Straight Talk Advice

Weekly Column Archives

July, 2015

Drug-free dorms in college — do they exist?

Dear Straight Talk: I’m going to college next month and dread the horror stories of drinking and drug use in the dorms. I do not use drugs and hope to never start. Do colleges have drug-free dorm halls? Or please suggest how to deal…

Early-bloomers targets for lousy early sex

Dear Straight Talk: My daughter, 14, blossomed overnight into a well-endowed gorgeous young woman. I’m appalled at the gawking men (of all ages) in supermarkets and literally everywhere we go. My sister bloomed early and the relentless…

Domestic abuse victim needs real-life angel to report suspicion

Dear Straight Talk: I share a room with my 13-year-old stepsister on visitations. A friend her age is always there. My stepsister says she’s actually tired of it but the girl begs to come over, yet never invites her in return. You…

How itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny should teen bikini be?

Dear Straight Talk: How teeny should a bikini be? We have a pool and "mature" girls come over, some wearing the tiniest swimsuits imaginable. As I look out the window, I’m not feeling like a very good or protective parent. Is there…

June, 2015

Championing equal rights is patriotism of youth

Dear Straight Talk: My "news junkie" grandmother from Georgia is staying with us. She constantly puts me and my generation down saying we're not patriotic and we don’t care about anything. But I think I'm more patriotic than…

Teen accepts being gay but fears bullying and rejection

Dear Straight Talk: I like your “Am I Gay or Straight?” test [Jun 2]. I’m gay and there has never been any confusion; I’ve liked boys starting before puberty. I accept myself but I worry about others accepting…

Obsession over bad boy comes out of nowhere

Dear Straight Talk: I’ve been dating this boy for a year and five months and we are in a happy relationship. I love him very much and wouldn’t think of breaking up. But suddenly, with no warning or past history, I got feelings…

No love here: Sibling cruelty makes kids disdain helping each other

Dear Straight Talk: I hear repeatedly in Straight Talk about telling on siblings in danger, but I don't see why I should when it would only make trouble for me. My stepsisters huff [inhale toxic household chemicals] in their room and…

Sexual-orientation confusion — not the junk you need

Dear Straight Talk: Can you please run your no-nonsense “Am I Gay?” test from your website. It followed your [APR 28] column about the girl worried she was gay even though she’d always had crushes on boys. My kids are…

May, 2015

Dispelling the myth of sheltered friendless homeschoolers

Dear Straight Talk: I'm 16 and tired of the stereotyping I face as a homeschooler. Never mind that homeschoolers have hobbies, friends, engage in clubs and sports at our local school, we’re all introverted hermits. I must have…

Mom finds son’s “sickening” porn stash

Dear Straight Talk: My 16-year-old son has been “different” lately and my motherly instincts told me something was wrong. I was scared to death it was drugs and searched his room when he was at school. I did not find drugs,…

Boy seems to be huffing but won’t admit it

Dear Straight Talk: My little brother is 15. Whenever he enters the room or gets in the car, I smell a strong odor of nail polish, polish remover or paint thinner. My mom and I have gone through his room and found nothing. He's acting…

Just as women were repressed without suffrage, so are children

Dear Straight Talk: I read that the voting age was lowered to 16 in two cities and that San Francisco is considering the same. I don't feel kids this age have the maturity or education to make informed decisions. I think most honest…

April, 2015

Girl who has always liked boys, now stressing about being gay

Dear Straight Talk: I’ve always thought I was straight. I had crushes on boys growing up and currently have a boyfriend who I feel romantic kissing. But recently I’ve been semi-attracted to breasts on the Internet and TV. I…

Stepmother seeks help for deep-freeze hostility

Dear Straight Talk: My stepchildren (16 and 17) are incredibly cold to me even though I had nothing to do with their parent’s divorce. I met their father a year later and eight months after that, we now live together. They hardly…

Why many teens avoid dates for prom and school dances

Dear Straight Talk: The time for tuxedos and puffy dresses is here. The trouble is my parents won't let me attend prom without a date. Last year, to accommodate them, I asked one of my guy friends to go. However, I felt guilty taking…

Getting off pornography lifts brain fog, real-girl terror

Dear Straight Talk: Until recently, I experienced social anxiety, concentration problems and was terrified by real girls. I got into porn in fifth grade and became addicted like so many guys. Last year, I decided to stop. I relapsed a lot,…

March, 2015

Is there a unique sign or feeling for true love?

Dear Straight Talk: I'm 18, a high school graduate and my boyfriend is 20. I want to commit to the man I love. My mother thinks it's a bad idea. She says don't rush, if it's real love it won't go away, it will grow.…

Girls’ sports a hotbed for gay shaming

Dear Straight Talk: My twin sister and I play basketball. Two teammates are openly gay and rumor has it the whole team is gay and we have sex with each other. We have no problem with our gay teammates in the locker room and have never sensed…

Mom’s insecurity puts kids in the middle after Dad leaves her

Dear Straight Talk: Our mom can’t get over our dad leaving her for someone else and expects us to hate our dad’s live-in girlfriend. She constantly badmouths them, grills us about our visitations and expects us to join in. We…

“Fifty Shades of Grey” — best movie to miss and diss

Dear Straight Talk: My women friends, many who are mothers, rave about "Fifty Shades of Grey". I found the film appalling. Sexual wounds affect people for life and this generation is already very wounded around love and sex. The movie tells…

Locked bedroom and hushed tones have Mom worried about drugs

Dear Straight Talk: There is something going on that my daughters don’t want me to know about. They've started locking their room and I hear them talking in hushed tones I can't understand. When I asked why they're locking…

February, 2015

Illicit drug trade, not education, thrives on high school campuses

Dear Straight Talk: I'm a sophomore writing to complain about the open use of drugs at my school. Kids are vaping "dabs" [ultra-concentrated hash oil] with their e-cigarettes in broad daylight on a daily basis. Those boys sleeping in…

Schools need “immunization” from bully-induced trauma and rage

Dear Straight Talk: I'm sick of the cruel stereotyping these days. It's especially bad for openly gay teens. My girlfriend and I are assumed to have sex constantly, when, in fact, we don’t even have sex. I don't hear any…

Saying goodbye to kids following a parent-dating breakup

Dear Straight Talk: I’m 43 and was dating a man for six months who has an 11-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl. Our relationship moved quickly and I often stayed at his house during visitation weekends, thus spending quite a bit…

Rebound relationships provide distraction, but often hurt others

Dear Straight Talk: I liked this guy for about two months. The very day I had the courage to tell him, my best friend announced they'd been secretly dating and were making their relationship public. I'm happy for them, yet sad I…

January, 2015

Sisters with new stepdad want security of a locked bedroom door

Dear Straight Talk: My sister and I want a lock for our bedroom door. We have a new stepfather and we feel uncomfortable not being able lock our door when we’re undressed. He’s good to us, rarely comes inside our room and always…

Unhealthy weight-loss behaviors epidemic among youth

Dear Straight Talk: My 14-year-old daughter is being treated for anorexia and bulimia. Her clothes covered it well. I am writing about the media frenzy around being thin, which goes into overdrive in January. With epidemic numbers of young…

Police brutality? Complex problem deserves attention

Dear Straight Talk: My friend, 17, is very cold with me now that he's involved in the protests against police brutality. My dad and uncle are both police officers. While I feel terrible for the accidents that have happened, I can't…

Part 2: Millennials share up-close and personal challenges for 2015

Dear Readers: We continue with Millennial-generation challenges for 2015. While considering these challenges, the last entry by Icis reminds us to not stereotype individuals. Note: These challenges did not occur in a vacuum. All generations…

December, 2014

Looking forward: Millennial Generation shares challenges for 2015

Dear Readers: The last round of Millennial Generation members (ages 11-33, born 1982-2004) are entering adolescence, while the rest are in various stages of adult launch. This generation inherited multiple wars, planet-wide climate…

Rain on your Rave: Most Molly a mixture of meth and other synthetics

Dear Straight Talk: My roommate got totally wasted at a dorm party on what she was told was Molly. Somebody brought her back to our room and literally dumped her on me. She fell on the floor, I had to practically carry her down the hall,…

Hopes and dreams of youth plant seeds for a better future

Dear Readers: From tiny acorns grow mighty oaks. The dreams of the young are the seeds of the future. It’s my honor to present these youthful voices, each one striving to make the world a better place. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays…

Christmas shopping frenzy “on steroids” far adrift from “O Silent Night”

Dear Straight Talk: The winter holidays seem to be a stressed-out “what am I getting” and ”what am I buying” nightmare and I wonder if these once-sacred holidays hold any meaning at all for young people. (Maybe the…

The Pesky Holiday Problem of Drunken Parents

Dear Straight Talk: My sister and I dread, rather than enjoy, family gatherings. Political and religious arguments ruin them, especially when the adults have too much to drink, as they usually do. My parents are as bad as the others. If…

November, 2014

Yikes! Christmas with my boyfriend and his teenagers

Dear Straight Talk: I’m going to my boyfriend’s house for the special day of Christmas. His boy, 15, and girl, 13, will be there. We’ve been together nine months now and I’ve only met the daughter once for five minutes,…

Shopping that doesn’t support slave labor puts “Christ” back in Christmas

Dear Straight Talk: I enjoy hitting the mark with holiday gifts. I have three teenage grandchildren and two in their 20s. Please advise as to top gifts. Also, do kids read books anymore? If so, what are some favorites? —Grandma Claus…

Family gatherings an opportunity for inter-gen bonding and support

Dear Straight Talk: I'm hosting several sets of parents, grandparents, teenagers and college students for Thanksgiving. The young people tend to divide off, many staring into their devices, while some elders stare into the TV. What…

Panelist shares about healing from child sexual abuse

Dear Readers: Child sexual abuse affects 1-in-3 girls and 1-in-7 boys nationally. In 97 percent of the cases, the abuser is a family member or friend. On September 9, we responded to a letter about childhood sexual…

October, 2014

Thank You For Not Smoking!

Dear Straight Talk: Trying to quit smoking? Forget it! The trick is not starting. Leroy and Dee were heavy smokers who knew this. They told their sons at a young age that they put $600 apiece [equal to $3850 today] in an account to receive…

Popular party drug, Molly, sold as “pure” MDMA, often contains none

Dear Straight Talk: My daughter, 17, and her friends are getting ready for the big Halloween party, swapping clothes and creating costumes. My problem isn't the costumes being too racy as I've read about in Straight Talk (though…

Depressed male took risks, ended up in jail

Dear Straight Talk: I got engaged at 22 and we have three beautiful children. I fell down the wrong path and my fiancé said she would always be there for me. But when I received two years in prison, she left me. Since lockup, I'm…

Rush Limbaugh woefully irresponsible for saying ‘no sometimes means yes’

Dear Straight Talk: Here's one for your panel. What do they think about Rush Limbaugh's advice to guys that when a girl says no, it might actually mean yes? Really enjoy your column. —John, 70, Rohnert Park, Calif.

September, 2014

Is loud, inappropriate ‘girl talk’ the new feminism—or result of nonstop objectification?

Dear Straight Talk: Regarding the thigh-gap column, most guys don’t give a hoot about thigh gaps, but most do care about being subjected to girl talk about thigh gaps, shaving, waxing, breast size, menstruation, etc. My sisters talk…

Cutter desperately wants sibling to tell on her

Dear Straight Talk: I read in Straight Talk about siblings afraid to tell on each other regarding serious issues — and you always say TELL! Well, I wish my 13-year-old sister would tell. I'm depressed and cutting but too ashamed…

Brother dislikes chauffeuring big Sis who doesn’t drive

Dear Straight Talk: I am 17 and got my license at 16. The problem is that my older sister, 19, never got her license so my parents have assigned me as her driver. I have a job, school, and other things to do. She's never even had a…

Young woman faces grim reality of childhood sexual abuse

Dear Straight Talk: A close friend is coming to terms with the fact that her alcoholic stepfather molested her when she was growing up. She never goes home because of him and is afraid that telling her mom will break up the family. She's…

Just say no to #ThighGap

Dear Straight Talk: I’m happy to observe that today’s teens seem to see the ideal female form as more curvy and less pre-pubescent than in my youth. (Thank you, Beyoncé.) Then I learned of the latest baffling body-image…

August, 2014

‘Good Kid, Bad Kid’—Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease

Dear Straight Talk: In regard to your recent column on heroin addiction, it's my sister who is the drug addict. My parents spent most of our college fund for her rehabs and I now will need big student loans. They say they had no choice…

Boy’s girlfriend is pregnant, pushing him away

Dear Straight Talk: My girlfriend since last Christmas just told me she is pregnant. She is 17 and I'm 18. She's been on the pill since she was 16 but maybe forgot to take them some days?? All she does is cry, call me constantly,…

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