Recently I decided that what the world needs is a “Dear Abby” concept for the millennium, and as an experienced sex industry commentator and author, I am perfectly placed to offer my infamous tongue-in-cheek responses to the great many love, sex and relationship dilemmas of these times.
We can all acknowledge that a lot has changed since Abigail Van Buren (or “Dear Abby” as we knew her) started to make waves in the American media back in 1956. The idea was also adopted by British media, where Dear Abby and other middle-aged women took the role of Agony Aunts and the image presented was originally of an older woman dispensing comforting advice and maternal wisdom, hence the name “aunt.”
Whilst this concept is still alive and well in various women’s media outlets today, I do wonder how practical these snippets of advice really are, and how entertaining the column itself is to the reader in this 5 second attention span age we live in. And that’s why I went ahead and launched my own. Except mine is a spicy version that tackles the spectrum of our first-world problems and all the trappings of our modern comfortable lives that bring on the dilemmas we face today.
Technology and social media tends to add complications to our romantic and sex lives, rather than making our lives easier - as well as expose the foibles of the rich and famous to us all, in an instant, making it a wonderful forum for satire.
Back in the 50’s and 60’s people wrote in with much simpler concerns, such as daughters caught kissing while still in their teens, or wives wondering why they weren’t allowed to pay the bills. Today, everyone wonders whether a ‘like’ on a photo automatically means an invite for a booty call, and how to interpret a text message from the guy you had your eye on.
I’m fascinated by the courtship dance humans do, and especially how technology has transformed dating and mating in today’s world to produce the most interesting love life concerns among young and old alike. For example, I’m often struck by the absurdity of relationships. It’s almost as if our search to be in one, to stay in one, or to escape from one drives our every thought, while we lurch from one notable failure of understanding to the next - while our partner and sometimes the rest of the world looks on with bemusement.
What a fantastic idea! So, “Dear Lily” was born, not to be the Oracle of Delphi, but to hold up a mirror to the vicissitudes of life… and of course with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek.
A handful of Dear Lily’s finest are below, and the rest can be found on my website or on my Medium blog profile.
Q *New* Dear Lily: I’m Irish and have fallen in love with a man I met online. His name is Seamus Mgumbo O’Flaherty, also Irish, and he lives in Nigeria. I can’t believe I’m so lucky! Unfortunately, he was involved in an accident and asked me to loan him money for his hospital bill (his wallet with his insurance card was stolen he told me). Of course, I helped him with $40,000. Now the hospital wants another $50,000 for more emergency surgery and he wants me to fly there with the cash — also as he says, to meet for the first time and get married. I’ve booked my flight, but do I need any vaccinations? — Happy in love
A. Dear Happy: Do you realise how many scams are run out of Nigeria? Why on earth are you giving money to a total stranger and… No, wait. Nigeria is the most dangerous place on earth for violent robberies of gullible…No, wait. This man is no more Irish than Bill Cosby and is going to… Wait. You know what? The weather’s nice there, just get a flu shot. You’ll be fine.
Q. *New* Hi LiLy: I am Lou, a 1% er and I have a problem. My sexual prowess has reached a spiritual state of ecstasy going 4 to 8 hours, I cannot find a partner that can handle me. Do you know of any women that can match my superhuman sexual domination? — Lou
A. Dear Lou: (or should I say “oh, Transcendental One”?) I’m all for the support of your sexual ecstasy as you seek to enhance the temporal and spiritual welfare of your fellow-men (or women in your case) — whether it comes from the glorious union with god or from a nice bottle of Johnnie Walker Black and Ice doesn’t really bother me. I’m sure my fallen angels would blissfully bring you into their sensual fold. I trust your bank account has the same heavenly dimensions as your organ.
Q *New* Dear Lils: People say I still look great in gold hot-pants but like you I’m getting beyond bar-hopping, thank god. The shallowness of the social media gene-pool, and the weirdos and desperadoes that hang around me, just makes me cringe. The pits, yes? Doesn’t anyone have any interpersonal skills anymore? I still have a very healthy sex-drive but haven’t found a bit of uncomplicated, lusty sex since I dated Michael Hutchence. What to do, Lils? — Kylie
A. Dear Kyles: You’re speaking my language, sister! You should meet some of my social media “friends” — why anyone thinks a photo of their penis will bring me slobbering to their bedside amazes me. You and I need to get ourselves down to the docks when the fleet comes in and hook a sex-starved sailor or three. We’ll both feel like teenagers again.
Q. Dear Lily: I’ve just got this great new government job which requires me to drink lots of beer while I pretend it’s good fun joking around with a bunch of other blokes in steel capped boots and yellow vests. I’m worried that too much beer might make me less virile in the old, you know “bringing the al dente noodle to the spaghetti house” department — if you’ll excuse my Italian. I need to keep up appearances, but need to keep the old fella up too. Any tips? — Albo
A. Dear Albo: I’m sure you’re an attractive enough chap for many of your new colleagues to still try to screw you while you find your feet in the new job. Don’t worry, they won’t be too fussed about the brewer’s droop.
Q. Dear Lily: I’m about to be posted overseas and am leave my girlfriend behind. I loves her so much and we is childhood sweethearts but don’t know how we can survive a long-distanced relationship. Any clues? — sailor blue
A. Dear Sailor: I was so touched by your heartfelt concern for your relationship, which will be so sorely tested while you’re apart. I dearly wanted to help, but then I noticed your appalling grammar…
Visit “Ask Lily” at Lily Yang’s website or see more social commentary, her book sales and charity work.