Tag Archives: We Answer Your Questions

How Do We Reconnect?

We aim to get to the heart of your sex and relationship problems, so if you need advice, please contact us.

Q: How Do We Reconnect?

Hi Kitsch Mix,

I have been in a relationship with a great woman now for almost two years – but for the last 18 months, she has been incarcerated. We had a wonderful relationship before this came about. The incarceration was the result of something from her past (years before we met) that finally caught up with her and she had to make right. When it all first started, it was a whirlwind of “what ifs” and not knowing how long this would actually drag out. I stuck by her side and was the supportive girlfriend, sending letters, books, funding phone calls, visiting, etc. Then my own life got hectic and I couldn’t commit myself to the demands she needed while she was trying to cope in prison. We didn’t talk for a few months, then we reconciled and things have been somewhat good, but not the same. She will be coming home very soon, and is very excited to start our life together and pretty much pick up where we left off.

The thing is, I feel like I don’t really know her anymore. I have my life and my schedule and can’t imagine her jumping into the picture like nothing has changed. She is going to be struggling to find work, a place to live (she keeps hinting at moving in with me), and I am not in a place to support her either. I feel like we need to get to know each other again, date again, and see if we want to continue this commitment. I pretty much put my life on hold for her in the beginning, then realized that I needed to live my life and not wait around for her to get through this. I don’t want to hurt her, but she seems to think that everything will be great and back to normal right off the bat. I am scared, nervous, and not ready to open my life up to her again like nothing has changed.

I am not sure how to approach this with her, but the clock is ticking, and sooner than later I will see her face to face again. I appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.

Well, reader, this is probably a pretty obvious answer here: You will need to explain to her that it’s not going to pick up right where you left off. I have never been romantically involved with someone who was incarcerated, but I do have a brother who has been in prison since I was almost 8 years old. (I’m 25 now.) I actually recently sent him something similar to what you will need to tell your girlfriend; allow me to paraphrase what I said to him. (This was a few weeks ago, so my memory is not exact, and of course the situation is not exactly the same, either.) With some minor adjustments, you can fix it to better suit your specific situation.

Dear Girlfriend’s Name,

I am excited for your release – but I feel that we do not know each other as well as we used to. I would like to get to know you again, but this situation has definitely had an impact on the nature of our relationship as it stands.

When you get out, I would like to start off at the beginning. Of course, it won’t be exactly square one, as I cherish the memories I have with you, but a lot has changed in the time that has passed. I am honored that you would like to pick up where we left off but unfortunately that is not entirely practical.

I would like to help you out how I can, but I am not currently in a position to support you financially. I will support you emotionally as best I can and I am interested in starting a new relationship with you – separate from the one we previously had. I hope you understand that this has not been easy on me. I know it has not been easy on you, either, and together I think we may eventually reach the point where it “never happened”. I wish I was ready for that now, but I’m not.

When you get out, I would like to begin by taking you out on a few dates. I will help you to find a job if I’m able – I would love to see you successful, and I think that it would be most helpful if I assist you, rather than working out all the details for you.

If you are willing to give this a chance with me, I would love to reintroduce myself – please do the same when you get out. I am still here for you and I still care for you; I’m not going anywhere. I value what we had, and I know you are capable of great things. I am proud of you for taking care of what you needed to, and soon it will be time to take care of the rest. I know you can do it.

As I mentioned previously, the specifics will depend on you, but this can serve as a basic outline of what to say to her. I’m not sure whether it would be better to send this in a letter, discuss over a phone call, or wait until you can be face to face, but you definitely need to discuss these things.

In case you don’t want to use my script (it’s not the greatest script – girlfriends are much different than brothers!) here is a brief summary of the points to make:

  • Tell her you are proud of her for taking care of her commitments.
  • Encourage her to be proactive about her new freedom.
  • Reassure her that you still care, but you must start slowly.
  • Make it clear that you cannot support her financially, but that you will support her emotionally.
  • Acknowledge that her own situation is not going to be easy, and that your life was not put on hold just because she was locked up.

I would love to know how this turns out for you, as well as how the relationship progresses after her release. Incarceration is a very tricky subject and I’m happy for both of you that your girlfriend’s sentence was not as long as my brother’s. This can be helpful to both of you, and will quite possibly make the “reintroduction process” take far less time than it did the first time around. Take care, and thank you for reaching out to us – don’t hesitate to contact us again once you have moved forward!

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I Can’t Figure My BFF out? Does She Like Me Or What?

We aim to get to the heart of your sex and relationship problems, so if you need advice, please contact us.

Q: I Can’t Figure My BFF out? Does She Like Me Or What?

Dear KitschMix,

So I have a best friend who is also a lesbian like me. In the past she has said that she was in love with me, twice she said that and I said it back. But we never actually got into a real serious relationship. She’s been out with other women, and so have I. And every time she’s with someone I’m always happy for her even know deep down it hurts. However, when I was with someone she’d always get really annoyed and find something wrong with the person I liked or was with at the time.

And anytime I would want to get into a relationship at all with anyone she’d say how I should stay single for a bit and not to rush things even though that’s pretty much her talking about herself.

She randomly talks about how she wants to have sex with me, or has masturbated to the thought of me.

Anytime she finds a girl she likes she literally shoves it down my throat that they’re perfect (and whatnot) and won’t shut up about them.

She’ll say exactly this to me, “oh my god she’s honestly the hottest thing alive, I’d love to screw her ugh I wanna do such bad things to her” and that’s basically her 24/7 and when I don’t respond to her texts or phone calls she’ll keep texting and calling me over and over again and ask where I am or what I’m doing.

I’m so confused with her manipulative; mixed singles, jealous ass, please help?

Even if you and her are never anything more than friends, you shouldn’t put up with someone who wants to be in your life just to manipulate you. It’s rude, it’s mean, and it’s not fair to play with your emotions like that. As a friend, I’m not sure why you’d consider her your BFF – she treats you like a game.

Some people are only happy in an open relationship, and this may be what she’s hinting at – but I don’t really see it. I think that she’s the type that wants you all to herself, but can’t offer you the same. I’ve had some exes like that, honestly. It’s not fun, and it only gets worse if you actually date her. This type of behavior before you even begin a relationship can be a precursor to an unfaithful mentality – after all, she has you, why should she bother to make sure you’re happy? It doesn’t necessarily mean she will cheat, but if you allow the back-and-forth now, you may be inviting it later on.

Of course, I can’t stop you from trying to date her if you both happen to be single at the same time – but I would expect it to go sour. Don’t do anything to intentionally sabotage it, but don’t close your eyes to the mistreatment, either. The love and respect has to go both ways, otherwise it’s just a game.

I hope that she’s not intentionally playing with your emotions, but it does seem to me that she is. Tread with caution on this one, and make sure you keep your heart protected.

I Feel So Self-Conscious When I Compare My Body To My Girlfriend’s…

We aim to get to the heart of your sex and relationship problems, so if you need advice, please contact us.

Q: I Feel So Self-conscious When I Compare My Body To My Girlfriend’s

Dear KitschMix,

Anyways, I decided to write to you because I really really need an out-side perspective on the situation. Maybe I need someone to set me straight. Usually I’m the person who everyone turns to for advice and stuff, but I’m the worst for taking my own advice…

I fucking hate my body. I adore my girlfriend’s body. She is fucking gorgeous. She has played sports all of her life and has more of a toned-up athletic build. Me? I fucking hate sports, never played sports. I have the classical hour-glass figure – fairly big tits, small waist, and wide birthing hips with a lot of junk in the trunk. Now here comes the problem: I can’t stop feeling self-conscious when I look at my girlfriend’s body and then when I look at mine. I don’t have a flat stomach; I have a soft pudgy one. I don’t have perfect perky tits; I have big soft ones. And I hate them.

I hate most of my body. I always have since I was a teen. I’m not really THAT overweight, but yes I am definitely carrying an extra few kg’s that need to go. I feel like my body feels so ugly compared to hers. I can’t stop noticing every flaw, and this isn’t doing me/us any favours when we go to have sex. I LOVE sex. I’m a very sexual person and have a much higher libido than my girlfriend but I only feel comfortable with sex in very dim lights and preferably when I’m wearing a t-shirt or a bra or something, and I’m sick of feeling like this.

My girlfriend loves my body and loves my curves, she always tells me that but this doesn’t seem to help me.

I HATE feeling like this. I realise that it’s a MASSIVE mood-kill and probably a massive turn-off when I get into these horrible self-hating moods. I love my girlfriend so much and I only hope that she loves my body just as much as I love hers.

Has anyone ever been in this situation before? Did anyone ever manage to resolve it or get out of this terrible way of thinking? I’m going crazy here. Thank you for reading!

Reader, I see a lot of myself in you. I have had difficulties with my own self-confidence for much of my life. It can be especially difficult when I’m with someone thin, as I have never really been small. It actually got worse after I lost a lot of weight – I felt that my “new body” was too soft, and the woman I was with at the time seemed to be perfect. I couldn’t identify that we were actually about the same proportions at the time. It’s possible that this is your problem too.

It’s always hard to learn to love your own body, but it’s something that we all need to do at some point in our life. Some people are able to love themselves at a very young age, and others will struggle with it their entire life. I’m still struggling with it myself, and I probably will for my entire life. There have been times when I’ve completely stopped sex because I couldn’t stop focusing on my own flaws.

It’s important to know that it may very well be a long process to get to loving yourself, but thankfully there are a few things you can do to improve the situation. None of it will work immediately, and it may feel like an uphill battle for much of the time. It’s important that you keep trying until it becomes a habit.

  • Try to eat better. Every small substitution can help you feel better about yourself, even if it doesn’t take the weight off. In fact, the weight itself isn’t necessarily the problem; if you try to focus too much on losing weight, it can bring you down even further. Instead, make small, healthy substitutions for some of the worst offenders, and don’t beat yourself up for indulgences every now and then.
  • Try to exercise, in small bursts. Not everyone can run a marathon – so don’t bother with that, at least at first. You should begin with going for small walks, or even jumping on a trampoline – just something fun that gets you active. Of course, sometimes the sex can be the exercise – but this isn’t likely the case until you’re more comfortable with yourself.
  • Try to keep a journal of your feelings. This doesn’t work for everyone, but it can be helpful to log your emotions, especially as they pertain to your body image. Being able to look through the way your feelings cycle can help you pinpoint whether these emotions are tied into your hormones (in reference to your menstrual cycle) or if they are unrelated. If you find out that it has something to do with your hormones, you might want to look into treatment for PMDD. This term references symptoms that are similar to PMS, but much more severe, and is marked by the onset being about 7-10 days before your menstrual period.
  • If you decide to keep a journal, try to keep track of your measurements. In some cases, just being able to see that your measurements are a good “average” for your height may be enough to reassure you. Of course, self-measuring is difficult, and it is possible that you won’t be satisfied with your first measurements – this can help you determine whether you’ll need to work more on diet and exercise. Just remember that your health is more important than the numbers you see, and keep things in perspective.
  • Talk to your girlfriend about your feelings. You should be able to tell her when your body image is not doing very well. It may be a mood killer, but it can help her to understand what’s going on in your mind. If she loves you, she will want to know how you’re feeling so that she may be able to help alleviate the bad ones.
  • Find something you’re good at, and devote some time to it. Sometimes your body confidence can be helped by an overall confidence; that is, finding something that you can be super confident about to help make up for an area you are less confident in. It won’t completely fix the problem, but it can help to distract you from it.

It’s up to you to determine which tips work best for you, and as I previously mentioned it may be an uphill battle. If nothing seems to help you feel better about yourself, it may be worthwhile to seek professional counseling. Sometimes these issues are much deeper than just a self-confidence issue, and it’s important that you don’t ignore the signs of something more serious if they exist.

I wish you the best of luck, and I hope that you can get your confidence levels where they should be. Please don’t hesitate to contact us again after you have made some changes – we’d love to know how they worked out for you!


My Girlfriend Is Using A Dating App, Can I Still Trust Her?

We aim to get to the heart of your sex and relationship problems, so if you need advice, please contact us.

Q: My Girlfriend Is Using A Dating App, Can I Still Trust Her?

Dear KitschMix,

My girlfriend is sweet and loving, but unfortunately seems to have a roaming eye (or two). We’ve had trust issues in the past, and I recently found out that she downloaded HER when I was away visiting family. She uninstalled it and claimed she was “just curious,” but I’m still hurt about it. I do what I can to be loving and make our sex life exciting, but she is not terribly interested. I’ve never caught her cheating, but I’ve caught her doing other inappropriate things that make me very suspicious.

She recently put a passcode on her phone and she won’t give it to me, even when situations come up where it would make sense to give it to me (like she is driving and I need to unlock her phone, or when mine wasn’t working and I needed to use hers). She refuses to share it with me. I’m really hurt and I feel like there is no good reason for her to do this, to be so protective over the code. She says she just wants privacy, but I think the only thing she could really want to keep “private” is stuff with other women.

This, rolled in with other problems, is making me think of actually leaving her. What do you think? Am I over reacting? Does she have the right to keep the code from me without me getting upset?

Reader, your girlfriend sounds a lot like one of my exes. She got mad when I accidentally happened upon an “I love you” text from her to another woman – so she passcoded her phone and refused to let me in it. Of course, this inflamed my jealousy – and for good reason. She left it behind, unlocked, one day – and I peeked. I’m not proud of myself for snooping, but I found way more stuff that really got under my skin.

There are some people who say that whatever you find when snooping, you brought it on yourself – I don’t think that’s true. There is such a thing as secrets that shouldn’t be kept, and some of the examples you may find will haunt you. Yeah, you shouldn’t have to look – but your partner shouldn’t have to hide, either.

I wish I could tell you that my situation was way more extreme than yours, but most likely that’s not true. It’s one thing to maintain your privacy, but it’s another thing to be caught sneaking around and then try to get some privacy. The way this situation rolled out, I think it’s safe to assume she’s cheating – or she’s trying to.

To me it seems like you’ve already tried to talk this out with her, and she just doesn’t want to talk about it. In this situation, I’d say the best choice is to leave her – she’s proving that she doesn’t respect you enough to be honest with you, even when she’s been caught. You shouldn’t have to waste your time with someone who can’t be honest with you.


My Girlfriend Wants Me To Do Something In Bed I’m Just Not Comfortable With

We aim to get to the heart of your sex and relationship problems, so if you need advice, please contact us.

Q: My Girlfriend Wants Me To Do Something In Bed I’m Just Not Comfortable With

Dear KitschMix,

I really need help ASAP because my girlfriend and I just got into a huge disagreement and I am desperate for advice. I feel absolutely sick right now.

I love having sex with my girlfriend and it is always amazing, whether we use toys/vibrators, etc. or not. We have had sex with a strap-on many times, and she is always the one wearing it while I receive. She likes penetrative sex also and we have played around with me using dildo on her. She asked me a while ago to use a strap-on with her, and lately she has been asking more and more frequently to the point of getting frustrated and angry with me for avoiding it. I’ve told her that thinking about doing that turns me off completely, but she doesn’t understand and feels hurt that I don’t want to. I do see her point because even though we don’t have sex with it every time, I love when we do and I would be unhappy if she refused to anymore.

But honestly the thought of wearing a strap-on really is a major turn off. I’m very feminine and she is way more masculine than I am. It’s not like I think she’s the “man” in the relationship or anything like that. However, my femininity is what makes me feel sexy. Wearing a strap-on does not make me feel sexy at all. I’ve put it on when she’s not around and tried to imagine having sex with her and the look of pleasure on her face but all I feel is disgust.

I absolutely mean it when I say that thought of fucking her with a strap-on is actually repulsive to me to the point where I don’t think I could even mentally force myself to do it, no matter how good it would feel for her.

I’ve tried to gently tell her my thoughts about it, and then said no more firmly. I don’t know how else to say I don’t want to without shouting “IF YOU MAKE ME DO THIS I MIGHT THROW UP ON YOU.” She has never said, “if you love me you’d do it” (and she never would, because she’s not an asshole) but sometimes I feel like she’s thinking it.

I would never ever want her to force herself to do anything that made her uncomfortable and I hope she feels the same way. It’s not even that she’s being pushy or abusive towards me about it, but she’s clearly pissed off hence the disagreement. It basically ended with us looking at each other helplessly then I came to my room and started crying and I’m pretty sure she left.

Am I being completely unreasonable and selfish? Are there just some things you should do to make your partner happy even when you don’t want to? I feel terrible. I feel like I’m the worst girlfriend ever for being unwilling to do it. It’s not like I’m new to lesbian sex or intimidated by wearing a strap-on. I just don’t want to. She treats me well and we are so in love. I can’t stand the thought of this putting a strain on our relationship. Maybe we should see a sex therapist or something. But like I said, our sex life is great aside from this. What should I do? How do I talk to her about it?

Well, this is a tricky situation indeed. It does seem a little one-sided that you love to receive the strap-on but you aren’t willing to give it. There is one thing that stands out to me that I felt the need to mention – unless it’s specifically intended as gender play, there’s nothing inherently masculine about wearing a strap-on. It’s a sex toy, just like any other, with the added bonus of leaving your hands free for other things.

That being said, it’s also important that your partner be understanding of the things you’re not comfortable with, and it seems like the strap-on is a “hard no” in your book. It’s never right to demand something that your partner simply isn’t comfortable with – but it’s also not fair to demand something you wouldn’t be able to give in return. If you’re really not willing to give it to her, then don’t expect her to give it anymore, either.

Of course, I must ask – have you ever actually tried it? The idea of wearing a strap-on can seem intimidating from the start, which is possibly a bigger problem than the perceived masculinity from it. It’s a challenging new thing to learn, and doesn’t seem to be as straightforward as the use of other toys is. But once you get used to the idea of giving it to your partner with a strap-on, most women love to do it!

Keep in mind that there are straight women who use a strap-on with their male partners – which just backs up the idea that there isn’t necessarily anything involved that inhibits your femininity. In fact, there are some strap-ons that can penetrate both of you at the same time; if that might set your mind more at ease in regards to the presumed gender roles, then opt for something like that instead.

As a somewhat feminine woman myself, let me tell you – I enjoy giving it to a partner with a strap-on much more than I like receiving it from. It’s not about gender play, it’s about power – and being able to “fuck” your partner in that way is an incredible source of power.

I recommend you first give it a chance, to see if you like it. Don’t expect to be perfect at it at first – and make sure you listen to your partner. It’s possible that just hearing how aroused she is by it will eliminate the feelings of doubt you have. It’s also possible that you’ll really enjoy it. If you have a toy that vibrates, this can be a great feeling for the one wearing the harness – turn it on!

If, after trying, you are unable to enjoy yourself (or at least tolerate it enough to give it to her in the future), be honest with her about it. She might be very disappointed by this, but if she respects you, she won’t push you after you’ve given it a chance. Just don’t expect her to extend the favor anymore, either.

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Should I Let Her Go?

We aim to get to the heart of your sex and relationship problems, so if you need advice, please contact us.

Q: Should I Let Her Go?

Dear KitschMix,

I met this girl online a while ago, we met for coffee, hit it off. Met up a second time at a show, ended up having sex in her car, but then I never saw her again after that.

I texted her a little while afterwards and she happened to be busy at the time, working a lot, couldn’t really make plans. I asked her to let me know when she had more free time. I’m assuming she just forgot, I did too, but I kind of want to see her again.

It’s been over a month since I last texted her. Would it be weird for me to text her now? We’ve only hung out twice; I don’t even know how I really feel about her. I think I’m just feeling lonely and wanting to be around new people, maybe curious to see where this goes.

I’ve never been one to really pursue anyone, I’m usually the asshole that blows people off or loses interest. Is it worth a shot or should I just let it go and find someone else?

Well, Reader, I think the first, most important question you need to ask yourself in this situation is: Why do you want to see her again? If you determine that it really is just you being lonely, then maybe it’s best to take some time to spend with your friends. Sometimes, when we’re in a relationship, we can forget about our friends, and that’s really not the best for our emotions. The lesbian urge to merge can be strong – we should fight it until we’re sure!

Of course, if you can’t determine conclusively that you’re just lonely, it may be worthwhile to explore the feelings with her. There’s probably a reason why you’re still thinking about her, right? Maybe it’s worth looking into. You never know, sometimes the best situations start in the most unexpected of ways.

It does, however, seem like she’s not really that interested. I don’t like when girls play games, like acting hard-to-get to make themselves feel more desirable, so if you think this could be the case on her end, you shouldn’t waste your time and effort on her. Some girls like casual sex – there’s not a lot you can do about it. Maybe she doesn’t think you clicked.

It shouldn’t hurt to text her and ask, though – worst case scenario, you’ll find out that she doesn’t care to be with you, and you can move on without her. Best case scenario, she forgot or thought you wouldn’t be interested – and you can move forward from there.

Best of luck, Reader – I hope you can figure out the situation between the two of you and reach a satisfactory conclusion!

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I Hooked Up With My Friend And Now I Want More

We aim to get to the heart of your sex and relationship problems, so if you need advice, please contact us.

Q: How Do I Tell My Long Term Girlfriend I Want Us To Have An Open Relationship? 

Dear KitschMix,

Quick back story – we met through work about a year and a half ago, but we never really hung out as closer friends until this spring.

Some of my friends would comment every now and again that I should ask her out on a date. I always knew she was bisexual however from what I can tell she hasn’t had a serious relationship with another woman. I’ve always been super attracted to women however due to a number of reasons, never really acted upon it. Also I couldn’t really picture me dating her at the time, it just didn’t make sense.

We’ve been spending more time together lately and it’s been cool, ya know? I’m moving away soon so I figured it was kind of natural to get a little closer. Last month we went to a queer dance party and she had way more to drink than I realized. We were chilling on a couch, and I was feeling more affectionate than usual and I started rubbing her neck and scratching her head. And then she looked at me and I realized right fucking then “Oh fucking christ, ____’s so beautiful. ” and I also realized she wanted to kiss me. So I let her and immediately felt weird for letting my drunk friend kiss me while I was mostly sober. So I made her get her jacket and walked her home.

So that’s when I started seriously considering what had never occurred to me until that night: “Could I date ____? Would that even work? Do I want to risk this great friendship?”

Anyways, she doesn’t remember it, and I never brought it up after because there was no real point. HOWEVER. This past Tuesday we got really drunk at this bar and uhh I don’t know I just remember kissing her on the shoulder because I couldn’t bear to kiss her on the mouth, and wrapping my arms around her waist.

Blah blah blah we went back to her place, we hooked up, and the next morning I went to work with a crazy hangover. We’ve been texting since then, and it doesn’t feel awkward or anything.

I keep running in circles over whether or not to ask her to “talk about it” and risk making what time I have left with her awkward. I also feel like if I don’t talk about it, I’m going to lose a real chance to find out whether or not she would date me.

This probably isn’t what you want to hear, but if you want to know – you’ve got to risk the awkwardness and ask. If things aren’t awkward now, it’s entirely possible that they’ll remain comfortable even when you talk about it. There’s nothing that says that things have to be weird when you hook up with a friend.

In fact, if you think about it, the best relationships often grow from friendships. Why should we feel awkward if this happens to us? There’s always going to be that chance that the two of you are meant to be. Even if neither of you has had a serious relationship with a woman before (even though you have no actual evidence that this is the case on her end) – everyone starts somewhere. There’s always a first time, and if you’re this drawn to her, this could be your chance for a first time!

The most important thing to remember in this situation is that the two of you need to be honest with each other. Keep in mind that her feelings may not be returned, but you’ll still need to ask. The way the curious human mind works, we will wonder about something until we know the answer, and if it’s something as serious as what could be love, it may eat us up inside until we finally act on it!

You said you’ll be moving away soon – does this mean that you might have a chance to “break free” if the situation ends up being embarrassing? It could actually be the perfect guard, from the information you’ve given… After all, if you aren’t going to run the risk of accidentally crossing paths, you can basically get away if things go sour. Please forgive me if I misunderstood this situation!

All in all, I think it would be unwise to ignore these feelings. The fact that things have happened more than once and it seems like you are both eager to explore it should tell you that it’s worth checking into it. Please don’t hesitate to send us a follow-up message telling us how it went!

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How Do I Tell My Long Term Girlfriend I Want Us To Have An Open Relationship?

We aim to get to the heart of your sex and relationship problems, so if you need advice, please contact us.

Q: How Do I Tell My Long Term Girlfriend I Want Us To Have An Open Relationship? 

Dear KitschMix,

So here’s the deal. I am in a loving and committed relationship and have been for three years. We fulfil one and other as companions, sharing intimacy as much as I could dream. I really love her, but there is still this urge I get to explore seeing other people. It doesn’t mean I love her less than before, as any poly person would tell you (I talked to a poly couple at length), I just feel like things could be even better.

However, I am uncertain as to how to proceed now. We have danced around the subject before, and I’m not sure how she feels. What language would others with more experience advise me to use? I don’t want it to come out negative, or for her to feel criticized or that I am unhappy with her. It’s such a difficult talk to consider, and a big step if we choose to pursue it. Any advice or anecdote would help.

I am not poly myself, but I have had a lot of poly friends in the past, and have also been the “other woman” in a poly relationship before. It works for some people, and it doesn’t work for others – and you’ll really never know until you ask her.

I understand your hesitation with bringing it up. It can be a tough situation to come across, because the opinions on the matter lie across the board. However, you said you’ve talked about it vaguely before. If she didn’t seem like she was offended by the idea, it may be safe to move forward.

I’d recommend bringing it up in a way that tells her that you’re genuinely interested in her opinion of the subject. Maybe start with something along the lines of “Have you ever thought about having an open relationship?” Don’t share your thoughts right away; if she’s completely unreceptive to the idea, you’ll need to decide whether it’s worth pressing forward or not. It is entirely possible that she won’t like the idea. Poly relationships are definitely not right for everyone.

If she admits that she has thought about an open relationship before, you can begin to present the reasons why you’re interested. Make sure you reassure her that it has nothing to do with you not wanting her – this is one of the biggest fears with poly relationships. Some people cite a difference in sex drive for the thing causing them to want to pursue others – if this is the reason, make sure you let her know.

It’s necessary that you two be comfortable discussing the specifics of your arrangement should it arise – there are no set-in-stone rules when it comes to open relationships, so you’ll need to work out every detail yourselves. You might decide that you’ll go no further than second base with your “others”, and keep all sexual activity between the two of you – you may decide that you’ll only have sex with the others, and keep all other forms of intimacy between the two of you.

It’s entirely up to you two, but these things typically work out best if all of the partners are given the same permissions. After all, it’s not really fair if one is allowed to do more than the others, right? Be fair to each other, and keep everyone’s needs in consideration.

Keep in mind, also, that not everyone is comfortable with participating in a poly relationship, either. You must understand and respect that, and always be honest with whatever “others” you may have. Even if your loyalties lie with your partner, honesty is key for everyone.

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Help, I Can’t Give My Girlfriend An Orgasm During Sex | We Answer Your Questions

We aim to get to the heart of your sex and relationship problems, so if you need advice, please contact us.

Q: I can’t give my girlfriend an orgasm during sex

Dear KitschMix,

I’ve tried every thing in the book. Oral, fingering, lots of foreplay before hand – but nothing seems to push her over the edge. She can make herself come successfully all the time. She’s touched herself in front of me, but it’s hard for her to come with eyes on her she says. What can I do to make oral for her better? I’ve started feeling deeply insecure. Feeling like if I had a penis I’d be able to make her come easily, even though I know that is not the case.

A: I think one of the most important things to realize here is that every woman is different, with different needs in the bedroom. It is possible that the fact that you don’t have a penis is the problem – but I wouldn’t guess that first.

Have you considered using toys for your sexual play? There are a wide variety of toys out there, and if you do think that the type of penetration you can give her could be the problem, there is a great chance that you can find a toy that helps you work around this. Try shopping for toys together (online if you’re shy) and see what makes her eyes light up.

Further, it’s also possible that you haven’t truly tried everything in the book. After all, there are worlds of different sexual experiences that you can pursue. One that immediately comes to mind is blindfolding yourself – you said she has a hard time getting off when there are eyes on her? Maybe the easiest solution is to stop you from being able to look at her!

There are some women who have a hard time reaching climax in general (I happen to be one of them). Often, they don’t really focus on the orgasm too much, because they know it’s hard for them. Is it possible that she’s not as concerned with it as you are? If she’s not, you can try looking into tantric sex. Tantra focuses on the idea that most people put too much emphasis on the destination, and not enough on the journey.

I also think it may be possible that it’s a self-confidence issue on your end. To me, the fact that you’re questioning if you could do a better job with a penis eludes to the idea that you might not be certain of your gender identity. It’s worth exploring your feelings on this subject, as it may be impacting many areas of your life without you making the connection. Just because you explore the feelings doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll find a definite answer right away, but you’ll be one step closer to understanding yourself.

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Her Addiction Is Causing Friction in Our Relationship | We Answer Your Questions

We aim to get to the heart of your sex and relationship problems, so if you need advice, please contact us.

Q: Her Addiction Is Causing Friction in Our Relationship

Dear KitschMix,

I’ve been dating my girlfriend for three years now, and living with her for half that time. We’re 26 and 27. She’s a great conversationalist, a hard worker, and is very supportive. In general, we get along well, but lately there have been issues. She’s a daily marijuana smoker and always has been. It’s something I never liked, but I made the mistake of assuming she’d grow out of it with time. I try to meet her halfway and don’t think it’s fair to demand she stop something she really enjoys.

However, because I’m also her roommate, my opinion on the topic should carry some weight. I ask that she smoke outside and remind her that I don’t think it’s OK before work or a date. I catch her doing it repeatedly in the shower and occasionally in her car before work. This has led to numerous fights and has put a real wedge in our relationship. Her response most recently is that I’m too controlling, and that I try to rush everything — marriage, cutting down on drinking, smoking, etc. I think my requests are reasonable, but her behaviour shows she isn’t ready for a commitment like marriage. Is there any hope here? I want to salvage this.

A: Personally, I have been in both your shoes and your girlfriend’s shoes in this particular scenario. I happen to enjoy marijuana use myself – as long as it’s done with respect to others and with respect to your priorities. If I were to work an office or retail job, for example, I would never consider smoking before going to work – but the fact is that it’s a matter of personal preference.

From your girlfriend’s side of this problem, I can understand how it might come across as controlling. In the marijuana-using subculture, there is this myth that it’s not an addiction, it’s not a drug, and it’s not a problem for those around us. However, as someone who wasn’t always a recreational user, I know that all three of these things are false, but the side of the opposition is a bit exaggerated as well.

First, marijuana is most definitely an addiction. From your girlfriend’s standpoint, her daily use suggests that she will probably not “grow out of it” until such a point where she no longer feels the desire to smoke every day. In some ways, it’s more of a habit than an addiction, but psychology tells us that there’s really not a lot of difference between the two terms. For its users, marijuana causes a feeling of calm, relaxed, simple thought. This can be both good and bad.

I like to liken my marijuana use to that of my daily coffee. Sure, they cost me a lot of money, and they alter my state of mind – but I like the altering they do. They bring me peace and joy – well, peace at least. Joy is a bit subjective and depends more on what I do with the state of “peace”. I’m sure your girlfriend probably feels the same way.

Second, it’s definitely a drug – although, just as my example for it being an addiction, it’s a much “lesser” drug than many others. Unlike, say, methamphetamines or cocaine, marijuana is unlikely to interfere with your life unless you allow it to. Certainly, it is possible to be a successful person and also a recreational marijuana user.

Third, in regards to the ways it interferes with others – I was not always a marijuana smoker. I had tried it a few times in high school, and basically decided that it wasn’t really for me. The woman I was with at the time was a daily smoker, often smoking all day long, and the smell was nauseating to me unless I was smoking with her. (That’s a good portion of why I ended up using marijuana again, actually, but that’s not really my point here.) I found it disgusting and, like you, I only saw it as an addiction.

You do have every right, as her roommate, to impose rules on where it is OK to do – as long as it pertains to your shared assets. Her car, for example, unless it is also your car, is hers to do as she chooses in. It’s not particularly safe to drive while under the influence of marijuana, but if she’s being safe about it and only using the car as a place to smoke when it’s parked and she won’t be going anywhere, it’s really not your decision to say that she can’t (or even that she shouldn’t).

Smoking in the shower, on the other hand, doesn’t even make a lot of sense to me – who would want to smoke in the shower when they have a perfectly good car? I might be partial, though; I’m currently staying with my parents and can only smoke in my car or outside.

I understand how you feel about not wanting her to smoke before work. It’s seen as irresponsible and it can be frustrating when you have certain expectations. But it’s important to note that, just because you have expectations from her, doesn’t mean she’s forced to follow along with your wishes. It would be great if our partners were exactly what we wanted them to be – but it’s not practical.

I do think that some of your stipulations come across as controlling, especially if your partner is also having questions about you rushing her into other things (as you mentioned). There are some situations where it’s ok to impose your opinions, and others where it is not. Allow me to briefly run over a few things that may make for a more even compromise between the two of you.

  • You have the right to demand that she not smoke in shared living spaces. This would apply to the whole house, as marijuana has a bit of a nauseating smell, and you have to live there too. If you have a garage or a back yard (with a fence), you can suggest that she smoke in one of those places instead – outside, the smell will not linger, and in the garage, it’s unlikely that there will be things that could be “stained” with the smell.
  • You don’t have the right to tell her to not smoke in her own car. If you share the car, it counts as “shared living space”, but if you have your own separate car, allow her to do as she pleases with her own.
  • You have the right to ask that she not get high before a date. Given that marijuana does affect the way your brain processes things, it’s understandable that you wouldn’t want your partner to be impaired in a situation where you’re specifically trying to be intimate.
  • You don’t have the right to tell her she can’t smoke before work. I believe in your letter you said that you remind her that you don’t approve… This is actually OK, as long as it’s just a reminder that you don’t approve. Keep in mind that it may still come across as being judgmental, though.
  • You have the right to ask that she cut back on her smoking. She’s under no obligation to honor your requests, but you are allowed to voice an opinion. You say you’d hoped she would grow out of it – you may try telling her that you don’t see it as a mature decision. (Be warned that this could backfire on you, though. There is no scientific connection between marijuana use and maturity.)
  • You don’t have the right to ask her to quit if she started smoking before you got together. You knew she was a smoker in the beginning, and you should never expect someone to change to suit your needs. (This is more of a blanket term than advice directed specifically to your situation.)
  • You have the right to not want to marry her if she doesn’t meet your desires. After all, marriage is a huge commitment, and in almost all cases, you are free to choose who you marry. If it’s not her, it’s not her.
  • You don’t have the right to assume that she’s not ready to commit simply because she doesn’t meet your demands. Everyone has the freedom to be themselves, not confined by the image someone else has of what/who we “should” be. Just because she doesn’t want to change herself for you doesn’t mean that she’s not ready to commit. It could just be that she doesn’t want to change!

I know it might not seem like it, Reader, but I do understand the frustrating position you’re in. It can be tough when one partner’s hobbies (because most marijuana users do consider it a type of hobby) don’t line up with the other partner’s dreams. In many cases, you can learn to work around these things, but sometimes – if the opinions from either side are polar, and both consider it an important issue – it may be best to just walk away. As I’ve said time and time again, not every relationship is meant to last, and it’s almost never entirely one person’s fault.

She Keeps Outing Me | We Answer Your Questions

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Q: She Keeps Outing Me

Dear KitschMix,

So I have this friend from my undergrad who has always been really supportive of my sexuality. She was great when I recently came out, went with me to pride, goes to gay bars with me, etc. Which is why her current behaviour is so frustrating.

We recently started a professional college and she is having troubles adjusting and making friends. In what I think is her attempt to get attention, she keeps outing me in front of our peers, often in really weird, inappropriate ways. I think she’s going for the shock factor and is trying to come across as cool and queer-friendly but instead she’s a total asshole. Example: at the bar, she turned to a new classmate who we barely know and said, “did you know she’s a lesbian?”. Everyone was kind of shocked at how ridiculous and unacceptable her comment was. How do you even respond to something like that! Thankfully, everyone she has outed me to so far has been amazing and they often have called her out on how horrible she is being. I’ve told her multiple times that she needs to stop and she always apologize when she realizes what she’s done, however she still continues to “accidentally” out me in professional settings.

I’m so pissed off and at a loss as to what to do. I can’t avoid her completely since I’m stuck with her for the next 4 years. Some people have suggested going to administration but I kind of want to avoid that since I’m entering a paternalistic profession in a fairly conservative city with an even more conservative admin. Discrimination against females and homophobia are an unfortunate reality and I don’t want my sexuality to limit future opportunities. Thoughts? Advice? Anything???

Wow, reader, that must be a terrible situation for you! It’s difficult when our friends trivialize things that are very important to us – in this case, your desire to not be “out” in a professional setting. I definitely understand the implications that come along with being a lesbian and trying to be taken seriously. Often, we must rely on the same invisibility that sometimes contributes to us being trivialized.

Personally, until I began working as a writer, I was almost never “out” at my job, except for maybe one or two people. It frustrated my partner to no end – she wanted no more to be able to kiss me when she dropped me off at work, but I wouldn’t allow it. Luckily, my career path has led to somewhere much more accepting, for the most part (although even working from my home, I do occasionally face discrimination in regards to my sexual preferences – always veiled, of course).

It can be especially difficult if you feel “stuck” in the situation. You mentioned that you can’t avoid her completely, but can you limit your social interactions with her? It may seem a bit harsh to “unfriend” her for these actions, but as you stated in your letter – she’s being an asshole. You deserve better friends than that, and it’s obvious that she’s not even trying to consider your needs.

This actually brings to mind a story from my childhood, which may pertain to your case as well. When I was 14, I was with a guy who I knew to be gay, and he was one of few people at the time who knew I was gay as well. Things worked out fine, until the day when I accidentally let it slip to our friends that he was gay. Of course, I left out the part that I was gay, too – I was more used to hiding that.

In a way, I was seeking validation from them. Their responses to my confession would help me determine whether I could safely come out to them myself. I’m not saying it was right, and in fact it was downright horrible. Many of our friends stopped talking to him, and although they applauded me for “exposing” him, I felt emptier and lonelier than ever – because I knew they wouldn’t accept me, either.

(Thankfully, once he was ready to come out on his own terms, he forgave my indiscretion and we actually hung out at Pride events a few times. But for some time after I outed him, he understandably hated me and refused to be around me.)

There are a few differences between my story and yours, though. First, I was a teenager, and I was lying to myself. While it is possible that your friend is also a lesbian and trying to “test the waters” before she comes out on her own, she is an adult and she should know better than to drag you under the bus. Of course, the same is true if she is seeking popularity. She should know better.

But you may be partially to blame for her not knowing better. Before I lose you, let me explain: By taking no actions aside from commenting on the inappropriateness of her remarks, you are basically telling her, “This makes me mad, but I’m willing to keep dealing with it.” Subliminally, you are telling her that you value your friendship with her more than you value your own right to privacy. I’m sure this isn’t your intention, but we teach people how to treat us.

The second difference between my story and yours is that the people who she has told have been accepting. You may be concerned with her confessions putting a damper on your future work prospects, but at the same time, it can be incredibly freeing to know that you’re working for someone who would not discriminate against you. (In the example I gave above about my partner dropping me off at work – I learned later that my employer actually had a gay son, and I was keeping a secret for 3 ½ years for no real reason.) True, if you are out, you face the chance that employers may not want you due to your sexuality – but do you really want to work for a company that doesn’t accept you?

Of course, your answer may very well be that you prioritize choices over quality. Even in my writing career, as I mentioned, I have faced some discrimination, and I have debated whether to remove the information in my portfolio that tells that I am a lesbian. But some of my favorite jobs have been built around my sexuality, so why would I want to push them to a dark corner in order to “maybe” win over someone who doesn’t approve?

In the end, it’s really no one’s business but your own. If your friend refuses to leave your business as your business, she’s not a very good friend. If your potential employers see you being a lesbian as a “liability” in any way, they’re not a good employer. You are of course free to make your own decisions – but the easiest way to take away the power is to be out and proud, and focus only on the opportunities which don’t punish you for that.

Take care, reader, and I hope you will make the right choices for your life!

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Should I Feel Guilty for Not Being Out to Someone Who Is Out to Me? | We Answer Your Questions

We aim to get to the heart of your sex and relationship problems, so if you need advice, please contact us.

Q: Should I Feel Guilty for Not Being Out to Someone Who Is Out to Me?

Dear KitschMix,

I’m not out to anyone at work, but I have a co-worker who is and she’s very open about her sexuality with me.

I’m not sure whether she is this open with other people, or she suspects something and is trying to connect with me or make me feel like it’s okay to be out.

She (much older, and we’re not that close but in the same team) will frequently mention her girlfriend and their relationship, has linked me to company diversity support groups via email, and shared some of her coming out/lesbian experiences in casual chats – things that I can all relate to!

It’s nice that she shares, but I feel bad because I’m not being authentic and genuine with her. I’ve been at the company for almost two years, but I’m not sure I’m ready to be out at work yet!

I feel really stuck, and not sure how to move forward.

Q: Hello, reader! The topic of whether or not to be out at work is one that has a million reasons for and against it. I can completely sympathize with your not being ready to come out in a professional setting – in the majority of my past jobs, I wasn’t out to most of my coworkers or bosses. It’s a personal choice whether to come out or not, and there’s an often overlooked third category: To selectively come out.

To me, it sounds like your coworker is urging you to come out. Of course, it could just be that she’s “openly gay” and thinks that you’re accepting, because you haven’t alienated her for the things she’s shared, but more likely, you’ve got her “gaydar” going off and she wants you to know that it’s okay.

Her experiences (both through being out-and-proud, as well as her more advanced age) would make her the perfect person to come out to if you wish to be a little less invisible at work. Even though I have a policy to not come out at my jobs, it is always nice to have one or two coworkers who you can be yourself around. Your coworker seems to be volunteering for this honor.

If you do come out to her, you should mention to her that you’re only coming out to her because you feel comfortable with her, but you would rather not be out in the open with everyone else. Most likely, she will understand and respect this, but there is also the possibility that she won’t. Sometimes, people are simply unable to keep others’ business private (I actually just finished responding to another reader who was having that problem).

I would assume that, as an older lesbian, she would fall in the first category. You may find that having a friend at work who does know your sexuality can be freeing. Even if you never speak of it after you confess, you’ll have the reassurance of knowing that you have her support.

Further, as she is an out lesbian after all, it makes me wonder why you are so concerned about coming out at work. In the past, many of my jobs have put me without any “out” coworkers – and therefore I was left to wonder if the company would take actions against me if I were to be honest. Certainly, in some cases where I did have openly gay coworkers, I still had other coworkers who tried to take actions against me once they found out I was gay. (One girl in particular comes to mind; she was offended when she found out I was gay, because she assumed I wanted to see her naked… Then she was offended a second time when I told her she wasn’t my type. You can’t win with some people.)

Reader, I urge you to allow this older woman to help guide you. Whether you choose to come out to anyone else (or even her initially) is completely a matter of personal opinion, but she seems to be insistently offering you a helping hand – why not follow her implied advice?

In regards to whether you should feel guilty, though, definitely not. No one can (or at least should) ever force you to come out of the closet. It’s a deeply personal decision and there is no rule anywhere that says you have to be out. Some people never come out, even to their family or friends! Certainly the more honest you are about yourself, the more self-confidence you will find, but if you are content to remain in the closet, you shouldn’t let anyone pressure you. It’s your life, and you’re the only person you need to make happy.

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I Can’t Stop Thinking About Her | We Answer Your Questions

We aim to get to the heart of your sex and relationship problems, so if you need advice, please contact us.

Q: I Can’t Stop Thinking About Her

Dear KitschMix,

A couple years ago, I met the most amazing woman who was openly gay. She was fun, funny, smart, stunning, and a great listener (I love to talk), and we just seemed to connect. The only problem was I was already living with my boyfriend of almost two years, and had never found myself attracted to another woman, nor had I ever considered myself gay.

Since she and I were both students, we had a similar schedule, worked together, studied together, and on our days off, we hung out and flirted crazily together. I knew this was wrong, but I did it anyway. Curiosity got the better of me I guess.

I thought of leaving my live-in boyfriend, but this decision was complicated. We had always gotten along great, I thought I was in love with him, and I’d never fallen for a woman before.

A couple months went by, and my boyfriend proposed to me. I was anything but excited, but I said yes anyway.

I spent the following two years of the engagement trying to find a way out, but I feared that I would regret leaving him, and upset my family, so I struggled with the decision. I tried going to counselling, but I was never able to make the decision or admit my true feelings. In my head, I was sure I’d leave him when I found the “right time”. But as my (already postponed) wedding approached, I wondered if I was making a huge mistake.

I still saw my friend frequently, but nothing sexual happened between us, so I thought it was just a silly crush and tried to dismiss it. Push those thoughts to one side.

I’ve been married for two months now, and although she and I live in the same town, we don’t speak or see each other. I couldn’t face inviting her to my wedding,

She is now seeing another woman. But, so many things remind me of her, and I think about her from the moment I wake up until I fall asleep. To say that I miss her immensely is a huge understatement.

I do enjoy the time that I spend with my husband but we don’t connect on the same level as I did with her, and I’ve always known this. I want to move on and build a good life with the man I chose, but my heart aches every second of every day for her. She became my best friend.

So, will I ever be able to forget the love I left behind? How long will it take before it doesn’t hurt so much?

Reader, I’m about to drop an inconvenient answer for you: If you love this woman more than you love your husband (which it seems to me that you do), the pain is probably there to stay. Since the love is also tied into a curiosity, it can take even longer – we remain curious until we actually find the answer. It’s human nature.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a good relationship with your husband, but you may always have the underlying feelings of “what might have been”. There are many people who love someone else and still remain true and faithful to their spouses – but we refer to that as a “marriage of convenience”. It’s more convenient for you to stay with your husband, because it’s what’s expected of you.

Believe it or not, that’s not automatically a bad thing. I have a few friends who have MOC’s who have negotiated with their spouse to allow them to pursue their other interests – but in cases where you are in love with the “interest” you’re pursuing, it may be considered unethical. Still, I would recommend that you speak with your husband about this. It’s obviously a big deal to you, and by not telling him, you are being a bit dishonest.

I hope you don’t take this as judgment from my end. There are many factors that tie into marriage, and there are many people who start a marriage without love and learn to love their spouse later on – maybe not everyone, but enough that it should be considered a possibility. If you truly want to be with your husband, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t try.

My next question for you is – do you know if this other woman feels the same way you do? Sometimes, we get involved in a new relationship to try and “push ourselves past” another love that we think is unrequited. It isn’t (usually) the best solution, but we do things that we know we shouldn’t sometimes. It’s not that different from you flirting with her when you were involved with someone else. In fact, the only real difference would be the motives behind it.

No matter what your answer to that previous question is, it’s very important for your own mental health that you discuss your confusion with your husband. Many men are willing to “allow” their wives to experiment with other women, and from your description I think it is possible that your confusion is coming from a need for experimentation. This woman might not be your true love, but she opened the possibility of you being attracted to women. It’s possible that you could explore these less specific feelings and discover that you aren’t actually interested in being with a woman.

It’s important for you to know that there’s nothing wrong with finding out that you’re not actually bisexual, or with finding out that you are. It’s incredibly difficult for anyone to understand their true sexuality without exploring their options. “Don’t knock it ‘till you try it” – the phrase is usually used in reference to other subjects, but it’s just as important to your self-discovery. If you can explore these feelings while still in the “safety” of your heterosexual relationship, without being dishonest to anyone involved, it can help ease a lot of your confusion.

Of course, there is no guarantee that your husband will actually be OK with this exploration – and if you want to make it work with him, you should respect his opinions on the subject. This is why it’s so important that you be honest with him before you pursue someone else. Your vows are important, and if you can’t honor them, it’s best if you say goodbye to that relationship.

I invite you to contact us again after you have had the conversation with your husband, and I can help advise you based on what he says. This is a difficult situation for everyone involved, and it can be helpful to reach out for an outside opinion on the subject. There will likely be no easy answers. It’s important that you understand that this may be one of the most difficult experiences in your life – but if you don’t seek out the answers, you will always wonder.

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How Do I Tell My Homophobic Parents That I’m Now Engaged to My Girlfriend? | We Answer Your Questions

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Q: How Do I Tell My Homophobic Parents That I’m Now Engaged to My Girlfriend? 

Dear KitschMix,

My girlfriend and I have recently gotten engaged, and we’re looking at a long engagement (like, two years) and a wedding. We’ve got some thoughts, but with the long engagement, a lot of planning isn’t practical yet. One of the reasons we’ve got such a long engagement is that we’re saving up to put on the wedding by ourselves. Her parent can’t afford to contribute. My parents, who otherwise would be in a position to be contributing, have strong religious beliefs about the sanctity of marriage and the first thing my father ever told me when I came out to him was that he would never support me getting married, much less in a church like we plan to.

How do I tell my parents that I’m engaged? Look, I handled coming out rather poorly, and caused a lot of drama. I’d like to let my parents know I’m engaged before I tell the world/Facebook/all my friends. My parents have met my girlfriend, and if she wasn’t dating me, I think they’d like her a lot, and even as my girlfriend, they’ve thawed a little over the course of the year that they’ve known her. (We’ve been dating for two years.)

Anyway, do I call my parents? Do I have to tell them in person? Do I text them a photo of the rings? What about the rest of my extended family, who may or may not have picked up on my Facebook relationship status over the past year? Do I send out a card?

First of all, allow me to say congratulations to you and your partner! Getting engaged is super exciting, and a long engagement can be a major stress reliever if it’s handled correctly. Especially if some of your family is unsupportive, or you need to pay for the wedding entirely yourselves.

Second, there will probably be no easy way to tell your parents that you’re engaged. Sometimes, with those who hold strong religious views, telling them any details of your relationship can feel like coming out all over again. (Thankfully, my family has always been supportive, but some of my partner’s family members are less understanding about certain things.) You said you didn’t handle coming out very well – in some ways, the news of this engagement could be treated as a do-over. It won’t be the same as coming out for the first time again, but you can show them that you intend to handle the whole situation better.

It would be best if you tell them in person, although that can be difficult. I personally chose to send pictures of the gorgeous ring on my finger, and my mother (who adores my partner) called me to chat. Then again, my mother lived three hours away at the time, and has always been my biggest supporter, so your experience may be different. If your parents are close to you, and you are comfortable with the idea of telling them face-to-face, you can say something along the lines of:

I wanted to share some good news with you. I know you may not agree with it, but me and [partner] are engaged. We are not expecting you to pay for our celebration but we would love if you could be there and share in our happiness. We are going to be having a long engagement, so you have time to adjust to the idea.”

This could work well over a text message, too, or even a phone call. I wouldn’t really recommend the idea of just sending a picture of the rings, as you won’t have really said anything in the statement – it has been my experience that those who oppose gay marriage on religious grounds will often come to their own assumption that it’s a “promise ring”. (It’s always a “promise ring”.) If you’re okay with this idea and/or you think that your parents would understand what the message says, it can be the simplest way to start the conversation – but it might not go the direction you’d like it to.

In terms of the rest of your family, it’s considered good etiquette to send a formal announcement, although with the age of technology (depending on the size and the spread of your family) a digital announcement could be a less expensive approach. Keep in mind that you should resist the urge to post your announcement directly to Facebook, especially if you haven’t told the rest of your immediate family/close friends yet. It’s best if you handle as many of those in person or over the phone as you can before you make a broad announcement to everyone.

Keep in mind that many people assume that a formal engagement announcement means that they will be getting an invitation to your wedding. While of course it’s too early to have your guest list picked out (and there’s no set-in-stone rule that says you have to invite everyone you announce it to), there’s nothing wrong with limiting your printed announcements only to those in your inner circle, even if you already told them face to face. As an added bonus, it’s less expensive, too!

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I’m Always the Other Woman | We Answer Your Questions

We aim to get to the heart of your sex and relationship problems, so if you need advice, please contact us.

Q: I’m Always the Other Woman

Dear KitschMix,

I’m taking a deep breath before spewing this out. Maybe 2 days ago got a phone call informing me that the woman I’ve been chilling with for the past 5 or so months has actually had a long-term, long-distance girlfriend. She’s moving in this weekend. Wait. Stop. Excuse me?!? How did I miss that? To be fair, she withdrew a little last weekend, but really, that withdrawal should not have been the first tip that something so big was going on.

Now, here comes the harder part for me to say. This is the 3rd woman I’ve dated who has had commitments elsewhere. One “forgot” to break it off with me before jumping into bed with the love of her life. With the other, one of her friends tipped me off.

Examining it all, I guess it’s pretty easy to carry on an affair with me. I’m not quite 26 and working to keep my head above water while trying to earn a master’s degree. I work anywhere between 40 and 50 hours a week, am enrolled in two classes, and sometimes pick up between 10 and 15 of extra work. I enjoy getting the heck out of town on the weekends with my friends. We always saw one another 2 or 3 days a week, usually at least one weekend day, and had a decent amount of phone and e-mail contact. That seems like a lot of contact to me but there are 3-4 other days a week that I was not physically around to play with her. Short of running hiring a private investigator, how can I verify a woman is telling me the truth when she says that she is single?

In dating, I’m really just looking for someone to play with in my non-work time. If something deeper develops, that’d be great but … chances of finding Mrs Forever seem pretty slim at the moment. After this string of bad luck, I’m annoyed with myself for being a bad people reader. There’s a lesson being missed here, but I can’t seem to grasp it. I just … almost feel like it’s unethical for me to keep dating. I keep thinking of the other women who just moved her life for her! I don’t even have the right to feel this way because she wasn’t mine — she was *hers* and I was stealing her. How do I deal? Should I say something or just let go?

Q: Wow, reader, that seems like a very complicated situation. It sounds to me like you are at least partially blaming yourself for these women being unfaithful to their partners – but if you didn’t know about it when entering the relationship, it’s not you – it’s them.

I know that doesn’t really make it any easier to deal with, but at least you have the clear conscience of knowing that it’s not your fault. (Of course, this is me assuming that you broke it off once you found out that their commitments lied elsewhere.)

You shouldn’t have to hire a private investigator to determine whether the girl is single or not. I understand that it can be difficult when the women aren’t being honest with you, but it can be really difficult to find out if a woman is telling you the truth without invading her personal privacy. Of course, if she’s being dishonest, the invasion may be warranted – but if you “check up” on the wrong woman, it can be disastrous and may even cost you the relationship.

I understand that this can make it extra difficult for you. We don’t want to push the wrong women away, but we also don’t want to pull the wrong women closer to us. This leaves you in the situation of having to trust what they say, even when you have proof that you can’t always do that.

My first thoughts here are simply, where are you finding these women? If you’re meeting them through the same outlets (such as all at a bar, all through online dating, etc.) it may be as simple as changing your approach. It’s always a good idea to switch things up anyway, particularly when you find that you keep attracting “the wrong women”. (Even if they may be “right” in all other ways, and simply emotionally unavailable.)

If it is possible for you to do so, I would recommend that you try and shift your search to women just outside of your personal network – that is, friends of your friends. It can be awkward to find out about women this way, but generally people will know the relationship statuses of their friends. (Be warned, though – I was once set up with a friend-of-a-friend who ended up playing me and another girl; she was being dishonest to our mutual friends, as well.)

In regards to how you feel about this situation – you do have every right to be hurt. Just because she wasn’t “yours” doesn’t mean that you thought she was yours. While you don’t have the right to, for example, demand she leave her long-term girlfriend, you do have the right to feel hurt by this girl’s actions.

I wouldn’t say that it would be unethical for you to date – it’s not like you’re intentionally seeking out girls who are already attached. You’re just as much of a victim as their girlfriends are, as you, too, were being played. It can be a tough situation to be in, as “the other woman” also feels a great amount of guilt, but it’s important for your own sanity that you place the blame where it’s actually due.

I’m of the mind that you should absolutely say something to this woman. Tell her that you don’t think it’s fair how she treated you, and how she went behind her girlfriend’s back. It most likely won’t change anything, but it will probably make you feel better – and sometimes that’s more important. (Besides, even if it did change things – would you want to be with a woman who was unfaithful to their last partner? It might be a generalization, but sometimes a cheater remains a cheater.)

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How Do I Support My Daughter? | We Answer Your Questions

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Q: How Do I Support My Daughter?

Dear KitschMix,

I’m straight but have been a big supporter of all walks my whole life, but I do not have much experience in the personal struggles of LGBTQ community.

I have a close relationship with my child, who is a pre-teen, and we live in Texas.

This month, she confided that she is a lesbian. I immediately validated her and told her I would love and support her always in any choice.

She told me she never wants to tell anyone because a boy she knows lost all of his friends coming out. I gave her the natural response “they must not be real friends” and told her she didn’t have to tell anyone until she was ready.

I also warned her to only tell people she trusts because there are a lot of confused people around here that might be mean.

She also told me she’s in love with her best friend (who is very into boys).

I don’t want to scare her or advise her in a way that could cause emotional blocks later.

Please help me prepare to support her moving forward. What are your suggestions?

A: First, reader, let me thank you for having the courage to ask what’s best in this case. There are so many parents out there who mean well (mine included) that sometimes miss the mark, which can be its own frustration. That being said, simply the fact that you want to be supportive of your daughter is very important and she will be able to see that.

She’s very right about the dangers of coming out to her peers. Even though it’s becoming “more accepted” to come out of the closet, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t closed-minded people out there, even in middle school and high school (but they’re nothing compared to the adults that aren’t accepting).

You are also exactly right that the people who would alienate her for coming out are not true friends, but at that age it’s a very difficult process to understand. In our school years, we often feel that our “success” is dependent on our popularity. It’s only as adults that most of us realize this isn’t really the case. This is the reason why many choose not to come out until they’re out of high school – but that can be lonely as well. (Not that high school is the time you should be focusing on relationships, but it can be difficult to see others around you in happy relationships and you’re not.)

During high school, I actually dated a few boys. I was honest with most of them in regards to my true feelings (that is, that I wasn’t attracted to boys), but to others I left it simply as “I like girls [too]”. The “too”, of course, was implied, but untrue. I wouldn’t say that I would recommend this, as it ultimately causes further confusion, all for the sake of fitting in.

My mother actually saw through one of my “cover relationships” before I came out to her. I distinctly remember her telling me, “That boy is in love with you and you feel nothing for him. Do you really think that’s fair to him?”

Of course, 16-year-old me thought I knew everything – after all, I had told him from the beginning that I didn’t really like boys, but I didn’t want to admit yet that I liked girls publicly. I felt that if I couldn’t be out to everyone, I shouldn’t pursue my true interests. After all, if I wasn’t confident enough that I was gay to risk the alienation – was I really?

In a way, I think I can sense a little bit of this in what you’ve told me about your daughter. She’s not ready to risk the alienation because she still has some doubts. Despite what society may tell us, there’s nothing wrong with doubting yourself – in fact, it’s how you grow and learn. Encourage your daughter to be herself, rather than finding a label that fits. There is plenty of time for that later.

You’re absolutely right about only telling people she trusts – in some ways. It may be easier for her to come out to strangers, actually. Personally, I was “out” on the internet long before I came out to my family and friends. It’s not the only way to do things, but every time a person comes out, they are allowing themselves a bit more freedom – and these “minor” freedoms can eventually build up to the courage to come out to those closest to them.

These strangers and acquaintances may have harsh reactions to what she has to say – but she will also have a comfortable distance from them, such that their words may not affect her as much as, say, the friend you mentioned she loved. No matter how trusting she is of that friend, that particular confession will be a difficult one.

You should also remind her that you love her, no matter what. Certainly in some cases where a person comes out very early in life, they will doubt whether it’s true, and possibly even experiment later with ideas of “What if I was wrong?” – I did. You need to be able to reassure her (as well as yourself) that it doesn’t matter if it takes her awhile to truly understand herself. Even as an adult, I’m sure you would agree that you don’t know everything about yourself – right?

It’s also important that you don’t make it seem as if you expect her to question herself. I know, this can be a tough spot to be in. Once, after hearing that I went out for pancakes with a male friend, my dad responded with “So you’re over the gay thing?” – Wrong. You should never assume that you know your child better than they know themselves. Sometimes you may very well be right, but especially in the preteen and teenage years, your child doesn’t want to hear this even if you’re right. And especially if you’re wrong!

There are, realistically, very few “bad” ways to be supportive. Here are the ones I have personally encountered, from well-meaning family members and friends:

  • Never make assumptions about “why” she is gay. I have a family member who, for some time, explained to people that “you would be gay too if you had been raped”. I understand that his intention was to support me, but it actually came across as minimizing my true feelings (because I was gay before I was sexually assaulted) and putting on public display an aspect of my life that I was not ready to have made public. If you make an assumption as to “why” she is gay, you are subliminally telling her that she is gay because there’s something wrong with her – even if that is not your intention.
  • Never come out for her (unless she specifically asks you to). In the example above, I was already fully “out”, but facing opposition from acquaintances. If you come out on your daughter’s behalf, you are taking one of the chances she has to earn her own freedom and turning it into a point of gossip. Another family member of mine, with the intention of keeping some man from hitting on me, took it upon himself to tell the guy “You’re not her type – she prefers women.” He was right, and his intentions were good, but the result is that he made my “first impression” for me, and made it to where that would be the focus of any friendship I could have with that person.
  • Never pick out dates for her. This isn’t a lesbian thing strictly, but I don’t think many parents realize how creepy it is when their parents try to play matchmaker for them. I’m 25 years old and my mother still picks out women that she thinks I’d look cute with – which have no bearing on my actual attraction. It’s not unsupportive, but most likely, your daughter knows the types of girls she’s interested in. She doesn’t need your help picking them out.
  • Never reference her sexuality when talking about things to be proud of her for. To you, it may sound like you’re being extra supportive, but from the other side it definitely comes across as minimizing. You can be proud of the courage she had to come out – but don’t be proud of her for being a lesbian.
  • Never make assumptions based on how she will live her life. In this day and age, being gay doesn’t automatically mean anything. I remember when I first came out to my mother, one of the first things she said was, “Oh good! No more grandchildren!” (I’m the youngest of four kids.) However, I do want children – just not yet. While being a lesbian may make it to where there are no accidental grandbabies coming from me, my mother’s expression of “no more grandchildren” made it sound like she didn’t want me to have kids – and that hurt a little bit.

Of course, there are a million other tips I could shell out here, but the most important thing is that you talk to your daughter and don’t make any assumptions or interjections. After all, she doesn’t need a fan club, she needs a mom. She needs to know that you’re going to be there for her, no matter what, and that you’ll help her through whatever problems she needs help with – when she’s ready to ask.

Total Bridezilla – My Best Friend’s Fiancée is Killing Our Friendship | We Answer Your Questions

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Q: Total Bridezilla – My Best Friend’s Fiancée is Killing Our Friendship

Dear KitschMix,

I love my best friend, and I was thrilled when she asked me to help her and her fiancé plan their wedding, but her wife-to-be is a total bridezilla and it’s straining my relationship with my friend.

What do I do?

A: This can be a tough situation to be in. It can be really hard for someone to choose between their friends and their relationships sometimes, and this is especially true when it comes to the subject of weddings. After all, weddings are a time of love – and for some people, this can turn into a bit of a competition.

I don’t know very many details about your situation, so I’ll outline the basics as best as I can. Each is to be considered a unique option – for the most part, you won’t really need to use more than one tactic. Of course, use your best discretion based on the more specific information.

Can you back out of the planning process?

We often think of wedding parties as being finalized – but the truth is, they can be changed at any time. It’s not like you are under contract. Your friend might be a little hurt that you no longer want to help, but most likely she knows about her wife-to-be’s ways and will understand (even if it takes some time).

Can you talk to your best friend about it?

If you don’t think your best friend realizes how crazy her lady is being, maybe you can find a way to politely bring it to her attention. For example, instead of presenting it how you said it to me, try instead “Wife’s name is being a bit demanding on ____, do you think you could talk to her about it?” Sometimes this means that you’re asking her to curtail the bad behavior, but really what you’re looking for is a solution – the solution might be that your friend negotiates with her future wife on your behalf.

Can you deal with it?

Sometimes, in cases where someone thinks a bride is being a bridezilla, it’s a simple misunderstanding – the wedding guests feel that they should have more say than they do. I don’t know what your situation entails, but if you think she’s being unreasonable based on things that are her own preference (such as she has to have the exact right dress, or she has to have this special cake, or a magical venue)… Well, I’m sorry, but the problem could be you. If it’s something that she deeply cares about, suck it up!

Can you negotiate?

If you don’t want to quit your planning position completely, but you feel that the bride is demanding too much of your time, you have absolutely every right to speak up about it. After all, just like I said in the first option – this isn’t a job, it’s not a contract, the only person who has to plan the wedding is the couple getting married. Negotiate with her on an amount of time that you’re comfortable putting into the planning process, and go from there. She might not be happy about it, but she has no right to be demanding with you and you should stick up for yourself.

Keep in mind that this also applies to money spent – if the brides are not paying for the wedding expenses themselves, they must be flexible, or you have the right to walk away.

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Our Sperm Donor Is Getting Cold Feet | We Answer Your Questions

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Q: Our sperm donor is getting cold feet

Dear KitschMix, my fiancée and I are in the need of a bit of advice.

Nearly 2 years ago we asked a friend to be our sperm donor. He seemed genuinely interested in helping us achieve our dreams of becoming parents. He understood and was happy with the fact that he will not have parental rights etc (as he never wants his own children). He pretty much said he’d do it, but wants to get legal advice first. We understand his wishes and have cooperated as much as we can to get the legal advice but after 18 months he still hasn’t done it. When we contact him to find out what’s happening he still says he’s interested in doing it.

However, lately our attempts to contact him have failed. And when we do hear back from him he doesn’t seem as interested to help.

What would you suggest we do? We are tempted to try and find someone else, but we don’t want him to feel like we put all the pressure on him for nothing (I don’t feel it was a lot of pressure as we often go months without contacting him, but he may think it is). He got our hopes up by saying he’d be happy to do it once he’s seen a lawyer, and he was everything we wanted in a donor.
We want to have children as soon as possible and were hoping that by asking almost 2 years ago we would be parents by now.

Also, is it bad when I get jealous and upset when I see or hear people around me (especially people I know) that are pregnant and get pregnant without even trying? I’m not normally a jealous person so I hate this feeling but I can’t help feeling this way.

A: Hello Reader! I can definitely understand the frustration you’re feeling right now. While I don’t have kids of my own, I tend to be pretty bothered when someone says they’re going to do something, and then they just don’t do it. And rightly so! You have every right to be upset about this situation.

However, you need to determine what’s happening in your situation. He doesn’t want kids of his own, he spoke to his lawyer and still is interested… But he doesn’t seem interested. There are a million possibilities why he may have cold feet – have you seen the episode of The L Word where Bette and Tina are trying to find a sperm donor? (It’s the pilot episode, so if it’s been awhile since you watched Season 1, it could be a good idea to rewatch it.) Their “sperm donor party” shows a million different reasons why someone might not want to be a donor – and even if he said he did in the past, it’s entirely possible that he’s thought the scenario over in his head and decided it no longer works for him, but he’s unsure of how to break the news to you.

No matter how slighted you may feel by this change in plans, it’s important that you realize the only thing he’s actually done wrong is the lack of communication. Him changing his mind, although frustrating, is entirely understandable – after all, contributing to a human life is a huge undertaking even if he washes his hands of the whole thing immediately after conception.

Another possibility may be that he’s with someone now who doesn’t approve of the situation, or doesn’t know about it – so he no longer wants to follow through (or he’s afraid of his own partner finding out about it). Spoiler alert, an unwilling partner-of-the-donor comes up in The L Word, too.

It’s easy to write this stuff off as fiction, but I actually had a situation like that come up. A few years back, I began the search for a donor for the woman I was with at the time. We weren’t ready yet, but we were getting our options penned out ahead of time. Well, fast forward to a year after choosing one of my best friends, and he has a new wife – who forbid him from donating so we could have a baby. He didn’t want kids, but she did – and she didn’t want him giving a child to someone else before he gave one to her.

(In my situation, his wife actually broke up our friendship together eventually. I wasn’t really in a position to prevent it, and I hope that doesn’t happen with you and your friend, but it’s important to know that it can happen.)

My guess is that if he has already gotten cold feet, he will understand that it’s not you who unnecessarily put pressure. After all, you put the pressure with the intention of him following through – and if you determine that it truly is him trying to back out gracefully, he will be relieved if you give him the opportunity.

However, there’s another side of the coin, as well. Is it possible that you’re just not on the same page as far as the scheduling goes? He may have initially agreed to it thinking it was a point far out in the future – and now your pressure is making him feel as if he’s rushed to do it now. You must consider the possibility that he is still willing – just not quite ready yet. Keep in mind that the receiver of a gift is rarely the one who chooses when it’s delivered.

For your final question – you have every right to be jealous. You’ve been patiently waiting for someone else to get their end of the deal in order, and still you have no baby! It’s ok to be sad, it’s ok to be hurt, and it’s ok to be frustrated. What’s not ok is if you use that pain and jealousy to make you negative. That means that this is one of those conversations that should stick to you and your partner, and not the moms and dads you’re jealous of. Be happy, and share in their happiness – your baby will come exactly when it’s meant to.


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How Should I Deal With My Crush? | We Answer Your Questions

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Q: How should I deal with my crush?

Dear KitschMix,

Help. I’ve just started my first term at university and I can feel myself developing a crush on my housemate. We met at freshers week and instantly clicked. We have so much in common.

She’s attractive, funny, sensitive… everything basically. But we’re going to be spending the next three years together so I really don’t want to make a move if it’s going to make things awkward.

Also, I can’t even tell if she’s gay! What should I do?

A: Well, reader, the easiest thing you could do would be to ask her. It might make things awkward, but if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

My girlfriend actually brought up a really good idea – you could bring up some past partners you’ve had, if you’ve had some, to see if she offers any information about her past relationships – such as the possibility of some of them being female.

She says, in her experience, this allows her to subtly “out” herself without putting pressure on her to instantly come up with a recovery if she’s not interested in ladies. If you’re worried about things being awkward, this can be a lifesaver – you don’t have to express your interest in her until you’re at least sure she’s playing for the same team.

If you’re a little less for subtlety, you could consider coming straight out and telling her that you’re gay, and asking if she is (or if she has a boyfriend, girlfriend, etc.). It has more of a chance of awkwardness, but pretty much only if she’s homophobic. (And if she is – do you really want to share a flat with her anyway?)

If you find out she is gay, you can continue to discover whether she’s interested in ladies like yourself – of course, the same choice of “subtlety” versus “overtness” will still apply. Get to know her on a deeper level and in time you’ll discover whether you two have a standing chance to be together. There’s no rush to jump into it; as you’ve said, you’ll be spending the next three years together.

Best of luck to you reader, and let us know how it turns out!

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How Do I Get Her Back? | We Answer Your Questions

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 Q: How Do I Get Her Back?

Dear KitschMix,

Okey so I was in a relationship with another woman for sometime, n then things got rocky and we split for a short time, now during that time of the split i met someone else and we began to develop feelings… now this is where the drama sets in. So what happened was my ex got back in the picture and we kinda decided to give it one last try. So we did even thou I knew at the time I had developed feelings for another.

When she found out i got back with her, she was angry and really disappointed. Even right she texts me now and then but its not the same. The thing is I really have strong feelings for her, I have left my partner but she doesn’t know yet. How do I go about apologising and try to sort of make up for the disappointment I have brought?

Hi there, Reader! This can be a difficult situation to be in. I was actually in a mess like this at the beginning of my relationship with my current girlfriend. You see, I had been “seeing” someone for quite a while, but it was nothing official. I thought she was perfect for me – but she kept blowing me off.

We decided to take some time apart, and I met someone else. Honestly I didn’t really give her the time of day, because part of me was just trying to make the other girl jealous with this new “friend”. The thing was, it was working – and the other girl decided to give me a shot after all!

In one of the worst ways possible, I ended up blowing the new girl off. She had been wonderful, exactly what I wanted in a girlfriend, even though she wasn’t my girlfriend… But I took the other girl back anyway. Turns out, the other girl hadn’t changed at all – she was just jealous of the new girl and pretended she’d do better.

Once things collapsed a final time, I couldn’t believe what an ass I’d been to the new girl! Here she was, everything I wished the other girl would be, and I still picked the other girl over me. Stupid, right? Anyway, we went our separate ways, and I had to figure out how to woo the first girl back.

Like you, I hadn’t stopped talking to either of them the entire time, I just altered what I shared with them. I realized I had made a stupid mistake and sent the first girl packing. In my situation, the new girl was already right there waiting for me – she had told me for a while already that she was perfect for me and she’d be waiting when I gave up on the other girl. (I thought she was being cocky, but she really was right.)

In your situation, it’s possible that it could be the same – if she’s still talking to you, she obviously wants you to be in her life, in some facet. But you’ll have to prove to her that your eyes are opened and you’re free from the spell of your ex. It won’t be easy, but it can usually be done.

Once you do win her over, you’ll probably have to prove yourself for a while, although it should be because you want to and not because she’s forcing you to. You’ll want her to know that you’re not indecisive, you’re not confused anymore, you want to be with her. One of the easiest ways to do this is to be open and honest with her.

Personally, I made a big to-do about taking the password off my phone. Hey, it’s sort of a dumb step (and my partner admitted to me that I was a bit silly about the whole thing) but that’s what it took for me to convince myself that I could be trusted not to go backwards.

I’m not saying that a phone password is necessarily the answer for you – you’ll have to figure out that variable on your own. The point is, you should do something simple to show that you’ve made the necessary changes within yourself to be hers and not your ex’s. Don’t try to open too many doors at once, or it’ll just come across as awkward.

Of course, it’s also possible that you won’t win her over, and if that happens, you’ll have to respect it. Just because we want a second chance doesn’t mean we will get one. I was very fortunate that my girlfriend had it figured out long before I did and that she hadn’t given up on me in the time it took me to realize things. But in my opinion, if you can’t win her over, that means she’s not the one!

Best of luck to you, Reader, and I hope to hear back about how it goes!

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I’m In A Relationship, But I Have Major Crush On Another Woman – Help! | We Answer Your Questions

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Q: In A Relationship, But I Have Major Crush On Another Woman

Dear KitschMix,

My SO and I have been together for 2.5 years. I love her more than anything and we both want to spend the rest of our lives together. She makes me incredibly happy! We’re so comfortable with each other, tell each other EVERYTHING, and there’s never a time when our conversation feels “dead”. Point being, we’re madly in love.

But… We’ve been doing long distance the past month, and I developed a crush on a girl with whom I work. I told this to my SO, and she said that if the occasion arises, I should not feel bad about kissing said crush.

Part of me is conflicted. Why am I feeling the need to kiss someone else? I was immediately attracted to my crush the moment I saw her. We’ve flirted, sent texts, pictures, etc, but nothing beyond that. (And yes, I showed my SO the pictures and texts). Crush has a boyfriend, but the flirtation from her end was insane. Selfies, innuendos, emojis… She’s calmed down her flirting, but I told my SO that I do miss it a little.

Anyway, it felt good to get that off my chest. SO has been very supportive, and I thank Raptor that she’s in my life!!

Dear Reader,

It seems like you’re in a complicated position right now – but also that you have a very supportive girlfriend. Not everyone is able to support an “open” relationship. It certainly doesn’t work for everyone, but if it works for you – I know many people who are quite in love inside of their polyamorous relationships.

In my opinion, you should discuss with this other girl whether or not her boyfriend is aware of her flirtation with you. As I’ve said, there are a great deal of people who get along wonderfully inside of an open relationship – but if it’s not built on honesty, it’s dangerous territory. If her boyfriend knows and is OK with the situation, and your girlfriend also doesn’t mind, I don’t really see a problem in pursuing it.

You should be aware that there is always a potential for these things to go sour, though. There’s a chance that your girlfriend starts out OK with it and a later point decides she isn’t, at which point you’ll have to choose between the two women. Often, if your true feelings lie with your girlfriend, the choice may be easy and you’ve already “got it out of your system” with the other girl.

Other times, however, this won’t be the case. There is a potential that you will develop deeper feelings for this other girl. This can be difficult emotionally on everyone involved, but I am a firm believer that “what will be, will be” and eventually you will arrive at the right decision for you.

Of course, the main point of all of this is that there should be complete honesty between everyone involved. Make sure you communicate the situation at every step of the way, to avoid as much hurt as possible. There is no such thing as a perfect shot, but if the lines of communication stay fully open (ideally between all of you) your chances are as good as they can be.

Best of luck!

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Am I Being Too Picky – Should I Settle For Second Best, Because I’m Struggling To Find Ms Right?

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Q: Am I being too picky – should I settle for second best, because I’m struggling to find Ms Right?

Dear KitschMix,

I’m struggling with this right now. I don’t know how “picky” I can afford to be, since the lesbian dating pool is so small in my home town. Maybe my standards are too high.

I recently broke up with a really sweet girl because I thought I wanted to be with someone I had more in common with.

It wasn’t that I was unhappy with her; it was just that I thought maybe there was someone out there who would be a better match. I did like her; I just thought I could like someone else more.

But now there’s the problem of there not being anyone else who I think is “as good” as her, and I’m wondering if I made the wrong decision.

A: Well, Reader, my answer to this question depends on what you mean by “settling”. I strongly believe there is a “right person” out there for everyone – but at the same time, there is no such thing as “perfect”. You have to take an inventory of the things that matter to you in a relationship, and decide which are the most important.

For example, the reason you gave – someone you have more in common with. Common traits and interests are a wonderful thing, because they help us to understand a person better, and sometimes they even help us decide who we want to date. But not having everything in common is actually a blessing, as it allows you to have your own autonomy.

Picture your future: Are you going to want to be with someone who you spend every minute with? Most likely not, because having a “shadow” can get irritating after a while. Ideally, you should be seeking someone who you have some things in common with, but who accepts your differences as a part of who you are.

In other words, it’s not as important that you be similar as it is that you be compatible.

If you’re a vegan, for example, you probably won’t want to date someone who’s an avid hunter, just as someone who’s highly religious won’t likely be happy with someone who’s a self-proclaimed heathen. (I’m not saying that I believe anyone is truly a “heathen” by a broad definition, but I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.)

This girl who you broke up with. Were the differences things that truly clashed, or were they just differences? I strongly feel that you should never settle for someone who doesn’t mesh well with your core values. They don’t necessarily have to agree with you on everything, but they shouldn’t fight you on it, either.

In my own relationship, my partner has long wanted her partner to carry a child. But I made the decision when I was much younger that I would rather be an adoptive parent – I have genetic traits that I choose not to pass along to a child. To me, it didn’t matter if my future child was biologically related to my partner or if we both adopted – just that I did not conceive and give birth to a child.

It caused a bit of tension in the beginning, as she was convinced that I was going to change my mind, and I was quite adamant that I had made my mind up 20 years ago (yes, I made the decision at a very young age). However, as our relationship grew, we reached a compromise: I have a brother who would be willing to donate on my behalf, in order to conceive a child that would be biologically related to me. I was willing to accept the idea of us using a surrogate in order to have a child when we’re ready. She came around and realized that who carries the child is not as important as who raises the child – a family is built on love, after all.

If I were you, I would probably try to get back in touch with the girl you broke up with, although depending on how you left the break-up that may not be possible. If she’s not willing to give it a second chance, you have to respect that.

However, before you do anything, it’s important that you take an inventory of the things you want out of a partner and determine which you are absolutely not able to live without. If your partner meets all of your requirements, but not necessarily all of your requests, give it a chance! You never know. That “imperfect person” could be exactly what you need.

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My Straight Crush Admitted She Likes Me, So What Should I Do? | We Answer Your Questions

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Q: My Straight Crush Admitted She Likes Me, So What Should I Do?

Dear KitschMix,

We’re both 18. She’s had a few boyfriends before. I’ve never been in a relationship. I kind of got introduced into her friend group around 12th grade and we got kinda close. I’m pretty sure everyone in my friend group was in love with her, like Jesus she’s amazing. I was fine being just friends because I was (am) confused by my sexuality, and she’s always been the straight girl I would never have a chance with.

Anyways we started texting and she asked me if I’ve ever thought about girls as more than friends. I tell her I think I’m bisexual. She says she’s been questioning a lot lately and it’s confusing.

Me being me, tell her I “used to” be crushing on her “for a bit.” She says she has a crush on me too. I proceed to freak the fuck out but play it really cool in convo trying to lighten the mood and stuff cause neither of us know how to react haha. I’ve never been in a relationship and now I’m freaked out. She freaked out a bit more than me like “let’s pretend we’ve never had this conversation” I’m all like “relax” “don’t worry about it”.

I’ve never had a relationship before so I have no idea what I’m doing although I try to play off the more “totally cool with everything” vibe, which I’m not sure is the right thing to do. She’s confused, I’m confused – should I even go there?

A: Dear Reader,

It sounds to me that you are both curious – which is possibly the best situation to explore a relationship (if you are both on the same experience level).

Keep in mind if you have never been in a relationship before – there is always a chance it will go sour. The fact that you’re both curious doesn’t really factor in quite as much as if one of you were curious and the other were out-and-proud.

It is possible that one (or both) of you will discover that you don’t actually like girls at all.

It is possible that one (or both) of you will discover that you are definitely bisexual.

It is possible that one (or both) of you will realize that you’re a lesbian.

All of these factors can result in some bad endings, but usually only if one of you decides you’re definitely straight and the other begins to develop deeper feelings. Of course, the chance that one of you will fall harder than the other can’t really be avoided.

I would strongly recommend you pursue it, but only if you can handle the idea of losing her as a friend. You’ll never know the answers if you don’t ask the questions, and the uncertainty and confusion can really mess with your head. Of course, I hope that you two will remain happy together, but it’s unlikely that your first relationship will be the “right” relationship for the rest of your life.

It’s not impossible, just as it’s not impossible to stay friends after a break-up. But you have to understand what the consequences could be.

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My Butch Girlfriend Has Suddenly Gone Femme | We Answer Your Questions

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Q: My butch Girlfriend Has Suddenly Gone Femme

Dear KitschMix,

OK. I have a problem and hope people here won’t judge me because I feel terrible about this situation. I have a girlfriend of 2 years who I absolutely adore. I came out rather late (when I was 24) but she has been out since she was a teenager.

Both of us identify as gay and have no interest in men. However, I have always been attracted solely to butch women – or at least women who had a masculine, or at least androgynous appearance.

My girlfriend fits this to a T – short hair, jeans and T-shirt, tall and muscular figure, plays softball, etc. In contrast, I have always been on the more feminine side of the spectrum.

Anyway, last month we went together to a wedding of a family friend. To my surprise, when we were getting ready, she comes out of the bathroom wearing a dress. I have literally NEVER seen her wear a dress, and in fact, in the past she has always told me that she felt uncomfortable wearing women’s clothing. She looked pretty nervous, and asked if I liked it. I told her that I did … but in reality, I was weirded out, but I didn’t want to hurt her feelings.

We went to the wedding and when we came home, she pulled me into the bedroom. And this sounds SO terrible to say but while she was kissing me, all I could think about was how we were both wearing dresses and heels and how I felt like I was kissing my mother, or my aunt, or my best (platonic) female friend. Something about it felt wrong.

It’s been a month since this happened, and (without any further explanation), she has started wearing dresses/skirts on a regular basis and has even started growing her hair long. And I haven’t said anything, but my feelings haven’t changed. It feels weird to me, and it’s hard for me to feel attracted to her even though I still love her as a person.

What is the reason for this?? I feel like a terrible human being. On one hand, I know love is about more than what someone looks like. My girlfriend hasn’t changed at all on the inside, so I should love her regardless of what clothes she’s wearing. But on the other hand, how many straight women would lose all attraction to their boyfriends/husbands if they suddenly started wearing women’s clothes? (Lol.) And also, is my attraction to butch women some sort of manifestation of a hidden homophobia or something? I don’t know what to do or why I’m feeling like this.

A: First let me start with your first paragraph – anyone who is willing to judge you isn’t worth your time. This is a free space, and your opinions are valuable. No one is here to judge you.

Second, you are allowed to have your preferences. In this day and age, as people begin to become more accepting (especially as it pertains to the gay community) the unfortunate side effect is that people feel entitled to be offended by things that have nothing to do with them. In this situation, who you are attracted to is out of your control. If you’re more attracted to butch women, it is your right to have that preference.

Just as someone who prefers to date tall women or short women exclusively – we all have a type, and some are more specific than others. No one can tell you that “your type” is wrong.

It doesn’t mean you’re secretly homophobic. It means you prefer butch women.

Beyond that, however, you need to evaluate how important this new part of her personality is to you. My girlfriend, for example, is strictly butch – but I’m not typically attracted to women who have a strong leaning one way or the other.

In my relationship, I have decided that it’s less important than other factors (although I do often request that she wear something girly, just for me – without having to go out in public in it) but the fact of the matter is that only you can decide if that is true for your relationship. No one can force you to be attracted to something you’re not attracted to.

If you can’t handle the idea her of presenting femininely, your next option should be to see how firm she is about this new style. In some cases, when women change their style, it may simply be because they’re trying to accommodate an assumption they have about their girlfriend. If this is the case, most likely you’ll just have to tell her that no, you’re not into it, and she’ll go back to her old self.

If she does want to express herself in more feminine clothing, my advice is that you see if you can negotiate. For example, “If you’re going out with your friends, I don’t mind how you’re dressing, but if we are going to go on a date would you mind dressing in your old clothes?” It won’t always work, but if you care deeply about each other, you should be willing to compromise.

If she’s not willing to budge, and you’re not willing to budge, you may be best served by some time apart. (This is actually what made me realize I was willing to accept my girlfriend’s masculinity – we broke up for a while, and I realized I missed her more than I cared about how she dressed.) It’s possible that you’ve simply grown in different directions. This is an unfortunate part of the process of growing up in general, and there’s not really a way to address that issue alone.

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2-Year Relationship And I Barely Know Any Of Her Friends… | We Answer Your Questions

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Q: 2-Year Relationship And I Barely Know Any Of Her Friends…

Dear KitschMix,

So I’ve been with my girlfriend for just over 2 years, we live together now and even have a cat. She is quite a social person and has lots of friends and easily makes friends.

I’m basically the opposite, introverted with some anxiety issues. So whenever she is invited somewhere with her friends, she asks me if I’d like to come, and most of the time I say no as being in a large group of relative strangers is very hard for me (I’ve had panic attacks at her social events before). It’s gotten to the point now where I go to none of these events with her, and I barely know any of her friends.

She says that she’s not bothered about it, but I feel like I really should know them better?

A: Hi Reader,

First of all, something that sticks out to me is that she’s a very social person, and you’re quite an introvert. This sounds like exactly why you don’t know much about her friends, and the fact that she’s not bothered by it probably means that she understands how you are and loves you anyway.

A little-known fact about me: I have severe social anxiety. It’s actually one of the things that drew me to being a writer; I don’t need to interact with people as part of my daily routine, and I can instead choose to do it on my own terms. This last birthday, I had a nervous breakdown when my in-laws sang the Happy Birthday song to me, and I started crying and ran off – and I had lived with these people for the better part of a year!

If you want to get to know your girlfriend’s friends (although it doesn’t seem like she’s bothered by it), consider asking her to invite over one or two for a “mini dinner party” or something. This will be a lot easier on you, as you’ll have a more even ratio of people you know vs. people you don’t know. If it’ll make it easier, invite over someone from your circle as well – whether it’s a friend, a family member, a co-worker… Just someone you know better than you know her friends.

One of the biggest roots of social anxiety (and anxiety in general) is a feeling of being overwhelmed. The easiest way to overcome this is to slowly “water down” the new people with your “anchors” – this would be your girlfriend and someone from your circle. Keep it small, because you’re trying to fight the anxiety away. You want 1-2 people you don’t know with 1-2 people you do know.

If your social anxiety is overwhelming to you already, you might not be able to handle large social settings. Personally, I can’t handle being around even large groups of people I DO know unless I have somewhere I can retreat to. By choosing to have these meetings in your own home or the home of a close friend, you’ll know the “hidden places” that you can go if you need time to regroup.

From my (outsider’s) perspective, I can tell that your girlfriend is accepting of this part of your personality. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be with you after two years, right? Chances are, she knows that it’s difficult for you, and she’ll be willing to accommodate you as you try to get in touch with her life.

(Plus, as an added bonus, new people in small amounts over a long period of time not only increases the size of your own social circle, which is good for your mental health, but can also help you to get over your social anxiety – or at least help minimize it to a manageable level.)

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I’m Struggling With The Fact My Girlfriend Was Previously With A Man | We Answer Your Questions

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Q: Struggle with the fact that my girlfriend was previously with a man.

Dear KitschMix,

I’m not her first girlfriend, I don’t have any trust issues with her, and I have no doubt about how much she loves me and that she doesn’t want to be with anyone else. But these extremely unpleasant thoughts of her being intimate with her ex are driving me crazy.

She has a daughter, and I don’t know if that triggers it (reminds me of how she came into this world). The thought of her being with her ex-girlfriend doesn’t bother me, just the father of her child

A: Reader, this is something I hear all the time. You are definitely allowed to have your preferences – but allow me to explain how they’re unfair to your partner.

You say you can tell that she loves you and has no desire to be with anyone else. The only person who’s thinking of her and her baby daddy is you. She has had sex with a man, yes – but that was before she met you.

Quite frankly, most women (even those who identify as lesbians, myself included!) have, at one point in time, been with a man. There are a number of reasons for this – they could have had something to prove (my personal reason), they could have wanted to have a child “naturally” (an ex of mine), they may have been confused (numerous other exes), or they could possibly not have a preference between men and women (pretty much covers the rest of my exes).

This can be particularly unfair to the child, believe it or not, because whether the child is aware of it or not, she is indirectly the reason for your internal struggle. She is the reminder of something from your partner’s past that you don’t agree with. If your partner had only been with men before you, but didn’t have a daughter, would you think differently of her? Or is it only because there is a verification of her past?

What should matter to you is what she does now. If she had expressed an interest in returning to men, then this would be a cause for concern. But if it’s an area of her past that you’re having a hard time accepting, you are judging her based on a person that she no longer is.

If you truly can’t come to accept her past for what it is, it’s best if you get out of the relationship before it gets too long and she ends up more hurt. Dragging these things out only causes more pain in the long run, as it can lead her to feel that her time was wasted.

Now I Know I Want To Be With A Woman, How Do I Move Forward? | We Answer Your Questions

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Q: Now I know I want to be with a woman, how do I move forward?

Dear KitschMix,

I’m 25 and over the past two years have been struggling with questioning my sexual and romantic orientation. Throughout my life there have been signs that my sexuality was fluid but only when I realised I’d fallen hard for a female friend, did it change my entire life. To cut a long story short, I told her my feelings, she cut me off and broke my heart and since then every priority has altered.

Relationships have always taken a back seat for my career all of which hasn’t ended up going the way I wanted but now I think about it all the time. Now I’m finding everything is changing at a rapid rate, I’m drifting from friends, I have no idea what my career is, feeling as if I need to move away and start again and I want a relationship so badly that I know I am just projecting desperation which I know is never good.

Not because I think it will complete me, or something like that, but because I’m so used to being on my own, I now really want to share my life with someone special. The problem is I have poor experience in dating, I’m terrible at the art of seduction and now am committed to finding a relationship with another woman but have no idea how to go about this having only attempted to date men before.

What makes things worse is that I am only just coming to terms with the fact that I am definitely not straight but not completely gay either, (although I no longer see myself with a man, at least not for a long time). Because of all the myths and bad reputations of bisexual or fluid people floating around, convincing myself to accept it has been tough, but the idea of finding someone else who accepts it, particularly a woman who accepts that so far and at my age, I have only had sex with men (albeit really awful) and have never had a long term relationship, seems impossible.

With my lack of romance experience and my fluid orientation and my age, my fear is that I am well and truly un-dateable and will be alone forever. Is there any hope?

A: Well, reader, let me tell you: You are not alone in your discovery of a fluid sexuality. In fact, it’s pretty widely believed that all humans are sexually fluid – some just may not find the catalyst for their desires to change. Sometimes, it happens – and acceptance of it can bring you a great deal of satisfaction on its own.

That’s not to say that exploring it isn’t in your best interest. You fell for a female friend and she shot you down – that’s okay! Not everyone finds love right away. Those fairy-tale movies where the first person you fall for, happens to be the love of your life? Yeah, that doesn’t really happen in real life.

By getting your first female heartbreak out of the way, you’re actually better off. Your pain tells you that you were more than just “curious” – not that there’s anything inherently wrong with curiosity, but it’s important to know where you stand.

You might think this is a late point in life for you to be realizing things about yourself, but the truth is that things can change at any point. I know women who didn’t realize they were bisexual until they were in their mid-to-late 40s. You’re definitely not a late bloomer!

In my experience, women also value different things in a relationship than men do, which can be to your benefit. For example, you say your dating experience with men was bad – it’s possible that the issues you had with them won’t relate to your issues with females. In some ways, everyone wants the same thing, but the truth is, the “same thing” that everyone wants is happiness. There’s no set in stone right or wrong. If someone isn’t happy with you as you are, don’t bother with them – somewhere out there, there’s someone who will think you’re perfect. Whether that person is a man or a woman isn’t really an issue, as you have given yourself “permission” to pursue it in either way.

My advice to you in your future dating endeavors is just be honest, with yourself and your dates. If the person isn’t a good fit for you, don’t try to force it – a little bit of a sting in the beginning will hurt a lot less than revealing down the line that you have been “faking it”. Don’t fall into that trap!

Also, be honest with the women you’re dating in terms of your experience. Some women choose not to date bisexual women – and there’s not really anything you can do about this. It might not seem fair, but everyone is allowed to have a preference. You shouldn’t ask them to compromise their “criteria” any more than you would be willing to compromise your own (even if these criteria are different, as they often are).

I have actually written an e-book on this subject, and I recommend you take a look at it. If you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, it’s free to read, and if you don’t, it’s only $1. (To be frank, you can sign up for a one-month trial of Kindle Unlimited for that price and find a wealth of books that may help you – but I have only written one.) If you’re interested, you can find it (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0165PQIJK).

I wish you all the best in your journey – in the path to self-discovery it’s inevitable that you will find new things about yourself. There are no wrong answers, as long as you are honest and safe about your exploration.

I’m a Bi Woman, Married To A Man, But Can’t Stop Thinking About Being With Women Again | We Answer Your Questions

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Q: I’m a Bi Woman Married To A Man With Kids, But Can’t Stop Thinking About Being With Women Again

Dear KitschMix

My husband and I have been together since early adulthood (10 years). Before him, I had sexual encounters and a few kisses with other women, but then we married and that finished.

But my feelings for women have not disappeared. I now find myself having these sneaky thought and fantasies about hooking up with other women.

I’ve even gone online to communicated with other women, but never follow through. This has happened several times – usually every couple of years.

I am out to my husband and some close friends. He understands in some ways, but not in others. We have a house together, and kids, but I don’t feel attracted to my husband like I once did.

I am trying to feel attracted to him. He’s a really good person and a great dad. I do love him, but I haven’t felt in love with him in a long time – possibly ever.

I am trying to deal with the feelings I’m having about this, like, if I would eventually want to leave him for a woman, is it better to do it sooner? Or stay together for our kids even if I feel like cheating and am unsatisfied sexually? Do people successfully have open marriages when this type of scenario occurs?

I’m so sad to think about just about every scenario of my romantic and sexual life at the moment. We are open to the idea of a threesome but it’s hard to make it actually happen and I don’t know that it would change anything. How can I move forward?

A: Dear reader,

Let me start by saying that I don’t think cheating is ever the right answer to a situation. All you’d be doing by sneaking around is postponing the inevitable, as well as hurting your husband and maybe even your kids. The only situations where polyamory (open relationships) work is when all partners involved know the situation and are willing to agree to it.

Even then, there’s a chance it could end in jealousy and pain, but if you’re sneaking around the pain is inevitable.

Let me speak to you from personal experience for a minute. I’m a product of a break-up. My parents weren’t right for each other, and neither of them wanted to force it – so they broke up.

I still got to see both of my parents, and even though I had ideas when I was a kid that something magical would happen and they’d end up together – as I grew up I realized what was really right. If they would have stayed together for me, I would have been the reason for their unhappiness.

This wouldn’t have been fair to me as a kid, and it wouldn’t be fair to your kids, either. Definitely don’t keep your kids away from their dad, but don’t stay together for their sake. That never works out.

If you think that this is just a phase you’re going through (we don’t like to admit that sometimes it is), consider explaining to your husband how you feel. Tell him that you would like the freedom to be able to see women. Hey, some men are okay with the idea, and he’ll be there waiting for you when and if you come back to him. However, there are of course some risks with that scenario.

If you think you aren’t now, nor will you ever again be attracted to your husband, the best thing to do is to move on with your life. Imagine how he would feel if he finds out ten years from now that you were faking it for half your marriage – it wouldn’t be pretty. The divorce will hurt for awhile, but it won’t hurt as bad as the shame of being lied to.

By all means, you’re going to do whatever you feel is right in the end – but lying to the people you care about is a cruel way to handle your business.


My Best Friend Uses Hook-Up Apps To Find Sex | We Answer Your Questions

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Q: My Best Friend Uses Hook-Up Apps To Find Sex

Dear KitschMix,

I hate the fact that my best friend uses hook-up apps to find sex. She’s 32 and claims that she’s looking for a meaningful relationship, but all I ever see her do is fiddle with her phone and shoot out for loveless encounters.

I tell her that she’s being tacky. She counters that I don’t understand how the dating world works these days. I care for her very much and worry about her sexual health and safety. She was badly hurt by her ex girlfriend last year and now I fear she’s vulnerable. How do I protect her?

A: It’s your best friend’s choice to use hook-up apps if she likes – she is an adult, after all, and capable of making her own decisions. For you to call her “tacky” for the way she chooses to run her love life is, in my opinion, a bit tacky in itself.

She is right about the dating world, though. Most people look online to find someone. Not that there aren’t other ways to meet people, too, just that most people use their phones for everything anymore. I met my girlfriend on Facebook, completely by accident – and things are fine here.

I understand your concerns for her safety, but there are other ways you can show this concern than by attacking a choice she’s making with her life. Instead of telling her she’s being tacky, consider talking to her about safer sex, and discuss getting some type of personal protective device (pepper spray, pocket knife, etc. – check your local laws first).If you are actually concerned with her safety, why would you start with anything else?

I do get where you’re coming from, Reader. The online dating world can be a scary place, and sometimes it really is dangerous. She might be going about her search for “the one” the wrong way, but that’s not your decision to make. Sometimes we need to take the “easy way” for awhile. Eventually we’ll get bored of it and allow love to find us – but you can’t force her to take this step.

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How Do I Get The Spark Back? | We Answer Your Questions

We aim to get to the heart of your sex and relationship problems, so if you need advice, please get in touch.

Q: How Do I Get The Spark Back?

Dear KitschMix,

So my girlfriend and me have been going out for over 3 years now. It’s our first “real” (her words) relationship.

When we first got together after about 6 months we started sleeping round each other’s house all the time. We both had 3 months off for summer, and we practically spent everything waking moment with each other.

That’s not to say we had sex all the time, but it was quite regular, and it was fun. She used to buy lingerie to surprise me, and in general we were great together.

I then moved away to go to university, and we went long distance. Obviously we’ve had our ups and downs (long distance is a bitch), but it worked out, and we’re still together.

The problem is she recently (late last year) she got a super busy job, that means she works all week, regularly into the evening, and she then has another part time job at least 1 or 2 evenings a week.

This has all left her with not very much spare time. We generally see each other for 2 evenings a week now, and I’m generally OK with that. Obviously I’d like to see her more, but I appreciate she’s super busy and fits me in as well as she can.

Here’s the issue. We never sleep together anymore. I’ve been home for a few months now, and we’ve had one romantic night together, and even then it was with clothes on. I’m living back with my parents (who are really cool and like her), and I have a double bed. She lives in shared house with a single bed.

She doesn’t like sleeping round my house at all anymore, she says she has anxiety about my parents thinking we just use it as a hotel, and it makes her too worried to even consider sex. However, her house has a single bed, with roommates who all stay up super late, and the door to her bedroom doesn’t even close completely. Like, it jams and you have to shove it to get it to close, but there’s still a tiny gap.

I miss sex with her. A lot. She’s gorgeous, sexy, clever, funny, and I completely adore her, but the lack of sex is driving me crazy. I don’t want to break up with her, but every time I talk to her she either says she’s rarely in the mood and can’t make herself in the mood for me.

I’ve suggested going away, but even that doesn’t work, because she feels like we’re only going away to have sex, and feels too pressured to have sex she might not be in the mood for.

I don’t know what to do. I adore her, and I’ve tried to explain so many times that the lack of sex is driving me crazy, but she just says that sex is something she’s just not willing to compromise on, and that I just have to wait for it to “all click into place”.

I could understand that I guess, but I just don’t see an end to it. There’s nothing big coming up that’s going to change everything, and in the mean time I’m finding it really hard to deal with how incredibly attractive I find her, and yet how little we have sex.

She says sex shouldn’t be forced, and I appreciate that, but surely we should at least make the time to have the OPPORTUNITY for it, if we both were in the mood.

I’m at a loss what to do, I love her, and I adore her, but it’s driving me crazy wanting to be so close to her, but not ever having the opportunity to be.

A: I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but to me it sounds like your girlfriend is just not interested in sex with you right now – and there’s nothing you can do to force that.

It happens sometimes, and it does go away in some cases, so I wouldn’t advise you to give up if you really want to make this work with her.

As far as the locations go, you don’t really have a lot to work with.

She’s right, you know – if you go away, to have sex, it’ll be like you’re going away to have sex. (It’s funny how that works.)

It seems like you don’t have many options right now – so it’s best if you cater to her on this one.

If there’s any way to block her door so it stays shut – I’d do that.

I used to have a door that was slammed too much by an ex girlfriend; when I wanted to be intimate with my new lady, I would stick a laundry hamper in front of it.

It’s not great, but it worked. (Later, at the same house, I ended up moving my stuff into the living room after a dispute with some roommates – we hung a sheet from the ceiling and it didn’t slow us down at all!) If you want to have sex with her, you can’t put too much importance into the location. Work with what you’ve got!

You said she has been working a lot lately – is it possible that the stress from work is causing some friction to her? You could try offering to give her a massage instead of trying for sex. Not only would it be a nice thing to do for her, but it might even loosen her up enough for her to get in the mood. It’s worth a shot, right?

In my personal experience, I tend to veer towards the asexual side when I’m caught up with work. I have a tendency to be a workaholic, and it sounds to me like your girlfriend might be, too.

I try to do my best to remember to “shut down” and make time for my partner, but it’s still hard to put myself in the mood for sex if my mind’s not in it.

Almost instinctively now, my partner knows that if I’m working late a few nights in a row, or exhausted by the time I make it to bed, she should rub my shoulders. I’m not sure how your handiwork is, but my lady knows how to rub out the knots. (Double entendre definitely intended.) Once I’ve relaxed a bit, she starts to slowly “warm me up”.

As long as I’m not super tired by the time I get there, it almost always works. You should try it. Even if it doesn’t result in sex for you, your partner will appreciate it. (And if she doesn’t, she’s not worth your time.)

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