Relationship Advice Redux


Welcome to our new weekly blog of half-truths and educated guesses on love, sex and relationships in SF. Here's who's dishing the advice:

He is a novelist living in SF who’s had one marriage, two live-in relationships, 10 girlfriends and a very wise therapist.

She is an SF health journalist who’s been married, single, communal, and bi-curious, and has studied tantra and orgasm—for research purposes, of course.

Q: Can you recommend any sites that give relationship advice online? Thanks. —Tom in SF

He Said: Dude, I’m not sure you’ve noticed, but this is an online relationship advice column. If your house was on fire, would you flag down the firemen and ask if they knew anyone who could help? Whatever. I’m a big fan of all advice columns. Most of the people who write them hear the same problems over and over and often have great insight for solving them. I’m sure The Woman reads a lot more of them than I do; but I do have two choice online advice resources for you, as a guy:

1. A Selection from the Discourses of Epictetus With the Encheiridion. This is available for free download from Project Guttenberg. Drop it on your iPhone or BlackBerry. Epictetus was one of the go-to advice guys for almost 2,000 years and his stuff is endlessly recycled. Most of what a man needs to be solid within himself or as a partner is here.

2. Google Docs. Keep a journal. Ask yourself your burning questions there and answer them immediately. Then look back at the questions when your mood is different and give yourself advice again. The differences in your responses are often both disconcerting and liberating. Like a house on fire.

She Said: What are we, chopped liver? If you want to go to other advice columnists, fine. Go. See if I care. In all seriousness, there are a handful of brilliant advice columnists I would recommend to anyone:

Savage Love by Dan Savage. Smart, realistic, sometimes-biting advice from a gay man and father in a long-term committed relationship.
Ask Isadora, from SF's own Isadora Allman, a licensed psychotherapist and certified sexologist. This is more like getting advice from a wise older sister, or mother, who isn't afraid to tell the truth.
Bitter Single Guy sounds like he would be, well, bitter, but his advice is frank, with the edge that comes from real experience. Like having a beer with your smart, straight-talking pal.
Since You Asked, by Salon's Cary Tennis, is my favorite advice column ever. Tennis is a writer, not a therapist, he's married, he's empathetic, he's smart, and he has a piercing sort of insight that most people, never mind advice columnists, lack. The column's on hiatus right now but reading through his archives is well worth it.

As for The Man's advice, well, it's just like a man to tell you to read the Greek stoics or solve it all yourself, isn't it?

Confused? Heartbroken? Curious? Send your questions to and we might just answer them here. Have thoughts about this post? We want to hear 'em! Comment below.

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