Gentle readers, I regard this column as a sacred calling, and I would never intentionally do anything to cause you to question my judgment. Sound judgment, after all, is the professional advice columnist's most precious commodity. But every once in a while some do-gooder gets me shit-faced, and the next thing I know I'm raising money for some dumb-ass charity by auctioning off the right to give advice in this space. And guess what? It's happened again. (This week's column is feeding the homeless--you know, in addition to clothing them.)
Auctioning off the column is a risky business: What if the winning bidders are assholes? What if they spew bullshit? What if they cruelly abuse readers seeking my counsel? And what if they're better at all of that than I am? It's not in my best interest to create the impression that just anyone can do this.
Meet the winning bidders: Steve Lippman and his lovely wife, Marla Russo. Steve is a 37-year-old Jewish guy who does advocacy work for a socially responsible investment firm I'm not allowed to name in my skeezy advice column; Marla works in public health. For the sake of the folks whose letters they're responding to, I'm hoping Steve and Marla are good at this. But for the sake of my own job security, gentle readers, I'm hoping they totally suck.
I hope you post this note as a warning. I recommend that everybody stay away from Craigslist. When I started looking at the personals on the site I was fascinated (there are some real freaks out there), but I was also looking for pictures with bare female flesh. After I exhausted the pages for cities in the U.S., I started looking at ads posted in other countries. That's when I noticed that the same hot babe in Finland had posted the same picture in six different U.S. states and four different countries.
She wasn't the only one posting the same ad in many different places. When I realized that all these offers for NSA sex were scams, I lost interest in even looking at the pictures. Your readers should know that hot anonymous sex is unlikely to occur--at least through Craigslist--and focus their efforts elsewhere. --Don't Be Fooled
STEVE: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. On the Internet that applies to (1) offers for creams to help men "grow extra inches," (2) chain e-mails claiming that if you forward them you'll get cash from Bill Gates/a big pharmaceutical company will give free drugs to a poor kid with cancer, and (3) Craigslist ads for no-strings-attached sex apparently posted by women who look remarkably similar to porn stars or Lindsay Lohan.
But there are real women on Craigslist. Some of them post for NSA sex in the Casual Encounters section, and many more post in other categories like Women Seeking Men. I know this because five years ago I met my own too-good-to-be-true wife by answering her Craigslist ad (which I want my in-laws to know was not a posting for NSA sex).
MARLA: SA sex is fun too.
DAN: OK, that wasn't too bad--although it would be nice if Marla would shut the fuck up and let Steve get a word in edgewise. But Steve and Marla weren't nearly abusive enough to DBF, who comes across like a total douche. A true advice professional would call attention to DBF's total douchebaggery. Grade: B-.
I'm sure you've answered a question like this before (or have refused to answer on principle), but where can you find down-to-earth, laid-back gay men? I'm trying to avoid the online dating thing because it's not really romantic, but trying to meet guys in a large room with a remix of a remix bouncing in the background isn't working either. --Little or No Effort
STEVE: In less than five minutes of Internet searching I found the Steel City Skiers, a group for gay skiers and snowboarders in Pittsburgh; Bottom Dwellers, a gay-and-lesbian scuba-diving club in Seattle; and OUTdoors KC, "a gay-inclusive club for those interested in biking, hiking, walking, camping, and other outdoor recreational activities in Kansas City." Point is, even if you don't like online personals, with little or no effort you are only a few clicks away from finding a group of gay men who live near you and like whatever scene you do.
MARLA: Nice job, Steve.
DAN: Blah blah, Marla! Let the man talk! But Steve really pounds his point home--and even works LONE's sign-off into his response. B+.
I'm hoping you can give me some advice. I'm a happily married 27-year-old female. The problem is that I've never been able to have an orgasm. I had several relationships before my husband, and none of those men were able to get me to come. I've tried to masturbate several times but am not able to reach orgasm that way either. Are some women physically incapable of having an orgasm? Do you have any advice for me? This is upsetting my husband, who feels like he's failing. --Not Coming Around
MARLA: It's a commonly cited statistic that 70 percent of women don't orgasm from intercourse alone, so one question is whether your husband and previous sex partners have provided you with enough clitoral stimulation with their hands, mouths, toys, etc, for you to orgasm. If you've only masturbated a few times you haven't given yourself much clitoral stimulation either.
Putting pressure on yourself with expectations isn't going to help the situation any. But putting pressure on yourself with a Hitachi Magic Wand or other vibrators may help a whole lot! Vibrators are so popular these days it's only a matter of time until Apple comes out with cute white iVibes that let you listen to music, make cellphone calls, send e-mail, and watch YouTube videos all while stimulating your clitoris. Until then, there are great options available online at babeland.com and goodvibes.com. Take some time to experiment on your own with what feels good. If something works for you, you can incorporate it into sex with your husband.
STEVE: If you still can't orgasm you should talk to your doctor, because there are a few medical conditions and medications that can prevent orgasm. Some might say to start with this step, but quality time with a new vibrator is more fun than talking to your doctor and just might do the trick by itself. Plus, you can get a vibrator delivered to your door faster than you can get an appointment with most doctors.
DAN: Marla and Steve's joint response to NCA was exhaustive, helpful, and informative. A+. But their response lacked the bile, invective, profanity, tangents, and poop jokes that are the hallmark of a true advice professional at work. My job is saved!
For more from Marla and Steve--Marla explains why breast-feeding is the "best" birth-control option; Steve and Marla lay into one total douche--see thestranger.com/savage/guests.