Advice with Spyce: Two readers seek the confidence to find love

Dear Spyce:

I have been single for a long time and I really feel like I am ready for a relationship. But I work a lot, don’t feel great about the way I look, and I haven’t had as many dates as I would like. So whenever I do get asked out, I say yes, even if I don’t really want to go, or I know the guy isn’t good relationship material. The main problem, though, is that even those dates don’t go past the first or second try. What am I doing wrong? I’m a nice person, and I would make someone a great partner. I just wish I could get a good couple dates that lead to something real. 

Wishing For Love

Dear Wishing,

Well, first things first: We need to work on that confidence, honey! You might know deep down inside that you’re a catch, but it doesn’t sound like you’re acting like that, and people can smell desperation, even if you put on a lot of perfume to cover it up! So the first step is looking at what you think that you deserve, and why you think you don’t deserve it! 

If you’re not feeling good about your look, what can you do to make some positive change? Is there really something wrong, or are you just once again, falling victim to that internal shaming voice? As for me, I’ve always been confident in the fact that I am a solid 7 on the outside, but off the charts everywhere else. And that fact alone has enabled me to always have hot people at my disposal, and my husband is so damn fine that he should be an underwear model! I tell him this all the time but he still hasn’t dialed up Calvin Klein…

Another point to address is how imperative it is to have your own personal boundaries and standards, and how much that plays into your self respect. You say that you go out on dates even if you don’t want to, and I can understand that sometimes a girl’s bored and needs some time out of the house, but if doing so is just going to spiral you deeper into a hole of self flagellation, maybe the free cosmo isn’t worth it! If you know that someone isn’t for you, or doesn’t meet your criteria, why waste your time with them at all? Why go on a date that you know is not going to bring you joy or satisfaction? Because when that date goes badly, as it inevitably will, even if it’s you who isn’t up for it to begin with, it will still create further proof to that nagging inner voice that you’re just not good enough. Ain’t nobody got time for that! You need to trust your intuition, friend! 

Here’s the thing. You sound like a lovely person, and as soon as you start believing that and treating yourself like the prize that you truly are, others are going to start following suit. So no more feeling bad about yourself. Stop that shit right now! No more placating dumb ass bros who don’t deserve you. Eff that AND the Tesla he rode in on. Stop burying yourself in work and using that as an excuse. Do the things that make you happy, and know that the person who is going to recognize you for the awesomeness that you are is going to be pretty darn amazing, and is on their way! 

Dear Spyce,

I have scoliosis that has progressed a lot over the years. Although I do a great job managing my pain and do my best to still do things I enjoy like hiking, I’m way slower than I used to be and have to be mindful about the types of physical activities I take on. 

I want to start online dating, but I am very intimidated about having to reveal this about myself, yet feel it’s important to be upfront about this so as to not surprise (or disappoint) a potential partner. So I’m wondering, how do you reveal such a thing without coming across as a person who may present like a victim of circumstance? Though it doesn’t define me, it is part of who I am. 

Also, if you read something like that in a profile, would you consider that a dealbreaker? Thanks in advance.

Dating Despite Disability


First off, I want to congratulate you on taking the first step toward finding a new relationship. You are brave! It’s difficult in general to put yourself out there, and with an “elephant in the room” that you are unsure of how to address, it’s even more challenging. So first give yourself a gigantic pat on the back (softly so as not to hurt yourself) for being willing to put yourself out there at all. 

When it comes to being transparent and upfront in dating profiles, I believe that if you are really looking for a true relationship, honesty is the best policy, as the old saying goes. I understand that it could feel like you could turn some people off with the truth, but if that’s the case, you would definitely want to know that before you even gave them the pleasure of seeing your pretty face in person. 

It’s also about compatibility. Maybe they want a partner to run marathons with. Maybe you would thrive with a partner whose primary love language is acts of service, and them knowing that you might need some extra physical care here and there would actually draw them in deeper. You just never know. 

Whether it’s the fact that you have children, another partner, a disability or were born another gender, it’s imperative to be forthcoming about who you are. I had a (very straight) friend who thought she had met the man of her dreams and was shocked when I told her a few dates in that he was in fact, transgender, and had been born a woman. Now there’s nothing wrong with that, but was it fair for him to not let her know the truth of who he is and let her make her own decisions? I think not. 

Now obviously you’re not hiding your genitalia (although I don’t advise you to break that out on your profile either) but if you’re hiding something that is an imperative part of how you operate in the world, it could lead to heartache and rejection later on after you’re already entwined with someone. So if your situation is a dealbreaker for someone, let them move along, swipe left and don’t waste your precious time.

Be proud of who you are, it’s nothing to be ashamed of! None of us are who we used to be, and often that’s a good thing. Finding the person who will love all of you, battle scars and all, is the main objective when looking for a successful relationship. 

Who Was That Masked Man?: Non-monogamy and dealing with a pandemic-induced dry spell

Hi Spyce,

So, I am a happily married gay male and have been non-monogamous with my husband for many years. A couple of years ago I met someone, and we developed a really intense and connected relationship. It was amazing, thrilling and life changing. The only issue was that he had a really hard time with not being my one and only, even though he actually liked my husband and even became friends with him. No one else in his life supported our relationship because of our lifestyle, so eventually, it just became too much for my boyfriend and we had to stop seeing each other. It was very sad and hard to stay away, but I had to. 

We had stayed in only casual touch but a few months ago (right before the pandemic hit), he said that he still loved me and wanted to try to make it work. He said he’s changed and is okay now with my marriage and not being my one and only. I want to believe him, but I’m not sure. It was so emotionally intense and draining last time, I’m not sure I can go through with it again. However, I do love him deeply and crave his presence in my life. 

What should I do?

Signed, In Too Deep

Dear Deep,

Ah that pull to those intense relationships; I can feel the craving, too! Who doesn’t want to be with someone who makes them feel alive? It can be quite enticing, and keep us staying in situations that are not quite ideal. Sounds like you’ve been there and done that and are really only up for this journey again if he’s truly changed, and therein lies the question. 

We know what they say, that you can’t change a man unless he’s still in diapers and that sounds like something no one wants to see. And I must say, I’ve had other experiences in life that speak to the contrary, and give me hope. I’m always optimistic that the good in people can come through with enough effort and that in some cases, people really do change. 

Now you don’t want to just take his word for it, but what you can do is relax, be patient and let him show you. If he’s different, you will be able to tell. The proof will be swirled in the pudding of what comes up, because things have a way of coming up, don’t they? Those intense and meaningful, delicious and devastating relationships are there specifically to bring about intense and meaningful, delicious and devastating feelings, which is the precursor to healing. And once healing happens, people really do change. So maybe he has had some opportunities for healing since you split and will be more able to stick around. 

I’d also check in around his friendships and the other relationships in his life. Has that changed in any way? Has he had any new experiences with the non-monogamous lifestyle? Has he dated other people? Is he dating other people? And what about his family and loved ones? Have his people gone from being unsupportive douche nozzles and become ready to support him in what makes him happy? And then that question…does this make him happy? Will he be able to be satisfied with what you’re able to bring to the relationship or will he always be wanting more? It never feels good to be pining away in love, so you will both have to be committed to working with that feeling if it arises, or when. 

My main advice is tread lightly, and go slow. And hey! We are in the middle of a pandemic so you can use that to your advantage. Give him opportunities to see how things can be different now, and if they will. Make sure it feels good to you. If it starts to feel bad, pull back. Slow down. You may have a lifetime of karma to unravel with this man, so no need to rush the process, because everyone is getting nowhere fast these days anyway. 

Dear Spyce, 

I’m feeling really horny right now, and I feel a little guilty worrying about this during a pandemic. But it’s summer, it’s hot out, and I just want to have sex with EVERYONE and I can’t have sex with ANYONE! To top it off, I keep seeing hot guys with masks on and it’s reminding me of the sexual fantasies I’ve had about faceless men. Everyone has those, right? Typically I date a lot and now … I haven’t had sex in months!! I’m a nanny so I have to be super safe. What do I do? I’m so horny!!!!

Horny AF


I feel you … those masked men CAN be a huge turn on, can’t they? The mystery, the intrigue, the knowing that they are compassionate and caring people who believe in science … I gotta agree, it’s pretty sexy! So first off, there is nothing to feel guilty about! 

Many people react to stress by wanting to de-stress, and becoming focused on sexual energy can be a very exciting thing that distracts us from our stress. Also, there’s something called biology, which makes us want to get down when the heat is on. And different times of the month, stages in life, yadda yadda. Suffice to say, you feeling horny is a very normal and human thing. So please do not feel guilty about wanting to get you some. As mentioned, there’s nothing like a good distraction when we’re stressed. And who isn’t stressed right now? 

So here’s a few ways to get sexy and be safe, which meant something so different a few months ago. 

I’m not going to dwell on the obvious too much, which is rub your own damn kitty! But I will say that focusing on fantasy life (yes, we all have wild ones. I’ve heard many when I was teaching my sexy fantasy class) and trying something new and wild even with yourself can be very exciting, even if it is all in your head.

The next one is a different take on the obvious which is “go for a known quotient.” You know that friend that you really trust and like that you never really thought like that about but I guess they are kinda cute? Yes, it might be time to chat with that friend about their COVID protocols and see if you can reach an agreement. Like you know the TikTok where “people try to kiss their best friend” thing? Like that but, well, maybe not if it’s going to ruin the friendship. So maybe not your best friend, but someone on the periphery who you could ditch once the pandemic is over. 

Beyond that, if you decide that you do want to meet strangers for possible dates, make sure that you have a very clear idea of what you are and aren’t comfortable with, communicate that to any interested parties, and make sure you stick to those boundaries. Have a good list of questions of what’s important to you, and don’t be afraid to ask them. We are ALL in this mess, so the more we talk openly and honestly with each other, the more this pandemic can bring us closer together, not further apart.

Advice with Spyce: Texting relationships and condom free in corona

Dear Spyce,

I met this guy online and we immediately hit it off. We exchanged numbers and started texting, pretty quickly getting to the point where we were texting all day, every day. Because of quarantines and such, we weren’t able to meet up for a few weeks, but by that time, I felt like we knew each other pretty well. So finally the day arrived. I was ready with my hand sanitizer and mask, and we found a place to meet outdoors. And it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. First off, he didn’t sound like I thought he would, and the conversation just didn’t flow the way it does in text. He was cute enough, but I didn’t feel the wow that I was expecting. I made my way through the date, but figured that would be the end of it. But as soon as we parted, he started texting again and it felt good again. So now I’m confused. Are we just better off as text friends, and never taking this to the next level? 

Just Not That Into Him

Dear Just,

Ah, you trespassed over one of my most important dating rules! DON’T START A TEXT RELATIONSHIP! Yes I know that everyone wants to just text like rabbits and “get to know” each other virtually, but there are some people who are great writers, and then are just not great talkers. When you connect so deeply via text without ever even hearing someone’s voice, the cadence, the tilt, the tone, you can build up all kinds of ideas of how they will sound when you do finally get to hear the silk of their words caressing your ears. But until you actually see them talking, you don’t even know if they look funny when they say certain words, or have a strange tic.
But to be fair, I’m sure there was a lot of pressure from both of you for this to be the perfect meeting, and if stars didn’t shoot out of your eyes and puppies and kittens didn’t drop out of the heavens as soon as you saw each other (from 6 feet away of course), it can be natural to feel like something was wrong. When in fact, real connection takes time, and it can be a good while before you feel comfortable with someone in live skin-covered human form when you only have a disembodied fantasy text version of them in your mind.

Here’s the thing: he’s still the same person, and the things that he said to you should still hold the same weight. Maybe try to be more relaxed with the situation, and he can relax as well. Try video chatting to get more comfortable with each other’s faces. Great connection is hard to come by, and it would be a shame to throw it away without fully giving it an opportunity to mature. 

Dear Spyce,

How do I respond to a partner who doesn’t believe we should bother practicing safe sex during COVID? We started dating right before the pandemic hit and we both got negative STI/STD tests then. We haven’t been seeing other people, so he says there’s no point of using condoms, as I can’t get pregnant. I can see his point, but it is so foreign to me to skip condoms until I’m very serious with a partner. I don’t want to hurt him, but it just feels too fast. Advice?

Condom Free Corona Love

Dear CRCL,

As much as I can see his point when it comes to the safety aspect as well, it really comes down to what you are comfortable with. You have a right to have your wishes respected, even if someone doesn’t like them. There’s no reason that he should take it personally, and if he does, that’s on him. 

I think the intriguing question could be for you to look at exactly why you don’t feel okay with it. It sounds like the condom free situation signifies to you an emotional connection that you don’t yet feel with this person. Could it also be that it makes you question the relationship, and if it’s what you truly want? Does it point out other inconsistencies or red flags in the relationship? 

Our uncomfortable feelings are always indicative of something when we look underneath the surface, so I would say to pop the lid off and take a deeper look as to where your feelings for not wanting to get more intimate with him come from. 

While they may be pointing toward something in the relationship, they may also be pointing to something deeper in yourself that can lead to introspection and deeper clarity. Either way, it sounds like this could be a great opportunity for you to discover what you really are desiring, and approach it without guilt or remorse from that place. 

Good luck! 

Advice with Spyce: Navigating polyamory and avoiding getting catfished

Hi Spyce, 

I’m in a non monogamous relationship with a wonderful woman. We do a form of polyamory called “kitchen table poly,” and I currently live with her, her husband and their two kids. Things are going well with her, except that there are times when I don’t feel respected and accepted, especially by her husband. Furthermore, I don’t know how much I respect him. I want to try and stick it out, because I love this woman, but I’m not sure. Is love enough to make it work?

 Perplexed Providence Poly

Well PPP,

I can understand that this could be confusing. The truth is that everyone brings something into a relationship, and it’s really up to us to determine whether a relationship has too many dealbreakers, or if the “baggage” is something that we can work with. This situation is very nuanced because even though you are not romantic with your girlfriend’s spouse, you are still essentially in a relationship with him too, and in order for any relationship to work, all parties have to be consensually involved. 

So I’m curious if that’s the case. Is he down with the “kitchen table poly” or is he just not down with you because of personality clashes? You also mention that you don’t really like him either, and if that’s the case, I’d be asking why you are so intimately engaged with someone you don’t like.

 If you want to be with his wife and the two of them have that agreement in their marriage, then fine. But as long as you are living with them, you are directly engaged with him as well. I would never recommend that someone bring together two partners who don’t like each other and force them to engage, and I think as the hinge in this V, your girlfriend has the responsibility to be more clear about the dynamics, rules and comfort of both of the people who are bending their comfort levels to be with her.

Dear Spyce,

So in the normal world, which we are no longer in, things like sexting and video sex gets a bad rap. For one thing, it’s impersonal, and for another, is it safe to communicate with someone like that? In these days of cyber stalking and the like, I’m a little concerned that my picture could end up somewhere I don’t want it to. But since I can’t meet anyone in person right now, this is seeming like the best way to “date” someone and because I’m trapped inside and horny, I am more likely to let things progress to the “next level.” I have needs! But one of them is to figure out how to “do it” safely.

Unsettled Safe Sexter 

Dear USS,

I absolutely understand your trepidation, and agree that you should be cautious. In today’s world you do have to be careful who you are giving your pertinent info to, and if you don’t know and trust someone well, it could easily get into the wrong hands, and you may find your fine ass displayed up on a highway billboard for all to see. Now that might be fun in some cases, but if Grandma drives by and recognizes your identifying birth marks from when she changed your diaper … AWKWARD!!!

So here are a few things to do to keep yourself safe when you want to exchange sexy pics with strangers. First off, don’t just accept their pictures at face value. You seriously have no real way of knowing who you are talking to. Have them write down a phrase on a piece of paper (“I’m Spyce’s sexy bitch” has worked for me in the past) and hold it up in a picture to you. This ensures that you are truly talking to who you think you are talking to. Next off, don’t give up too much incriminating info from the start. So no bragging about your awesome job or your cool apartment right by the lake, that you jog around everyday at 5pm, or you may find yourself being watched when you least expect it. Another thing … don’t be too eager. We are all going stir crazy, but letting a stranger know that will not serve you well. If you really want to get to know someone new, do it first with your clothes on, and don’t send any dick pics indiscriminately.

But let’s say you DO want to share your load with a new friend, for the love of God do not send anything from your cellphone or email with your real name attached to it! Make a fake email, use a Google voice number, or download so many of the handy apps these days that you can use to send pics anonymously.

It’s very easy to get catfished in today’s world, and you don’t want to become an internet celebrity without your consent! 

Love in Lockdown: Dealing with conflict and bedroom boredom

Dear Spyce,

My boyfriend and I have differing opinions on many things, which is usually ok, but in current times, it feels like our differing opinions are a matter of life or death! I am a schoolteacher, and have been stuck at home for the last few months in front of a computer, something I’m not used to. He is an essential worker, and so while he’s not socializing, he has been out of the house daily and seeing people. A few friends and I wanted to do a socially distanced girls night, and he is adamantly opposed, which I don’t think is fair. I feel like he doesn’t trust me to do the right thing, and I feel like I’m going crazy without social interaction!

Crazy with Corona

Hey Crazy,

Just to be very clear, you are definitely not the only person going a wee bit mad in this lockdown. We are all being asked to bring our best selves to the situation, and live life in a way that we aren’t comfortable with, or used to in the slightest. To say it’s difficult is an understatement, and we all need to cut ourselves, and each other, some slack. 

While I won’t personally take a stand on either side of this argument, I think what it comes down to is your level of communication within the relationship, and a hard look at how you handle things when conflict does arise. You mentioned that you typically agree, but there must be some times when you don’t, and looking to those times can be a key to what has worked in the past with difference of opinion. 

For example, does one of you badger the other until they cave and give in? Does one of you stay angry and not talk to the other until you get your way? Do you approach each other with anger or compassion, facts or manipulation? Having an honest discussion with each other about your personal needs and wants in the situation in an open and loving way where you can see each other’s points of views, honor and respect them, even if you don’t agree, will go a long way to reaching a harmonious agreement that you can both live with, and be safe and healthy in the process. Good luck!

Hey Spyce,

My partner and I have found that after working from home, endless Zooms and depressing news articles, we don’t have a ton of motivation left to leap into sexy time. We’ve tried date nights and semi-spontaneous afternoon romps, but they feel a bit forced and sometimes that can take the real excitement out of it. I’m wondering if you have tips for what we can do to bring the sexy back when we are cooped up together all day, everyday, with no end in sight? 


Losin the Itch in Lockdown

Hi Itchless,

Well unfortunately I can’t tell you to take some space from each other so that you bring the spark back in, so we will have to test out some other techniques to help you kids get the urge to get it on. While we are all stuck at home, it can actually be a perfect time to do some sexploration, but as you mentioned, with everything else going on, it can be difficult to create that desire.

So first off, remove the “goal” of having to have sex. Making it something that has to be done really takes the joy out of it, so let’s just get that off the table right now. Then to start, explore other ways that you can connect physically, such as taking a bath or shower together, or trading massages without having the endgame of sex in sight. There are so many classes online these days that you can certainly find something on sensual massage (maybe even free!) that can show you some new techniques.
Then let me ask you this: Have there been any fantasies that you’ve wanted to explore, but you either haven’t had the time, or the gumption to ask your partner about? This could be a great time to slap on those big girl panties and let your partner know exactly how you want those panties slapped on or ripped off. And while porn may have a negative stigma in some circles, I find it to be a great way to get ideas, and get the juices flowing when viewed with a lover.

You mentioned date night, but have you gone all out? Dress for your partner as if you are going out someplace fancy. Do it up! Getting out of those yoga pants will do wonders to put you in another state of mind. And then maybe put yourself in another space in your house. Get out of the bedroom! Turn your living room into a spa or a tropical paradise. It’s amazing what just shutting down the computer, turning off your phones and putting on some candles and incense can do for your libido.

Advice with Spyce: Love in the time of corona

Dear Spyce, 

As we go further into our quarantine, I’m finding myself depressed and lonely. I haven’t been dating much this past year, and my new year’s resolution was to get out there and go on more dates. I had been rewording my profile and finding some new pics, and while I may have been procrastinating a little, I had started a few conversations and was slowly putting myself out there. But now, with the possibility of meeting someone anytime soon seeming unrealistic, I’m starting to wonder: Am I just wasting my time even being on the apps at all?


Pandemic Procrastinator

Hi PP,

First off, you are NOT alone! This is the question I am getting from so many singles right now, and it’s certainly a wild time to be looking for love. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad time. There’s something to be said for how the coronavirus is forcing us all back to simpler days and to courting connections that really count. And with social distancing and the stress so many of us are under, a nice love connection is a welcome distraction.  

Under normal circumstances, I tell daters to meet as soon as possible and not waste much time on the phone or video chatting, as that can create a false sense of who someone is. But when the Zoom room is all that you have, the rules have to change to fit the times. And there is a silver lining. 

This current set of circumstances will give us a chance to get to know others on a deeper level, before the pheromones do or don’t kick in and we either jump into bed or run away screaming prematurely. As a society, we want everything quick, and the best things often come to (and on if you’re lucky!) those who wait. We are now being forced to slow down, get to know the person behind the pic, and put in a little more effort before grabbing the golden ring and winning the prize. Getting to know someone more as a person rather than just a hottie who you might bed within a week or two can do wonders for a relationship and could build on the deeper intimacy necessary for a long-lasting partnership. So let it simmer; let it boil and bubble before you take it off the stove and gobble it up. Besides, what else do you have to do these days?

Hi Spyce

So I think I may have done something really dumb. A few weeks before my state issued a lockdown, I’d been casually dating this guy. Okay, let’s be real — we were having hot sex and my brain was foggy. When it became clear that we were going to be quarantined, my brain became more foggy, and so when he made the suggestion that we become “quarantine partners” I figured what the heck. It would be good to have someone around, and the constant sex would be a nice distraction. I have my own place, and he lives with family so it made sense that he’d come stay with me. Now it’s been a few weeks, and I’m ready to claw his eyes out. He’s messy, he snores, and are you shocked to hear that the sex appeal has declined? I can’t stand to be around him any longer, but I don’t know what to do! I don’t feel like I can kick him out now, but how long do I have to stay locked down with him? Help! 


Covidly Committed

Dear CC, 

Well, I can’t say I didn’t see this one coming from, well, at least 6 feet away! But it’s true — under duress the mind does funny things and we have ALL been under mountains of duress these days. So don’t blame yourself too harshly for just wanting to get some sexy tail in for (what you thought would be) a few weeks. Under some circumstances, being holed up with some hung Harry could be a delicious treat, and it sure could help those of us with anxious attachment patterns in the early stages of a relationship. But being literally trapped in the house with someone via federal mandate is a bit of a different story that not many of us have ever experienced, and it’s never a good way to get to know someone when you’re literally forced to. 

So to be very clear, you are in no obligation to have him stay with you. He’s not a tenant, he’s not your husband, he’s not family. He’s literally some dude you didn’t even know existed until a few months ago when you swiped right. You don’t owe him anything. If you know me at all, you know that I’m for being upfront and honest. You don’t have to be mean about it and tell him every little reason why you can’t stand the sight of him anymore, but you do owe it to yourself to speak your mind and let him know that it’s not working and that you need your space back. 

While travel is restricted, people can still move, and maybe his family wants him back — who knows? But all I know is that you deserve to have your peace of mind during this very stressful time in history. You may not be able to salvage anything after this is over, but by that time, you’ll be able to go back out there and find yourself another prince.

Deal Breakers?: Dealing with body hair and disclosing STDs

Dear Spyce,

So I recently met this man who’s pretty wonderful. We have so much in common, share the same goals, and I even like his friends. The sex is amazing and I am attracted to him but … he’s super hairy! This isn’t something that I’ve experienced before and it’s not something I feel particularly jazzed about. I don’t know … will I be able to get over dating such a hairy guy, or can I ask him to shave to give our love a chance? 

Not Feelin the Fur

Dear NFF,

First off, congrats on finding someone who checks so many of your boxes. Sounds like the important things are there. And while you’re not used to being intimate with such a furry fellow, if you are attracted to him despite the hair, I’d ask you to take a deeper look at what actually lies behind your distaste. Does his hairiness remind you of something or someone unpleasant? Does he not feel the way you think someone should feel? There might be some underlying societal or cultural conditioning that could be getting in the way of you enjoying the connection that you have with this man. 

While I wouldn’t say that asking him to change a certain part of his body for you is really fair, there are, however, ways to approach it, and the best one is with simple curiosity. Instead of telling him that you hate his hair, ask him how he feels about it. Listen to his stories about being a hairy guy, find out if he has ever waxed and how that went for him. He might be wearing his hair as a badge of honor, or he might be willing to try something new. But frame it in a way that it’s not shaming him for being who he is, and for something that he can’t change. 

And while you can’t force yourself to be excited about something that you’re not, you can try to overlook it. Because if you like him in so many other ways, perhaps his hair can “grow on you.” 

Dear Spyce,

I recently was diagnosed with genital herpes and now I am freaking out! I became single this past year after being in a long and sexless by the end relationship, and I slept with more than the usual share of people once it ended. And now I feel really awful! 

For one thing, getting an STD feels like proof that I must be a bad person for having all this casual sex, and then there’s the logistics of this new situation! Do I have to tell everyone that I sleep with from now on that I have it? Can’t I ever get rid of it? Am I doomed for life? 


The Scarlet Harlot

Dear Scarlet,

Well first off, I am NOT going to call you a harlot because you definitely do not have to identify that way for pursuing pleasure and exploring your sexuality. That, my dear, is a human right, and you are totally justified in doing so. It sounds like you may have gone for a long time without feeling desired, and it’s natural to want to have intimacy after a long dry spell! As long as it’s safe, sane and consensual, no one has anything to feel bad about!

Unfortunately, it sounds like you may not have had enough info on how to keep yourself safe during these times, but please don’t beat yourself up about it! Herpes is a very common STI, with close to 67% of the US population having HSV1, and 11% having HSV2, and while they have different numbers, they are essentially the same virus in different places. And the one on your mouth, aka cold sores, are often not even transmitted sexually! Also, it’s often asymptomatic so many people don’t even know that they have it, and many doctors don’t test for it in a regular STD panel unless you ask for it, so it really can be a silent sexual stalker. So please, don’t feel too bad about joining the ranks of the many!

In terms of moving forward, while you can’t actually be rid of it, there are medications that can be taken for an outbreak, and also regularly in order to keep things at bay. And while things won’t necessarily go back to “business as usual,” that might actually be a good thing.

Having the “safe sex talk” before each new interaction is important, and can not only keep you safe physically, but can help out on the emotional side as well! 

There is so much one can say about this topic, so please contact me personally if you’d like more info. And be well! You’re still an awesome person! 


That New Relationship Energy: How to be cool when you really don’t want to be

Hey Spyce,

So I’ve recently met a gorgeous girl and I am super excited about our developing relationship. I have not had a girlfriend for a while, and I’m really anxious to keep this one going. Here’s the thing. I just want to be with her all the time. I want to talk to her every day, and see her as often as I can. But I don’t want to scare her off and make her think that I’m some loser with nothing else going on in my life. I know that guys aren’t supposed to be like this, so I’m trying to keep it cool. It’s just hard to do when I’m so hot for her! 

Signed: Want it All


So there’s something that those of us who are well versed in the art of having multiple relationships called NRE (New Relationship Energy), and it’s a helluva drug! Sounds like you’re deep in the thick of it, and kudos to you on being willing to acknowledge that because most men are taught to not be open about their feelings or to admit that they have desires to bond deeply and quickly. 

However, whatever your gender, it’s important to be realistic and rational with the stage of the relationship that you’re in. While it can be so fun to burn it up when it’s hot, rushing things can lead to all kinds of misinterpretations and foolhardy decisions that may result in commitments that aren’t what you want with someone you don’t really even know. 

Think of your relationship like a tasty treat — something special to be savored, even if you would rather devour it in one bite. While it’s a lovely thing to be excited about getting to know someone, it’s important to not put anything else in your life on hold and to maintain healthy boundaries to ensure that your relationship can be solvent for the long haul.

Advice with Spyce: Getting What You Want and Getting What You Need

Dear Spyce,

My girlfriend and I have been together for a few years now and are really into each other. I love having sex with her, but its always the same thing. We only use our fingers and our tongues. I’ve been asking her to try a dildo, even just to use one on me, but she is very resistant to it. She’s what us lesbians call a Gold Star, meaning that she’s never been with a man. I think she doesn’t like anything resembling dick. That’s fine and all, but I’d really like some different kinds of penetration. Any ideas of what I can do? 

Down To Be F

Dear DTBF,

I know how frustrating it can be when you’re Down to Fudge and you’re not getting the sugar you need. A sexual mismatch is never fun, especially when you have so many other wonderful parts of your relationship.

Luckily, penetration comes in many forms these days and you don’t have to bother with an actual penis to get some, or even something that looks, acts, and feels like one. In fact, there are many sex toys on the market that look nothing at all like the male genitalia, and have been created specifically for female bodies to use together. You can research different kinds of materials, shapes and purposes, and find exactly what will work best for you and your girlfriend. 

If you really want to DIY, start out with a trip to the grocery store and get a plain old cucumber. Veggies come in all shapes and sizes, and you can pick out a few to get you started without breaking the bank. And when you’re done, you can make a nice salad. Now that’s an idea even my Jewish grandmother would be proud of! 

If your girlfriend is uncomfortable with these ideas, try sitting down with her and really having a heart to heart. Let her know how much you love and care about her, and how important this is to you. Talk honestly about what’s getting in the way for her. She may have trauma that she’s not expressing to you. Get the help you need to work through this hurdle in your relationship, even if you seek it professionally. This sounds like a romance worth fighting for!

Dear Spyce,

I was married for many years to a man I met when I was very young, and I really was very chaste and unsatisfied for a long time. Now that we’ve divorced, I’ve been spending time enjoying my sexual liberation. However, things seem to have changed a lot since I’ve last been on the playing field and I know that I have to be more careful than ever. Recently I’ve gotten into a few situations where things went a little further than I was anticipating, but I felt weird about asking for protection at that point since we’d already done some other things. When it is too late to ask and just go with it?

Safe and Single

Dear SS,

When is it too late to ask for protection? NEVER!! Unless it’s over, but that’s another story! The truth is, this is your body, your health, your sexuality, your choice. You don’t owe anyone any kind of sexual experience, and the best way to truly enjoy your sexual liberation is by being wholly in charge of everything that you do and allow to be done to you. 

What I always recommend is to become comfortable with your safe sex talk, and have that talk as soon as you know that something intimate is going to happen. Or before. 

Here’s an example: You’re on a date that’s going well. He asks you if you’d like to go back to his place. You are into it, and once you get there, you sit down on the couch with a glass of wine. Bam! Perfect time for the talk! Even though you haven’t technically started doing anything, come on, we’re all adults here! Acting like something is not on the table when it is is just foolish, and possibly dangerous. Better to get it out of the way while you’re still levelheaded and not feeling like throwing caution, and your panties, to the wind! 

In terms of what the safe sex talk actually is, it’s where you talk about when you’ve last been tested, what your status was, who else you’re sleeping with and how, and what you feel comfortable doing moving forward. It’s important to recognize that all sexual contact comes with some risk, and a risk/cost analysis is wise. And always remember that you are never obligated to do anything that you don’t feel comfortable doing, and that you can always say no, or ask for safer sex practices. Anyone who doesn’t respect that is not worth your time! 

Advice with Spyce: Broken Johnson and the Friendzone

Dear Spyce,

I met a guy a few months ago that I really like. Recently he shared with me his fantasy of having a girl be on top and take control. I told him I’d try it and we planned to have a special night together. We got into it and it was really hot! Then he got really excited and started thrusting into me. I don’t think he had great aim though because his penis twisted coming into me. All of the sudden I heard a cracking noise and he screamed loudly. He threw me off him and kept yelling that I broke his penis. He said he was going to the hospital and made me leave. Since then, he won’t return my calls or texts. I don’t understand what’s wrong. I’ve never even heard of a broken penis! But I really like him and feel horrible. Did I really break his penis or did I just bruise his pride?


Rough Rider

Hey RR,

Contrary to popular belief, a penis can break, and getting a thunk to your junk is no laughing matter! It’s called a penile fracture and happens when the tissue gets ruptured during vigorous use. It is quite painful, and can require immediate surgery so as not to cause permanent damage. So in truth, your friend may not be avoiding you as much as staying away from everyone, with his poor little johnson bruised and battered. 

It also can be quite embarrassing, and he likely isn’t in the best emotional state right now. So rekindling a connection with the girl who “broke his penis” may not be the highest priority on his list. 

But don’t feel bad. The truth is that you did nothing wrong! As a matter of fact, it sounds like you were doing what most guys would consider very right, especially being that he asked this of you. But that rush of blood does a funny thing to a person’s head and he is likely still trying to recover. I’m sure his pride is hurt. Many people have a hard time admitting their fantasies in general, and when it doesn’t turn out as planned, it can be quite painful. Figuratively AND literally! He might be seeing this as punishment for giving in to a naughty fantasy. 

For now, just let him and his little friend heal and have some down time. Now that you know his penis really might have broken, send a get well card and let him know you’re there for him, and his ruptured fellow, whenever he’s ready. If you truly did have a connection, it will still be there once the swelling goes down.

Dear Spyce, 

I met a really great guy who I super love spending time with. I would love to be friends, and also enjoy some light cuddling and friendly affection. However, I just don’t feel sexually attracted to him, and I don’t want to feel like there is pressure to go down that road with him. On his side, he’s made it pretty obvious that he’s way into me and would like to take things to the next level. Is it worse for me to break it off now before we get closer, or to try and pursue a friendship with him?

Friendly Not Further

Dearest FNF,

You have just said the one thing that most guys (well really anyone who likes someone) wants to hear, and that is the dreaded, “I just want to be friends.”

Now back in the day, I always felt like me telling someone I wanted to be their friend was actually more valuable than me just wanting to hook up. After all, romance is fleeting, but friends are forever. If you’re my friend, I’m not going to flee once the D loses its shine (like it always does), and I’ll be in it for the long haul. But the downside could be that I don’t share the D with friends. Just becomes too confusing. Not that that’s always the case, but…

Here’s the thing. When you’ve caught feelings and you want to move things forward and then your crush spouts out that dreaded sentence, no matter what the circumstances, it tends to feel like a huge rejection. And often, people don’t want to stick around after that. 

For one thing, they don’t want to feel desperate, like a hungry jackal waiting for a scrap of meat to fall on the ground. When you like someone, you will always be looking for cues that they like you back. And even if your crush has already said that they’re “just not that into you,” it’s tempting to believe that maybe if you spend enough time together they will see the error of their ways, and come a knock-knockin around your bedroom door one evening when they are sad, or horny, or most likely, some combination of the two. But you don’t want to be spending every waking moment with someone wondering when they are going to come around and see the light. That doesn’t feel good. 

So even if you did want to be friends with this guy, I would ask him to take a good hard look at his own feelings and decide if being your friend really is healthy for him. 

On the other hand, he may not be as hot for you as you think, and might be fine with an affectionate friendship, a buddy, a wingman, a friend. He might be able to handle it. But either way, it’s important that you let him know now what’s going on for you, so he can make an educated decision on how he wants to proceed.