Bonnie reveals her secret past as a Chippendales advice columnist named Andy!
While I was innocently writing press releases and performing public relations tasks for a large designer eyewear company, I was approached by one of the CEOs to work on a new and exciting venture he had undertaken having nothing to do with eyewear. I imagined a clothing line or other accessories since we had contracts with so many famous designers. But what he had to tell me came out of left field.
“I’ve just purchased Chippendales and we are casting for a brand new, updated show featuring an all new cast of Chippendales men. Along with that, we’re going to launch a website, and being that you’re our top writer, I’d like you to help create content if you’re interested.”
“Sure,” I responded, thinking how much fun it would be after writing about nothing but eyewear for the last year.
I brainstormed with my supervisor and a few others assigned to this new project and decided to write relationship articles, quizzes ala Cosmopolitan magazine, and an advice column, all of which I felt would appeal to the lustful young women visiting our site. At my supervisor’s brilliant suggestion, we decided to make the advice columnist a man, knowing that this fact would drive more women to the site. Being a fan of alliteration, I called the column Ask Andy.
“No offense,” said one of my coworkers, “you’re a really good writer, but do you really think you can give advice? I mean, you’re not a therapist or anything.”
“Sure,” I told him confidently.
Why I had no pause about this, I’m not sure. Maybe because after years of being single and “out there” experiencing relationships, meeting all kinds of interesting people, and counseling relatives and friends with their problems, I just knew I’d have a knack for it. After I submitted my first three columns, that coworker approached me.
“Wow, that’s really good advice! You’re really good at this!” he told me, apparently quite surprised.
“Told ya,” I replied with a smile.
So that day, the first column was posted to the website and a very unusual advice columnist was born.
Although I didn’t like the deceitful aspect of this, I found satisfaction in knowing that “Andy’s” great advice would be heeded a lot quicker by the women who needed it, if they thought it was coming from a good looking hunk with a sensitive side. I only wish I knew a man who could counsel women so wisely and tenderly.
Within a few months I got my first personal comment:
“The questions and answers that you have featured here are relevant and well thought out. Thanks for doing something good with your site.”
Then another one:
“It’s been a while since I’ve checked out the Chippendale’s site and I have to say that I really like this aspect of it. I don’t know if you’re one of the dancers or a regular joe, but it’s very nice to know that my belief that not all men are egomaniacal jerks is proved in you.”
“Oy,” I said not sure if I should feel greatly complimented or horribly guilty.
I forged on with the column for many more months, happily offering my hard earned wisdom for anyone who cared to take it.
Recently, I read over my columns and sat there amazed at my own ability.
“Damn, I’m good,” I yelled to my husband as I read.
And so I decided to repost some of the columns here. They are still relevant and I think you’ll enjoy them.
I have had a relationship in my life that has lasted for ten years and the man that I have been with cannot seem to commit to even being slightly serious. I am not sure why he does not want to commit. I am the only person who has stuck by him for all of these years except for his mother. I have recently started dating again after this long, painful relationship. During a recent conversation with a male friend he claimed that I am continually picking the wrong kind of guys. That is possible, but I am beginning to wonder if there is something wrong with me. I know that I am a statuesque, beautiful and voluptuous woman with a great personality, so what could it be?
Sick of Waiting
Waiting is exactly what you are going to do if you continue to ignore good sense and date commitment-phobic men. If after ten years this man was not even “slightly serious” about you, ask yourself what the heck you were thinking year after year while this was going on? The fact that aside from you, only his mother has stuck by him should be evidence to you that you’ve been wasting your time. She gave birth to him. What’s your excuse? Is it possible that you don’t feel worthy of a good man’s love? That would easily account for why you pick the “wrong guys”. If that’s the case, you need to work on your self-esteem. There are many books on the subject that can get you started, although nothing works as well as a good therapist. Or, is it possible you, too, are afraid of commitment and just haven’t realized it? Dating a man who is even more afraid than you are can sometimes be a way to stay independent and single, while blaming it on someone else’s commitment issues. Give it some thought, but just remember, until you settle some internal issues of self-worth, it’s going to be hard to find someone who’s truly worthy of you.
An acquaintance of mine recently introduced me to a very nice man who I went out with a few times. We have many things in common, and although he is obviously very interested in me, I don’t feel an attraction to him. I was hoping after a few dates it would change, but it hasn’t. This happens to me fairly often and makes me not want to accept “fix-ups” because I hate to hurt someone’s feelings if I’m not physically interested in him. Recently, I hinted that I thought we weren’t right for each other. I told him that I felt “friendship” feelings for him, but he told me he thought we had too much in common to let it go, and he continued to pursue me. I’ve been out with him a few more times and nothing has changed for me. He is aware of this, but still insists I go out with him again. Now I have plans with him next week that, needless to say, I am not looking forward to. What do you suggest I do?
Dreading the Date
Why is it women think they owe it to a man to keep seeing him even when they feel no attraction to him? It’s one thing to give a guy a fair shot and see what develops, but it’s another thing to deny your own feelings in order to spare someone else’s. I have news for you. If this man wasn’t as attracted to you as he obviously is, he probably wouldn’t have called you after the first date. It’s his physical attraction to you mixed with the other things you have in common that keep him pursuing you so vigorously. If you ask me (and obviously you have) it’s pretty selfish of him to think you should accept less for yourself than he is. Tell him one last time how you feel and then do not accept any more dates. The longer you wait, the more attached to you he’ll feel, and the harder it will be for him to accept it. In the meantime, stop feeling so guilty about hurting everyone’s feelings as you seem like a perfectly nice person to me. And remember, you can always be courteous while staying true to your own feelings, which are first and foremost.
I live in Los Angeles and have lived here my whole life. My beau of three and a half years just moved to Las Vegas in the last month for a wonderful career opportunity. The dilemma is, he wants me to move there with him. I’m extremely confused. My family doesn’t really and hasn’t really accepted him because of the fact he is not of my religion. I, on the other hand, love him with all of my heart, mind, body and soul! If I do move to Vegas I’m almost certain it will cause major problems between my family and me, to the point of disownment. I just recently got a new job here in LA with great benefits and really good pay. I now have to choose between my family and the man who owns the key to my heart. I know I can find another job if that is what is needed. I’ve done all the soul searching and tried to look at all pros and cons, but my head is still fuzzy. Can you help make things a little clearer?
Sleepless in Los Angeles
I’m assuming you’re over 21, and if you are, your family should be respecting your adulthood instead of trying to control you. Just consider these important questions: Is this the man you want to spend your life with? How serious is he about total commitment to you? (i.e. marriage, if that’s what you want) Is it possible you may feel so strongly for him partially out of rebelliousness against your family? How important is organized religion to you? And is he willing to make sacrifices and allowances for you if you give up your job and life in LA? If the answers to these questions aren’t quite clear, you’re better off maintaining the long distance romance for a while until they are. However, three and a half years is a substantial chunk of time to spend with someone. You probably have a pretty good idea if he and your relationship are worth great sacrifices. Being disowned by your family is serious business, but could you live with yourself knowing you gave up true love only because of your family’s “values” instead of your own? Take it from me, finding someone you love “with all of your heart, mind, body and soul” ain’t easy! If I were you, I’d always resent my family for using threats to influence me against my better judgement. Let them know this is the case so they see there are consequences to their demands. Also, if they are willing to disown you strictly because of his religion (I’m assuming there are no other major issues for them), then they are saying that religion is more important to them then you are! I find that ironic and very misguided. I’m no theologist, but isn’t religion supposed to be about loving each other and your fellow man? When it rips people who love each other apart, it must mean someone’s misinterpreting it. And when meddling families try to use scare tactics to control a family member, the best thing that person can do is establish boundaries and lay down laws that say interference and manipulations won’t be tolerated. Are you ready to hang tough and be your own woman? If so, I guarantee that in the long run, staying true to yourself is always the best decision you can make.
Please help me. I don’t have much experience dating and I’m very self-conscious about my plus size. I met a guy who looks like a “Chippey” dancer and when we go out he gets all the attention. He tells me it’s all in my head, but recently at an event, I watched three girls follow him around trying to get his attention. When I walked up to him they couldn’t believe he was with me. I really like the guy inside and out, what do I do?
One thing you should know about guys is that although most of us can’t help but check out a good-looking woman, a self-assured, self-confident woman is also a huge turn-on. A woman, even if she’s not your typical model type, who’s got these qualities, is more attractive than an insecure, self-conscious one. That said, this “Chippey Lookalike” sounds like he’s into you despite your self-consciousness. Don’t blow it by second guessing his decision to go out with you. People who talk themselves down tend to put doubts in the minds of the people around them. If you like yourself and you’re comfortable with the way you look, he’ll sense that, and be more attracted. If you don’t like the way you look, and want to make a change, do it without harping on your transformation. For all you know, though, he may be very into your larger dimensions, and disinterested in skinny women. But most important, is that YOU are comfortable in your own skin and truly like yourself. Whatever it takes to get to that point, books, counseling, a pep talk by a close friend, will be worth it. Your man may be right that it is “all in your head.” Now all you have to do is start replacing your negative thoughts with positive ones so you can turn your self-consciousness into self-confidence.
I’m in this really loving relationship and he has asked me to marry him. I of course, said yes but I’m afraid I’m not as loving as I should be. He is the sweetest thing to me but I just don’t know how to return it. He has brought it to my attention, and I know he feels neglected. Will you help me?
Wants to Love
It sounds to me like maybe you’re just not in love, but only you would know for sure. It is possible to really care for someone and not feel “in love,” but most people don’t lead very fulfilling love lives when that’s the case. You may be trying to let your relationship rest solely on his love and kindness toward you, and although that’s a good start, if the feelings aren’t mutual neither of you will be satisfied for very long. You said your response to his proposal of marriage was, “Of course.” Why were you so ready to say yes, if you know you aren’t able to love him the way you want to? Has this always been the case in your relationships, or have you felt “in love” in the past? Before you head down the aisle, do yourself and your fiance a huge favor. Figure out if your lack of feeling is just for him, or if you have always had this problem with men. If it’s that you are not in love with him, then don’t make the mistake of getting married in order to fix it. Those feelings don’t miraculously appear after a wedding. They have to be there in some way at some point in your courtship. Thinking that it’s okay to have a one way relationship is a mistake that will come back to haunt both of you. However, if you’ve always had a problem feeling love for men, then it may not be the chemistry between you, but some emotional baggage you need to work out with a good counselor. If you do, then in time you may develop the ability to return his love and create a more healthy relationship. Either way, getting married before you deal with the problem will likely lead to misery and pain for both of you, and that’s no way to start a marriage.
I am a married woman going through a divorce/custody battle. Recently, I met this fabulous guy. He makes me feel special, but I am afraid of getting hurt like I did in my seven year marriage. Do I wait until the divorce/custody battle is over or do I give the guy a try? I was cheated on and hurt by all my other encounters. Will I ever be able to trust a man again?
Hoping to Love
Whether or not you’re able to trust a man again depends mainly on two things. First, is the ability to choose a trust-worthy man. Second, is the courage to open your heart again when you do. Look back on all the men who have cheated on you and find the common threads they share. Were they particularly insecure or immature? Did they lie frequently? Were they in need of constant attention? Were there any tell-tale signs that you missed? Men who cheat often have one or more of these qualities, so be on the lookout for them. Although you don’t want to close yourself off to a man who is kind and makes you feel special, you should protect your vulnerability during this difficult time. Now is probably not the best time to get seriously involved because your judgment isn’t going to be as sharp as it should be. But if you don’t want to exclude him from your life, share your concerns with him, and let him know you need to take this new relationship very slowly. If he cares for you, he won’t mind slowing down. In fact, it will probably make your relationship more solid because you will have time to develop a friendship first, and that is always the best way to build trust.
My boyfriend and I have been together for quite some time. We used to have a really good relationship but lately it hasn’t been all that. We don’t even have a sexual relationship anymore. Is there any way to approach him with my feelings so that he knows what I need? I miss the closeness that used to be between us and now it seems as if we’re more like roommates than a couple. I also miss the sexual part of our relationship. How can I start a romantic, sexual situation without feeling so out of place? Please give me some tips because I need some lovin’ or I’m going to explode with frustration.
No matter how long you’ve been together, when there’s no sex in a relationship by choice (i.e. not because of medical conditions, extremely old age, etc.) it usually means a dysfunctional relationship. Rarely do you find both parties perfectly content to be companions without sexual contact, and sometimes that means one or both parties is getting it somewhere else. You act like expecting affection in your relationship is asking too much! Why should you feel “out of place” initiating sex in what is supposed to be a romantic relationship? Where else is sex more “in place” than there? You need to examine why the “lovin” has stopped. Is everything just right in the rest of your relationship, or are there other problems that may have contributed to this situation? Have you tried to initiate sex and been rejected? Did you discuss your desire for sex with him, and if so what was his response? You can’t expect to accomplish anything in a relationship without solid communication. If he is actually content to just be roommates and does not want to resume sexual relations knowing full well that you do, then maybe it’s time for you to move on and find a more complete and fulfilling relationship with someone else. If, on the other hand, he misses sex too, he’ll be glad you forced the issue, and then maybe the two of you can rekindle some old sparks.
I met the man of my dreams and we’ve been together for nine months, but he is very controlling. For example, if I want to go somewhere he thinks I’m cheating on him or trying to find someone else, but when he leaves I’m not allowed to ask where he’s going. He says he’s old enough to make his own decisions. When he goes out I have to beg for him to come home. He takes all my money and when there’s none, he gets real mad. He tells my friends I’m not home when I am and runs them off, but when his friends come over they get treated like gods and I get run out of my house. Please help. Thanks.
Weak in Kansas
I read your letter three times, trying to find one tiny little reason that would account for why this obvious jerk could be your (or anyone else’s) “dream man.” He sounds like a nightmare to me! What reason on earth do you have for wanting to be with someone so insecure he would eliminate your freedom, so boorish he would shut you out of any communication that would characterize a normal, considerate relationship? And it only gets worse. You’re actually allowing this creep to use you by taking your money, lying to your friends and running you out of your own home! Why do you think so little of yourself that you would allow anyone to treat you so badly? The fact that he “gets mad” when there’s no money for him to pilfer from you could be a sign that he’s no stranger to violence either. If he hasn’t hit you already, there’s probably good reason to suspect he will, especially if you’re ever naive enough to marry him. There are only two things for you to do and I suggest you do them both very quickly. The first is delete this loser from your life for good. The second is get counseling with a good therapist. Any woman who could characterize a man with these major character faults as her “dream man” is not mentally or emotionally capable of having a healthy romantic relationship at this point in time. You need to work out your issues of self-worth (or the lack thereof) before you can ever expect to have the good judgment to attract a decent man into your life. Instead, concentrate your efforts on getting better. See friends you enjoy, take up a hobby, read informative books and most importantly, show up for your counseling sessions. With this new recipe for life, you will at least have hope that one day a true “dream man” will find his way to you. And until then, don’t settle for anything less!
I have been married now for two years. My husband and I just had a baby 18 months ago. The problem is that we have no time for ourselves. Our bedroom life has gone from wonderful to almost nothing because we have been so tired from looking after the little one and working full time jobs. Can you give some hints as to how to spice up our bedroom lives when junior is sleeping, and when we are awake and not fighting sleep. Please help bring back the spice in our lives. Thanks.
It’s a very common thing for couples to experience a downswing in their sex life after a baby is born. Erratic sleeping patterns, concern for the baby and outright exhaustion make it difficult to focus on romance even if you can find a spare few minutes for it. But that’s exactly what you need to do. Make a date in advance with your husband for a time when you know you can drop junior off at a baby sitter’s home. If you’re both exhausted, start the date by taking a nap together for an hour or two. Then create a “love nest” in your bedroom with candles, soft music, finger food and your beverage of choice. Don’t allow any talk of work, problems or even the baby into your nest. Concentrate on sexy, grown-up conversations. For example, remind him of some of your more steamy interludes before the baby was born, when things between you were “hotter” in the bedroom. Take turns giving each other massages while discussing what sexual things you’ve each missed the most. Then, perform them together. Try to make dates like this once a week if you can. Rekindling the sparks under these circumstances may get you more sexually revved up and make you both more eager to steal a few heated, albeit brief, sexual encounters during the rest of the week, whenever the moment allows for it.
What should I do with the man that I’m in love with and that I’ve been with for nine years? I have four children all together but only two are his. We are living in separate households right now because we’ve been arguing every day because he wants to go out with his friends every night. He promised me that when we moved, we would turn our life around and get it straight. In the past, we spent our time together partying and having fun, and neglected our responsibilities somewhat. Now, I’m ready to settle down and be a family woman and it seems like he’s not. I’m living with my relatives now and they’ve been supporting us for the past month. I’m ready to get up and go back to California to live with my parents and start all over again. What advice can you give me?
Dear Family Woman,
If you really are ready to settle down and take responsibility for yourself and your kids, you seem to be with the wrong partner. He proves that fact every night when he escapes to the pool hall with his friends instead of nurturing his relationship with you and his children. The fact of the matter is you can’t change him. Only he can change himself, and obviously, he chooses not to. If you want a more responsible partner with the same ideas and values as you, you’re going to have to let go of this relationship and find someone new. After nine years, I’m sure it won’t be easy, but it will be a lot less painful than banging your head against the wall in frustration the rest of your life. One thing you should remember is that he will still be financially responsible for the children you share, and you may have to take him to court to ensure he helps to support them. But if your parents are a feasible option for you, I say move back with them, at least for the time being, and start over. Concentrate on getting yourself a good job, some help with the children and eventually, a more mature and responsible boyfriend who shares your values and has made a choice, of his own accord, to be a family man.