Week of:
Apr 10, 2020

No time for a social life!

Dear Alice,

I am a 22-year-old male grad student, now starting my second semester at in graduate school. I have been doing very well academically, but my studies and my work-study job leave me absolutely no time for a social life! I have not been on a date since I got here; though I meet a lot of interesting people, and am in the habit of collecting their phone numbers. However, I can never seem to find any time to spend with them. Sometimes this really depresses me. I have noticed that I have lately been smoking much more heavily than I used to.

Always in a rush to get something done

Love shack! Time to move in together?

Hi Alice,

How common is it for college couples to move in together while still being undergrads? My boyfriend and I have been dating for two years and plan on getting an apartment the following year. However, we worry that if we attend graduate schools in different areas, having to then live apart may harm our relationship. Also, how can I convince my parents to accept the idea (I have already tried having an open discussion but they reject the idea completely even though they love my boyfriend). His parents have already said that this would not be a problem. Also, my parents help finance my housing so it would be difficult to move in without their approval.

Thanks for your help,

Gastrointestinal upset worsens around the time I get my period

Dear Alice,

I've suffered weird digestive things when I have my period. The way I have heard it explained in my MCAT class is that the same hormone that causes the smooth muscle of the uterus to contract unfortunately works on all of our digestive organs as well, particularly the large intestine. So that's how I've come to grips with the apparent confusion of the digestive processes during my period.

Conflicted about having sex for the first time

Dear Alice,

I am an 18-year-old virgin, but my boyfriend wants to have sex with me. We have been dating now for eight months, and he says he has been waiting long enough. I have this fear of having sex because of the consequences, but I try to tell myself that as long as I use protection, things like that shouldn't happen.

I'm not sure what I'm asking for; I'm not sure it's advice either. Right now I'm reasonably sure that I don't want to have sex, but this little voice (probably his) keeps asking "What's the big deal?"

I know it's not a big deal, but it's something I really believe in, and I want to wait. I only have one life to live and I want to do it right. I did a lot of things I ended up regretting, but this is really important to me. The only thing is, I have no problems fantasizing about making love to him. I just have trouble with carrying out the actual act. I really need to ask if you think my fear of sex is unnatural or just a product of the way I've been raised?

Is there any way I can get over all the horror stories of regret and painful first times and just give myself to the guy of my dreams?

— Confused

Time to go condom shopping! Brands, sizes, textures — What to buy?

Dear Alice,

I've never bought condoms before. I'm a smart shopper — I look at things like quality and value when I buy anything — and I want to do the same with my condom purchases. But I don't know what to look for!!! And I'm not sure I'm ballsy enough to walk up to the pharmacist and ask, "Now, tell me, if your daughter were having sex, which brand of condom would you want her to use with her boyfriend?"

I want a really effective condom, that doesn't, like, smell weird or fit poorly or anything. And I don't want to whip it out and have my man laughing at it.

Who do I ask for advice on this??? Where do I go?