America's Smartest Girl

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portland, oregon
America's Smartest Girl, Nicole Georges, channels her powers for good as she drums up answers to the world's most complicated questions.

Romance, Career, Health, Pets, Finance. Send questions to Nicole via twitter (@nicolejgeorges) or addressed to her via No suicidal inquiries. Please limit all questions to 150 words or less.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Migraines, Dyke Drama, Polyamory, Wieners and More!

Dear Readers,

I have been plagued by migraines the past couple of Tuesdays, and unable to answer your queries. To make up for it, I present you with a super sized advice column this week! Also, I have put an "ADULT ADVISORY" setting on my blog, as I am currently teaching school and want no youngsters traipsing into the advice column reading about rock hard boners. Thank you for your understanding! Hopefully having to admit to being 18 before reading my blog will make you feel like a bad-ass, not just a shifty pervert.

Hi Nicole,

Recently I started seeing a really awesome, sweet guy who's been a friend for a long time. We took things a bit slow (in my world) and went to bed after four or five dates.
It was a disaster.
He wasn't able to maintain an erection and we both ended up frustrated.
He attributed it to nerves and the fact that he hadn't been intimate with a woman in a long time, so I rolled with it and just accepted that the first time isn't always great. But it's happened again...and again. And it turns out this has been a recurring theme for him.
The one time he was able to actually stay hard long enough to fuck me, I have to be honest and say that it wasn't great either. He has a small penis and I barely felt it (I'm a pretty small girl but the last lover I had, I suppose, was a lot bigger and that's what I'm used to). I wanted to get on top so I could come, but changing positions made him lose his erection yet again.
I think his problem might be due to his smoking (which he's trying to quit) and drinking habits. He has agreed to see a doctor about this.
I'm just wondering if perhaps we're just not sexually compatible. If I am perpetually dissatisfied, I won't be a very happy or honest girlfriend.

Is it horribly shallow to break up with someone because of bad sex? I've been in long-term relationships before. I'm a single woman in my early thirties who lives in a big city, loves books, writing, electro, coffee, traveling...and I think I'm okay-looking, too. I want to find a partner for life. This guy is lovely in so many ways. He's bright and funny and creative and we have a great flow of conversation. We have a lot in common. But sex is very important to me and I want to be blown away (no pun intended) in bed. I'm just underwhelmed and frustrated and we haven't even been dating for more than a month now. Do you think it's worth it to stick with it, or just cut my losses and find someone who's awesome, hot, intellectual AND good in the sack?

Frustratedly yours,

Dear X,

Here are your options
1. fight
2. flight

As with all things, don't stick around and complaining like a giant baby if you're not getting what you want. Either commit to be with this guy and try to turn that frown upside down, or leave him alone to find someone who appreciates him the way that he is.
Saying that you're going to be an unhappy and dishonest girlfriend because of his erectile dysfunction is completely ridiculous.
Come on.

If you decide to fight (and i mean this as in The Good Fight, not as in "arguing"), here is my advice:
The wiener does not need to be the main course. It is not the life of the party, and if you give it too much credit, i think you're going to be disappointed. You just need to use your imagination. There are about a million other ways to Have Sex without standard intercourse. Sit on his face. Slap him around. Make him use his hand on you. What-Ever!
Lots of people live their entire sexual lives without giant rock hard boners in play. Join the party!

Regarding his erectile dysfunction:
If you are a hot girl going to bed with a nervous guy and giving off harsh vibes that he is inadequate, what do you think his penis is going to do? It is going to tuck its tiny self back into its shell and hide from your judgmental gaze. If you want to stick around, I say learn to love his small member, make him feel GOOD about it, throw some Viagra in his drink, and see what happens! Nobody wants to "perform" when they feel judged or like they're doing everything wrong. Give this guy some positive energy. He sounds like a nice person.

I would give him a couple of months to Go See A Doctor, and to see if he responds to your new positive attitude.

It is far easier to find a person to have sex with than it is to find someone you're super compatible with.
You could have sex with any dude off the street and find a large member, but someone who is kind and bright and funny and creative and has a good flow of conversation? Not as common.

2. With all that said, you do have option two.
Dude has absolutely no control over his penis being small.
You have the right to get what you want in this world.
If what you want is a naturally large wiener that is ready to go at your beck and call, then I say go for it.
Do this guy the service of leaving him now before things get ugly, and go find some studly dude to service your needs.

Hello Nicole,

Recently, my boyfriend of 4 years broke up with me by explaining that he had been cheating on me with a male. I was devastated to know that he had cheated and very sad to not be with him anymore, but at the core of it, we are close friends and I wanted to be there for him. He was going through a lot mentally by coming to terms with his sexuality. It took some time, but we are now close friends once more.

The problem that I am having is that since being single, I've had some serious questions about my own sexuality. I'm beginning to explore my own preferences. We've basically been together since I was 14 years old, so I guess I never really realized that I was a lesbian until losing my long-time male companion. He is still very touchy if the end of our relationship is brought up, and is very reluctant to tell me anything about his new relationships. My sexuality is something I would like to discuss with him, but I am afraid that he will be angry and tell me my feelings are just being brought on by the fact that I'm still pretty newly single and still pretty hurt.

I guess the thing is, I would like to discuss what's on my mind about my own sexuality to someone I consider my best friend, but I feel like there is too many bad possible outcomes.

I would love your advice on how to go about this.


Gay & Gayer

Dear Gay and Gayer,

I know it seems unnatural to no longer be best friends with the person you just spent four of your formative years with, but i have to tell you, it's for the best. Space is natural after a breakup. It helps you both learn to live independently and helps you figure out who you are after all of this, gives you space to view things objectively, be mad, sad, remorseful, whatever, and THEN come back to the friendship with a clean slate. Without taking everything he says to heart, without bringing up old wounds, etc.

So. If i were you I would ask for some space, express that you still love him as a friend and will always be there for him but just need some time to get your head on straight (har har),
and THEN start your new career as a lesbian!

Once you do, I suggest giving some tips on sex without a dick to person X (see above advice), because she apparently needs it.

Welcome to the Isle of Lesbos! It's nice to have you here.

Dear Nicole,

I've started dating a really cute girl. She's very smart and also funny and likes to do cool things like eat food, walk around the city, and make out with me for five hours. She has a girlfriend and they're polyamorous and I am wondering, what's the etiquette around asking her what their boundaries are? Is this a second date conversation? A third date conversation? An after we have sex conversation? But, what if the boundary is no third dates? Or, no actual sex? Shouldn't I know everything I could ever possibly need to know immediately? Or is it not my business? At what date does it become my business?
Sister Wife
PS I know you hate polyamoury.

Dear Sister Wife,

Though I am a hater of polyamory, it's only through years of trial and error; so while bitter, i still feel equipped to answer your question.

While it is the responsibility of the person IN the primary relationship (herein referred to as your Really Cute Girl) to communicate and keep the boundaries she set with her partner, it doesn't hurt to cover your ass by asking up front.

I say, you should ask once going to first base. Ask if what you're doing is allowed. And while you're at it, what else is allowed? Disallowed?
It may be disappointing to find out you'll never get a third date, but it's like ripping a Bandaid off- find out up front so you're not devastated later when she has to cut things off or leave you hanging on the verge of sex when she remembers that she's not allowed to fuck you.

You can choose whether to ask her all these things over dinner or whilst in the throws of first base.
Just remember the old t.v. PSA jingle:
"The More You Knowwwwww" .

Dear Nicole,

I'm 5' 9 and 110 pounds, an art student in a big city, and am
constantly running around. I've been skinny all my life and have dealt
with many people putting their two cents in on the subject: from
teachers pinching me and frowning on the street to first dates watching
me closely over dinner (for god's sake I'm nervous!).
I always defended myself, knowing I'm not anorexic and I eat when I'm
But since I moved away for school it's gotten worse. I am constantly
working and being so busy that I easily forget to eat. (I am also a
The happiest I was about my weight was when I was in Europe for 3
weeks, last winter. I had no responsibilities, and was able to eat
wonderful big meals 3 times a day out at nice restaurants. I gained 12
pounds and it was awesome.
Back here though, I can't afford the convenience of eating out and I
have no energy to cook anything. Because I can get away with it I'll
spend money on art supplies over food. It's horrible feeling as though
I can't take care of this basic need that is such a no brainer.
What's worse is I tell my friends I'm trying to gain weight and
everyone doesn't want to hear it. "Don't let anyone hear that", "Why?
Want to switch places?". I've been trying to eat more but it's not
easy--stress eats up my hunger.

Starving Artist Not Starving

Dear Starving,

I don't get what your question is, Starving Artist Not Starving. It sounds like you ARE starving, because you said you don't eat.

Though it may sound at first exhausting, I would like you to stop and take in people's commentary as genuine concern.
Women in America are valued for their bodies, and thus many starve themselves into being as thin as they can to get the rewards that go along with this.
With this knowledge in mind, people who don't know you well, but genuinely want the best for you, may be hoping that somehow they're helping or de-enforcing the praise that society bestows on the thin.
Think of taking in their sincere motivation as You being zen. Or somehow enlightened.

It could also be said that it is none of people's business what you do with your body, and so please could they just leave you alone.

With that said:

Quit spending food money on art supplies.

Make a food budget and stick to it.
Don't buy art supplies with your food money, or you could do irreparable damage to the only thing keeping you on this earth: Your Body.
That's it. That's all that is keeping you here. It won't last forever.

If you aren't eating, you aren't thinking clearly, and your art is suffering.
Keep snacks around. If you don't like to cook, but you know you'll get hungry, go buy some Luna bars or Lara bars, or snack mix or crackers and keep them within arm's reach at all times so that at the very least you don't slip into a blood sugar coma in between meals.

Find at least one friend whom you can confide in and talk to about your struggles with food or judgment. Tell them that you need to be really honest with them without getting weird comments, and that if they are deeply concerned about their weight of course they should tell you, but otherwise, you just need a friendly ear and someone to stuff some trail mix in your mouth if you get too busy to snack.
Let them keep you in check.

Take care.

Dear Nicole,

Do the straights have drama like the gays have drama? Is there any drama like dyke drama?

Signed, Curious and Curiouser

Dear Curious and Curiouser,

Let me generalize here and say that men are less comfortable talking about their emotions than women.
Take two women and put them together and what do you have? Two people who love talking about their emotions.
AND whose emotions fluctuate , quite literally, with the tides of the moon.
THEN add in some Queer Subculture Extras like polyamory or the fact that everyone's dated everyone else, and you're stuck with days of processing the finest of details and interactions, deconstruction of every word, mood or action, many tears and an abundance of "I Statements".

This formula leads me to believe that dykes have the most drama of anyone.
Or at least, they take would-be drama, blow it up and discuss it to death.
Which seems like more than what most straight people do.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

later today!

sorry for being such a slacker, everybody.
I am dog tired!
New Advice coming soon. I have your questions, I have answers.
Stay tuned.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Look At This Cool 'Zine Guy'

I have advice on this week!
You can find some zine-related advice from myself, John Marr, Ciara Xyerra, and more!

Monday, April 6, 2009

B12 Vitamins, Brokeness, Prudishness, and Boundaries

Dear Nicole,

I have just moved to a new city, a new country actually, I have been here for almost 2 months now and I still haven't found a job. I'm not being picky, I have a degree and I am experienced and have applying to every fricking job I come across! It's totally depressing and I am slowly but surely running out of money. I was just wondering if you have any advice on what I could do for a bit of cash in the mean time?



Dear Broke,

Here are a couple of ideas.

-dress in a weird costume and let people take polaroids with you for money in a -downtown tourist area
-Sell Crafts on the street
-sell baked goods on the street
-dog walk
-apply as an on-call caregiver
-become a "phone actress"

Dear Nicole,
I have been dating a woman for a few months now and I have very strong feelings for her. However, we have only had sex one time, early on in the relationship. After that time, she revealed to me that during sex, my male identity was triggering for her (I'm ftm and she has been lesbian identified since she was a teenager and has not dated an ftm before). She obviously cares for me as well as we have continued dating and we are very affectionate in our relationship. I am missing having a sexual connection with her and would like your advice on how to bring this up without feeling like I'm pressuring her or giving her an ultimatum. In no way do I want to coerce her or make her feel like it's her job as my girlfriend to provide me with sexual gratification, but this is something that I'm sad we are not experiencing together. I'm just confused about how to open up dialogue about this and express my sexual desires without seeming like a douchebag. Any help
would be greatly appreciated.

Nonsexual in Northeast (Portland)

Dear Nonsexual,

It sounds like if you want to have sex (and comfortable sex, not feeling-weird-about-your-gender-because-you-might-be-triggering-someone sex), then this is not the person for you.
If you keep dating this person and never have sex again, I'm going to feel really bummed for you.

In a perfect world, the girl you're dating would be writing for advice, not you.
If she is uncomfortable having sex with a man, why date a man? Maybe she thought it would be different because you were an ftm and then realized she was mistaken. The onus is on her to be the responsible one and break up, not to prude out and make you date her anyway!

Being on the other side of a frigid partner is insecurity food. Get out of there!

It is not crazy, selfish, or wrong for you to want to have sex with the person you're dating.
Sex is what takes her from being a friend to being a date.
You're not obligated to stick with someone who's not meeting your needs. That's what dating is for, to suss out potential partners.

What is sex good for? It's good for bonding. It's good for relieving stress. It's good for fun.

This person sounds like a really good friend, not a long term partner.

I would cut and run; but if you want to process about it (which you undoubtedly do since you live in Portland and have used the word dialogue), I would sit her down and say (this is the run-on sentence version):

"hey, i really like spending time with you. i'm sorry to say, i don't think this is going to work doesn't seem like you're comfortable having sex with a man, and i can completely respect that, but you need to respect that i am a man and like to have sex and especially right now need to feel validated as a sexual guy, so i want to keep you in my life as a friend. because i really like you , blah blah blah etc etc. "

Good luck!

p.s. I know you asked for advice on how to approach her, but if after three months you've only had sex once and she doesn't seemed bothered by this, it just doesn't seem a natural match.

Dearest Nicole,

After four solid years of being a vegan, I decided to switch back to vegetarianism. For the most part, my diet hasn't changed much and I still eat the same stuff as before. I love yummy vegan food! mmm...
The reason why I decided to become a vegetarian again is because of this internal debate I've been having (pretty much for the last few years) about whether or not veganism is right. There are so many arguments in support of veganism, showing that it's morally right and sometimes also arguing that it's a more natural and healthier diet than eating meat and dairy. However, there are other arguments that would suggest otherwise. For one, the human body needs B12, which is only naturally found in meat, eggs and dairy products. This kind of destroys the idea that veganism is the *right* and *natural* diet for human beings.

Although, even without any of this information, there's still the issue of animal cruelty on dairy farms. What bothers me the most is the human race's general lack of respect towards other living things and the idea that everything is ours for the taking. Sometimes I feel like if humans just made a point to always treat animals well, even in places like dairy farms, then maybe the idea of eating dairy wouldn't be so bad to me. Because at least there's that respect.

I feel like I 'm rambling. I think of it a lot, though. Maybe I think of it a little too much, but I feel like slightly over-thinking it is still better than just becoming a vegan because that's the hip thing to do. blahhh.

I guess my questions are:

1. What is your take on veganism as a natural, healthy diet for humans and the arguments for and against veganism as the 'right' diet?
2. Would you be more comfortable with the idea of eating dairy if animals were treated well on dairy farms? Or are you just generally against the concept of eating anything from an animal no matter what?

-Vexed former Vegan

Dear Vexed,

I appreciate the amount of thought you've given to the question of how we treat animals and what we put in our body.
That said,
Let me address your pointed questions, and follow up with a short rant.

1. Veganism is a fine diet for humans.
Take a supplement and don't stress about the evolutionary aspects of vegan vs not vegan.
You do plenty of unnatural things every day (ride in an automobile, stare at a computer, hold a cell phone to your head, run on a treadmill, live your life according to clocks and calendars and not the cycles of the sun and moon) , so why draw the line at a b12 supplement and leave the animals to get fucked with?

While i'm at it, how "right" or natural is it for animals to live in cages their whole lives for human convenience and profit?

If you're going to get Adam and Eve about things, you need to go all the way or just take responsibility for arbitrarily taking evolution into consideration. If you want to eat cheese because it's easier, just say so.

2. I live in America, and so 99.9% of the dairy and eggs I come across will be from factory farms.
Thus, I need not ponder question number two. It's like asking if i was in a raft with a cow , would I eat him to survive? I never plan to be at sea with a cow, let alone in a life raft, so why wonder.

Here is my issue , VfV, with people who start incorporating cheese and eggs into their diets. Say at first you just buy goat cheese at the natural grocery store, you buy free range eggs, etc.
Once it's Okay in your mind to see these things as food, it's a slippery slope from scrambles at home to scrambles at restaurants. And most, MOST restaurants use the cheapest, most efficient dairy and eggs available to them. Thus, you are supporting the meat and dairy industry. Same with bakeries, candy bars, etc.

Maybe you have your own chickens, maybe you live in the hills of Italy with an abundance of milk giving goats who don't mind you taking a little off the top. Sure then, have an egg and cheese sandwich.

Otherwise, please remember that Free Range eggs come from chickens who are forced to lay eggs until their bodies are used up and then butchered for soup and pot pies, and that dairy is taken from animals who've been forcibly impregnated and then had their calves, kids, etc taken away from them. The milk is made to feed their young. Not me.

Dear Nicole,

I'm 25. I slept with an 18 year old high school senior. Is Jesus sad?


Dear Confused,

Yes. Go find someone your own age to sleep with.

Dear Nicole:

I have been friends with this guy for close to four years now. I told him last year how I felt about him and he admitted that he felt the same way and that I deserved someone better than him and then denied saying that.
Although it was painful for me to be so honest, he continued to be my friend and now considers us to be best friends (his words not mine).
He seems to be getting what he wants and I’m just confused. He cares about what my friends think of him, he pays me compliments which I can’t take. He and I are constantly hitting each other and I sometimes feel like its middle school again and he is trying to pull my pigtails. Whenever I have liked someone before and it didn’t go anywhere, I avoided those guys like the plague to let myself get over it. But he... he doesn’t disappear. When I don’t want to talk about something... he keeps pushing until I talk about what is bothering me. He is always around and I find I can’t move on. I need
to move on but he is big part of my life now. I care about him a great deal... but I don’t think its enough. How do you tell someone that they are doing you more harm than good? How do I explain that his actions towards me at times is not ‘best-friend’ behavior?

What’s a girl to do?

Dear Girl,

This guy seems great at getting his friendlationship needs met , but what about you? Where did your needs go in this situation?

Do you really want to date a guy who "keeps pushing" when you don't want to talk about something?
I know i have limited information, but he sounds like a boundary crosser.
Also, If dude doesn't have the confidence to date you, if he needs to act like a child around you, or if he wants to dominate your time without giving you what you want, then i say Cut Him Loose. If it turns out that someday he's ready to date and you guys are a match, it will just happen.
In the meantime,my advice (in the words of the very wise sts):

If i were you , I would e-mail him and say
"Hey, I need some space from you right now. I'm not mad at you, but i need some time . Thanks."

Then stop picking up the phone when he calls, do not agree to have "a meeting" or fall for any of his manipulative b.s.
Be Strong!

If he was the dude for you he would have actually jumped on your request to date, not strung you along and pushed your boundaries. Find some guy that listens to your needs, respects them and gives you what you want in life.