Awkward talks, letting go, truth-telling and other queer conundrums

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To tell the truth is sometimes the hardest part of any challenge. Whether that's to the one you love, to yourself, or to potential partners. This week's advice column is here for all of it.


My partner’s breath smells like he spent the night eating out every guy on the rugby squad. And he probably did. Well, not the entire squad, but… 

Anyway, that he’s an ass-eating slut is fine by me, but how do I broach the topic of his stank breath?

I want to kiss him, but seriously a hazmat mask is not going to set the mood – or even be enough to shut out the stench.


Dear Gross:

Your situation may be phrased creatively, but it’s common: No one wants to tell anyone that they have bad breath or too-heavy body odor and needs to do something about it, but everyone wants someone else to tell them as soon as possible.

Sure it’s a touchy subject, but you owe your partner the truth. In queer conundrums, communication is always better than letting a situation fester. And since this is your partner, the only person who loves him as much as his granny, you are the right person for the job

Try the good old compliment sandwich: Deliver the news between bits of praise.

“The whole team knows you’re the best in town at eating butt, but you do yourself a disservice by not gargling afterwards. The rest of you is so hot that if you fix the breath issue, they’ll all be back in line for more, and as always I’ll be at the front of the line.”

Even if it takes a minute, or a week, he’ll appreciate it and be glad it came from you in private without judgment.


After 13 years, I thought “happily ever after” was ours. I was wrong. Dirty laundry aside, she’s gone. I’m left with the dogs, a mortgage, and a house full of painful memories.

Here’s the crazy part: I’d take her back in a second. I’ve spent too much time on this to close the door on a whole era of my life. I don’t want help moving on. I want my life back!

Dear Let It Go:

The door you’re clinging to is already closed. It’s OK not to bounce back right away, but it’s not OK to wallow indefinitely. Hug your dogs, call your friends, hire a counselor, even sell the house, but whatever you do, let her go because she’s already gone.


Things are hot and heavy, and all the clothes are off. We’re dirty-talking up a storm all the way up to the brink, and right before I head into the final furlong, he stops me for a second then changes his mind. We do the deed and he leaves. 

Then it hits me, what if he’s HIV positive and decided not to tell me? Help!

Dear Too Late:

Even if we all agree that everyone should disclose their HIV status to sex partners every time, let’s also admit that it’s difficult. And hello, there’s definitely no use being flabbergasted if you never directly asked the question.

Yes, poz guys should disclose their status, and so should neg guys to the best of their knowledge, but let’s not kid ourselves. Only you can protect you (and the ways to do that are growing in number all the time). Looking out for yourself includes having “the talk” before the dirty talk. Chest up, put it out there, and get back to what you really want to talk about.

You ask, what if he’s HIV positive and didn’t tell you, maybe even lied to you by omission. Let me ask: What if he says he’s negative, didn't lie, but doesn’t know he’s actually positive? 

You are still in charge of your own status and behaviors.

The Q is for entertainment purposes and not professional counseling. Send your burning Qs to [email protected]

Illustration by Brad Gibson

This column originally appeared in Q magazine. Read the latest issue, enjoy all of the past editions of The Q advice column, and look for a new issue of Q magazine each week online and around town.


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