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August 2, 2013, at 8:50 AM

Dear Starshine,

Many adults are into the submission lifestyle — you know, wanting to be spanked. My wife and I do the spanking thing, and I swear, it does something for me that has made me the kind, caring person I am today. What do you think? Is there anything wrong with spanking? Just wanted to get your thoughts.

My thoughts? It's a little weird, man. Not blow-up doll weird or Fifty Shades of weird... but it's just not my thing, and I'm guessing Freud would draw some conclusions about your childhood that I'm sure we'd both rather not ponder.

But what does it matter what I think?...  More»

 
August 6, 2013, at 8:25 AM

Dear Starshine,

I dearly love my life partner. We've known each other since we were teens, own a home together, raise our children together. Last year, he began to spend a great deal of time talking about, and to, a female colleague. I grew concerned over the level of intimacy in their relationship. He assured me that he had no interest, that she was "like a daughter" to him, that she had no other friends. It's been more than six months since I found an ongoing series of text messages between them on his password protected phone, the contents of which included sexual innuendo and indicated that they were spending time together outside of work....  More»

 

Dear Starshine,

I have been married for two years, and we just got pregnant. Neither of us was planning it and we were using birth control, but I guess we were the lucky 1 percent. I really love my husband... but he is a devout atheist and I am a devout Christian. I want to have the baby, and so does he, but we are having a hard time deciding how we will bring up our child. What do people do in this situation?

What people do in this situation is fret. And question their own beliefs. And field disconcerting questions from parents, and irritating remarks from in-laws....  More»

 

Dear Starshine,

I've been friends with someone for 20 years. We were single and fun-loving in our 20s, but over the past 10 years, as people have settled down, stopped partying so much, and concentrated on finding partners, she is not finding anyone and does nothing proactive to do so. She's a very nice and supportive friend at times, but also has periods when she gets angry and stops talking to us. She pokes a lot of fun at me under the guise of humor. I get very stressed about what I say to her, as I don't want to offend her. But if I'm working this hard to keep things afloat — maybe she's the one with the problem....  More»

 

Dear Starshine,

I began dating someone — we'll call him J — in May 2012. We were on and off all summer and fall trying to figure out what we wanted in a relationship, and finally ended up together. Then I saw a text from another girl (M) indicating he had slept with her. He didn't deny it, but because it happened during an "off" period, I let it go. A few months later, I discovered that he still had naked pictures of her on his phone — even after we had decided to be a couple. I felt stupid, disgusting, and used. We're no longer together for lots of reasons — but I found out that M has a long-term boyfriend (S) who doesn't know ...  More»

 

Dear Starshine,

I came down with the flu at work several weeks ago, so I went home — only to discover my 22-year-old son and my 43-year-old best friend in bed. They were not sleeping. I am at a total loss. I have no idea what to say to them. All of us are super embarrassed. Am I a prude? Ugh!

Come on! You people have to be making this stuff up. That did not actually happen. (Did that actually happen?)

OK, let's say it did. And let's say that in addition to not sleeping, they were also not watching Orange Is the New Black, not folding laundry, and not playing Stratego....  More»

 

Dear Starshine,

I have a friend who I've been talking to on Facebook, and he's really kind and funny. I didn't know him that well before, but now we're pretty good friends. The problem is, Facebook is the only place where we can seem to be friends. When we try to talk to each other in real life, we just stare at the ground and draw a blank. We could have a brilliant conversation online one night, and then find ourselves speechless in person the next day. I just don't know what to say to him. It's not like I can sit down at lunch one day and say, "OK, I'd like to know you better, so let's tell each other our life stories....  More»

 

Dear Starshine,

I am pro-animal rights but not fanatical about it. I'm not a vegan, not even a vegetarian, though I rarely eat meat. I support PETA, though not all their actions. I make an effort not to buy beauty products tested on animals. I only buy organic, free range, etc. All this said: I have in my possession a coat that was my grandmother's when she was young and fur was in. It's fabulous, with a fox collar (just fur, no actual fox head as sometimes seen from that era). The coat is utterly drab without the fur collar, and utterly fabulous with it....  More»

 

Dear Starshine,

My ex and I got divorced last year. He's a nice enough guy, but he is nuts for this "prepping" thing. All he can talk about is the end of the world. He spent almost all of our money stockpiling food and guns and all manner of craziness. Okay, whatever. It's a free country right? The thing is, he now insists that our 8-year-old daughter (50/50 custody) must learn how to survive by shooting guns, killing livestock (I am not kidding), and skinning game. She screams bloody murder every time I say she has to go to her dad's. She is a sweet little kid who still believes in the Easter Bunny....  More»

 

Dear Starshine,

How can I support my bad actor friends without having to sit through yet another badly produced, terribly acted "fringe" piece?

Good news! You don't have to go to any of those shows!

That's entirely untrue, of course. I was acting. Did you like my performance? I felt like it was a little rushed tonight. Something was off with the audience. What did you think? No, really, I want to know…

Look, actor friends are a needy bunch, and you totally have to go. But it's not your responsibility to boost box office sales, ensure a full house, or generate uproarious applause during your pals' curtain calls....  More»

 
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