I don’t know what to think or do about this. Is there anything I can do to counteract them?
    Go to their protests and counter. Either by kissing another girl or by holding signs and shouting.
    9. So my girlfriend asked me to choke her. I was like… uhh, okay? And I did. Now I’ve done it more times, but I just don’t like it. She loves it. We’ve been together for a year. She always wants more intense things out of sex. I was content in September.
    Does she do things she doesn’t like for you, either sexually or non? Yes? Then stop complaining. But if it really bothers you, figure out why. Is it because you’re afraid of hurting her? Or does it just not turn you on? If it’s the first one, explain that to her. Sit down and tell her you worry for her health (any sort of edge play can be dangerous), and try to come up with a solution. Whether that’s just using a safeword, or coming with some sort of “once every x amount of times we do it” arrangement, whatever. And if it’s the second one? Refer back to my first sentence. Most of us end up having to do something we dislike in bed in a long term relationship. Why? Because we really care for the other person, and want them to be satisfied, even if that means not being fully turned on the entire time ourselves.
    10. I’m very feminine and dont look gay so I am assumed to be straight by EVERYONE! Thus, I am forced to choose between coming out to errybody, which sucks, or enduring comments that suggest I am straight (bad cuz being gay is important to me) It Gets Better?
    Like I suggested earlier. Pride bracelets.
    11. I think my mom got really confused when I compared being gay to roller coasters. Like before I go on a roller coaster I have to tell myself that the 23423 people before me came out alive, kinda like the millions of gay people. Is that a dumb comparison?!
    I actually really like this, anon. I’m gonna steal it.
    12. So I kinda like this girl, and she likes me. she’s awesome, really. EXCEPT she has huuuuge stretched ears. I don’t mean small plugs I mean FUCKING HUGE okay. And I just…. I cant do it. I am SO SO SO turned off by it. It’s ruining her for me. I cant even go on a date with her. And she’s hot and lovely and my friends say I’m being too picky and shallow but like…. it’s her head! IT’S HER FACE! It’s horrible. It’s the same with nipple piercings and shitty tattoos. They’re deal breakers for me. Who is right / what do I do?
    If it’s a deal-breaker, it’s a deal breaker. If you seriously can’t stand it, then so be it. But I’m one for trying new things. If you two really like one another, why not try to get used to them? Immersion therapy!
    13. How can I get my mom to stop using gay and queer as an insult? I’ve had the rational ‘it’s hurtful and wrong and this is why’ conversation…but she basically just said that was silly and people are entitled to their opinions. How do I make her listen?
    Start using ‘straight’ or ‘hetero’ in instances she uses gay and queer. And do it often.
    14. The wife and I are about to drive across country on vacation! We are trying to eat healthy and avoid fast food places. Any suggestions?
    Uncommon Ground in Chicago. That’s it because I don’t go places.
    15. My girlfriend is moving away and she wants me to follow and move in with her. I’m concerned that it’s early in the relationship and she doesn’t know my craziness well enough to want to cohabitate. How do I tell her without it seeming like a break up talk?
    “Listen, X, I really, really like you, and I want to be with you, but I’m not ready for this. I pick my nose and I fart all the time, I want you to get used to that before we for serious move in together. How about if we start with me visiting you and spending the weekend once or twice a month, first?”
    16. Last night my gf broke down and told me that she was scared everytime we have sex… She feels guilty that I do ‘everything’. She doesn’t seem to hear that she makes me feel so good every single time! Got any tips to help me build her confidence?
    Let her feel how wet you get getting her off. Seriously. My girl used to feel this way, too. And then I started showing her how much I loved going down on her/fucking her/etc., even without her touching me.
    Or start letting her do things, slowly and with a time limit at first (i.e., just getting used to touching you, not trying to get you off), to you. Eventually, she may be comfortable to go at you the way you do to her.
    17. I have a friend who is a dude and I think he likes me. I’m totes homo. I think he thinks a chasing Amy situation could happen. How do I nip this in the bud without being awk about it. I do love the guy, just not penis in vagina-style.
    “I love you, Z, you’re one of my best FRIENDS, and I want to stay that way. You feel me? Also, check out that total hottie over there. Damn, I’m gonna go get her number.”
    18. My mom says really awkward things such as “college admissions people cream their pants over that shit.” Especially in public. How do I make her stop?
    You can’t. She’s your parent. Saying embarrassing things is what she does. Just laugh at it.
    19. I make THE WORST first impressions. I’m a really cool, smart person, but I just insane nerves and come off as really stupid and boring or annoying and out of control. i imagine you make really fantastic first impressions. do you have any tips?
    Well, I’m not the ‘you’ you originally asked, but. Deep breaths, and practice.
    20a. I started dating a real, live poet. She’s adorbs, but…I feel emotionally inept. SO many feelings. How do I share?
    Write her a poem, no matter how bad it seems. Trust me, my girlfriend writes me poems and I melt. And then curse her school and the fact it’s three hours from me.
    20b. How do people who cannot share their emotions share their emotions? I would really like to, especially since I’ve been getting all these ~feelings~ lately and I don’t know what to do.
    Therapy. And/or write them all down.
    21. Is there a cure for lesbian bed death? I’m afraid we may have hit a brick wall.
    Is it bad I’m thankful that this one is last? Because it’s really hard. First, yes. Second, no. The bad news, or the ‘no’ part there, is that people change overtime. Sometimes, they just aren’t sexually compatible. If that’s you, then no, not a whole lot to be done. But for those who have just lost the time to have sex/are too tired/etc., there is hope! Go to an exotic locale, plan a rendezvous, indulge in a fantasy (tell each other your fantasies!), surprise her somewhere. Have sex without getting caught (visiting your parents, at work, etc.). Tie her up. Wake her up with sex. Invite her into your shower. Draw a bath. While you’re watching T.V. Make it different.

  40. Thank you, Autostraddle, for giving me such a lovely opportunity for procrastination/annonymous overshares.

    1. How do I create my own lesbian identity?

    Well… identify as a lesbian. As often as possible. I look really, really stereotypically “lesbian,” but I looked the same when I identified as straight and people bought it.

    2. I’ve never really ‘done anything’ with a girl. But I’m going to be heading to college this fall, and I’m nervous. I’m gay. I’m sexually oblivious.

    I’m going to just tell you… Do whatever makes you feel more comfortable so you don’t feel so awkward. Although (I’ve been told and I think too) awkwardness is kinda cute/endearing provided it doesn’t last too long so maybe roll with that?

    Um and re: shaving…. I refuse because it is itchy and itchy is not sexy. And I’ve never been bothered by anyone else’s excess or lack of hair, so do you. There are no rules and the people who have rules (in my opinion) are too picky to sleep with. It gets annoying, and I have no patience for that kind of picky.

    4. I think I determined I’m gay but I’m scared and confused and have people telling me all this stuff..what do I do? How do I sort things? This is one of the smaller issues in my life but I really dunno what to do :S

    The only person I’ve ever really listened to wrt sexuality was a guy who said that he doesn’t believe in sexuality he believes in people loving people and that is always a good thing. I mean, I believe in sexuality as a thing and an identity and a useful one, but the point is that people love people so go and love someone. And if this is a small issue deal with the big issues and maybe along the way it will all work out.

    5. I’m a femme and no one knows I’m a lesbian. Where can I find erm, gay clothing? Or shirts that are related to being a lesbian I suppose?

    Rainbow earrings.

    6. I’m an asshole. If it’s not working really, leave. Then again, I’ve never had a really awesome long long relationship so my advice is probs bad. But I’ve had really great short ones so….

    7. I have terrible skin. Mine is off putting to me and I imagine it is off putting to other people but I think I’m just projecting my own bad self image. Relax and figure out the multitude of ways that you are awesome and focus on those. Skin is skin and really, like not a big deal. But I hear you–mine upsets me all the time.

    8. Realize that there are more happy, well adjusted homosexuals in any given “gay” space (LGBT group, bar, any block in any given major city, etc) on a tuesday evening at 6pm than there ever have been or ever will be members of the WBC. Also that the WBC makes fundamentalists look bad so EVERYONE hates them. I actually really enjoy hating on them, and it makes even conservative people love the gays a little more because such giant dickheads hate us.

    9. So my girlfriend asked me to choke her.

    Yeah. If it’s not good for you, don’t do it. she should be as open to you saying “no thanks” as you were to trying it. If not, you both need someone new to have sex with.

    12. So I kinda like this girl, and she likes me. she’s awesome, really. EXCEPT she has huuuuge stretched ears.

    Sometimes I tell myself that the little shit that bothers me in the beginning will not bother me once I really care for someone, but sometimes this is a lie I tell myself and then later it gets awkward/I feel like an asshole. So if it bothers you that much, so be it.

    15. I don’t know how to tell her but make sure you do it now.

    16. Aww… I feel for your girlfriend because I sometimes feel the same way (without cause, actually, but just because I’m an insecure human). Um.. just point out what she does that you like at times when she is not specifically asking about it. Like randomly. This happens to me and makes me feel so much better always.

    17. Lesbromance. Don’t allow “platonic” snuggles. Be a good wingwoman and act genuinely excited about hooking him up with STRAIGHT girls.

    18. Don’t let her stop, your mom sounds awesome.

    20a. I started dating a real, live poet. She’s adorbs, but…I feel emotionally inept. SO many feelings. How do I share?

    I always feel this way, but that’s probably because I just don’t have so many feelings as often as other people. I am gradually becoming ok with this. No use forcing feelings. Share when you want/need/feel moved to. I hate when people pressure me to be “more open,” when the issue is just that I have nothing to say/no feelings about a given situation. I don’t know if the issue is that you have so many feelings or that she does, but I guess my point is that honesty is more important (to me, at least) than apparent depth. Be you.

    20b. How do people who cannot share their emotions share their emotions? I would really like to, especially since I’ve been getting all these ~feelings~ lately and I don’t know what to do.

    I don’t know. Sometimes I drink too much and get emotional but I always think maybe I was making feelings up just to have feelings and then that is silly. Share when/where/how you ACTUALLY want to, not when you think you should.

    Ok. So I obvs. need therapy and to stop being a mean person. <–not helpful to others.

  41. well matchedr sexually. Sometimes sexual interests change and grow; it’s probably not reasonable (or even desirable, I’d say – change can be fun) to expect that someone’s gonna want to keep doing only the same several few things in bed for a decade or two.

    12. This is not a matter of “who is right.” Appearances unavoidably do matter, they’re part of how we project ourselves into the world, and they help us sort out who we’ll be compatible with. Maybe some day you’ll find that your affection for this girl has deepened to the extent that you can look past her earlobes, but there’s no reason to try to force it there.

    18. I love this. Other people, those ones in public, probably love it too. Sorry!

  42. Aahh whoa not sure what happened to the first half of my giant comment there. Here is what it said:

    2. I think this is totally, totally a matter of personal preference. From what I hear, some ladies are all about it, but frankly I think encountering a totally shaved pubic area would weird out; I just do not think it is a very good look on others and I would probably not gladly adopt it myself even if a ladyfriend was into it. Seems itchy/time-consuming. I mean, probably trim to some extent if there’s a lot going on down there, just for easier access. But I say: do not worry about it. You will be fine.

    6. So let’s see. In the “Stay Together Column” we have . . . uh, several years of having stayed together so far. In the “Break Up” column we have the fact that she’s developed (unspecified) unpleasant characteristics and you can’t relate to her at all anymore. What do you think?

    7. Not very, I bet. I can think of numerous examples of people I’ve known who might be said to have both bad skin and girl/boyfriends. But pretty much every gal has some major insecurity that makes her feel undesirable (I mean I feel like I have about twelve at any given moment) and prevents her from acting like someone who’s open to being wanted; projecting confidence and working under the assumption that you are hot stuff and people are naturally going to be into you is about the only cure for it, I think.

    9. So obviously the choking thing doesn’t do much for you, but there are other sexy things you guys do together that do turn you on, right? And doesn’t it feel good to do something for her that she really loves, even if it wouldn’t be your fav thing otherwise? If the answer to both those things is no, though, and you can’t imagine those “no”s ever turning into yeses, you guys may not be so cut out for each other sexually. Sometimes sexual interests change and grow; it’s probably not reasonable (or even desirable, I’d say – change can be fun) to expect that someone’s gonna want to keep doing the same couple things in bed for a decade or two.

    • I should clarify re: #9 that I am working under the assumption that this is not intense, bruise-leaving, real-deal choking that’s going on. Cause obvs that is not safe and you should not and should not have to do unsafe things.

  43. Taking a stab at all of them!

    1. How do I create my own lesbian identity? i.e. I don’t know how to identify as a lesbian because I’ve only just figured it out, so what do I have to do to understand/feel comfortable with the idea of this being me?

    I agree with a previous poster. Who were you before you were gay? That’s still you! Being comfortable with yourself takes time. You do this: you get involved with organizations that mean a lot to you, you volunteer for causes that mean a lot to you, you read books that seem interesting, you read the news, you hang out with other gay people (GLBT groups in your city, university, or school). Developing passions and an “identity” is hard, and you have to shoot around blindly sometimes…but the more things you get involved with because they pique your interest for whatever reason, the more comfortable you’ll feel about yourself :). Basically, don’t just sit around and wring your hands. If you like it (or her!), follow your heart and do it. That involves everything from hockey to protests to taking walks to licking vag ;).

    2. I’ve never really ‘done anything’ with a girl. But I’m going to be heading to college this fall, and I’m nervous. I’m gay. I’m sexually oblivious. I guess what I’m trying to say without sounding really awkward is should I shave my girly parts?

    First of all, I think you’re putting the cart before the horse. Idk what you expect out of college, but chances are you aren’t going to get there and suddenly get a thousand offers from girls who wanna put their face in your crotch. More than likely, you’ll meet some gay friends, you can talk to them about it, you’ll meet a sweet girl, you’ll make out a few times, you can talk to her about it, whatever. But just to answer your questions, it really depends on the amount of hair you have down there, what your partner likes, and what YOU like and what YOU’RE confident with. Honestly pussy-licking is hard for me as the giver when the receiver has a lot of hair (I don’t mind from a sexual attraction standpoint, but it’s hard to see!), and honestly I prefer how it feels physically (as the receiver) when it is trimmed and/or waxed. But some girls love the bush and get irritated when they shave. Try it out. Trim it. Do you like it? Yes? Go with that then :). No? Let it run free.

    3. I just realized that I can’t remember whether or not I’ve ever met Lil Bow Wow and am moderately distraught about the following things: 1) Why do I care? 2) HAVE I ever met Lil Bow Wow???

    1. There’s something wrong with you 2. Probably not

    4. I think I determined I’m gay but I’m scared and confused and have people telling me all this stuff..what do I do? How do I sort things? This is one of the smaller issues in my life but I really dunno what to do :S

    What kinda stuff are they telling you? You’re YOU! Being gay doesn’t change you. It just changes who you wanna fuck. My answer to the identity question applies here. Do the stuff you wanna do (girls and otherwise!).

    5. I’m a femme and no one knows I’m a lesbian. Where can I find erm, gay clothing? Or shirts that are related to being a lesbian I suppose?

    Hahaha. Well, ok. Actually, this is a valid question. I definitely am afraid of femmes/don’t approach them/fear that they are straight. But look, unless you shave your head and wear combat boots, people still aren’t going to be “sure” you’re gay. In fact, some people might still simply take that as “military and dangerous” rather than “totes homo”. It would take you sitting on a girls’ lap and sucking her face for a lot of people to think, hmm, I think she might like girls! And then they’ll assume you’re taken! So that doesn’t do you any good ;). So, the solution is, you just have to TALK about it! Tell your friends you’re gay. Tell girls you are gay. APPROACH women. FLIRT with women. Come on. Don’t be so passive. There is no secret t-shirt you can wear. I’m sorry!

    6. My gf & I have been together for several yrs but in the last few she’s changed in ways I never imagined–not all of them pleasant. Lately it seems we don’t share a single interest anymore. We seem to be polar opposites now. I’m confused about what to do.

    Mrrrr :/ Well, do you still enjoy spending time with her? Can you appreciate her interests? Can she appreciate yours? Can you learn from your differences? Share in your differences? From the way you wrote your question, it sounds like you like to go snowboarding every day and she hates it and can take no interest in it, and she likes to shop every day and you hate it and you can take no interest in it. If that is the case, y’all should dump each other. People do grow up and they do change. Sometimes this is ok – we introduce our partner to new things and new sides of us. We find new things to enjoy about each other. This can be a good thing. If we didn’t change, we’d be hella boring, wouldn’t we? But sometimes this is bad. Sometimes we become people that our partners simply don’t like. And if that’s the case, don’t hang around just for old time’s sake.

    7. How off-putting is bad skin? I’m an adult but I have eczema&other hereditary problems. I think I’m a decent person, but I feel like no one will take the time & get past what they see. Thus far no one’s proven me wrong & my self-esteem is kinda plummeting.

    Well, I can’t see you, so I have no idea how “bad” it is. But skin problems are one physical flaw, yes. That said, everyone has a physical flaw, and whenever we get with a nice girl or a nice boy we overlook or come to appreciate whatever that flaw is in each other. In my experience, personality can change how attractive a person is physically to me…be outgoing…be confident…do what you can to minimize whatever flaws you have in the pursuit of said confidence (do your hair nice, put on some makeup, whatever), and go for it.

    8. Westboro Baptist Church make me lose all faith in humanity, they make me too sad for words and I don’t know what to think or do about this. Is there anything I can do to counteract them?

    YES. Lobby for gay rights in your state. So many people “support” gay rights but they don’t tell that to their senators or to their representatives. TELL THEM. TELL THEM you will not stand for discriminatory laws. And in your everyday life, be out, be proud, be gay, and ask your friends to support you. Or support your out gay friends if you are straight.

    9. So my girlfriend asked me to choke her. I was like… uhh, okay? And I did. Now I’ve done it more times, but I just don’t like it. She loves it. We’ve been together for a year. She always wants more intense things out of sex. I was content in September.

    Duuuude I knoooow. Well, two things here. One, we are allowed to have sexual acts that we dislike or feel are unsafe. Choking is one of those things you don’t have to do, even if you’re “GGG” as Dan Savage would say (good, giving, game). If this is serious choking, and not just light “role play” choking, you should stop. Immediately. I don’t give a shit how much your girl likes it. That’s really dangerous. It doesn’t even have to cause bruises to restrict her airflow and do some really damaging things. If this is stopping her from breathing, it’s not safe, end of story.

    Second issue, you are clearly a bit more vanilla than your gf, and not just in regards to the choking. My suggestion is that you have to come to some sort of compromise. Ease slowly into her extreme sex, for one. It seems like she might just be moving too fast. If there is no amount of moving slow that will make you want to have extreme hardc0re bondage sex every time you bang, well, that’s fine too – have nice vanilla days AND extreme days. Mix it up. You should want to fulfill her sexual needs because you like seeing her turned on and fulfilled. But she should similarly have the same respect for your needs, and should be able to enjoy some nice, vanilla sex regularly as well :).

    10. I’m very feminine and dont look gay so I am assumed to be straight by EVERYONE! Thus, I am forced to choose between coming out to errybody, which sucks, or enduring comments that suggest I am straight (bad cuz being gay is important to me) It Gets Better?

    Look, fyi, I’m not the most femme girl in existence, and I am still presumed straight by everyone I know. Coming out to everyone, continuously, is something that most gay people have to go through. It gets better in that you won’t hate it so much as time goes on…coming out isn’t that scary, trust me ;).

    11. I think my mom got really confused when I compared being gay to roller coasters. Like before I go on a roller coaster I have to tell myself that the 23423 people before me came out alive, kinda like the millions of gay people. Is that a dumb comparison?!

    No, awesome :D

    12. So I kinda like this girl, and she likes me. she’s awesome, really. EXCEPT she has huuuuge stretched ears. I don’t mean small plugs I mean FUCKING HUGE okay. And I just…. I cant do it. I am SO SO SO turned off by it. It’s ruining her for me. I cant even go on a date with her. And she’s hot and lovely and my friends say I’m being too picky and shallow but like…. it’s her head! IT’S HER FACE! It’s horrible. It’s the same with nipple piercings and shitty tattoos. They’re deal breakers for me. Who is right / what do I do?

    Dude, you tried. Be her friend. Get to know her better AS A FRIEND. Maybe one day you will develop a physical attraction to her, but now is not that day. For now you guys can totally be lesbros and awesome wingmen and pick up hot chicks TOGETHER rather than pick up EACH OTHER. Your friends need to get over it and mind their own business.

    13. How can I get my mom to stop using gay and queer as an insult? I’ve had the rational ‘it’s hurtful and wrong and this is why’ conversation…but she basically just said that was silly and people are entitled to their opinions. How do I make her listen?

    Google “gay bullying statistics.” Show her. Tell her it’s not just an “opinion” she has – she’s being a bully, and these behaviors drive thousands of gay teens to depression, and yes, suicide. Show her the FACTS. Furthermore, when adults bully, they tell kids it’s ok to bully too. Kids that beat up gay kids on the playground probably don’t have parents who tell them calling people “faggots” is wrong. Just a guess.

    14. The wife and I are about to drive across country on vacation! We are trying to eat healthy and avoid fast food places. Any suggestions?

    Farmers markets!!! Road side stands!!! Fresh vegetables and fruits are the way to go and totally a great way to get a feel for the local flavor :). Otherwise, stop at grocery stores.

    15. My girlfriend is moving away and she wants me to follow and move in with her. I’m concerned that it’s early in the relationship and she doesn’t know my craziness well enough to want to cohabitate. How do I tell her without it seeming like a break up talk?

    Dude, I can’t answer this without knowing some key facts, i.e. how far away is she moving? Basically, you need to say it like you said here “It’s too early in the relationship to move in with you, but I DO see this relationship going forward and growing still…I DO see myself possibly wanting to move in with you in the future, but right now we need to spend more time getting to know each other. If you move away, I commit to talking to you X times a week, visiting you X times a month/year, and then in six months or a year or two years we’ll reevaluate and maybe I will move in with you then”. Basically, you need to show her how you intend to keep this relationship alive and progressing forward, even with the distance.

    16. Last night my gf broke down and told me that she was scared everytime we have sex… She feels guilty that I do ‘everything’. She doesn’t seem to hear that she makes me feel so good every single time! Got any tips to help me build her confidence?

    Awwww. Poor girl! Well, help her out!! Give her suggestions about how she can take control, and start really slow…i.e. don’t ask her to tie you up right away, but start with guiding her hand during sex regularly, or otherwise asking for her to do certain things on a regular basis. Also, be more vocal about what she does to you that you enjoy. But at some point, tell the girl you will not be an enabler – you love her, you love what she does in bed, and no more whining ;). MOST IMPORTANTLY – HAVE A LOT OF SEX!!!! Nothing cures sex fears like doin it all the time ;).

    17. I have a friend who is a dude and I think he likes me. I’m totes homo. I think he thinks a chasing Amy situation could happen. How do I nip this in the bud without being awk about it. I do love the guy, just not penis in vagina-style.

    When he makes an advance, turn him down. Say, “Sorry, I love you, but not in that way. I’m gay.” This is really the least awkward thing possible and it’s actually really easy. The question is will he take no for an answer? You won’t know until you tell him.

    18. My mom says really awkward things such as “college admissions people cream their pants over that shit.” Especially in public. How do I make her stop?

    “Mom, it makes me uncomfortable when you say things like that in public. I’m just not as open as you about these things, even though I appreciate that YOU are open and comfortable with it!”

    19. I make THE WORST first impressions. I’m a really cool, smart person, but I just insane nerves and come off as really stupid and boring or annoying and out of control. i imagine you make really fantastic first impressions. do you have any tips?

    Just tell people!! At the conclusion of your first meeting, say hey, I really enjoyed hanging out with you. I can be really nervous the first time I meet someone so don’t hold it against me!! I’m much more normal the second time :)

    And make a second impression :)

    Also, practice practice practice.

    20a. I started dating a real, live poet. She’s adorbs, but…I feel emotionally inept. SO many feelings. How do I share?

    What, cause she’s a poet and you’re not? She must know not everyone is a poet. Do you draw? Do you sing? What are YOUR strengths? Show your emotions in ways you are comfortable with, and be a passionate cool person you yourself are proud of. She will see that in you and either take it, or leave it. If she leaves it, her loss ;). I DO NOT draw or sing, but I actually still played my gf songs, wrote little comics or drew little cartoons for her (badly, but I thought they were cute), took her out to cool places, etc. And sometimes, it’s nice to hear something not in poem form. “You’re sexy, and I love you” isn’t exactly poetic, but it’s cool. At least she doesn’t have to spend hours figuring out what you mean ^^

    20b. How do people who cannot share their emotions share their emotions? I would really like to, especially since I’ve been getting all these ~feelings~ lately and I don’t know what to do.

    See above.

    21. Is there a cure for lesbian bed death? I’m afraid we may have hit a brick wall.

    Duh there are cures. But there’s soooo many reasons it might be happening. You two are busy, you two aren’t mixing it up in bed, you two are no longer attractive to each other, you two don’t dress up, don’t go on dates, you have kids, I mean shit, to know the answers you must know the questions.

  44. 1. Your lesbian identity exists ready-made the moment you identify as a lesbian. Like others have said, you’re still you. You just owned another word that helps describe how you see your fabulous, multifaceted self. Maybe I’m being too literal, but the only thing you have to be comfortable with is the idea of being sexual exclusively with women (and some people would argue that’s not a requirement).

    4. Can you let it be OK to be unsure whether or not you’re gay for awhile? That you wonder if you might be / don’t know if you are / are exploring the possibility that you’re gay? If that’s not your style, can you decide “OK, for the next two months I’m going to be Gayelle McGayerson and no one gets to tell me anything because I’m gayer than all of them”? At the end of the trial, if the word feels right, fab. Otherwise, try on a different one.

    5. I asked some lesbian femmes about how they signal homo interest. They said mastering eye contact is way more effective than wearing rainbows or flannel at showing your interest in women and disinterest in men. Plus, eye contact is available even when your rainbow scarf isn’t.

    6. If you and your gf have no shared interests and are polar opposites, are you confused about what to do or wishing you didn’t know what needs to be done? If you really are confused, have you done a pro and con list to make sure you’re not taking the good stuff for granted and just focusing on what bugs you? If you have grown apart and aren’t actively working to bridge the gap, then break up. That may sound harsh, but you both deserve better than the cliche of living as roommates for months or years before breaking up.

    7. After a bad break up I was very focused on all the things that were wrong with me / that my ex disliked. My friends kept hammering at me that there is nothing more unattractive than low self-esteem. As I focused less on my flaws, people responded to me better. My flaws didn’t go away. I’m sure some people are still put off by them. But plenty saw past the flaws to me. Maybe a similar approach of skipping over your imperfect skin and focusing on improving your self-esteem could work for you?

    9. There are two ways to read this sex and choking question: you’re unsatisfied with the things you do or you’re doing things you don’t want to do. If you’re unsatisfied, talk to her. Negotiate sex differently so you get more of your needs met. Sex is give and take, not winner take all (unless, of course, that’s what you both want).

    If you’re doing things you don’t want to do, stop. Good boundaries around sex are hugely important, especially for women. If you aren’t comfortable doing something, don’t do it. Even if you’ve done it before it doesn’t mean you have to ever do it again. If it’s something you want to do but aren’t yet comfortable with, then find a way to approach it differently or more slowly. Otherwise you’re training your body that sex is unpleasant / scary / uncomfortable and that diminishes the pleasure and satisfaction available to you.

    10. In non-queer spaces I think most people are going to be assumed to be straight no matter how they look. The femmes I asked (#5) said to cultivate your “dick-withering glare” and use it whenever anyone assumes you’re straight. Apparently it won’t change the world at large but can dramatically change the tenor of your transactions.

    12. If it’s a deal breaker, don’t try to date the woman. Doesn’t matter if it’s picky or shallow. It turns you off. You both deserve better.

    16. If your gf is scared every time you have sex have you tried slowing down / backing up and spending more time doing things she’s not scared of and feels comfortable participating in? Maybe things moved a little too quickly for her and she needs to retrace her steps to catch up with you.

    17. Take the guy to a lesbian bar / space. If he acts remotely tool-like, take him outside, explain why his behavior is completely unacceptable (no shitting where you eat), and then ask him to leave while you go back inside. Confrontation or not, it only takes one or two trips before he’ll get it.

    20a & 20b. I found it easier expressing emotions when I had a better vocabulary for them. This sounds cheesy, but it works. Find a list of feelings e.g. http://bit.ly/g0Kqgg When you have a feeling, you can run it against the list. You may find the exact right word. Or you may come up with something close but not right. If you can’t match what you’re feeling to the word, find the closest word, then look up that word’s synonyms until you find a word that fits.

    Once you have the vocabulary you can explore the emotion with “how do you know you feel X?” I think those “how do you know” details are a lot of what expressive people capture and communicate.

    Journals and therapy are used to figure out why you feel that way and what to do with the feelings, especially if they aren’t helpful.

    21. Do you both want to resurrect your sex life? If not, lbd might be a symptom of the ending of your relationship. If you both want it and there’s any life left at all, then I think it’s possible to reignite the pilot light. Whether you’ve lost the habit or the desire, you both have to work at reclaiming it. It’s like when you’ve stopped working out for awhile; the first many times back aren’t going to be your best workouts. The important thing is getting back into the habit and the groove. Start over at the beginning. The performance will come back with time. And also like working out, it could be that you stopped because you got bored with your training regimen. So make the new start fresh in as many ways as possible.

  45. 2. It’s up to you whether you want to shave or not – sometimes I get fits of shaving, sometimes I trim, sometimes I just can’t be bothered. And as for not knowing what to do – honey, I only just had my first time with a woman in December and I’m 25 and past college, you’re not the only one! The most important and useful thing was to let the other woman show you; she’ll likely be more than happy to guide you along to how to please you :)

  46. 2. To reiterate what everyone else said, do what you like. However, I also find shaving distasteful, and somewhat infeasible in my personal situation, so trimming is my preference. And for all you trimmers out there, behold! The best invention made for a man’s beard but totally perfect for your cooch! Small and waterproof! Lasts forever! Use it in the shower and wash away the evidence!

  47. I’mma give this a go.

    1. I’ve only just figured this out too and honestly all I can say is find other lesbians and bond with them. In real life or online. It’s what I’ve done and through all the highs and lows, they’ve made me feel so much less alone. Community is a wonderful thing. From what I can see, identity is always changing: find people who will stay on that ride with you.

    2. I’m 17 and have done really nothing noteworthy with girls (well, second base, but that’s a long story involving two straight-ish friends and a german lesson), so I can’t help you with the ‘sexually oblivious’ part, but I can say read up. Also, don’t shave if you don’t want to. Same as everyone else.

    3. Best question ever. Can’t help you, but I desperately hope you did meet him.

    4. Follow everybody else’s advice. I’m still in that phase where I’m out to everyone but my family, who I know won’t care, so seeing as I’m stuck partway through sorting things out, I don’t feel like I can really tell you how to work things out.

    5. What everyone else says. The FCKH8 shirts and ‘Nobody knows I’m a lesbian’/’My girlfriend is a lesbian’ shirts seem to be the best option.

    6. This is like me and my best friend on 7 years, we broke up recently for this reason. People change. If you guys have changed too much for the relationship to work anymore, it doesn’t seem fair to stay together. It certainly wasn’t fair for me to stay friends with X towards the end, and vice versa.

    7. I have acne and have to use medication twice daily to maintain fairly normal-looking skin. People with bad skin do not put me off in the slightest.

    8. Protest them, troll them, sign petitions, etc. The usual. They suck, I know.

    9. If you’re not content with things anymore, it seems like you should talk to her about your worries. Communication is key, I’m told.

    10. Ohhh yes I get this from my parents all the time, esp cause they’re very progressive and my mum reads Autostraddle (she is a heterosexual married-for-28-years roller-derby player who defies the gender binary) anyways. I think you might have to tell people, which does suck, hence why I’ve not quite done it yet either and just sort of twitch every time they talk about me getting a boyfriend.

    11. It’s an awesome comparison and now I want to go on a rollercoaster. Can I steal it for when I come out to my folks? They’re the type to feel sad for me cause people hate da gayz.

    12. You’re right if it really is something you can’t get past. If she’s stretched them that big it’s unlikely she’d take them out for you, and they’re not gonna go back to normal if they’re really that big. Like, ever. I’m the same, I cannot cope with them because there is this boy in my college class who takes out his stretchers and like, picks at his lobes IN CLASS. I actually convulse with disgust when I see people do this.

    13. Just try to reiterate how much it means to you personally. She has a point when you talk about it being insensitive to other people, but she doesn’t realise you actually mean you. So tell her it pisses you off, straight-up.

    14. I do not know what country this is but if it’s the USA, Whole Foods. I’m a Brit and I went to New York, New York recently and like, lived off Whole Foods. Everything at Whole Foods is awesome. End of. /wholefoodsfangirl

    15. Communication. Proceed with caution. Tell her your worries, and if she’s right for you she’ll understand and you’ll find a solution/compromise to suit you both. Then again, I’m 17-years-old. My life/romantic experience is kinda limited.

    16. Oh wow. I hope you’ll understand that I can’t really help with this one. Other than, communication? That old chestnut.

    17. OMG I have this exact problem. Just tell him what’s up. Be firm. He’ll move on and get a girlfriend and things will be awesome again in a purely platonic way.

    18. LMFAO YOUR MUM SHOULD MEET MINE, IT’D BE AWESOME. Sorry, no advice, I just think your mum is rad as hell.

    19. I have the same things but basically I just act how I feel inside about myself. I think I’m pretty awesome, so I act in a way that would show the world that. But the problem is I have no idea how I tricked my body into doing that while my brain freaks out over social interactions. Sorry.

    20a+b. Whoever said ‘press enter in between sentences’, FOUR FOR YOU GLENN COCO, YOU GO GLENN COCO

    21. -runs away-

  48. 15. Be genuine! Explain that you care about her and your relationship and feel that it’s in the relationship’s best interest to live separately and still stay together. Have a conversation about it! She has to respect you for that.

  49. 2. I’ve never really ‘done anything’ with a girl. But I’m going to be heading to college this fall, and I’m nervous. I’m gay. I’m sexually oblivious. I guess what I’m trying to say without sounding really awkward is should I shave my girly parts?
    –Whatever feels right for you.

    4. I think I determined I’m gay but I’m scared and confused and have people telling me all this stuff..what do I do? How do I sort things? This is one of the smaller issues in my life but I really dunno what to do :S
    –Smaller issues really get to people hey? Fuck, I know what this parts like. When people tell you that you maybe just dont know your feelings, they will change, and gay is a choice, blah blah, its so frustrating and not helpful at all. Maybe find a good therapist, but I had no success in that, I was even more confused. Follow your heart, only you know you.

    5. I’m a femme and no one knows I’m a lesbian. Where can I find erm, gay clothing? Or shirts that are related to being a lesbian I suppose?
    –Plaid is always a plus.

    6. My gf & I have been together for several yrs but in the last few she’s changed in ways I never imagined–not all of them pleasant. Lately it seems we don’t share a single interest anymore. We seem to be polar opposites now. I’m confused about what to do.

    –Communicate, talk to her. Maybe she just isnt for you. People change, thats the reality of life. Its sad and I hope you figure things out.

    8. Westboro Baptist Church make me lose all faith in humanity, they make me too sad for words and I don’t know what to think or do about this. Is there anything I can do to counteract them?

    –Hold your head up tall, walk proud and fight them. Think of it this way, they are wasting their lives hating, so why should we even care?

    10. I’m very feminine and dont look gay so I am assumed to be straight by EVERYONE! Thus, I am forced to choose between coming out to errybody, which sucks, or enduring comments that suggest I am straight (bad cuz being gay is important to me) It Gets Better?

    –Theres nothing wrong with being feminine. Make suggestive comments that your not straight from time to time, that always helps. Just dont bat an eye doing it when you respond to comments suggesting your hetero.

    12. So I kinda like this girl, and she likes me. she’s awesome, really. EXCEPT she has huuuuge stretched ears. I don’t mean small plugs I mean FUCKING HUGE okay. And I just…. I cant do it. I am SO SO SO turned off by it. It’s ruining her for me. I cant even go on a date with her. And she’s hot and lovely and my friends say I’m being too picky and shallow but like…. it’s her head! IT’S HER FACE! It’s horrible. It’s the same with nipple piercings and shitty tattoos. They’re deal breakers for me. Who is right / what do I do?

    –I think I know who this is. And it is her body, maybe try not to focus on that as much I suppose.. or walk away. I think it would bother me too and make me feel shallow, honestly. I know it would.

    13. How can I get my mom to stop using gay and queer as an insult? I’ve had the rational ‘it’s hurtful and wrong and this is why’ conversation…but she basically just said that was silly and people are entitled to their opinions. How do I make her listen?

    –My moms like this a lot, although in her case its slightly intentional because she wants that effect. Cant make a person change. Hang out with her less or something.

    17. I have a friend who is a dude and I think he likes me. I’m totes homo. I think he thinks a chasing Amy situation could happen. How do I nip this in the bud without being awk about it. I do love the guy, just not penis in vagina-style.

    –Im in the same situation, my best guy friend I dated 3 years ago recently asked me out again. Its no secret he likes me, he has regularly hinted at it. Maybe wear a “Im a lesbian” shirt? Could work and it wouldnt be impolite.

    19. I make THE WORST first impressions. I’m a really cool, smart person, but I just insane nerves and come off as really stupid and boring or annoying and out of control. i imagine you make really fantastic first impressions. do you have any tips?

    –Talk less, listen more I suppose. I do the same thing and always give bad impressions about 90% of the time. We’re only human.

    20a. I started dating a real, live poet. She’s adorbs, but…I feel emotionally inept. SO many feelings. How do I share?

    –Communication is key.

    20b. How do people who cannot share their emotions share their emotions? I would really like to, especially since I’ve been getting all these ~feelings~ lately and I don’t know what to do.

    –For me, its through daily things I do. Maybe its lame, but for me, its sketching, painting, doing something sweet for someone, whatever. It doesnt always have to be words.

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