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Q: What qualifies someone to give advice on this site?
I'd say the main qualifications for giving advice on this site are life experience and a drive to help others.

Life experience doesn't mean that you have to be old and wise to give advice... everyone has their own unique experiences to share no matter how old they are or how easy/hard their life has been. We all go through our ups and downs, and this site is a great place to put that experience to good use.

Q: 16 and already giving up. thats sad. the best years of someones life is right after school when you go start your own life as far from your old one as possible. then it all goes down hill in mid twenties and thirties.
Even if this is in response to someone else's question, I have a few things to say for anyone else who happens to read this.

High school is nowhere near the "best days of your life". Anyone who says that peaked in high school, which is kind of sad. Those sorts of people usually have trouble moving on as people into adulthood, and try to ride their high school status through life. It drives me crazy when people say this, because it does absolutely nothing to help a young person who is struggling with depression in their teens. I remember being told when in the depths of depression that I was in the best years of my life: is it any wonder that I was suicidal, if the best years of my life were a living hell?

High school sucks because you have next to no say in your own life. You feel like an adult, but in the end your decisions are always subject to approval by parents, teachers, or other people over the age of 18. It's not surprising, then, that teenagers often feel helpless and hopeless.

I'm approaching 26 years old now, and I can say with complete honesty that life has improved every single year.

Every year, you'll find yourself having more choices to make. This is a two-sided coin: on one hand, it lets you have some control over your own destiny, but you also have to deal with the consequences of your own decisions. This can be hard, but it means that you have a chance to become a better person with every trial that you face.

At 16, there's still a lot ahead of you. When you're in high school, you're pretty much limited to dating, popularity contests and trying to get into a good college. Later in life you have bigger challenges to face, with a higher payoff for each one. You start to make decisions about your career, your long-term love life, your health and your home. It sounds like a burden, but it's actually pretty fun in a way. You start to get along better with your parents as you move from a dependent relationship into being an independent adult. You learn more about who you are as a person through trial and error.

At 16, I was miserable. I hated myself, I hated everyone else, and I couldn't see a future that was any different. It does get better over time, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Q: This is something I've noticed happen a handful of times.
My kindle will lose charge when I'm not using it.

I'll use the most recent example:
I turned on my kindle last night after about a month or two of not using it. I'm the only one who uses it, nobody touched it from the area on my nightstand where it was buried under random things. I only live with my dad and he barely even knows what a kindle is (I'm trying to stress the fact that nobody else had touched it since I last used it) I knew for a fact that it was about at half charge the last time I had used it. When I turned it on it had a (!) over the charge icon, meaning it was nearly dead.

I actually was expecting it to be like this from past experiences of this happening. My kindle is always on airplane mode. The only time I connect it to the internet it when I'm downloading recently purchased books and then I turn it off immediately afterwards. I *know* the airplane mode was off during my last use. I check about three times every time I turn airplane mode on just to be sure.

Do anybody know why this is happening and if there's a way to stop it?
There's no way to stop it. Even when you're not actively using your Kindle, it's still using a small amount of battery power to power its screen and maintain its memory and settings.

The fact that you're getting a month out of it unused is actually pretty fantastic! My Kobo only lasts about 2 weeks when I don't use it.

Q: Me and this guy have been hanging out for a little while now and Im starting to think that he's just hanging out with me because he wants in my pants. He tried having sex with me once already and I said no, and then another time he was over and said we should after my friend fell asleep.. I wasn't going to do that but I have a hard time saying straight up no to people so I acted upset/not in the mood so he'd stop trying to kiss me (I was kind of upset because of it) I'm a virgin still, I do want to have sex but not unless I have some kind of comitment atleast, I don't want to have sex with someone and then them just stop talking to me. He doesn't know that though, I haven't explained why I haven't done anything with him and I don't know if I even should. I don't know if/how to turn him down. I don't want to scare him away or anything because I like habging out with him, I just kinda wanna say "if you're just hanging out with me to get in my pants you might as well give up..'' but I don't have the guts to say something like that. I just wish he'd get to know me to see that I'm actually a cool person and maybe we could date and THEN if we actually liked eachother have sex..not when we don't know eachother that well and who knows if he's sleeping around with other girls while he's trying to get with me. Anyways, what do I do? Lol

18/F
It's not weird or bitchy to tell him to back off on the sex front. You don't have to make it a huge deal when you tell him to stop humping your leg, but it does need to be said flat-out or he will keep on trying.

Try making a bit of a joke out of it. Next time he brings it up, you could counter with "What, I don't even get dinner first?" If he doesn't get the picture then, you could make it a little more serious and say "Hey, seriously. I don't just sleep with every guy who asks. A little effort to get to know me first would be nice."

We've all been there at some point or another, I think. Telling the guy you're on your period, or not in the mood, or OMG I just realized I have a huge assignment due tomorrow... it may seem a lot easier at the time but it doesn't work because the guy doesn't know for sure that you're not interested in sex right now. Skip the excuses and talk straight. If he's a cool guy, he'll understand. If not, then he's a jerk and doesn't deserve your time anyhow.

Q: Hi, 24/f here. My guy's the same age.
Bear with me here, this is a really weird question to ask since it's not really negative, but I'm starting to think I've officially lost my mind.

I've been with other guys for longer and never actually started working out wedding details in my head. I was even LIVING with a guy and didn't do this. I'm also a very independent, strong woman, so this is very... girly for me:
With this guy, we haven't even had our official anniversary, and we've already discussed and planned little things, like our reception favors, the theme, the colors, our "first dance" song, I've started learning the piano accompaniment to a song I want to sing to him at the ceremony, and he's apparently already picked his groomsmen. He's told me once he gets his career going and comes back from training in about a year, he wants to get me a ring and get engaged, so he's even got a timeline in mind.

As a psychologist and a survivor of domestic violence, I'd think that if he's already thinking these things he must have an ulterior motive of control, or that everything is very premature in general - who starts planning this shit after less than a year together? (Granted, we knew one another in high school and have remained in contact since then, but we didn't start dating until last year) - but I haven't seen any red flags, and believe me, I've been looking.

I know it's normal for girls to look at wedding dresses and daydream about all that stuff and whatnot, but the daydreams and emotions I have connected with all that and him are SO vivid. I've even had vivid, almost lucid dreams about our future. I've seen him in it, and I've seen our little girl in it, and when I woke up, for a minute I could feel the weight of her head on my shoulder.

Have I lost my mind, has my biological clock started ticking, or is this how everyone feels when they find their soul mate?
He's my best friend, we know everything about one another, our friends like us (together and individually), his parents have effectively adopted me as their daughter, and mine have finally started treating him as their son...

I don't know... I just feel like everything is too perfect. We've had little fights. We live about an hour apart right now. I've yelled at him, he's hurt my feelings, I've hurt his, etc., and we've talked it all out as it comes up. Am I feeling this because I'm used to being abused? I just worry that I'm missing something.
Thoughts?

Thanks to everyone who reads my babble and has a response.
It sounds to me like you're overthinking a happy, normal, healthy relationship.

I can tell you that it's not impossible to start hearing wedding bells soon after starting to date someone. Both my husband and I were pretty sure that we were going to end up married by the time 3 months had rolled around, and we were engaged at 11 months. We waited for another 4 years before actually tying the knot after that, but it does go to show that you can be committed in that way even after a short amount of time, and with no sneaky ulterior motives on his part.

If you're not sure about it, just wait it out. There's always time to figure out exactly what it is you want from a relationship.

Q: Hi,

Many, many years ago while I was in school, I remember reading a series of Goosebumps books. On certain pages, you could choose what happens. For example, "to go into the hall of mirrors, turn to page 45. To leave the fairground, turn to page 70' and so on.

I've been trying to find these again, but I'm not sure what to search. Is there a name for these types of books? Are there any books that aren't as childish as the Goosebumps series in a similar format? (I'm 20). Can you recommend any books of this format that you've enjoyed reading?

Thanks folks!
These books, which were a staple of my childhood reading, are called Choose Your Own Adventure books. Turns out (I had no idea) they do come in adult versions. Just do a search for "choose your own adventure books for adults" and there are tons to choose from in different genres.

Q: He's 7, btw.

He occasionally plays on some virtual gaming site for kids, where people can create avatars of themselves, to roam the little "gaming world", with has other avatars. I noticed his character was white with blonde hair, while he is dark skinned with black/dark brown hair, as he comes from a West African family. We live in America, in a small town that's diverse, but predominantly white and asian (specifically, mostly indians and koreans).

Multiple times I'd suggested he make his avatar look like him, and he refused. Weeks later, I confronted him about it and kept pressing him about why he made his avatar look the way it does. He said that he made the avatar to be one of his closest friends, a white boy at school, and even named the character after him. But then I asked him why he couldn't let his friend make an avatar of himself, and he (my brother) make one of HIMself. Then he told me that he wouldn't fit in with the other avatars, who are apparently mostly white, because of him having a different color. He said that he wouldn't have the same friends if he made his character look like him. But I asked him why he thinks that, when in real life he has diverse friends (he tells me he's friends with all the boys in his class) and color isn't important to them, but he wouldn't give me an answer. I told him that he wouldn't want to be friends with anyone who thought skin color was important, but he still didn't budge.

So I have no idea where he's getting this from, because the website has a filter, so I doubt anything racist could have gotten through, and my family says no racist things (as we're not racist), which leads me to believe that he may have been negatively impacted by something at school, or possibly brainwashed by TV (which he watches too much) to feel insecure, somehow? I'm not sure.

After I talked to him he started to cry, but I'm not sure whether it's because I kept pestering him or if it was because I uncovered some hidden pain he felt about his skin color? I have no idea. I don't know whether I should tell my parents about this, either. I'm 18, and I just don't want my little brother to grow up feeling badly about his skin color, for no reason. I never even felt that way at his age. I liked looking different from most other kids, and appreciated all of our differences. I never even knew about any reason to not like my skin color at age 7, and even though I'm more aware of the world now, I still feel the same. I spent my formative years mostly in the Northeast (in a much bigger, and slightly more diverse town, of the same upper middle class socio-economic status), so I don't know if it makes a difference now that we're now in Texas.. I don't know what kids here have been taught at home. We even go to a diverse church, too, cause churches that are predominantly one race just aren't the most comfortable. I like church to be a reflection of the same people I see everyday, not for it to be some kind of escape from the real world, where there is a degree of diversity.

But I'm just worried for my brother. I just want him to have a good childhood and feel good about himself. I don't want him to believe any stereotypes and feel badly about something that has nothing to do with him, personally. He's only responsible for himself and his actions, and can do w/e he wants, regardless of how the media depicts "black boys". If he got this notion from TV, I don't even know how, when he just watches only kids programming. COuld the lack of diversity on a lot of kid shows be the blame? But I've watched my share of TV while growing up, but I don't feel like he does. Am I overreacting, or if not, what should I do?
If you're concerned about your brother's avatar, then we should really worry about all the guys who play under avatars that look like attractive, scantily-clad, large-breasted women!

Avatars are a way to be someone different, to try on different personas. My avatars never look like me in the slightest. My husband's avatars never look like him.

As for being treated differently because of your avatar's appearance, that definitely does happen. How many people on WOW have been given special treatment for playing as a woman?

By pressuring him and putting a political twist on all of this, you're going to make him feel guilty about something that is normal and harmless (hence the crying). As long as he knows that his skin colour is just fine the way it is, and that there is no reason for him to think of himself any differently because of it, he'll be fine. You just wait... in 5 years, he'll be right up there with the rest of the guys, playing as an impossibly large-breasted woman :)

Q: 1. Immigrants coming into their country illegally

Was it right for white people in the past to claim ownership of land from Native Americans, Africans, Australian Aborgines, Indians, etc? If you're white and live in the Americas, Australia, or any other colonized country, do you see that as okay, as those other groups didn't have immigration laws, even though land was forcefully taken away from them? Even if you live in Europe, many European countries benefited from their colonies, so it has affected you positively.

Also, what made Europeans move out of Europe in the first place? In a country like America, many Europeans came who were facing persecution in Europe, to pursue a better life. If you can be sympathetic to that, why can't you be sympathetic to Mexicans coming here, because their life is so horrible in Mexico they have to resort to coming here illegally, because it takes too long and/or is too expensive for them to get a visa/citizenship, and they want to make a better life for themselves and their children? We don't hear about Canadians coming here illegally, and that is because Canada's economy is much better. Don't hate the immigrants, hate what led them to make that decision, Mexico being in a wreck. It doesn't matter how hard we try to secure the border, it will just make people more inventive. It's similar to the drug war, and the prohibition = failures. with such a huge demand for something, no matter how much work is done to stop it, it will still happen. Instead of wasting all this money on the border, we should be trying to fix Mexico if we truly care about illegal immigrants in America. It's also important to America because it's right next to us, not far away, across the Atlantic. Improve Mexico, and America gets directly improved

2. Immigrants come and don't try to learn to speak the official language

Did Europeans try to learn the languages of the places they colonized, or did they continue speaking their European languages that were natural to them? Why is English Nigeria's national language? Why is Portuguese Brazil's national language? Why does most of South America in general speak Spanish, when Native American languages were original? Why isn't the Australian national language an Aboriginal language?

3. Immigrants don't try to join our culture, they just stick with theirs

Is it wrong for white South Africans to still be influenced by European culture, even though that's how they were brought up? No. People often move to different countries for economic purposes, not because they want to completely abandon everything about the way they lived in the past, essentially, their very nature. And as long as you have a marketable skill, you will be successful, whether you adopt the culture of the nation you live in or not. In America, that is called freedom of choice, and if you're proud to be an American, you respect one of America's founding ideals. If someone only chooses to know Spanish and can't find a job because of it, that is their choice. But at the same time, there are people who want to learn English but can't afford it, but come to America anyways, because they still want to find a way to put food on the table

4.They choose come here, and yet complain about the country

Maybe because as a whole, minorities don't get the same benefits that people of the majority get. The law may say so, but in reality there is still a lot of inequality in this world. Why should they, or anyone else, be okay with that? And, using America as an example again, since when is it un American to complain about the status quo? America was founded by people who hated the status quo, and wanted to separate from England. The American ideal is to pursue a more perfect union, even if it means breaking the status quo. It's one of the reasons why America has so many entrepreneurs, so many inventors patenting their original ideas. The only way to make a more perfect union is by challenging the status quo

5. I hate race mixing. I think everyone should only mate with others with similar physical characteristics

Good for you. Marry whomever you want. But don't impose that on others, that is called fascism. Again, if you're an American, you should value individuals' rights to having the freedom of choice. If it's very important for you to have children with specifically blonde hair and blue eyes, then go have them. But don't criticize other people for not having the same viewpoint, for loving their spouse and children no matter what they look like. At the end of the day, we're all just humans. The Human Genome Project, the largest study of DNA ever conducted, says that different races, like white, black, etc. scientically don't exist; they're just social terms. Freedom of choice means you support other people living happy lives. Even though I personally think that people shouldn't consider skin tone when choosing their mate, that doesn't mean I think someone should get criticized for specifically choosing to only marry someone else with the same skin tone. That is their choice. It's only a problem when they try to impose what they view as an "ideal mate" to others, and try to take away their freedoms, because of their superficial fears that certain physical characteristics will die out. there are children of all colors dying everyday, and yet your worried about something so trivial, so shallow? seriously?

IN CONCLUSION, why should white people expect new immigrants to do things that their ancestors didn't? Why do they even get mad that other people want to move to their country, when their ancestors thought it would be better to immigrate to a different country as well? Even if they didn't and you still live in Europe, there's a good chance your country has benefited from colonization. So unless you think colonization as a whole was wrong, and think white people shouldn't have moved to the Americas, Australia, etc. in the past, you can't truly say you hate immigration. Heck, technically, nobody can even say they hate immigration unless they and all of their ancestors have lived in the same place since the beginning of human existence. THIS IS NOBODY. Unless they hate this aspect of humans, and want to return back to their true homeland, wherever humans first originated in Africa.

We should work to fix immigration problem issues at their root causes. Don't hate immigrants as a whole, or you're hating a part of yourself, cause everyone's ancestors traveled at one point and did bad things at some point or another, because we're humans
Ooh, interesting one!

1. Immigrants coming into their country illegally

Well, it's really hard to make a comparison between the conquering of a nation in the 1700s and illegally entering a country today. Different laws, different societies. It's not just white people who have conquered other races... leaders of every race have been guilty of leading movements to conquer others for thousands of years.

As for Mexicans entering America illegally, technically, it's every bit as illegal for an American to forcibly enter Canada without presenting their ID at the border. That's the problem that people have... it's the idea that people are coming into the country and getting (some of) the benefits of citizenship, like schooling for their children and the like, without any of the responsibilities that citizenship entails. It's also a slap in the face to refugees, who do make the move from a bad place to a better place legally, and legal immigrants too.

Yes, it sucks that they live in a bad country, and the best thing would be to help with the situation in Mexico. Unfortunately, the US is having some serious problems on home turf, and they really need to sort that out first. There's no helping other countries when your own citizens are suffering from terrible conditions.

2. Immigrants come and don't try to learn to speak the official language

Again, the difference between immigration today and conquering of a nation. Immigration implies that you're willingly joining a new country with the goal of being a citizen. When hordes of Europeans swarmed North America, they didn't exactly do it with the idea of peaceful unity in mind. It was all about ownership. Not saying it was a good thing, but just because it was done back then doesn't mean it should be done now... racial segregation was considered perfectly okay and legal in some states as recently as 50 years ago, right? Doesn't mean it's okay today! Unfortunately, the conquering European nations had a nasty habit of not considering the aboriginal people they encountered as human beings, let alone equals. Hopefully nobody's entering the US thinking that today.

I'm guilty of being offended when people don't learn one of the national languages when they come to Canada. Hey, if they make a reasonable effort to speak a little, or if they're brand spankin' new here, I'll give them full credit. If they speak French but not English, no biggie. I can make do, even though I don't live in Quebec. But there are areas in large urban centres where people don't speak either language. That bugs me. If our country is so fantastic that you want to live here, should you not try to make it so that you can communicate with your fellow citizens? We don't demand that you give up your culture, we just ask that you try to pick up a little of ours. Makes sense, right? So that's why people get angry when immigrants don't speak any English.

3. Immigrants don't try to join our culture, they just stick with theirs

That's a tricky one. I'm answering this one from an outsider's perspective here, so give me the benefit of the doubt. Have you ever heard of the phrase "melting pot" with regards to American culture? Since the beginning of the country, the US has valued a sort of cultural blend. The ideal is that no matter where you're from, how you were raised or whatever, you are now an American. So to see someone who totally rejects American culture, but wants the benefits of being an American is kind of annoying.

That's where I really appreciate the cultural mix here. Rather than a melting pot, Canada prides itself on being a cultural mosaic. Instead of one homogeneous blend, we're made up of tons of tiny bits of other cultures. Everyone preserves their own cultural heritage while simultaneously being a part of a bigger picture as Canadians. It's pretty cool :)

4.They choose come here, and yet complain about the country

Yeah, I don't get this complaint either. How many Americans complain about their country? How many hate their president or his policies? How many threatened to leave the country (but didn't) when Bush was re-elected? The great thing about living in a country that's free is that you have the freedom to dislike things about it. You have the right to challenge authority and make waves without fear of being repressed. It's one of those weird things where it's a fundamental American right protected by the constitution, but a lot of Americans resent it when their fellow countrymen take advantage of that. Makes no sense to me.

5. I hate race mixing. I think everyone should only mate with others with similar physical characteristics

Also absurd. I don't get why anyone shouldn't be able to marry anyone they like, so long as nobody gets hurt. People are people, no matter what colour. That goes for sexual orientation as well. I really can't fathom that people are struggling to accept gay marriage at this point in time, just like only 50 years ago they were protesting interracial marriage becoming legal. To be against anyone making a lifelong commitment to love and cherish someone else is ridiculous.

In conclusion?

We expect PEOPLE (not just immigrants) to do things that our ancestors didn't do because we've progressed as a society. Lots of things went on in the past that weren't good, but got us to where we are now. How many revolutionary inventions came from war? I live where I do because of a long chain of events. My ancestors didn't colonize Canada, they migrated here about a hundred years ago from Europe. I live here because the French and the English had the nation-conquering bug, treated some people terribly, and planted their feet. Then they fought each other continuously and brutally. Then my ancestors decided that a better life was awaiting them in Canada. Do I condone bloody civil war and mistreatment of aboriginal people? Of course not. So even though I did benefit from actions that would be inappropriate by today's standards, I have to judge the actions of others by today's standards.

I can't stand when people go hating on immigrants. It is trashy and ignorant. The problem comes when people fail to separate the problems associated with illegal immigrants from the legal ones. Jobs are taken, yes, but they're awful jobs where the workers don't get the protection of minimum wage and working standards because of their status as illegals. Especially in this climate, where many will take whatever job they can, that stings for a lot of people. As for legal immigrants, if they get a job over a born citizen it just means they're more qualified for the position. Fair game as far as I'm concerned, and nothing that anyone can grumble about. Illegal immigrants are using community resources that are taxpayer-funded, like schools, etc. There are legal immigrants who pay taxes and born Americans who don't! Thing is, being a citizen gets you the right to those services.

What it boils down to is racism. You're talking about people who are racist, and that is wrong. We pretty much established that 50+ years back. Thing is, there are always going to be intolerant bigots out there. There are people who think that women belong in the home, and that when we work we're taking away jobs from men. There are people who think that atheists are raging psychopaths who must be stopped at all costs. You name the prejudice, someone adheres to it. The only thing we can do about it is to continue to educate ourselves and future generations. Unfortunately, you can't teach out ingrained hatred. It's not based on logic or reason. The best we can hope is that our children, and their children after them learn that hate isn't okay.

As for fixing immigration issues, I sort of touched on that earlier. It would be great if every first world country could bring every other country up to speed. We just don't have the resources to help any but the worst cases, and then only when the country asks for assistance. It sounds easier than it is to fix the problems that Mexico is facing right now. Corrupt officials, poverty, drug cartel armies, those aren't easy to deal with. It's just easier for the moment to defend the border and hold on for a while.

Q: I hate this stupid website. I never get anyone to help me anymore. Thanks everyone...
I took a look (paid members can see a questioner's history, but nothing else about them), and from what I can see almost every one of your questions has had at least one answer. That's a pretty great track record!

Here's the thing: if you ask a complicated question, we might not have the answer. Believe it or not, we're not all geniuses here who know everything. If you're asking a really specific question that's out of the area of our expertise, we won't answer.

Would you rather get no answer or an "LOL I dunno XD hope I helped"? We actually tend to take our positions pretty seriously and don't give out advice when we're not confident in it. This isn't Yahoo Answers. You get less responses on average than you do there, but they're much higher quality, in my humble opinion.

Nobody's making you post here. Nobody's making us answer. Heck, it's not like we get paid here or anything. We do this out of the goodness of our hearts. We hold ourselves to a high standard. If you don't like that, you're welcome to look elsewhere for your advice.

Q: Why don't people realize this? Hear me out, to get the full scope of what I'm talking about. I can tell if you responded without actually reading what I wrote. I'm genuinely interested in your response, whether it's positive or negative. I thought for some time about this.

Because it's essentially saying that even if someone was the perfect guy for you; you shared common interests, he treated you very well, you found him very attractive, etc. he wouldn't even be an option, because of his race. There's nothing racist if someone happens to only date within their race because out of the people they've met, the ones they connect the best with are within their race. But to say that you only want to date within your race is racist, even if you have friends outside of your race, because it implies that even if you happened to connect with someone very well, you wouldn't think they're good enough for marriage, for a very shallow reason. And just because you haven't met someone outside of your race that you could really connect with doesn't mean that it could never happen.

It's racist to want to stay within your race to "make sure your kids look almost exactly like you" as it is to want to date outside of your race, to "make sure your kids look different from you". they're both just as racist, and superficial. People like this shouldn't even have kids, to pass on such stupid beliefs. If you love your daughter's blonde hair and blue eyes more than you love her personality, or the fact that she's your daughter and shares half your DNA, you have issues.

The whole "preserving bloodlines" thing is complete bull, too. There's no such thing as a "pure" race, as it's been scientifically proven that race doesn't even exist at all; it's just a social concept. It's a faulty social concept, because when you trace people's DNA, it spreads across various continents. And if people truly believed in the "one drop rule" then everyone in the world would be considered black, as humans are originally from Africa. we have different skin colors because of the different amounts of melanin in our skin; a very insignificant part of our DNA as a whole. racism was just created to give white males more power; that's it. for example, it was easy to justify enslaving blacks when you saw them as less than human, as someone of another "race". By the way, by saying this, I'm not saying that I have a grudge on all whites, or whatever. Nor am I saying that all whites were like that back then. I'm just saying historical truths.

It really boggles my mind why race is still an issue in society, especially American society. I understand why someone might be wary to date someone out of their culture, but race and culture are not always synonymous. Also, it's hypocritical for someone to use that to try and justify not dating outside of their race, and yet they may date a white person from Sweden, even though they are from Brazil, or they may date a black person from the Caribbean, even though they are from Australia. You may have grew up together in school with someone of a different race, but you're more likely have more in common with someone from another continent, because you're the same skin color! Am I the only one who sees how silly this is?

It's sad that interracial couples are often treated with disdain, in our society. They're no different from same-race couples, to be honest (granted they became a couple for non-superficial reasons). It just doesn't make any logical sense to me. people shouldn't feel ashamed or w/e, because they're doing nothing wrong

personally, I'm a black girl, but I've been attracted to various guys, of various ethnic backgrounds. I have no preference of the type of guy I marry, as long as he's good looking, we have similar interests and lifestyles, and we connect very well. isn't that how it's supposed to be?Because it's essentially saying that even if someone was the perfect guy for you; you shared common interests, he treated you very well, you found him very attractive, etc. he wouldn't even be an option, because of his race. There's nothing racist if someone happens to only date within their race because out of the people they've met, the ones they connect the best with are within their race. But to say that you only want to date within your race is racist, even if you have friends outside of your race, because it implies that even if you happened to connect with someone very well, you wouldn't think they're good enough for marriage, for a very shallow reason. And just because you haven't met someone outside of your race that you could really connect with doesn't mean that it could never happen.

It's racist to want to stay within your race to "make sure your kids look almost exactly like you" as it is to want to date outside of your race, to "make sure your kids look different from you". they're both just as racist, and superficial. People like this shouldn't even have kids, to pass on such stupid beliefs. If you love your daughter's blonde hair and blue eyes more than you love her personality, or the fact that she's your daughter and shares half your DNA, you have issues.

The whole "preserving bloodlines" thing is complete bull, too. There's no such thing as a "pure" race, as it's been scientifically proven that race doesn't even exist at all; it's just a social concept. It's a faulty social concept, because when you trace people's DNA, it spreads across various continents. And if people truly believed in the "one drop rule" then everyone in the world would be considered black, as humans are originally from Africa. we have different skin colors because of the different amounts of melanin in our skin; a very insignificant part of our DNA as a whole. racism was just created to give white males more power; that's it. for example, it was easy to justify enslaving blacks when you saw them as less than human, as someone of another "race". By the way, by saying this, I'm not saying that I have a grudge on all whites, or whatever. Nor am I saying that all whites were like that back then. I'm just saying historical truths.

It really boggles my mind why race is still an issue in society, especially American society. I understand why someone might be wary to date someone out of their culture, but race and culture are not always synonymous. Also, it's hypocritical for someone to use that to try and justify not dating outside of their race, and yet they may date a white person from Sweden, even though they are from Brazil, or they may date a black person from the Caribbean, even though they are from Australia. You may have grew up together in school with someone of a different race, but you're more likely have more in common with someone from another continent, because you're the same skin color! Am I the only one who sees how silly this is?

It's sad that interracial couples are often treated with disdain, in our society. They're no different from same-race couples, to be honest (granted they became a couple for non-superficial reasons). It just doesn't make any logical sense to me. people shouldn't feel ashamed or w/e, because they're doing nothing wrong

personally, I'm a black girl, but I've been attracted to various guys, of various ethnic backgrounds. I have no preference of the type of guy I marry, as long as he's good looking, we have similar interests and lifestyles, and we connect very well. isn't that how it's supposed to be?
I wouldn't say it's racist so much as it's incredibly limiting. Now, if you're refusing to date a particular race because you're assuming bad things about them, that's racist. Otherwise it's just being shallow and picky.

I have a good friend who doesn't date any guys who aren't blonde-haired, blue-eyed hockey players over 6 ft tall. True story. I also have a good friend with red hair and an Irish background who will only date Asian women. Neither of these people is racist. They're just limited based on what they find visually appealing and are too shallow to look beyond appearances to find what they're really after. It's no different to turn down someone because of their skin colour than it is to turn them down because they're too fat, too short, or because they have curly hair and you only like straight hair.

That's not saying that race isn't still an issue. It's a huge issue in some places, especially in the States. I feel that in the area I live in (a large city in Canada), it's really not as big a deal since we're an incredibly multicultural community. I don't understand treating people differently because of their financial status, their skin colour or their sexual orientation. It makes no sense to me. I've dated people of just about every skin colour, and haven't given it much thought. They're people, not crayons.

If you're being turned down by narrow-minded creeps, just think of it as being a loser filter. If someone can't look past your skin colour, even if it doesn't adhere to their preferences, and want you for the fantastic person you are, they're losing out and they're not worth your time.

Q: Hello all, I am getting a tattoo soon.
it is going to say "You've got to hang on to yourself"
I was wondering if 'on to' is one word or two, I don't want to have a grammatical error on my arm for the rest of my life!
I'm going to complicate things by disagreeing with the other poster.

The word "onto" means to position something upon something else. You get onto a horse, or you move the box onto the table.

Since you're using on as part of the verb, not as part of a preposition, I think it makes more sense to split on and to. You're (hanging on) to, not hanging (onto).

Props to you for checking this out! So many people get tattoos without double and triple-checking the spelling, grammar and location.

Q: #1 Not looking for a "Stop we can help you" Solution
#2 Not even sure if im going to go through with it.
(will know in about 2 weeks)
#3 -=Looking for fast painless ways to die.=- (not sure exactly how to get a real gun but im sure i could find a way.)
#4 Thanks ever so much!

Please no spam or #1 {Thanks}
If you've spent any time on this website, you'd know that we would never give you what you want. Even if anyone did want to tell you how to kill yourself, they couldn't because of the potential legal repercussions. Nobody does, though, because we're all here because we believe in the better side of life despite its difficulties.

Ask anyone here. We've all been through our own share of tough crap, some more than others. A lot of us have been in your situation (I ended up on this site years ago because I was also looking for a quick, painless way to die) and have overcome. We're not going to tell you to give up.

I'm also not going to tell you that we can help you. We can't. We're strangers on the internet. We can make suggestions, and we can reach out to you, but the only person who can really help you at this point is yourself.

I'm guessing that, based on the fact that you have a timeline, you're basing your decision on an event to happen in the near future. Whatever that event is, it's only going to be one moment out of billions. Don't let it be the one moment to determine how the rest of your life goes. No matter how important it may seem now, it's not worth missing out on every positive moment that you would experience if you were to live a full life.

I'm not preaching to you from the perspective of someone who has never dealt with hardship. Heck, I still deal with suicidal thoughts on a near daily basis. It's something I'm working on, and even just fighting it has given me things that I never thought I would have. If I had killed myself at age 18 when I first came to this website, I would never have met my boyfriend. I would never have bought a house with him. I would never have been married. I wouldn't have answered over 1800 questions on this site. There's a lot that I would not have accomplished if I had just given up then. Just about the only thing that keeps me going some days is the knowledge that even if I'm dedicating all my energy to holding on, I'm still leaving myself open to accomplishing and experiencing more.

I'm sure you know that you should be contacting a counselor or a mental health hotline. Or contact one of us. Or a friend, or a family member. Reach out to someone, because that's a bond that ties you to this planet. Do something good for yourself. Do something good for someone else. Find tiny reasons to hold on, and remember that there's no one thing worth ending your life for.

Q: On the outsiders in the movie scene where Dally is apparently suppose to talk dirty to Cherry and he says "are u a read red head...are u real? how can i find out if this is your real red hair and if its the same red hair on your uh these these eye brows..." when he says that what is it suppose to mean? it says its suppose to be dirty but I don't get what it means? Thanks!
Ever heard the old saying about the carpet matching the drapes? That's what he's getting at.

Basically, he's hinting that if she's a real redhead, ALL of her body hair should match. Not necessarily true, mind you.

Q: 19/f

This spring break (2012) my friends and I want to go somewhere. We were thinking mexico or florida. Well nobody in our group is really planning it out yet so I'm going to start planning it. The only thing is, i'm not sure how to plan it all out. I never realized how stressful it actually is. I'm hoping I can find something that has a good deal for students in large groups? I would also like reliable sources. Has anyone had experience planning a spring break or vacation trip that can help me out?

So far i've gotten to look at a few hotels. all the rates are about 70-120 dollars per night. Is that a good rate for college students? What should i be looking for? Also, i'm concerned about transportation. Should i consider airplane tickets or driving? what would be less expensive? If we drove, it would be about 1,790 miles drive to florida or a 3,107 miles to mexico.

i feel like this is going to be an overwhelming process, so does anybody have any advice or tips on how to plan this trip out? thanks!
It really all depends on how many people and what you're planning on doing wherever you go.

Keep in mind that because of your age, your activities in Florida will be limited. No bars, no clubs, etc. If you're looking for wholesome fun like the beach and amusement parks, it might be a good option.

You can get really good deals on all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, even vacation packages that include airfare and transportation to the resort. If you're looking to dance, drink (the drinking age is much lower here) and hang out on the beach, that could be a good option. It also takes the stress out of planning, and you don't have to worry about cooking and cleaning (or paying for restaurants) the way you would if you were in a hotel.

If you're looking for a good deal for a lot (4+) of people in Florida, you may want to look into renting a vacation home from someone. That way you can buy groceries and save yourselves some cash. It can also be less expensive than hotel rooms for that many people.

If you're going the hotel route, hotwire.com can be useful. You specify what area you want and how many stars, and choose based on the price and amenities: the only catch is that you only get the name of the hotel after you make your reservation. Try Hipmunk for flights: it's what I use to compare prices and airlines.

Come up with a few options, price them out and let your friends vote on them. Make sure to include cost of food, gas and time (it may cost less to drive to Mexico, but if it takes 3 days each way it's not worth it!) for each option. Spreadsheets are your friend for this.


Q: Okay, first off I am a teen and my boyfriends mom "monitors " our chats and ... well everything ( think what you want, I have my opinions too) Anyways she has a security type system that alerts her when we say certain things, and according to Jan (his mom) Angel and Horse are "CODE" talk.... I have googled it and everything and I DO NOT KNOW WHAT IT MEANS. I don't see how angel is a CODE word for anything??? Please PLEASE help!!!
Horse is an easy one. It's a well known slang term for heroin.

As for angel... I've found a few possibilities. One is a sex act (censored :D) and another is "a person who does a lot of drugs".

Q: 16/F
I'll be taking a plane to California in July and staying for about a week in a half. And I have a few questions seeing as this is my first time on a plane, and my first time traveling ANYWHERE. My parents will not be going with me.

*What is allowed on the plane?
I'm aware I'm going to have to pour my shampoo into those little plastic see-thru containers you can get from Target. But what about everything else?
*I plan on shaving my legs. Is a razer allowed in my bagage?
Probably not, but I'm just gonna double check before I go out and buy a disposable one when I get to California.
*Do I need to squeese tooth paste in one of those see-thru tubes?
*Am I allowed to bring my cell phone with me on the plane?
I doubt it will work on the plane, but I'm not comfortable with leaving it in my luggage. If it's not on my person I'm way too paranoid it will brake/get lost/get stolen/etc.
*What about iPod to listen to on the plane?
*Also, my phone charger? Will that be allowed on the plane?
*My mom was elling me about how my ears will pop bad when we land, and it's hard getting them unpopped. Any tips on how to cure that?

Basically anything about plane traveling and any tips you have are greatly appreciated.

-----

Now, for clothing to wear when I get there.
I know I'll be walking a lot and visiting places while I'm staying there.
I'm overweight and after a day of a lot of walking in a dress, my thighs are extremely raw/burned/rub burned. So I need to limit my dress wearing.
*I'd like to get shorts that come to just below the knee, or even just a little above is alright. But I can never seem find any that are flattering. Suggestions?
I also plan to be getting a few capris from Old Navy, and I can never find the kind of shorts I'm looking for. Denim only.

I'll be going to Disneyland. I've never been to Disneyland/wold before, and I'm not sure what kind of rides they have.
*I'd like to get a bra that supports me and won't make me pop out during the day, and any future amusment park days. I was thinking a sports bra? But I feel like that will make me look saggy (36D). Ideas? Maybe a good bra with a sports bra on top?

Any other ideas/suggestions/whatever is welcomed! Thank you.


To find out what is allowed on the plane, check the website for the particular airline you're on. One thing that's universal is no aerosols whatsoever. So hairspray and some sunscreens won't be allowed, even in your checked baggage.

As long as you don't put your shampoo and toothpaste in your carry-on, there aren't any special rules. If you are going to bring any liquids with you on the plane, they have to be under 3 oz in size and they have to fit in a large Ziploc bag. Razors can go in your checked baggage, but not in your carry-on.

You are allowed to bring your cell phone, but they will ask that you turn it off for the flight, as cellular devices can mess with the airplane's controls and communications systems.

Definitely bring an MP3 player. If you don't have noise-isolating headphones, I'd get a pair of those, too (you can get them pretty cheap at Walmart). That way if you get stuck next to a screaming baby, you have some relief.

Charger cables are fine to bring as well. They may ask you to prove that any electronics are functional, so make sure they're all charged before you go.

To help your ears pop when taking off and landing, gum is the best. Chew it continuously and you won't get the huge ear pop. If you get motion sick, Wintogreen Life Savers are, well... life savers!

Now, for clothing to wear when I get there.
I know I'll be walking a lot and visiting places while I'm staying there.
I'm overweight and after a day of a lot of walking in a dress, my thighs are extremely raw/burned/rub burned. So I need to limit my dress wearing.
*I'd like to get shorts that come to just below the knee, or even just a little above is alright. But I can never seem find any that are flattering. Suggestions?
I also plan to be getting a few capris from Old Navy, and I can never find the kind of shorts I'm looking for. Denim only.

To find out more about Disneyland, check out their website. It has a list of all the rides and maps so you can get an idea of distance and start planning how you'll hit up the park.

Sports bras are pretty terrible, support-wise for us better endowed ladies. Unless you get a really good, really expensive one, you're going to sag and that will make your back hurt like crazy. If you're concerned about popping out, get a fuller-coverage bra. This is my favourite... not particularly sexy, but extremely comfortable and practical:

http://www.playtexbras.com/bras/styles/4138/

Old Navy has tons of shorts in different lengths. There's a 7 inch inseam, a 10 inch inseam and a 12 inch inseam. I'm not sure what other stores you have nearby, so I can't really make recommendations otherwise.

If you want to wear dresses but hate the leg rub, try picking up a pair of bike shorts to wear underneath. Problem solved!

Unfortunately there's not much you can do to prevent your luggage being lost other than making sure it has the right tags. It's the airline's fault, not the owner's. If it does get lost, you can talk to the courtesy desk for the airline at the airport, and they will arrange to find it. My mother lost hers in Chile before a cruise and managed to get it in time, so don't worry too much.

In a carry-on, I bring a change or two of clothes (in case of lost luggage), all essential medicine (in its original bottle, or else they won't let you take it), any valuables that I'm bringing with me, all electronics, a book or two, my ID and my MP3 player. Pretty much, I bring anything that is too fragile/important to be trusted to my checked baggage.

Have fun!

Q: So I thought of having a road trip for my 18th birthday (which is on January) along with a couple of my friends.

So I was wondering if you guys have any tips on what fun things to do or what kind of places to visit (like clubs, tourist spots, etc.) or should I make it an overnight thing and stay in a hotel?

Idk, basically everything. Never had a road trip birthday party before, but it kind of seems like a fun idea. So please, share what you know? Pretty please with a cherry on top
We don't know where you live, so it's pretty hard to make specific recommendations.

Playing tourist in your own area can be a lot of fun. Check out your area's tourism site for ideas.

Camping is a great idea, and there are some fantastic national parks out there. S'mores and weenie roasts are a great way to spend time together.

If you want to stay in a hotel, you may hit some limitations. Usually, hotels require everyone in the room to be over 18, or if someone is under 18 there has to be someone 21 or over unless there are parents staying in the hotel as well. Be prepared to show ID at the door.

Q: Hey have you guys heard that when you wear a rubber band and snap it on you it gets ride of a thought or idea. Aparantly its supposed to get ride of the idea and if you do it enough times it stops the idea completely. Does this actually work?
It doesn't so much stop the thought as it does stop the cycle.

Let's say that you're a smoker who wants to quit. Normally, you crave a cigarette, then go get one and smoke it without thinking. You might chain-smoke a whole pack unconsciously.

What the rubber band trick does is force an interruption in patterns. Next time you notice yourself craving a cigarette, you snap the rubber band on your wrist. That makes you consciously think about the fact that you're craving a cigarette, and you are then able to say "No. I will not smoke. I acknowledge the craving, but I'm not going to act on it."

The same trick works for lots of negative thought patterns and habits.

So no, it won't make the thought go away. It just makes you take notice of it so that you can deal with it.

Q: Rather than ask a question, I'd like to pose a theory and get some feedback from it. In a way, this is asking for advice, but really, I need opinions. Id like to state from the beginning that this is something I've been revising for several years now and it has to do with life in general, or rather, happiness. It's a bit abstract in concept and requires some serious thought, as I'd like honest, thoughtful responses. Now that you've all been warned, here is the theory:

Happiness. What is it? How can we achieve it, and what significance does it have? Do some value it more than others, or is happiness the general goal that individuals strive for in their lives?

Over the past 4 years I've been exposed to certain stimuli that have changed my personality and mind in a very drastic way. I used to be an average girl, with average thoughts and concerns such as "I wonder if this boy likes me" and "I really hope I get invited to that party or become really popular in high school" My freshman year of high school I came across a movie that dramatically changed my life. It was called the Secret, if any of you know about it, and really it wasn't a movie but an inspirational video made to help people get over hardships and be happy. This film had a pretty strong effect on me and of course I tried doing the things it suggested although it was pretty outrageous in it's explanation of how the world works. (It's worth seeing if this kind of stuff interests you) However, that film was only the beginning. Throughout high school i became engrossed in this idea of happiness. I researched it, spent hours online looking up ideas and theories on it. I even made it my senior project and presented it to my entire class. While doing all of this, I was living life by the theories I had been discovering. One day at lunch while talking to my roommate about a problem she was having, she asked me: "you know when you have one of those days where you just don't feel good no matter what and you are upset but you don't really know why" and I tried hard to empathize with her but couldn't. I honestly answered her "No, actually" She looked at me funny and went back to eating her sandwich, but that whole rest of the day I tried so hard to think of the last time I had had a bad day and how I felt and the answer was still happy. In high school, I wasn't particularly popular, I didn't have a boyfriend, I wasn't extremely involved in school, but I was always happy. I had gone through some bad experiences, in college I was in an abusive relationship, but nothing too extreme, still I remained happy. So that day I went home and I wrote this:

"Life is not what you see. It's what you ARE. Life is you, and therefore if you are happy, life is happy. But how do you stay happy all the time? How do you isolate those moments where you feel good, ecstatic, excited or even just happy that you're alive when happiness seems so fleeting. Well, we MAKE it. That's the answer. You create your own happiness, even if it's not there. If you lack happiness, make some. Creation is the vessel through which we guide ourselves to success. And creation can be anything from a thought or idea, to a drawing or a piece of paper with your handwriting on it or a cookie freshly baked in the oven. Creation is everything that is around us, and the power to create lies within us, so how can we not be happy if we have the ability to make happiness. The ways in which we control our bodies and minds are what ultimately make us unique, but we are all the same in the respect of the power we have to create. We just have to rewire our brains to think in the positive process of creation. The ways in which ultimate happiness can be achieved:

- Acceptance: this is key to not allowing the outside world to influence our state of well being. When something happens that we do not have control over, we must accept that it has happened and try to move forward. We cannot dwell or ask why because that is not accepting. Once you accept something, you can move past it, so this is the first step. Acceptance is the only thing that allows you to remove negativity and misery from your life.

- Positivity: an obvious but underestimated way of thinking. There is not reason why something shouldn't work out the way we want it to, if we believe it. Why is it that people say "I'm not being negative, just realistic" What makes something realistic or not. A good outcome is just as realistic as a negative one. We can't want something but not believe it is within our reality to get it.

- Gratitude: this allows for acceptance and positivity to create bliss. When we are accepting of the things that happen, and hopeful for the things that will happen, and thankful for the things that have already happened that we enjoy, we open ourselves to greater joy because already we have so much.

- Love: unconditional love for every experience we encounter, if its something we enjoy. Don't just like it, love it. Dwell in how much you love something, and keep loving it no matter how long its been in your life. This applies not only to people but also to experiences and objects.

- Authenticity: this is the other key to bliss. Find what makes you come alive, and go do it. BE true to yourself. We are so different that if everyone were true to themselves we would start to see that we don't all want the same things, and therefore we can all have what we want. Also, if we develop an attitude or want that is not true, that is taken from another, we will constantly be the second best version of that attitude and know it, therefore we can never be happy. Why be the second best version of something when you can be the first best version of yourself?


So there you have it, this what I've come to know and believe in my 20 years of life. Since that day when I wrote this down I have been looking into how we can achieve those things. Evidently we are human, and therefore falter, myself included. But I'd really like some input on what you guys think of this theory and maybe what objections you have...or thoughts... any advice is welcome. Do you agree, disagree, and why?

Thank you!

Interesting stuff. I would disagree with quite a bit of it, though. Here are my counter-points:

1) It's not a bad thing to feel sad sometimes. We're supposed to feel sad, or angry, or upset at times. If you're always happy with things, there's no reason to change. If everyone had been happy 70 years ago, there would have been no civil rights movement. If everyone had been happy in the trees, we would never have evolved as a species and would have died out. Discontent is fuel for change and progress.

2) The outside world does and should impact how you feel. When the WTC was hit in 2001, I was sad because of the terrible waste of life, and because I can't fathom the fact that we still live in a world where some people are okay with doing that to innocent people. I joined a good chunk of humanity in mourning for a few days, even though I don't live in the same country. The solidarity that we showed through that helped to support the people of New York through their pain and suffering. To not be sad because of outside events and situations is inhuman. How can you walk whistling past a scene of destruction and misery? It shows a lack of empathy, which is a fantastic human quality.

3) Positivity vs. Reality. I believe in tempering one with the other. It's one thing to aim high. It's entirely another to expect it all the time. If I were to apply to one very difficult university program to get into, there is a very real chance that I might not. Therefore, I should make an effort to produce a Plan B so that I'm not left hanging in the wind because I put all my eggs in one basket. It's fantastic to think positive. Sometimes, though, things don't turn out the way you want them to and you have to be prepared to work with that.

4) Love every positive experience, but what about the negative? I am the sum of my experiences. I am changed equally by the positive and the negative. Meeting my fiancé? Positive. My struggle with mental illness? Negative. Should I totally discount one of the biggest experiences of my life simply because it was negative? I believe that we shouldn't wallow in self-pity because of bad experiences, but we should address them and learn from them. Maybe rather than "love the positive and ignore the negative" it should be "take the positive from every experience". Because even the most negative of experiences can teach us something that will make us better and stronger.

5) Don't take personality cues from others? We are influenced by so many people in our development. I choose to continue to be influenced consciously whenever I encounter a new character. I agree that if we take a whole personality from another person and paste it over ours, it won't fit perfectly. But there's no harm in taking bits and pieces from people you admire. I aim to be content without extravagance, like my fiancé's grandmother. I aim to be strong and move through extreme adversity, like my mother. I aim to be a gentle, kind woman who puts everyone at ease like my co-worker. I aim to never conceal my intelligence from anyone, like Ada Lovelace. I don't have to be a second-rate version of one of them. I'm me, with influences. Even the best artist has influences. My medium just happens to be life :)

It's a pretty complicated theory you have there, and if it works for you, that's fantastic. When it comes to happiness, there's no one size fits all solution. Everyone is different.

The one thing I notice when it comes to your theory is that there's a lot of fighting. FIGHT to repress anything bad, MAKE happiness, CREATE this, DO that, etc. I follow a very different philosophy.

I read a set of books when I was in high school, and they changed the way I feel about things. The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff are fantastic explorations of Taoist philosophy using common Western references (Winnie The Pooh). Taoism basically promotes the idea that rather than fighting the flow of the world, we should find the path of least resistance, like water. Instead of fighting to forget the negative, you wash up against it, see it, and accept it for what it is. Then you move on. Everything is what it is, and we won't make ourselves anything but frustrated when we try to put square pegs in round holes. I don't follow it to the letter, but I do like the quiet tranquility of it and try to put it into practice whenever I'm feeling angry or blocked.

Q: I'm 17 (female), I think I always knew I wasn't straight but for some reason I still identified as straight and only really thought of myself as bi-curious (but in a way where I would only really consider males as possible partners). It's only recently that I've started to think I'm probably at least bisexual, and even more recently that I've started to think I might just be flat-out gay. The reason I'm thinking this is because it just suddenly dawned on me and it somehow feels 'right' and like everything suddenly makes sense. Except it doesn't, because I'm still terribly confused. I looked back at things from my childhood and throughout my life, and this is what I've got:

- I have this clear memory of being a little kid and thinking to myself, "I think I might be gay, I hope not." This doesn't make much sense though, since I'd never thought there was anything wrong with being gay and my family would be perfectly accepting of it. I remember then just pushing the thought away.
- As a little kid, I'd experiment 'sexually' (I find it hard to think of seriously, since we were just little kids) with other kids, but mostly girls, and I remember enjoying the experiences with girls a lot more, and being more into it than the other girls.
- However, I always had crushes on the boys. Looking back, though, a lot of them don't seem like crushes, more like trying to have a crush on someone you merely like as a friend. Some of them were legit crushes though.

From a young age, I've:

- Found female bodies more sexually attractive than male bodies, and have found females generally more aesthetically pleasing.
- Pasted pictures of women to my walls, never men. (I've never thought of this in a sexual way, though, more in a 'women are nicer to look at' way, or just because of fashion.)
- Loved lesbian fictional characters.
- Seeked out books which focus on lesbian relationships.
- Written about lesbian couples.
- Preferred lesbian porn to straight porn, lesbian erotica to straight erotica (started with this way too young, probably.)
- Fantasised about both men and women, but women more often.
- I often felt odd around girls, in a way I can't describe.
- Yet all through this, I fancied guys and not girls. I do, however, remember feeling oddly attached to certain female friends in a way which seems like a little more than friendship, looking back on it.

Looking back on all this, it seems odd that I did those things yet thought of myself as straight.

Now:

- I have no interest at all in images of naked men, yet images of naked women turn me on.
- I have had feelings for lots of guys, and only one girl.
- I've been in love with a guy.
- I've fantasised about men sexually, but in reality, it never feels right. I'm still a virgin, but the sexual experiences I've had with guys (even just kissing) have always either held no interest for me at all (just felt like going through the motions) or have been at once both enjoyable and offputting. I don't know the word, but it's felt kind of wrong at the same time, like I want to carry on but I also want to get away, and the next morning I usually feel dirty, ashamed and sickened.
- However, I've had sexual experiences with girls and have always felt fine about it (though I havn't gone as far as with guys, so it's hard to tell...maybe I'd still freak out if it got to that point?)

I'm really confused. The idea of my being gay, like I said, feels right. Yet I know I can't discount all the feelings I have had for males. And I do still get feelings for males. It's just...I don't know, it seems like I am emotionally attracted to men, but when it comes to sex, I'm more interested in women.

Sorry this is so long. I guess I'm not asking for advice as such, but rather, what does this sound like to you? I'm so confused so I'd like to know what you think.
What you're saying is pretty normal from people of all sexualities. It's pretty hard to pin down what label you would identify as. And really, who needs labels?

I was in the same boat as you. I found myself more attracted to females, but ended up with a male. Instead of identifying as bi-curious, bisexual or straight, I go with "fluid" or "flexible".

Let's be honest here. Men are less aesthetically pleasing. The male body is not pretty. It's functional, but that's where it stops. It doesn't take someone who's not straight to see that. So-called straight porn is pretty weird. In fact, I have trouble understanding how it's straight for a guy to enjoy watching another man demeaning a woman.

In the end when it comes to a relationship, it tends to be about how you feel about an individual rather than how you feel about their gender. If I had fallen in love with a girl, I'd be with a girl. I just happened to meet a guy who was pretty fantastic.

Don't worry about pinning your sexuality down and labeling it like an insect collection quite yet. Labels are overrated. Just think of yourself as having a more open scope for finding that special someone than people who do identify themselves by their sexuality.

I would advise against promiscuous sexual activity with anyone. People say that it doesn't count if it's "just experimenting" but it does. You can still get STIs from females. You can still carry emotional scars from females. Don't make the mistake of thinking that same sex activity isn't real, because it is. Make sure that whatever you choose, you do it safely.

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NinjaNeer
My Personal Forum

My name is Amanda and I'm 26 years old. I'm currently studying electrical engineering. Armed with a fairly odd sense of humour and a sunny outlook on life, I'll take on just about anything. I'm also cussedly stubborn, which has its ups and downs. Things get tough sometimes, and I've never been one to run from it.

In my last 8 years with Advicenators, I've gone from honours student to failing out of university (and getting back on top again!), from single to married, from tenant to homeowner.

Until lately, I have been struggling with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and OCD, which had basically ruined my life and taken just about everything from me. I'm thankful every day for every experience I've had because of this ordeal, because it's helped to make me who I am today. Things like that really make you appreciate what you do have. Now that I'm back in work and school and starting to become myself again, I couldn't be happier. I credit Advicenators with saving my life back when I was a teenager, which is a big part of why I'm still here.

I won't necessarily give you the answers you want to hear, but I'll always be honest and do my best to help.

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