The Vagenda

Agony Uncle "Tells It Like It Is"

Dear more! magazine, 
I can really relate to the man who provides your ‘100% honest bloke advice from the guy who tells it like it is’, as a consequence, I am somewhat concerned. Recently I’ve been faced with women who are not bald downstairs, who want to date more than one man at the same time and possibly even have sex outside of a relationship, who want their boyfriends to spend time with them and, worst of all, women who do not perceive their boyfriend masturbating in the next room as considerate. I am really worried about the state of society; these hairy hussies seem to be getting above their station and out of the kitchen.
Yours, Stereotypical male, 24, Essex

Having read the problem page written by the actual ‘guy who tells it like it is’, I am also somewhat concerned. Before I tackle the astoundingly insightful and supportive advice that the really-honest-bloke endows the pages of more! with on a weekly basis, the terminology used in the problems themselves needs addressing…Whether written by actual women, or on behalf of actual women by more! staff who believe these are our problems, they are scary. Firstly, in an issue of more! from early April, one woman seeking advice says how her boyfriend has ‘told me to start waxing down below’. He has told you? He feels that he has the right to tell you to do something? Then, even worse, it is with regard to personal grooming. Personal = you = YOUR CHOICE. 

Then in this week’s more! one misguided woman from Canterbury, who has been with her boyfriend for three years, is disgruntled that he ‘prefers taking trips with his mates’ and won’t go away for the weekend with her ‘because he doesn’t want to spend the money’. She asks how she can get him to change his mind, when really she should be asking why she is with someone who refuses to financially invest in their relationship and prefers the company of his friends. Seriously, there are chaps out there who want to spend time and money with you. Not saying he should treat her or anything like that, but if he doesn’t want to spend money to spend time with her? Nah. 

Another woman in that week’s more! is worried that she may appear a ‘hussy’ if she invites the man she has been dating for six weeks back to her flat. Primarily, it’s horrible that society has indoctrinated her with the view that if she has sex with a man on her terms she should be branded with a derogatory term. Also, who would want to be with a man that would deem them a hussy? 

A well balanced response to these questions would have been along the lines of: stop worrying and move on, it is possible to find someone that doesn’t tell you what to do, respects you, chooses to spend time with you and would be flattered/pleased that you want to have sex with them. 

Unfortunately, ‘100% honest bloke’, does not ‘tell it like it is’ like that. Honest bloke, a.k.a Richard Elms, answers the question of whether the woman should do as she’s told and wax, with ‘It’s not the 1970s so why haven’t you started pruning?’ Because Richard, she doesn’t want to and it’s her body. Furthermore, clumsily referencing the 70s, when the second wave feminists were fighting for gender equality and for women to have rights over their own bodies, and entirely missing the point, makes you look like an ignorant idiot. Also, he suggests that ‘no bloke wants to take off a girl’s thong and be greeted with a mass of hair’. Firstly, this assumes she is wearing a thong…to keep her man happy no doubt. And secondly Richard, see ‘Hair! (Not the Musical)’. 

In the same issue of more! (2nd April), a woman asks if it’s wrong for her to continue casually dating one man and meet up with another she has recently met. Richard informs her that he ‘doesn’t think she should be dating more than one bloke at time’, because ‘blokes hate to think of you sleeping with another man as well as them’. Of course she should remain a chaste fair maiden and wait for a knight to rescue her from her tower, not be throwing her hair down to one and letting the other kiss the poisoned apple from her lips. Although, the woman never mentions having sex with either of these men, she merely mentions casual dating to see who she prefers. Even if she was sleeping with them both, if neither of them believe the relationship is exclusive, so what? Richard asks (rhetorically) his advisee how she would feel if either of the ‘blokes were dating you and other girls as well?’ Chances are, they are, and Richard simply wants to maintain the classic double standard of studs and sluts. This provides an intro into Richard’s response to this week’s woman who’s worried about being deemed a ‘hussy’. Richard conveys surprise that she’s waited six weeks before ‘putting out’ and is even more surprised that the man she is dating hasn’t suggested going back to hers. Richards surmises that he must be a ‘gent’. Nothing to do with the fact that the man’s primary concern might not be her ‘putting out’ and even if it is, the fact that he hasn’t pressured her indicates he is willing to conduct the relationship on her terms. Richard advises that she makes date suggestions with a covert connotation of potential intercourse, such as having a ‘lazy night’, because, importantly, ‘it’s all about tact’. Absolutely – wouldn’t want him thinking that you want to have sex with him. 

I could scrutinize Richard even further, but rather than write a book here’s a summary of some of his best moments:

‘Ask your mates what they do and take one along to a salon waxing appointment for moral support.’ ‘Pick one and stick with him. You can’t have your cake and eat it.’

‘Being cheated on is a massive blow to a man’s ego. We expect to be the one doing the dirty…’

(About boyfriend going on holiday with girlfriend and mutual friends) ‘Hopefully, when he realises that’s not so bad, he’ll come round and want to go away with you on your own.’

(To a woman who found her boyfriend masturbating when she spent the weekend at his) ‘He was being really thoughtful.’

Essentially, as if the subtly (sometimes not so subtly) sexist pages of more! were not enough they have the added dimension of the ultimate lad Richard Elms, ensuring that women continue to do as they’re told and spend their time and money striving to look good for their man. It is saddening that anyone would believe these alleged problems to even be problems, you should look the way you want to and do what makes you happy, and certainly not consult a certain Dick from Essex.


6 thoughts on “Agony Uncle "Tells It Like It Is"

  1. Suddenly, Danny Dyer’s former problem page doesn’t seem quite so bad. Aside from the jaw-dropping misogyny, what also irks me about this problem page is that it paints men in a pretty bad light. It puts forward the idea that all straight men are selfish, adulterous, ‘poon’-obsessed weirdos with Peter Pan complexes, and that it’s perfectly OK, nay expected, for men to be that way. Every straight man I know would not only be horrified at such a suggestion, but would also not be interested in any female who was willing to put up with that behaviour. Great piece.

    • Yes, that really annoys me too! I know that none of my male friends would ever act like that and they wouldn’t stand for anyone who did. It’s just insulting and it also pressures people into thinking they aren’t normal if they don’t fit this mould.

  2. Whilst I wouldn’t say the bloke masturbating in the next room to his sleeping girlfriend was being “thoughtful”, he wasn’t being heinous either. Yes, you may be slightly perturbed that he hadn’t woken you to partake, but masturbation shouldn’t be a consolation prize. It’s a worth while, valid act in itself. Why should it be dropped in a relationship?(And this goes both ways).

    Excellent piece as ever.

  3. the other headlines on that front page seem equally dreadful:
    My new boobs look ridiculous
    Men rate your makeup style
    Katy Perry loved up with new man
    31 new ways to have sex
    Stood up at 3am by Harry (Potter?)
    Late night calls to ex but he’s got a new girl

  4. ‘It’s not the 1970s so why haven’t you started pruning?’
    Can we wax and “prune” this agony uncle? Why not?! There are articles of how ladies should give pleasure but men dont have articles in Zoo and Nuts entitled “how to please your woman” so if we’re getting articles and daft advice then so should they.

    Re Masturbating next door: If someone wants sex in the wee hours, they better go and masturbate next door because if they wake me up it’ll result in a day of me being insufferable.

  5. Excellent piece. Apart from the masturbating next door which seems like a bit of a non-issue to me, this guy’s advice is jaw-dropping.

    i’m so glad i stopped buying these magazines.

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