Sex Tips From Louisa May Alcott

Dearest Louisa, 

My mother signed me up for an online dating website called LittleMen4LittleWomen. I understand that she’s concerned and only wants the best for me but still this is a horrifying and humiliating prospect. I’m not a Little Woman anymore! I’m 38 years old. She’s worried because since my break-up four years ago I’ve only been on 3 dates, but believe me that was enough. Besides, it’s not as if I feel unloved. I have my family and friends. I have Mamma. Sure, I wouldn’t mind meeting someone who appreciates the fine art of ship model building. Mamma is more of a model airplane kinda gal but even so I AM FINE. I DON’T NEED A DATE. How can I make my mother understand that I am a grown up and I don’t need to date. I don’t need to freeze my eggs and I don’t need to tweeze my nose hairs???! Geez. 

—U.S.S. Happily Single 



It sounds like your mother is simply trying to ensure your happiness. But dating and marriage certainly are not everyone’s destiny. Also, call me An Old Fashioned Girl, but I’d rather not use the Internet for courting. I myself have found that “liberty is a better husband than love to many of us.”

You need to confront her about the dating website. Take a deep breath and simply tell her that while her concern is appreciated her meddling is not. If she still doesn’t back down then change your email address. Two can play that game.

The next time your mother starts to worry about your romantic well-being, remind her that “mothers are the best lovers in the world.” You’re right; you don’t need a date. Romantic love is fleeting but a mother’s love is all consuming and unending. Although, as a gesture of good faith you might want tweeze your nose hairs for her just once in a while…. give her that one.

Dearest Louisa, 

I have a rather dear friend named, Laura. She is so bold and daring. We have the most marvelous time together, romping through the woods, ice fishing, even just sitting by the fire with her, out of our stays and stockings is delightful. I love her. She is my dearest friend, like a sister to me. She’s also my neighbor so we hang out ALL THE TIME! However, I’m a bit worried that she might be in love with me. Just last week when we were picking wildflowers and Laura turned to me said “What fitting wedding bouquets these would make…” and then she winked. Yesterday at the opera she looked absolutely besotted when she saw me come down the stairs in my new maroon dress. Also, Laura never shares food and she is particularly territorial about her soft cheeses. Well, three weeks ago she gave me 3/4 of her spreadable ricotta. She must be in love with me, right? Am I reading these signals, right? Truth be told, I hope I’m wrong. I love her, but I don’t want to ruin our friendship. It simply cannot be.

—Hoping to Share Cheese and Nothing More 



Winks, wildflowers, 3/4 of a spreadable ricotta?! Sounds just like me and my Laddie! Laura very well may be infatuated with you. Although it is hard to ever really know, “girls are so queer you never know what they mean.” She could be in love with you, she could be teasing you, she could be trying to give up dairy, who knows! The better question is how do you feel about her? Are you sending out some signals too? Wearing a seductive dress? Eating her cheese? After all, “it takes two flints to make a fire.” Think about it. Spark it up, Lover.

P.S. Or move away so she can fall in love with your sibling.  That works too. Keep it in the family .

Dearest Louisa, 

Well, I’ve committed the cardinal sin of the urban sophisticate. I went on a date with my barista. It was terrible and now I don’t know where I’m gonna get my coffee. He was cute. He makes great foam. He’s always telling me how gorgeous I am. I thought… what could go wrong?

 Oh Marmee! Did things go wrong. We just… we have nothing in common. He was talking about his band the whole time. More specifically, he was talking about his synthesizer the whole time. I just can’t… I mean, he’s cute but I need a man who can talk about more than a synthesizer named Rodolfo. NO. The problem is he thinks we had a great time. He’s called me three times in 36 hours. The voicemails he left were insane. A weird litany of compliments followed a reminder about his band’s next “gig” (shudder). I can’t. Clearly he wants to go out again, but I just want him to make me a cafe au lait. Can I turn back time? 

—Hold the Cream in this Coffee



Can you turn back time? No. But if this coffee shop is really important to you then it’s worth a try. Just how good is that cafe au lait? Marshal your resolve, charge into that cafe and get that Java. Be polite but cold. If he asks you out again, say something like “Gee thanks, I’m a bit busy at the moment but thank you.” It’s not a lie exactly and it allows him to save face. I prefer to be blunt but sometimes that gets you into trouble. If he doesn’t get the message and starts telling you how fabulous you are then smile and say “I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now.” Again, that’s polite but honest. If all else fails, I’d recommend investing in a French Press. Coffee at home saves both money and embarrassing moments.