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2003-08-16 - 12:04 p.m.

Q: how come my hips don't flow, when i try to belly dance? am i really a man?

A: yes. you probably are. either that, or you just need to practice more. i think that belly dancing is a skill like anything else, and you need to practice before you will be able to get that flow. maybe try thinking sexy thoughs. i dunno. i've never belly danced.

Q: I live in southern Australia, an down here there is a serious problem with possums at this time of the year, they like to root (fornicate) alot around my garden at night, now this is all fair enough, but they make a noise similar to that of a cat being rectally probed with a brick. Do you have any suggestions as to how I may deter their trists in the tree next to my bedroom window every evening.

A: throw a rock or something out there when you hear them do it. do it all the time, every time they hear it. maybe then they would be less apt to pick your yard for fuckin'. negative reinforcement works with dogs and cats, why not with possums?

Q: My mum is getting married to a guy she met on the internet two months ago.I really don't like him. It's not that he's an asshole, or anything...he just has zero personality. I want my mum to be happy, but I don't want to live in a house with a man I don't like. I only have about ten more months until I can move out, but I don't know what to do. I have nothing to say to this man. And I've tried to so hard to talk my mum out of it. I don't know what to do and it's really stressing me out..

A: you've been living with your mother for the past 16, 17, 18 years, and the whole time you have been pretty much controlling what she can do with her life. you are getting ready in move out in the next year, and you want to control who she is with after you are gone, just because you think he is boring? if he is a kind person who treats your mother well, it is not really your business. just be happy for her that she found someone she cares about enough to want to marry, and let her do what she wants. nobody is getting hurt. you wouldn't like it if she told you you couldn't see someone just because she doesn't have anything in common with him.

Q: people think that because i have piercings, that i stab myself with random sharp objects for pleasure in my spare time. what is something at least vaguely polite i can say to these mindless twits when they insist on assuming my hobbies?

A: i used to have some piercings, and i found the best way to handle people asking stuff is just to downplay it as much as possible. "i like the way it looks, and it didn't hurt at all." that way, you make it known that you are not doing it to be ugly, which is what a lot of people think, and by saying it doesn't hurt, they either think that it is totally not as bad as they thought, or that you are super-tough, and they shouldn't mess with you because you feel no pain.

Q: aloha, my question is where do u get the ideas to draw all your pictures? like the whole idea that they're awesome because they are just plain and simple basic almost stick people doin somethin really retarded, oh well its awesome and i just wanna know how u got the idea and such and such.

A: if i think of something i think is funny, i think it is more cost effective and time-saving to just doodle it out, rather than turning it into some eighteen page graphic novel with fancy-ass looking artwork. also, i could not imagine taking a long time to draw a real nice picture of some kind of animal taking a crap.

Q: I have a big problem, and it's going to make me sound like a really stupid little girl. I have been with my boyfriend for about a year and a half now, most of it being long-distance. I know he's cheating on me. I love him, but I don't think I want to love him. I don't know how to get out; I feel like I'm in so deep and I am so incredibly attached. Yes, he makes me happy sometimes, and he says I am the closest thing to perfection that he knows. But how can I have children with someone who is going to be sleeping with other women? Sometimes I hate him. I have been the perfect girlfriend. And you might say it's the distance thing, but he was sleeping with someone else when we were still living in the same city. What do I do? Is there some kind of a 12-step plan for this kind of problem? Thanks for your help.

A: darling, listen to me. if you have never listened to anyone before, and never plan to listen to anyone again, that is fine as long as you listen to me right now. DUMP HIM RIGHT NOW. IMMEDIATELY. IF YOU ARE STILL READING THIS AND YOU HAVE NOT DUMPED HIM, STOP, AND FINISH READING AFTER HE IS DUMPED. he is sapping your self-esteem. you sound like a smart lady. i am sure you are cute as a button. why are you letting him treat you like that? if he is sleeping with other people he does not love you. if he does, and is doing it anyway, he is a fucked up dude who can't get over the fact he has a penis. love and respect kinda go hand in hand, and he is being as disrespectful to you as possible. duuuump hiiiiiim. there are billions of dudes in the world, and i bet a whole lot of them would treat you real awesome. and i bet a lot of those dudes are a lot cuter than him, too. say this out loud "I AM THE PERFECT GIRLFRIEND, JUST NOT THIS MAN-WHORE'S PERFECT GIRLFRIEND."

oh, and being the perfect girlfriend is nice and all, but being yourself with someone who likes you being yourself is so much better. and don't worry about who is gonna father your children... you are young. you need to dump that dude, and start a rock band, and stay out too late, and just make sure that you enjoy yourself all the time. lord knows your man ain't helping you at all. (cough cough DUMP HIM)

Q: My ex girlfriend is involved with another guy, but I still really like her. Should I tell her I still like her or not? Would it be a good thing to do? I'm confused.

A: nope. don't tell her. part of you still having feelings for her is just you not liking other people people having feelings for her. romance is nice and all, and if you are meant to be, she will come around after she and her new beau call it quits.

Q: Doesnt it make you mad that when you sign up for something, say a guestbook, you go to the gender field and male is already selected, when f so comes before m?

A: i never really thought about it.

Q: I've had this major crush on a girl since about seventh grade. I love her. I finally came out and told her this, and she said she loved me too--just didn't want to screw up our friendship. She talked about us going to college together and starting a life after high school. She moved about 45 minutes away from me, and has fallen in love...with a boy. I am crushed. I've met the guy and he's not that bad. My problem is I still can't get over her. I think about her all the time. It's probably unhealthy. I've tried starting new hobbies (my mom encouraged me to knit! all I can make are bikinis and scarves), dated a couple of different girls, etc. I can't really confront any of my friends about this, because they all get akward about my love life. I guess lesbians gross them out.

A: by the sounds of things, you and your girl are pretty young. it is fantastic that, at your young age, you are all comfortable with your sexuality. part of me wonders, though, if the root of your problem doesn't lie with the fact that the girl you in love with is not so comfortable. maybe she isn't ready to admit that she wants to be with girls instead of boys. if she loves you, she will eventually. you are lucky to have parents that are supportive and all that, cause a lot of parents wouldn't be if they found out their child was homosexual. maybe your lady's parents are like that, and that is why she "doesn't want to ruin the friendship" and is dating a boy. i mean, you said it yourself, people get all awkward about your love life. you are a person who is brave enough to deal with that, and not be afraid about how people will react. it would be unfair to assume your friend would be the same way. she'll come around eventually, cause if she is really a lesbian, a relationship with some dude is pretty much doomed from the get-go.

Q: Here's something to boyfriend always tells me he's "in love" with me. How do I respond to this? "I'm in love with you too," just sounds cheesy, and "I'm more in love with you,"sounds...well...not good. Do you have any ideas of a response? Thanks!

A: punch him. no, i am kidding. i think "i love you, too" would work out pretty well. i mean, "i am in love with you" is pretty much a statement that is difficult to respond to, but at least if you just tell him you love him too, you will not sound like am idiot or like you are having some kind of love-you-more contest.

Q: Natalie, could you tell me how to french kiss a guy? I have a serious boyfriend and we've gone farther than that already, but every time he tries to kiss me like that, I get to nervous and unsure of myself and pull away. I think it's really starting to get on his nerves, so could you please help me?

A: here are my hints for frenching some dude... 1) relax, or else he is gonna feel like he is frenching someone who absolutely does not want to be frenched. 2) do not open your mouth too far, or you will look like some perch or cod or orange roughie. open your mouth about as far as you would if you had a cold and could not breathe through your nose. 3) don't go stick your tongue down his throat. you do not want to go much farther than his teeth until you get the hang of it. i would even go as far as to say to let him do the tongue sticking the first couple times you kiss when you are gonna all make out and stuff. 4) do not drool. drooling in somebady's mouth is just about gross.

i think the first bit of advice is the most important. if you just chill out and try to enjoy yourself, you will not go doing something all uptight and spazzy, like biting him or tensing up like you got rigor mortis or something. people usually kiss people the way they liked to be kissed, so if you just relax and pay attention to what he is doing, and kinda mimic that, you should do just fine.

Q: i met this girl at a party and i am very much enamoured with her. she lives about a six hour drive from me and is sweet and funny and smart and beautiful and we listen to the same music and like the same movies and all that. i was supposed to go to the city where she lives to see a show with her and i had planned on asking her out on a real date right afterwards. sadly, my ride crapped out on me and, lo and behold, a week later, she had a boyfriend. he lives about five hours from her in the opposite direction from me. she just recently broke up with him because he's a jerk and selfish and there was a possibility that he was cheating on her (i'm not sure of the details. neither she nor her friends that i know told me many details and it didn't seem polite to pry). i would really like to pursue a relationship with her, but am a bit confused as to how to go about it. should i give her some time? if so, how much? i don't want to wait too long to ask her out. also, i wish to be supportive and caring and listening and everything, but am worried that i might come off as insincere, which i am not. i truly care about this girl and i want her to be happy, even if it isn't me that's making her happy. i would just prefer it if it was, in fact, me doing it.

A: man, this girl must be like helen of troy to be bringing the dudes from hours and hours away. crimeny. i am lucky if i can get my boyfriend to come upstairs from the basement.

my advise is.... don't waste your time. she lives 6 hours away, you do not have transportation to make the trip to see her. NATALIE LONG-DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP RULE NUMBER ONE: do not date anyone who lives more than 2 hours away, or anyone who lives far enough away that if you took a greyhound to their house, you would have to change busses halfway through, or the bus would stop at some point to let you off to get something to eat. it would be better to be single than to have to deal with that crap.

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