[Editor’s note: Every Wednesday New York City’s own Andrew W.K. takes your life questions, and sets you safely down the right path to a solution, a purpose or — no surprise here — a party. Need his help? Just ask: AskAWK@villagevoice.com]
Dear King of Party,
Like many female Angelenos, I like to frequent dating websites. That’s where I met this banging Anarcho-Punk dude–let’s call him Ted. We hit it off and went on a few dates. He’s in his late twenties, has a job, and seems like a total babe. We ended up going back to my place one night, and before you know it, we were in the sack and having the most mundane sex anyone’s ever had. Afterwards, he rolled over and became visibly upset. I asked him what’s wrong, and what came out of his mouth sent me careening into a black hole of immediate anxiety. “I’m a virgin,” he said. Maybe that’s not as big of a deal as I thought it was. He spent the night and the next morning I told him I had work. I’ve been casually blowing him off ever since. Now he’s Snapchatting me 24/7 in a desperate attempt to get my attention. What do I do!?
The Virginity Taker
Dear Virginity Taker,
You owe it to this guy to stop blowing him off and to at least talk to him. You don’t have to date him again, but at least tell him that you appreciate his honesty, and feel for his situation, but don’t want a relationship. It’ll suck for him to be turned away, but he’ll get over it and move on. And it will suck how uncomfortable it might get, but you’ll also get over it and feel better that you dealt with it instead of putting it off.
I’m not sure how you lost your virginity, but I’m guessing you can remember how intense the first time is–whether it’s “good” or “bad” sex, it’s a defining moment for everyone. Please be nice to this guy out of respect for the fact that he actually told you he was a virgin. That’s impressive in itself. A lot of guys wouldn’t have had the courage to open up about this very vulnerable part of their masculinity.
Imagine if the roles were reversed and it had been your first time with some dude you met on the computer who then got freaked out when you revealed to him that you were a virgin–how would it feel if he had decided just to ignore you? Being blown off after an intimate and sensitive encounter would crush anyone. Muster up the courage to follow through with this–it’s an unpleasant but noble course of action.
You can decide what to say and how to say it–even if you just tell him that you don’t want to see him again, do it in the nicest and most straight forward way you can. I’m not sure how many guy’s virginity you’ve taken – but maybe this is a first-time experience for you in that regard. As his first, you have a chance to make the losing of his virginity a positive experience, or at least not a terribly discouraging mess of confusion. Moments like this are awkward, but they are also transformative. As the more experienced lover, you can ease his pain and stop this feeling hanging over your heads. Be gentle, sensitive, and straight forward. Be a human being.
I am a recent grad with student loans working hard to start my career. I am very grateful for my good job, but I still can get very stressed about debt and finances. What is a good strategy to combat financial fear?
Broke As a Joke 2014
Dear Broke As a Joke,
Money is funny–it seems to hover between the “best thing in the world” and “the root of all evil.” It’s time to take control of money instead of it taking control of you. With just a little reflection, we can study our own feelings and ideas about money. Do we think of it as good or bad? How did we develop those thoughts? Have our attitudes about money helped us or held us back?
I used to think money was bad. I’m not sure why I started thinking that. I had a lot of friends who lived without much money, and they seemed to think making money wasn’t cool. They didn’t like having jobs, so they did everything they could to get by without needing much money–they probably put more effort into not making money than they did into just working and earning a living.
A few years ago, a very wise person explained to me that money is just “magic paper,” and this magic paper allows you to do amazing things. Money itself is neither good nor bad–it’s just a tool. Just like a hammer can build a house or smash someone’s face, it all depends on how you use the tool, but the tool itself is neutral.
When you have money to spend on friends, family, and making your dreams come true, it suddenly becomes one of the greatest and most powerful things in the world. It’s true that the best parts of being alive don’t require money, but that doesn’t mean money can’t improve life. Everytime you start feel stressed out about money, take notice of the emotions, distance yourself from them, and study them objectively. Tell yourself, “I’m taking care of it! I’m kicking ass!” and then refocus on working hard and not taking the whole “money thing” too seriously.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with letting that fear help motivate you. Fear is what alerts us to the important parts of our life. Working hard and making ends meet is important to you and there’s nothing wrong with that. But don’t mistake that fear for something more than motivation, and never allow money to get the better of you, and drain your energy. You don’t have to be greedy or a scumbag to appreciate money and feel OK about it. Earn money, spend money, and enjoy the whole strangeness of the process. You ARE making money and you will continue to! Say that to yourself and believe it! You will pay off your debt! It’s OK! And money is OK too, especially when you spend it on partying.
More:Ask Andrew W.K.