You Need Help ON VIDEO: You Don’t Need Help

Welcome to You Need Help! Where you seek advice and we try our very best to give it.

This has traditionally been done by way of individual Formspring accounts, Autostraddle’s Tumblr and a Formspring Friday column, which has all been very fun and insightful. But, because Formspring has a character limit and we’re wildly optimistic w/r/t our time-management skills, we thought we’d go one further and let you use our ASS private messaging to share advice-related feelings, too.

For more info on sending in questions, see the bottom of this post. Let’s get down to bossing people around on the internet! Today we help you deal with your “not very good looking” girlfriend, your charismatic girlfriend, your best friend’s sister and your haircut.

But this week we do it ON VIDEO! Rising Star Haviland Stillwell and I filmed some stuff for a vlog and then figured we’d shoot some advice answers too. So this is sort of bare-bones no-frills video editing, but I think it’s okay. Also there’s like 20 seconds of black space on the end of each video, whoops!


Question: I like a girl. People are always telling me that I’m very beautiful and she’s hardly good-looking. I don’t care because I like her, who she is. But how can I deal with society’s stupid ideas that people shouldn’t date people “out of their league”?

You Need Help: On Video from Riese on Vimeo.

I’d just like to add that I think this seems to matter a lot more when you’re younger — I mean when your’e really young, I feel like “dating” is often just matching up people who seem to be the same level of physically attractive. Then people get older and realize how much love changes what somebody looks like and that it’s much more complicated than that.
This next video we tackle several pressing questions:

Q. I’ve developed a major crush on my best friend’s sister and I’m afraid about either of them finding out and it’s clear they can sense my discomfort. Any suggestions on how to get rid of the awkwardness without having to tell anyone?

Q. Do you think it’s appropriate to go down on a girl the first time you sleep together? My friend and I were debating this, I think it’s fine, especailly if you’ve been on a few dates with the girl already.

Q. I’m dating a girl who’s quite charismatic and it’s making me insecure because when we go out it’s obvious that everyone notices/likes her more than me. How do I deal with this? I thought I was over my self-doubting.

Q.  I got a terrible haircut and now I look like Ellen Page from Hard Candy.

You Need Help: Video #2 from Riese on Vimeo.


To send your question via ASS personal messaging, choose an editor: Riese | Laneia | Rachel
Or ask any team member you’d like: Meet the Team
*If messaging is down, email us! There are so many options, you guys! You could send carrier pigeons!*
For 100% anonymity, contact us through Formspring:  Riese | Laneia | Rachel

Please keep your questions to around, at most, 100 words. Due to the high volume of questions and feelings, not every question or feeling will be answered or published on Autostraddle. We hope you know that we love you regardless.

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Marie Lyn Bernard, aka Riese, is an award-winning writer, blogger, journalist, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in the midwest, lost her mind in New York City and is currently making it work in California. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better, The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image and The Hazards of Being Female," "Dirty Girls," and "The Best American Erotica of 2007," magazines including Nylon, Marie Claire, GO, Curve, Interlude, and CollegeBound, and all over the web including, Jezebel, Queerty, Emily Books and OurChart (RIP). She was the recapper for The L Word Online and host of Showtime’s Lezberado and her personal blog has earned many dubious honors including Best Personal Blog 2008. Riese has spoken about blogging, community-building, feminism, cyberculture and sexuality at places like BlogHer, Yale, New York University, The University of Chicago and The Museum of Sex. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Interlochen Arts Academy and The Olive Garden's week-long training intensive; she enjoys eating foods, having big ideas, reading books & talking to her stuffed dog, Tinkerbell. Also, she's Jewish. Follow her smokin’ hot adventures on twitter. Contact: riese[at]

Riese has written 2896 articles for us.


  1. Related to the last question posted (Q. I got a terrible haircut and now I look like Ellen Page from Hard Candy), am I the only lesbo out there who thought Ellen’s hair was shit-hot in that flick? Or did I just paint myself into a Patrick-Wilson-pervert-corner with that admission? Discuss.

    • 1. Ellen Page was 17 throughout filming. You still may or may not be a creeper, but at least it’s better than 14.

      2. I’m pretty sure Ellen’s character wasn’t actually 14 either…at least the film intentionally cast doubt on everything she told Patrick Wilson about herself, i.e. her name and her age.

  2. True life, I’m dating my best friend’s sister! While there are awkward, ear-covering “la la la” moments on the part of my best friend when there’s lovin’ inadvertently alluded to, it’s pretty goddamn great overall.

  3. I’m an idiot, the third question threw me off for awhile there. I was like ‘Isn’t eating out the point of sleeping together?Whaa?Have I always been a philistine lesbian?’. But then I calmed down,adjusted my top hat and told myself that I’m just a normal slutty lesbian. Phew.

  4. “yeah figure that shit out” is pretty golden, i think.

    also ftr i had a brief BRIEF moment of panic when i heard “what’s the best way to fire someone…” because obviously i thought it was about me, as the world revolves.

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