Posted by
Lesley Arfin
• 04.29.11 11:30 am

Dear “Ask Barf” Advice Seekers, While all of you know that I’m not a certified counselor or licensed therapist of any kind (and have never claimed to be), I think I hold a certain kind of responsibility when answering your letters.

Click to enlarge (Illustration by Liz Dempsey)

Dear “Ask Barf” Advice Seekers,

While all of you know that I’m not a certified counselor or licensed therapist of any kind (and have never claimed to be), I think I hold a certain kind of responsibility when answering your letters. What I usually do is try to look at the question and answer based on my own experience as something that I have either done, wish I would have done or would tell a friend.

That being said, I feel like my answer to yesterday’s column was sort of wrong. A woman wrote and told me that she moved to a new city with her boyfriend and suddenly doesn’t want to fuck him or even kiss him at all anymore, and I told her she should break up with him. I did admit that I have problems when dealing with sexual intimacy and I think that’s why my response seemed… off.

While breaking up is one possible solution, it’s not THE solution. I’ve had two friends point out to me that it seemed like I was using “counter transference,” which means that the “client’s” issues triggered my unresolved issues, which prompted me to give advice from a biased perspective that suited my situation more than hers. Another friend told me about a similar situation he had been in with his current girlfriend. It was his fear of intimacy that was the real problem, not the girlfriend. He had moved to a new city with her and suddenly was like, “Is this it?” He felt so stuck forever with her that he freaked out and didn’t want to fuck her because everything seemed so final. Eventually that feeling passed. He continues to work through his intimacy issues just as she does, because we all have them and when we want to work something out rather than just quit, cheat, lie or freak out, we do just that. We work on them. It’s work.

So as an alternative to yesterday’s answer, I wanted to address that maybe the girl should give it some time in the new city with her boyfriend and see if things change. I also wanted to apologize for seeming flippant. I know you guys don’t write me to get all the answers or anything, but you do write me honestly and come from vulnerable places, so I feel it’s important for me to put more thought into my response. I think part of what compels people to write to “Ask Barf” is to get a normal person’s perspective on normal things we do, rather than pay a real doctor or get a boring answer that takes like ten years of talking about your childhood to figure out.

I feel honored that you guys keep writing me, and I learn so much from it and have so much fun doing it. Please keep writing and I promise when I’m wrong, I will call myself out on it and explore it. Not always in this super long postscript, but maybe in a comment. Or maybe not, because this is totally the first time I’ve ever been wrong.

Love foreves,

Send “Ask Barf” letters / replies to (include photos!)

  1. JimmyFuckingCarter says:

    Good show Les!

  2. Rx says:

    I still think you fucking rule.

  3. Stefanie says:

    GOD DAMN You’re awesome.

  4. Savage Dan says:

    What needs pointing out most is that you perennially neglect to even BEGIN to recognize the main, controlling, determining issue: Fat or not (very probably fat, though), you’re all borderline alcoholics. Once you sober up for a month, or, even better, three months, you’ll see your way clear, all the way to Canada.

    The rest of this column’s thought-mashing is just grist for the fermentation mill, and the soul result will be nothing but more bad spirits in the end.

  5. Bathead says:

    Borderline Alcoholic is just another name for Normal. You should be forced to give your handle away Savage Dan. It doesn’t suit you at all. You’re more like A Timid Louis or a Careful Ken or a Limp-Wristed Larry. You know what I’m saying. Cheesedick.

  6. Savage Dan says:

    ^^ A history of temper tantrums while rejecting reasonable observations is the most obvious symptom of all. De Nyle ain’t just a porn star y’know.

  7. bolo says:

    I thought I was wrong once, but I was wrong.

  8. Long time reader, first time caller says:

    It takes big ovaries to admit when you’re wrong. Thanks. Yeah, if they are willing to move together, they should give each other the chances to grow into new situations together.

  9. Damien says:

    First, I doubt it’s “counter transference” that you’re exhibiting, but rather “dissociative identity disorder.”

    Second, I take issue with yesterday’s attack on “commenters” along with Arvind’s attendant whinging and deletions. If the site sucks, the problem is NOT on this end. It’s because you people keep posting garbage.

    And don’t gimme any of that “if you don’t like it, fuck off and don’t read it, loser” stuff. It is our DUTY as arbiters of culture to speak out when shit sucks.

    Somebody around here really needs to pick up the slack. RRRRrrrrrrr… I can hear the sound of books being pulped.

  10. Arv says:

    @Damien: I don’t know why everyone’s always accusing SC of censoring comments or me particularly of deleting them. 99% of the time, said impatient commenter’s comment is stuck in moderation because of some spam filter. If you want your comment to show up immediately, stop typing like a crude robot.

    The other 1% of the time comments go missing, it is because it’s something fucking stupid like, “I’d hit that,” and NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT THAT.

    P.S. If you wanna talk about “duty as arbiters of culture,” stop being such a fucking pussy and hiding behind 15 different aliases.

  11. Cornucopia of Meh says:

    Amen, @ Damien. This site is supposed to be New fucking York, not New swami Dehli or New porridge Caledonia.

    New York was forever PREVIOUSLY renowned as the place where you came to stand in front of the über-knowledgeable and über-judgemental crowd, and either you got the hook or, if you were worthy, you got to step up a rung on the cultural ladder.

    This knowledgeability and judging crowd was feared and dreaded and desired and dreamt of for generations, not just for high-culture fagginess like opera and ballet and fashion, but also even in blue-collar sports. For instance I know that among old NBA players New York basketball fans were commonly acknowledged to be the best, moat mature and knowledeable fans in the league. They knew when a referee blew a call but they respected a good call even if it went against the Knicks and the NY fans respected and cheered a good opponent.

    Getting slammed into powder and so learning if you’ve got the hardcore stuff is what NYC is supposed to be all about. Triumph and tragedy. Cultural gladiatorial combat. So fuck you! Fuck you all!!

  12. Cornucopia of Meh says:

    Also, btw Arv does not sux. He gets it. He’s hipper than 35 chuck-slapping Ohio W’burgers sullenly clomping down Grand taken together.

  13. Steve says:


    I suppose it had nothing to with mentioning how Jim Goad has been going around calling Lezley a hooer every chance he can. That guy’s a major cock smoker, and it’s kind of a harsh thing for him to say. But he may have a bit of a point this time.

    And why the fuck would you care what I’m calling myself (and it’s at least 20+)? You greasy IP hunter. What do you want? Nude pictures of me and my family? This is why I do it:

    *POOF* Gone. I don’t exist.

  14. Arv says:

    @Steve/Damien/Erin/whatever name your ball-less self wants to go by:

    I’m calling you out on hiding behind multiple names because you use that to create the impression that there’s some kind of consensus behind your opinion. Obviously you don’t think what you actually say is worth jack shit and feel the need to artificially support it by making up people who agree with you.

    I mean, whatever, have fun with your imaginary friends — but don’t expect us to believe they’re real or that you aren’t actually talking to yourself.

  15. Cornucopia of Meh says:

    only 20+? amateur

  16. Steve/Damien/Erin/whatevar says:

    That’s a load of bullshit because I’ve never once agreed with myself.

    And what’s the point of calling “me” out? Why don’t you quit correcting spelling and functioning as a goddam forum moderator. Write something worthwhile for once and prove that the name “Arvind Diliwar” isn’t just a way of saying Suroosh Alvi is utterly replaceable.

  17. Steve/Damien/Erin/whatevar says:

    And building a consensus? For what? I don’t even have an opinion.

  18. Land of 1,000 Dances says:

    Arv has nix-moderated me a few times. Very very seldom has he done it though, and upon immediate reflection always understandably. After all we can’t have total anrachy. That gets old right quick. Too many churls and bores about.

  19. Arv says:

    @Sack-less Commenter:

    You commented as “drake,” “Erin” and “Dexter” on Taeil’s last post, and all just to shit on him. If you don’t have an opinion that you’re trying to support by talking shit from 17 different screen names, then you have a serious personality disorder.

    P.S. Aren’t you the same fag who wrote in about the EDL?

  20. Sackless says:

    Oh, Taeil… So that’s what this is about. I’m not the one who thought it would be a funny joke to have a Chinese kid report on The War. Why don’t you post stuff by him more often?

    And I’ll accept your mean spirited suggestion that I have serious personality disorder. I can go with that. Of course I was the fag who wrote about the fuggin EDL (Jesus). I was also the fag who complained to Love Music Hate Racism about Platform in the first place. Then I drew you a stupid map. And then complained to them again. I like that stuff.

  21. lorge says:

    Arv FTW!

    Sackless suits Steve/Damien/Erin. But might I suggest: Samefag Sockpuppet.

  22. Anonymous says:

    sackless sux…

  23. Soo' Chest says:

    those who can, do; those who can’t, comment on it.

  24. kublakhan says:

    A lot of drama here I’m too lazy to figure out, but Lesley, good on you. Anyone who doesn’t make mistakes I seriously doubt is humanoid.

    tip tho: drop ‘issues’

  25. iwontslowdown says:

    i’m surprised that people check back so often to see if anyone comments on their comment, let alone to argue about this shit

    as far as backing up one’s own comment w/ comments under another alias, arv’s point would be fair if the entire SBTC writing staff didn’t do the same thing on a regular basis

    that said, i really miss Darius

  26. dilla says:

    wow this is pretty intense. All unrealated comments to topic should be dumped. This bitch session is worse than the bitch session printed in The Washington Blade

  27. Anonymous says:

    have moderators delete the mean comments and keep the nice ones. just like at jezebel.

    all compliments and no insults make sbtvc a dull site.
    all compliments and no insults make sbtvc a dull site.
    all compliments and no insults make sbtvc a dull site.
    all compliments and no insults make sbtvc a dull site.
    all compliments and no insults make sbtvc a dull site.
    all compliments and no insults make sbtvc a dull site.
    all compliments and no insults make sbtvc a dull site.
    all compliments and no insults make sbtvc a dull site.
    all compliments and no insults make sbtvc a dull site.
    all compliments and no insults make sbtvc a dull site.

  28. boner incarnate says:

    there’s nothing better than a fat girlfriend that wants to “take a break.”

  29. Yank E. Doodle says:

    ^^ Go suck yourself right the fuck off, you fucking cocksucking assbag motherfucking shitfucking numbnuts fuckhole(1)!! Fuck. Damn. God fucking dammit. God motherfucking dammit. Holy motherfucking piss-shitting assfucking bullshit assshit. Just fucking godass pisswad fuckbagging steamer cocksucking pussy-ass fucking motherfucking dickhead hellassed shitstorm goddamn brokedick shitwallah fuckheaded rectumweeping buttfucking cockmaster! And pussyflap shitbubble queef-eating shiteared catfucker? Oh, fuck. Fuck him with a claw hammer. Fuck all of the fucking fucks. Come dumpster fatassed molebrained bitch ass assbitch shitface pissbrained assqueen. Forty fucking Christs sailing on a shitlog through shitstained shitwater. Wilford Brimley bukakke party.


    Horrified jumping Jesus shooting propane tears through a dick-shaped flamethrower. Fuck fuck fuck, fuck fuckity fuck. Ram a tree sideways up my ass and call me a national park. Skullfucking poodleburning motherdamn fuckalongs. Shitsmelling catballs. Donkeysucking titslaps on turd-flavored flapjacks. Cleveland Steamer discount vacation whorecunted ballwashing Santorum sandwich-eating needledick sodomy turdcutter.


    In summary:

    –Rimjobbing snowballing cockbait? Shit.

    –Fishfisting condor-rapist fucktrolley dildo-cowboy cocksmoking? Check.

    –Shit, ass, fuck and more fucking bastardnuts shitfighting? Double check.

    ps. Fuck.

    As cultural arbiter, I am giving proper credit here to:


    (2)”GEORGIA/FLORIDA: [some who-cares college football game] A SUMMARY

  30. Harry Ballsonya says:

    I’d hit that.

  31. soft, pale, Canadian boy with bad skin sitting in front of his computer who Gavin doesn't laugh at says:

    don’t worry, not everyone thinks you’re this all knowing life expert, ready to follow every word of advice you give to a tee. if you’re wrong, don’t worry about it. no explanation needed.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Dear Arv,

    Since you can see past the aliases and know who writes what, I was wondering if you can investigate what ever happened to Vane$$a. She/he used to contribute solidly amusing comments, and I’m concerned about her disappearance.

    Forever and ever, Amen.

  33. (not published or required) says:

    fcking crazy how ‘moving to a new city’ for the relationship always seems to end in horribly painful disaster.

    this advice should be given out to every 20 year old human being in the world.

    Barfin you have hitten some home runs with this shit.

    & fuck i feel sad and loserish enough even commenting on this site but FUCK, some of the things you little cunts are up to………. jesus wept

  34. (not published or required) says:

    also: to the commenter who’s card arv just pulled and put a burning cigarette of truth right through and into your sad little existance as a fucking lame little moron………….. i LOOOOOOOOOOVE it when they bust dickheads on here for posting under multiple names to support themselves. i thought since they NAILED that kid for doing it a year ago or whatever no one would be stupid enough to try. i look at it as a little thing like they care enough about their website to call you out on your bullshit, which is nice.
    think i might get some breakfast

  35. 12yo commenters that think they’re “arbiters of taste” are the worst thing that ever happened to the Internet. How can someone who doesn’t actually produce content be proud of any sort of imagined web presence? Especially when that presence is based on simply bashing another person’s creativity! Bashing provides no constructive or tangible results.

    Saying “this site sux” or “Arv sux” is such a flawed and pathetic attempt to stand out on this site. Like the loser who tries to get the cool kids attention by acting like an asshole. Not all attention is good attention.

    I’d like to see any one of the bitch-ass, hater-ass, uncreative, boring suburban teenage commenters write something that could be considered funny or creative. Make it happen. Prove us wrong.

    And for the record, I’ve commented in defense of my own posts, as “someone else” exactly once, and it made me feel like I was raping the Internet. I felt stupid, and so should anyone else who does it.

    Finally, GREAT GREAT GREAT shit, Barf. Your empathy, self-awareness, and wit show through in everything you write. Thanks for the altenate point of view. We all have moments where we project our own fears and resentments onto those who we aim to help. Thank you for being mature enough to own up to it.

  36. Arv says:

    @Anonymous (2011/04/30 at 3:14pm):

    Ha, totally on it.

  37. Anonymous says:

    @ iwontslowdown: well, you must have friends or a life or something then. Good for you. But then you’re not gonna read this, are you?

    And BTW there is some faggotry goin’ on with the comments here. A few times I’ve had 100% zingers removed when they haven’t toed the party line. Seriously, one of my comments on a Streetboner was deleted like 20 times.

Leave A Reply