I love having sex and enjoy male company, but I don’t have time to go on dates with a bunch of strangers—especially because I DO NOT want to make time for a boyfriend right now. What’s the best way to get regular D while still using some sort of vetting process?

No Time for Mess

I hear you, sis. I can tell you’re a no-nonsense bitch, so I don’t have to tell you not to fuck your co-workers, friends, or exes. Listen—until we get a Consumer Reports app going for these fools we’re gonna have to date them, because online discourse is certainly not a guarantee of physical chemistry or EVEN good company, TBH. You’re going to have to break a few eggs to make this fuck-buddy omelette. But that’s not so bad, let some boys take you to brunch... maybe you’ll get some free omelettes.

I’m a black woman who’s only dated in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s really hard to find Black men (and men of all flavors) who are also not homophobic, transphobic, or who only date non-Black because they want mixed babies. The last guy I dated was certain that Trans people had “mental illnesses,” and I hoped (before we broke up) that I could change his mind. Would you dump a guy for not being fully woke, namely homophobic or transphobic?

Looking for Mr. Woke

Dating someone with different politics can be a major energy drain. The emotional work of unpacking systemic oppression and/or providing a basic education for your partner is NOT for the faint of heart. If it doesn’t diminish your life force to meet this person where they are, by all means, dance with the devil. I dated someone for waaaaay too long who didn’t believe in white, male privilege. Our conversations led to fights and one night his privileged ass stormed out of the house at 4 am (which, um, did you feel safe walking home across town? THAT’S PRIVILEGE, ALSO BYEEEEE). My patience ran out. In retrospect, I wasn’t getting much in return for my emotional work either! In any case, keep an eye on your heart and energy levels. That much work in a relationship is not for me, but some people like the intellectual sparring that comes with a little discord. To your specific question: Sure, you might be able to change their mind in regard to queer/trans folk, but what if you don’t? Does that mean keeping your queer/trans loved ones at a distance? I want the object of your affection to make your world bigger, not smaller. This dating struggle is not an easy one, so you have my sympathies and all my blessings on finding what you want/need, dear one.

Is it bad that I go to a coffee shop once a week to flirt with the cute Zooey Deschanel lookalike barista when I have a boyfriend?

The New Girl

Nah. As long as you don’t make plans to see Faux-y Deschanel (boom) outside the latte-mines, AND you aren’t doing it to get on Jared’s nerves, ya good. (Your boyfriend’s name is Jared, right? They all are.)

I’m a promoter whose job is to talk up bands. I legitimately love most of their music, but my friends and co-workers tease me that I “crush” the guys in my bands. This is really frustrating because there’s nothing you can say to make that person believe otherwise. What do I do here? Just ignore it?

Cold Crushin’

YES. Ignore it! Sexism (and internalized sexism, right laaaadies?) creates narratives where romance is the central story in a woman’s life—a “Meg Ryan-ing,” if you will. This is why your friends/co-workers mistake you doing your dang job for fangirl crushing. Ignore the heck out of that person, keep killing it at work, and promote TF outta the bands you love. Then when they blow up, you can tell said person to EAT IT.

How can I tell my sister that I think her controlling, totally selfish, probably borderline mentally abusive husband will send my niece to therapy before she’s even a tween?

Save Our Sisters

I’m sorry your sister’s husband sucks. The most important thing is to be there for your family. Let your sister know that she is valuable, loved, and you are here to support her. If she’s being emotionally abused, she probably needs someone to talk to. When she opens up about it, she’ll begin the process towards clarity. Don’t drive her away, bring her closer. Be straightforward about your concerns, leave it at that, and don’t be petty with your bro-in-law in the future. (Save the Kardashian-style family drama for MTV2, right?) The worst part is your sister might hear you, and still make the wrong call. If you respect her, you know it’s her call to make. In that case, be a stellar auntie! Kids are resilient and all it takes is one lighthouse to guide a baby child through rough waters.

I’m sick of explaining my vaginismus to my partners. Can’t they just Google it?

Tired of Being Dr. Ruth

YES THEY CAN. I’m SO sick of people treating vaginas like they’re mysterious crop circles that defy god and science. Yes, tell them to Google it, but you may be tapped to fill in what WebMD doesn’t cover. When the right person asks the right questions it might not bother you as much.

What is up with Portland dudes?

Seriously, What is Up

THEY’VE HAD IT TOO GOOD FOR TOO LONG. It’s this self-involved PNW Kurt Cobain, rock star narrative: “I can just play guitar and find myself, and every caring woman or pizza delivery job that drifts in and out of my life is all part of my journey.” Now that these fools are going to have to compete with serious dudes who have CAREERS and are serious about relationships and their future, they’ll straighten out. I’m told it’s a Portland babe thing as well. Look, I was born of this soil. Live here long enough and you’ll get coated in Teflon™ and everything just slides off: dates, appointments, meetings, responsibility. But the tide is changing, and soon people will take each other as seriously as we OG Portlanders take recycling.