advice on sliding into a TikToker’s DMs

So my therapist pointed out that I’m apparently too mature for my own good and find dating trivial. While she didn’t have to read me for filth like that, she’s not wrong. Honestly I don’t like the idea of dating and would rather just jump into a relationship but obviously that’s not going to happen. Any tips?

ALSO (a 2 parter sorry) there’s this TikTok guy who’s adorable and lives in the city and I’d like to get to know him but due to my anti dating predicament and having the “slide into the dm’s” skills of an 84 year old with a Nokia 3310, I’m at a loss.

Thank you for your question! First of all, I LOVE a therapist who tells it like it is. Once mine told me I was incredibly self-aware after I just finished dragging myself. Queen shxt! 

Anyway, I love this question. I think there are so many different components that come into play when it comes to dating, which is why it can seem like, well, a nightmare to a lot of people.

There’s the whole meeting with someone new. And the potential rejection. And the ~game~ of it all. Dating doesn’t seem too inviting considering the way most of us do it now is over an app that judges people in seconds based on a couple photos and a 150-word bio.

I get it’s not ideal (for most… I, however, love the drama), especially in times like this. I would start by asking yourself what exactly about dating is it that you don’t like? Is there anyway you’re able to bypass that part all together?

For example, say you hate having to swipe through the apps and message a bunch of people. I won’t act like apps aren’t (unfortunately) almost necessary for dating, especially during quarantine right now, but you don’t have to be on multiple ones or ones that force you to continuously scroll. Hinge could be a good option since people’s profiles give more of a look into who they are, and if you really didn’t want to, you don’t have to swipe through people and can instead wait for them to like you.

Plus, I would make it clear that you’re looking for a relationship, if that’s what you want. I know when I was still single, I didn’t necessarily want a relationship at the time, so I talked to way more people just because I was bored and wanted to, not because I liked them. You’ll get to avoid a lot of the games and waste-of-time aspect of dating if you decide on what you want and date with intention.

Okay, onto TikTok guy. Let me just say: I LOVE this. I’m very pro-sliding into the DMs, since that’s how my boyfriend and I first started talking. I remember saying, “FUCK IT!” and messaging him on Twitter that I had a dream we were in love, then immediately putting my phone facedown on the table and not checking it for 30 minutes because I was SCARED. It’s terrifying, yes, but my philosophy on making the first move is you’ll either get a reply or you won’t. And if you don’t, you’re already not getting a reply by not messaging anyway, so there’s no harm. 

The fact that you both live in the same city makes it even easier to make that initial contact. Do you have anything in common, whether it’s friends or your profession or interests? Just message him something that you both can relate on. If you can’t think of anything, you could message him a question about one of his TikToks just to get a conversation going. 

Good luck with everything! Hey, maybe you two can create one of those “AND IT WENT LIKE” relationship TikToks in the future!!!!! I’m excited to one day see it on my For You page.

Submit your anonymous questions/stories here.


advice on uncircumcised penises

Found out the guy I met virtually during quarantine is not circumcised. I don’t know what to do now, but I know it’s safer if they are and I’m not very comfortable with that!

Thank you for submitting this question! I got some new questions from going ~viral~ on Twitter (okay, only two), but it’s given me that push I needed to write.

Sure, being stuck on my toilet because of a UTI and avoiding writing something I’m on assignment for has helped too, but whatever!!!!

Okay, uncircumcised pernises. Let’s get into it.

First of all, unfortunately, this question is even a question asked because of our lack of sex education growing up. I don’t blame you at all for asking it — I’ve been very open (too open?) about the fact that I had no idea what a penis even looked like until I was 20. 

If we got proper sex education, we would know how normal and common uncircumcised penises really are. According to this study, it’s estimated that only 37 to 39 percent “of men globally are circumcised”. In the United States, “about 60 percent of boys” are circumcised at birth, per Planned Parenthood.

The only true difference between circumcised and uncircumcised penises? Some skin. 

There’s a lot of misconception and flaws in research that have given uncircumcised penises a bad rep. Darcia Narvaez, Ph.D. can explain it a lot better than I can in her article here

Of course, people with uncircumcised penises can come into trouble without proper hygiene, but couldn’t you say the same for anyone?

As for just the ~aesthetics~ and inner workings of it all, uncircumcised penises function exactly the same as circumcised penises. When you’re going to have sex with someone with an uncircumcised penis, nothing is different, I promise!

Wow, I never thought I would say uncircumcised penis so much in one post. UNCIRCUMCISED PENIS. Okay, I’m done.

I’ll leave you with this: My boyfriend is uncircumcised, and sex is still 11/10.


advice on a Zoom first date

I matched with this guy on hinge and we have been chatting/texting for over a week. The conversation seems really natural and it doesn’t hurt he is cute. I asked him to do a zoom date (cause I don’t have an iPhone lmao #notpoor just #unique) and he is down for this weekend! I am usually so good on first dates, confident, love the qwirkness (#imquwirky) love the bashful smiles, and know how to keep a conversation alive (if I’m still interested of course #famous) but I need some tips for my first ZOOM DATE!!! Is it weird that I feel it’s almost more personal? Any help is appreciated 😘

My first advice is to get an iPhone. What are you doing out here with an Android?

Just kidding. Kind of.

Okay, I’m very excited for you! I honestly think I would feel the EXACT same way if I were dating during this quarantine. To me, there’s something so fun and thrilling about a first date. The body language. The evening being spent with someone you don’t even know. The thrill of whether or not he will text the next day. It’s INCREDIBLE.

Zoom dates just seem… scary?

This is coming from someone who hates phone calls and FaceTiming with a deep and intense passion. Pre-quarantine, I wouldn’t FaceTime someone unless it was absolutely necessary. I wouldn’t call someone unless it was work related or my mom. There’s just something about connecting in that way that seems so AWFUL. How do I hang up? How do I make situational jokes? I can’t do anything I deeply desire to do!

With everything going on, I’ve had to get good at it. I’ve attended Zoom parties with friends. I’ve connected with family I haven’t seen in months or even years on video chat. I’ve even had to record my podcasts in this way.

And now? I still hate it. But I’ve gotten better, and it’s our new normal.

If you love first dates normally, you will learn to love Zoom dates, too. Mostly because you have to. But it’s great to know that more than likely, the person you’re going on a date with is going to be more nervous, because of the video chat aspect AND the first date aspect. So you’re winning.

My best advice I can give is to have a drink first, wear your favorite outfit and have a plan to end the call early in case you need to. Tell him that you need to watch a movie with your family or take out the dog. Any excuse works, really.

You got this. Let me know how it goes!!!!

Submit your anonymous questions/stories here.


advice on a possible cheating boyfriend

Hey Alex,

So I need advice. I’m currently in a relationship of 4 years. Me and my boyfriend have been “open” with each other and have given each other our phone passcodes. Idk why but I recently saw him messaging an old friend (a girl) on Facebook who I’ve had spoken to him about in the past. Me being somewhat insecure because of the way I grew up….my dad always cheating on my mom. Most recently he cheated on her over a year ago with an old family friend who took care of me when I young. Also, my older brother cheated on his pregnant wife and got the other girl pregnant, and my other brother has also cheated on his girlfriend of 7+ years. So yes I am insecure PLUS he “cheated” on me in the past. (Which he has always denied) I put cheated in quotation marks because he has always denied it and I never found out until a year after when mutual friends told me. (I was mad at my friends too because they never told me sooner) Anyways, so I saw from over his shoulder that he was talking to her on Facebook. He’s a nurse so I’m alone at the house 3 times a week and one night I was able to log into his computer (which he also gave me the password to) and saw his conversation with her. And it was innocent, they were catching up, he kept mentioning me and sharing my recent work accomplishments. And my insecurity left. But just last night he left his phone next to me as he went to take a shower. Curiosity got the best of me and I looked. And I saw that the messages he had with that friend in Facebook was deleted and they started a new conversation with him giving her his phone number again. So then I go to his messages and he said “you deleted the Facebook messages?” She responded “yeah, I don’t want my boyfriend looking and thinking something” my boyfriend responded “even the photos?” She said “yeah I don’t want people looking at our messages ” He then said “I miss you” she was like “well we should hang out and go on a double date. I have a boyfriend and you have a girlfriend. Is she still jealous?” He was like “she went off on me because I liked a bikini picture of you” she said something like “damn toxic” he then said “she’s working on her jealousy” .

They ended the conversation with I’ll talk to you later. 

Again he knows why I’’m so insecure and why I don’t trust him. About the bikini pic. I confronted him about liking her “booty bikini pic” (I still have it on my phone) he knew I was mad and was like “I’m sorry, I understand if you wanna break up with me” and started crying. He then proceeded to take out a Pandora charm he bought with the words “I love you” and explained how he was going to give it to me. (It was the first time he ever said I love you to me) But now we are here. I feel like I should say something to him BUT he knows that I’m jealous and she does too. I just want to know what they were texting each other and why they had to delete it. I was also thinking of texting her and being like I don’t like how your texting my boyfriend these things then deleting them? Idk what to do?! Please help.

Thank you so much for sending this in. This is a tough situation, and I know it can be difficult to share it with others.

Before I address what’s going on with your boyfriend, I want to talk a little bit about your family background and how it has affected you. You have had to watch and experience trauma after trauma of cheating first hand with people you love. The relationships in our family we grew up around will directly impact the way we see relationships. So many factors go into how we treat our relationships as adults, but it’s completely understandable why you don’t feel secure in your relationship given what you’ve had to see. (You may find looking into attachment styles can provide a little clarity and explanation on why that is.)

Now, with your boyfriend… God, I’m so sorry I have to do this, but seriously, fuck him. For him to have “cheated” on you in the past and pretend like it didn’t happen, even given everything you’ve gone through, it’s very clear there’s a lack of respect on his end in this relationship. For him to talk to her behind your back, knowing FULL well how you feel about their relationship, he’s knowingly breaking your trust. 

I notice you use language like “insecure” and “jealous” to describe how you’re acting. I’m not sure if this is language you’ve labeled yourself or if this is something he’s called you, leading you to believe that’s what you are, but please know that there’s absolutely no reason why you should believe you’re any of those things. You wouldn’t be experiencing this overwhelming feeling of jealousy if he wasn’t actively doing something to betray your trust. Both partners in a (monogamous) relationship should be doing everything that can to make the other feel safe and respected. It sounds to me like there’s an imbalance here, and he’s at fault for that.

Best case scenario, he’s having fully platonic conversations with this woman. Even if that’s the case, he’s still going behind your back to talk to her. He’s still talking negatively about you to other people. You still don’t trust him completely, or you wouldn’t feel compelled to look through his phone.

You’re unsure if you should even bring this up to him because “he knows that (you’re) jealous.” But if you’re in the right relationship, you shouldn’t be afraid to tell someone how you’re feeling because you think they’re going to judge you. 

I’m so sorry to be biased but… God, the more I think about this, the more I dislike your boyfriend.

Whatever you do, I wouldn’t recommend messaging her. If you really, really feel compelled to, do so only after talking to your boyfriend. She isn’t the one to blame here. Depending on what their communication ultimately is, she may be partially at fault, but your boyfriend is the one blatantly disrespecting you and your trust.

If I were you, I would ask your boyfriend about it. Use “I” statements, ask him openly to explain the situation, and don’t apologize or let him make you feel bad for what he’s done. 

And, if I were you, I would let this conversation seriously determine whether or not you want to continue a relationship with him.

I can’t tell you what to do, and I only know one or two situations from the entire four years of your relationship together, but I would seriously implore you to decide if you’re truly happy and comfortable with him.

Magazine Psychology Today shared a post on Instagram with six signs it’s better to end a relationship. Sometimes an Instagram post can say it better than I can.

Good luck, and I want you to know I’m thinking of you.

Submit your anonymous questions/stories here.


advice on dealing with body image, commitment and abandonment issues

To be honest, not much is happening in my love life right now.

I have a dating app installed on my phone, but I genuinely haven’t touched it in over a year (i.e. no sex or even talking). I was sexually active and constantly swiping 2 years ago, but I stopped feeling the need to be on it? I definitely got busier so I didn’t have much time but…

Right now, what’s stopped me from being on it is a mix of quarantine, a body image issue, and commitment issues. This honestly spells disaster for my love life right now. I have problems being comfortable enough with another person to be naked with. Aaaannnddd I have abandonment issues that stem from daddy issues.

I don’t even know what advice I’m looking for, but I’d like to hear your thoughts? Maybe where I can start with getting over this funk 😦

Thank you so much for sending this in. The fact that you’re able to identify the different aspects that you’re struggling with is the first step. I have different issues and anxieties that I struggle with as well, and I know it took me a long, long time to even pinpoint what exactly bothered me and why that is.

The obvious advice here, and what I truly want to emphasize, is therapy. I’m sure it’s something you’ve already thought of or may even be in, but I think absolutely everyone can benefit from therapy—especially someone like you who has the ability to be open and wants to put in the work.

As for other resources that may benefit you, I love following different therapists on Instagram. Lisa Olivera (@lisaoliveratherapy) and Dr. Lauren Fogel Mersy (@drlaurenfogelmersy) are two of my favorites. They provide so many prompts for self-reflection and discovery, and it could help provide some more self-care into your daily life. Please note, though, that therapists on Instagram are NOT an alternative for therapy.

I also think you might enjoy the podcast called Why Won’t You Date Me? by comedian Nicole Byer. She’s hilarious and talks about dating every episode, but she also opens up about her abandonment issues. I may be biased because I love her AND I love dating podcasts, but I highly recommend.

Okay. Now that I’ve gotten the responsible advice out of the way, let me tell you what I think. I think you’re incredibly self-reflective and have the ability to identify when you do or don’t want to do something. 

Based on this question, it sounds like you want to get into the dating scene again. Before you said you “stopped feeling the need to be on it”, but that’s not how you feel now. Now what’s stopping you is the quarantine and other personal issues you’ve identified.

Even if the quarantine wasn’t going on right now, my first advice to you would be to say, “Fuck it! Open up Bumble!” Go to your profile, and upload the pictures you feel most confident in. Swipe on one person a day or swipe for a couple hours a day. Do whatever you feel comfortable with. I advise you to start with Bumble specifically because you have full control of who gets to message you. It’s perfectly fine to just swipe on people, and then never message them. It’s perfectly fine to message people once, then never message them again. You are in control, and I want you to remember that. You never, ever, ever have to do anything that you don’t feel comfortable with, ESPECIALLY when it comes to dating.

As for the body image issues, commitment issues and abandonment issues, I get that these feel like they can consume you sometimes, but by just using an app at your own pace, you aren’t setting up anything for the long term. 

Dating can seem paralyzing and scary for so many people because of expectations. I genuinely believe that’s why dating is so difficult, but I don’t think it has to be like that—dating can be and is fun. It took me a long time to fully believe that. Once I moved to Los Angeles, I decided dating was something I was going to do just to meet new people, get a story out of it and discover what I like. I didn’t go into a first date thinking, oh my fxcking god, he’s the ONE. (Okay, maybe sometimes…) It’s better to just ride it out and see what happens, then cross the commitment bridge when you get to it.

For the longest time, I felt like my struggles with commitment and abandonment issues would severely affect my dating life. I lost my dad when I was 17, and a lot of my mental health issues stem from this. I didn’t think I would ever want to commit to someone because I didn’t want to let people in my life become that close to me just to lose them. And now that I have a loving boyfriend, I get so anxious thinking about losing him, as well as my fear of losing my mom. It’s such a horrible, sinking feeling, and I really feel for you. But please, please don’t let your anxieties get in the way of enjoying life.

The past few months, I’ve been getting really panicky at times when I drive. When I’m anxious, I often experience derealization, and I find it gets triggered a lot more while in control of a car. Something about the moving scenery, or the fact that I’ve had a few panic attacks while in a car, who knows. Either way, my brain associates this and puts me on high alert when I drive. I, of course, told my therapist about all this. I wanted answers. What the fuck do I do, quit driving forever? Take an Uber? Have my mom drive me everywhere???

My therapist told me to drive more.

If something (that shouldn’t scare you) scares you, you need to dive in head first and do it. So get into that car (this is a metaphor for logging onto Bumble, I think), and drive. You’re in control. You got this.

Submit your anonymous questions/stories here.


advice on your hookup getting a girlfriend

Where to start… I’ve recently had a good friend whom I was hooking up with (was this a bad idea? Signs are pointing to yes!) end our sexual relationship in a one-and-done text (I say this because I did not give him the time of day to try and make himself the victim with his explanation) because he started seeing this girl he really likes and now he doesn’t even keep up with me on a friend level. I’ve been ditched altogether and HE would even classify me as a good friend. I know my emotions are not coming from an “I’m hurt and jealous because he likes someone else” place because we are absolutely NOT compatible romantically, only as friends, but I feel kind of used and betrayed. I thought if anything we’d just go back to being friends in a case like this but it feels like now that I serve no purpose to him sexually or emotionally as he can do all of his venting to this girl, I serve no purpose to him. All vert one-sided. As a friend, he’s been in my life for quite some time so I feel like the nostalgia in me is trying to keep him in my life for those reasons, but am I being blind to his trash behaviors? Is it time to let the friendship die or should fight for it? I actually can’t ask any of my other friends about this situation so thx for the box. Be brutal!

Ooh, this is interesting. Very interesting.

What I like about this question is that there are so many questions. Like, what the fuck is this guy’s deal, right? This is a mystery, and I’M Scooby Doo.

There could be so many explanations for why he’s acting this way. The possibilities could be endless. Keyword: could. But I don’t actually think that’s true.

To me, this seems clear: He just really likes this girl. Either he felt he needed to cut you off because you guys have a sexual history, or less likely, she found out you two have a sexual history and she asked him to cut you off. 

Another very possible scenario is he wasn’t even thinking about the fact that you guys have a sexual history. It’s not uncommon for people to get into new relationships and talk to their friends less.

No matter what was going on from his side of it all, I genuinely do not believe he’s trash. It’s rare for me to publicly defend a m*n, but I think he’s just being a shitty friend in general and not a shitty man with trash behaviors.

If you want to revive this friendship, I would reach out to him. You can’t wait on him to make the first friendship move, because odds are he may not even realize he’s doing anything wrong. 

Be honest with him, like you were with me. You don’t have feelings for him and you’re happy for him, but you feel “used and betrayed”. Hopefully this will make him see that he’s kind of sucked lately.

I hope this helps! And after all this, if you reach out to him and he’s still shitty, I was wrong and he’s just trash. In that case, cut him off.

Submit your anonymous questions/stories here.