Dear Christy,

I'm friends with most of my exes and it bothers my new BF. I'll get a drink, dinner or see a movie with them and it's no big deal. He hasn't told me to stop, but he is unrelenting with the questions when I come home. How do I get him to trust me?

— Motions of emotions

Lotion in the ocean:

In the wise words of H.L. Mencken: "It is mutual trust, even more than mutual interest that holds human associations together."

In the wise words of me: "If you screw up, it will take years to regain my trust."

In the wise words of a whiskey bottle: "The burning means it's working."

Word on the street is, trust has to be earned. Like a puppy, you sniff crotches, foray into comfortable conversations and then trust-building comes with courtship. (Then genitals hug. Then you skip a birth control pill. Then you're knocked up. Then you start chasing Tums with Alka-Seltzer. Then you spit out a baby. Then you start drinking straight from the wine bladder in the alley while throwing moldy bagels at a pack of feral transients.)

It may be "no big deal" for you to visit with your exes, but it clearly is to him. He may have childhood or past relationship trust issues that you'll have to respect. No, it's not your fault, but working toward a relationship means you both collaborate.


Seek out a balance. Are you spending enough time with new dude? Or are you plowing through a cohort of exes like Randy Quaid at a cocaine buffet?

Why not go see the movie with new dude?

Whatever the circumstances, if you like the new dude, respect his issues and reassure him there's no agenda other than hanging out with an old friend. Whatever form they come in, you're allowed to have friends. If you've done nothing to break his trust, then it's on him to resolve his own issues.

Just the tip: Maybe don't come home from an ex-encounter in a semen-soaked dress. Yours won't be put on an auction block, nor will it become a widespread Halloween costume. It will just sit in your closet attracting slugs.

Wait, I think salt kills slugs.

Good talk.

Dear Christy,

While supporting my friends at Pride in Denver last weekend, I was called "sir" by several people. I'm a straight woman and it's not like I'm dreadfully upset, but where is the discretion? Maybe I should just grow my hair back out.

—Not a sir

Pretty lady:

If I had a nickel for every person who called me sir ...

Don't change the way you look to please others. Some don't know discretion. It's like the pregnant thing. If there's not a baby dangling from a bloody umbilical cord between a broad's legs, never ask her when she's due. Let this be a lesson for us all: Unless someone's sex parts are dangling outside their clothes, let's use a gender-neutral word. (Homie. Pal. Friend.)

I understand the frustration. My height almost landed me in a drag show after a queen asked me where I got my wig and could I please fill in for the next set? (I was flattered. Drag queens are hot.)

Whatever your insecurity is, block it out. If you like you, then we like you.

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