For friends going through hard times, Ryan Alexander-Tanner and I created this break up action plan. It’s based on the last chapter of my book, Sex from Scratch. Read the whole comic at The Nib.  For friends going through hard times, Ryan Alexander-Tanner and I created this break up action plan. It’s based on the last chapter of my book, Sex from Scratch. Read the whole comic at The Nib.  For friends going through hard times, Ryan Alexander-Tanner and I created this break up action plan. It’s based on the last chapter of my book, Sex from Scratch. Read the whole comic at The Nib. 

For friends going through hard times, Ryan Alexander-Tanner and I created this break up action plan. It’s based on the last chapter of my book, Sex from Scratch. Read the whole comic at The Nib

Quick Hits of Relationship Advice

I was interviewed this week for Metro New York's dating column. Factoid: Since this interview happened over the phone at 7am my time, I was not wearing pants for the duration of the conversation. Here’s the advice that wound up being printed in the paper: 

It’s your job to speak up

Too many times, we expect our partners to automatically know what we are thinking or what we like or find uncomfortable. Mirk says that she herself had to practice expressing her feelings out loud. “When I feel like I am getting upset about something, I tell myself that it’s my job in a relationship to say something. Because if I don’t, nothing will change.”

Breaking up can be courageous

Many couples sometimes stay in unhappy partnerships for months or years longer than they’d like to because they either fear being single or cannot imagine what their lives will look like outside of their longterm relationship. “Breaking up is a pretty brave thing to do,” notes Mirk. “It’s not a sign of failure.”

It’s also important to figure out why you want to end your relationship. Are there personal things that you need time to figure out on your own? “I think a lot of times people have a lot of deep, unhappy stuff,” says Mirk. “And instead of dealing with it, they would do something obviously bad – like cheating – and then say, ‘Well, if I cheated, I have to break up,’ instead of fixing the problem.”

Lean on your friends

It’s hard to have a breakup that isn’t painful. That’s why it’s so important to have a strong support system around you. “Your friends are going to be your superheroes,” says Mirk.

Remember, you can be happy

“A lot of people lose track of what a happy relationship is,” says Mirk. If you don’t see yourself being happy with the person you are with, it’s OK to move on. “Everyone deserves to be in a relationship that’s healthy,” says Mirk.

My friend just sent me this photo from Dog Eared Books in the Mission! Good company.

From “Difference Maker” in the New Yorker:

I came to see these years as the beginning of the second act of my adult life. If the first act—college through age thirty-four or so—had been mostly taken up by delirious career ambition and almost compulsive moving among houses and apartments and regions of the country, the second was mostly about appreciating the value of staying put. I’d bought a house in a city that was feeling more and more like home. And though I could well imagine being talked out of my single life and getting married if the right person and circumstances came along—in fact, I met my eventual husband around the time I was matched with Kaylee—one thing that seemed increasingly unlikely to budge was my lack of desire to have children. After more than a decade of being told that I’d wake up one morning at age thirty or thirty-three—or, God forbid, forty—to the ear-splitting peals of my biological clock, I would still look at a woman pushing a stroller and feel no envy at all, only relief that I wasn’t her.

I was willing to concede that I was possibly in denial. All the things people say to people like me were things I’d said to myself countless times. If I found the right partner, maybe I’d want a child because I’d want it with him. If I went to therapy to deal with whatever neuroses could be blamed on my own upbringing, maybe I’d trust myself not to repeat my childhood’s more negative aspects. If I understood that you don’t necessarily have to like other children in order to be devoted to your own (as it happens, this was my parents’ stock phrase: “We don’t like other children, we just like you”), I would stop taking my aversion to kids kicking airplane seats as a sign that I should never have any myself. After all, only a very small percentage of women genuinely feel that motherhood isn’t for them. Was I really that exceptional?

Dan Savage invited me to be on his podcast today to talk about this great little radio show about feminist porn I put together for Bitch—hope you like it!

I was on Oregon Public Broadcasting today with the artist Erika Moen and relationship counselor Kirk Shepard to talk about non-monogamy. I was nervous to do this show (everyone I know in Portland would be listening!) but it was a really great conversation.

Such a good time at the Sex from Scratch book release at Powell’s last night. Thanks to everyone who came out—when the whole crowd sang me happy birthday, I almost cried. 
Photos by Brighthouse Films and portrait by Erika Moen! Such a good time at the Sex from Scratch book release at Powell’s last night. Thanks to everyone who came out—when the whole crowd sang me happy birthday, I almost cried. 
Photos by Brighthouse Films and portrait by Erika Moen! Such a good time at the Sex from Scratch book release at Powell’s last night. Thanks to everyone who came out—when the whole crowd sang me happy birthday, I almost cried. 
Photos by Brighthouse Films and portrait by Erika Moen! Such a good time at the Sex from Scratch book release at Powell’s last night. Thanks to everyone who came out—when the whole crowd sang me happy birthday, I almost cried. 
Photos by Brighthouse Films and portrait by Erika Moen! Such a good time at the Sex from Scratch book release at Powell’s last night. Thanks to everyone who came out—when the whole crowd sang me happy birthday, I almost cried. 
Photos by Brighthouse Films and portrait by Erika Moen!

Such a good time at the Sex from Scratch book release at Powell’s last night. Thanks to everyone who came out—when the whole crowd sang me happy birthday, I almost cried. 

Photos by Brighthouse Films and portrait by Erika Moen!

Relationships, DIY style! I’m featured in the new Destination DIY episode that’s all about “the unwritten contracts we make with our own partners” and how to build the kind of relationships we want for ourselves. 

Over on Boing Boing today, Glenn Fleishman and I talk about books, dating, and nonmonogamy. Listen in! 

Really, really nice review of my book from Eleanor J. Bader on Truthout: "There are no one-size-fits-all remedies here, and no sure-fire recipes for snagging - or for that matter finding - the companions of our dreams. This makes the book realistic, smart and helpful.  Its wisdom will be of great benefit to teenagers and young adults who are trying to figure out dating, sexual attraction and, well, sexuality itself. Of course, conservatives and the religious right will go ballistic if schools hand out copies, but if educators really want an informed student body, they will confront the backlash and make Sex from Scratch an integral part of the sex ed curriculum. ”