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Stats & Data

October 21, 2010

Smart, sassy, strangely seductive - it's relationship advice for the love challenged.

Amanda Fox is a writer, satirist, cat and people wrangler, and all around smart person. Sometimes, she gives advice about sex and relationships - because she's had that and been in one for a very long time. When she does, she calls herself Fern. 

Dear Fern,

My partner Derek and I have an open relationship, which means that we both sleep with other men.  Up until three months ago, everything was great between us because we always put each other first.  But then Derek met Kevin. 

You know the feeling you get about some people – like you just don’t trust them – well that’s how I feel about this guy.  Problem is, Derek doesn’t see it.  He says that it’s all in my head.  He says that he wants to continue dating “Kev” because they have such a great time together.  He says that the reason I’m feeling so vulnerable is because I lost my job last month.  Fern, that is so NOT true.  Kevin is simply an evil human being who’s trying to steal my boyfriend.  I just know it.  What should I do?


Waiting For The Bomb To Drop

Dear Waiting,

I have some terrible news for you.  You know your pet tarantula – Big Daddy Diddy – well the maid ran over it with the vacuum cleaner early this morning.  Also, did you know that scientists have recently discovered a potentially fatal disorder that occurs in men with two arms who drink more than one cup of coffee per day?  How many arms do you have?  And do you drink coffee?  In addition, the television series “Glee” has suddenly been cancelled and “Jabberwocky Rules” – the rock-and-roll group, not the Lewis Carroll fan club – well, they are disbanding.  Furthermore – and I really do hate slamming you with such negativity, especially when your self esteem is at an all time low – but you know that whole “2012 – the world is going to end in a giant, cataclysmic explosion” thing, well it’s true.

Oh, and there is one other small bit of information that I think you should know: your relationship with Derek is pretty much screwed too. 

Now, don’t get me wrong.  There is a bright side to almost every situation, but in this case, I’m not sure that I see one.  I tell you, it’s a bad omen when your partner starts taking sides with someone else, and it sounds as if Derek is ready to push you under a bus just to get what he wants, i.e. to set up house with this “Kev” character for the purpose of having non-stop, jungle sex.   

My suggestion: fold Derek’s clothes and take all of his stuff, and put it in a box outside your front door.  Then change the locks.  When he comes home and starts Cristiano Ronaldo-ing the kick plate, and swearing his head off for you to open up “or else”, hide in the bedroom and don’t answer.  

After the storm has passed and he stops leaving nasty messages (and possibly death threats) on your voice mail, get yourself invited to a few dinner parties and go out to a few clubs.  You will meet another guy soon enough and all will be sunny again.


Dear Fern,

I just found out that my parents are getting a divorce.  Apparently, my father has been having an affair with his secretary for over two years.  Does this mean I am destined to make the same mistake?  Should I stick to being a single man for the duration of my existence? 


Lost To A Life Of Loneliness

Dear Lost,

Well they do say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but whatever.  Instead, tell me this – when you are baking a cake, do you set all the ingredients out on the counter FIRST?

When you go grocery shopping, do you make a list?  And do you ALWAYS remember to bring your own bags? 

When traveling to places you’ve never been, do you go on Google maps and print out the directions?

If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, then you need to STOP THINKING SO FAR AHEAD!

Loosen up.  Try being spontaneous for once in your life.  Get lost in a strange city – you might make some new friends.  Make a cake without any baking powder – it won’t taste THAT bad.  Buy a plastic bag or two – it’ll make you look more human and less like some super saving, recycling robot. 

I can just see it now.  In your mind, you’ve envisioned yourself meeting someone, getting close, deciding to make a commitment, likely having children, consequently building up a ton of resentment and animosity between the two of you, slowly drifting apart, looking to a random stranger to fulfill your intimate needs and desires, and inevitably enduring a nasty and bitter divorce, am I right?

How do I know these things?  No, I’m not psychic.  It’s just that I used to be the same as you.  I planned everything.  I worried what would happen two days, two months, two years in advance.  I worried that there wouldn’t be enough toilet paper when I went to the bathroom, and I worried that I’d need dentures by the time I turned sixty.  I know – pathetic.   

But for me, those days are gone.  I’ve learned to concentrate on the present and you need to do the same.  So do I think you could end up a lying, cheating destroyer of relationships?  Only time will tell my friend, only time will tell.  ?___________________________________________

Dear Fern,

My girlfriend is driving me crazy.  We’ve only been together a few months and she’s already talking about marriage.  Usually, I tell her that she is my number one candidate at the moment, but saying this makes her angry and we end up fighting.  Not only that, but she wants me to tell her that I love her every two seconds.  I’m not sure I even do.

Fern, I just turned twenty-five.  I’m too young for this kind of pressure.  Any advice?


Boy Just Wants To Have Fun

Dear Boy,

Wow, by the time I was your age, I was married with two kids.  Don’t I feel old-fashioned?

But as I was saying, I was standing in line at the bank last week when all of a sudden four masked bandits came barging through the doors.  “Everybody on the floor!” they yelled, waving their guns in the air.

Now, I’ve been through this sort of thing before so I knew exactly what to do.  I dropped to the ground, my hands at my side, my legs spread slightly. 

“Don’t anybody do anything stupid,” their apparent leader commanded, “and throw out your cell phones.”

Brazenly keeping mine hidden, I tried to look cool as the bad guys then lined us up against the wall.

When it seemed that the manager couldn’t open the safe, I took advantage of the distraction and tried to pull out my phone.  “Hey, you there.”  John Dillinger had caught me moving.  “What are you doin’?”

Thinking fast, I replied, “Sorry, it’s just that my panties were stuck in my crotch.”

Leaning in close, he ran the tip of his gun – slowly, poignantly – up the inside of my thigh.   “That had better be all you’re doin’.”  His voice deep and gravelly, I imagined what he looked like under the mask.

“Trust me, sir.  I – Fern De Villiers of 335 Masonic Arms Avenue – would never do anything to jeopardize my safety OR the safety of my fellow citizens.”

“That’s good.”  He sauntered away, his shoulders broad, his arms muscular, his perfect butt accentuated by his tight, black cat suit.

Now even though I managed to get that emergency tweet out, the robbers still escaped.  About a week later however, I got a call from one Sam “Stickyfingers” Depuis.  We are dating now and the sex is mind-blowing, but that’s beside the point.

What I’m really trying to say here is that some situations demand a little subterfuge.  So if you like your girlfriend enough to keep her around, then you are just going to have to lie.  Say, “I love you (insert pet name) and yes, I AM going to marry you.”  Say it convincingly and say it often.  We women get off on stuff like that.  Now when – and by the waters of Babylon, there WILL BE a “when” – she asks you to set a date for the wedding, you are on your own.  You can’t expect me to know everything, can you? ?___________________________________________

Dear Fern, 

I’m a woman in my mid-forties.  I’ve been married and divorced twice, both times to men who were filthy rich.  And yes, I planned it that way.   Now, I am set for life.

A few months ago, I met this guy.  We connected instantly.  Sounds promising, doesn’t it?  Well, my friends think he’s a loser.  They say he’s only after me for MY money.  Sure, he’s broke but it’s because his ex-wife had a huge spending problem.  And so what if he cleans pools for a living?  Even if he IS the only employee, he still owns the company. 

Fern, I don’t care how much money Chip has in his pockets.  I am no longer a sugar baby.  I have fallen in love – truly, madly, deeply in love.  Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that the sex is phenomenal. 

Also, we have plans to buy a house together.  Actually, I’ll be buying it, but we will BOTH be living in it.  So could you please tell my friends to bugger off?  I just want to be happy.


Bissful in Bakersfield

Dear Blissful,

Wow!  You are so lucky to have found the man of your dreams.  I say you should dive into this relationship headfirst.  I promise, nothing bad is going to happen.  As for your friends, I’ll deal with them.   Now stop wasting your time, turn OFF your computer and go get that hunky pool boy of yours.

Dear Blissful’s friends,

Bugger off.  Seriously, who do you busybodies think you are trying to save your friend from a life of unremitting pain and heartache?  Geez, let the girl have some fun, will you?

Surely you know that really great sex – and I mean the “rip your clothes off, I don’t care that the other picnickers are only two feet away” kind of sex – is better than:

1.    Money – any amount.

2.    Peace of mind.

3.    Food – even good cake.

4.    Shelter.

5.    Possibly everything.

You know you’d all do the same. Besides, maybe it’s time that the universe got a little payback.  If we let this relationship proceed, there might be one less car accident in the world.  I don’t know about you, but I could use some good luck. 


Don’t you dare make mention of a prenup.  Just tell her to go for it.