Medicating and manipulating the whole population:

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché;

I have been ambivalent about the recent moves to legalize pot by my state government. However, a recent article I read has alarmed me.
It mentioned that new studies indicate that even occasional marijuana smoking appears to be associated with changes in the brain regions involved in motivation, emotion and reward compared with non-smokers.

I have listened to arguments on both sides of this controversy, and up until now, the points seemed valid from each opinion. Now I am wondering.

I know that you are strongly against the legalization of marijuana, can you comment?

Mary Wannha

Dear Mary,

Every medication can cause potential harm, in fact many are outright poisons; but administered in small doses, they can be of benefit. Used for targeted purposes in small amounts a poison can bring about a positive result. For example, serotonin is a natural substance in the body but in large amounts messes up your blood pressure and can kill you. Used properly, medicines can assist our body in doing something it should be doing anyway or it can prevent our body from doing something it should not be doing.

Marijuana, like all other substances, has the possibility to be used in a helpful way. The problem that I see is that this isn’t the way it is being used.

Medical marijuana is not technically a medication; it has not been put through the studies and research other medications are required to go through. It is only now that it is gaining wider use that data is being generated to evaluate how useful it is and what the consequences are. But the study is essentially taking place in the general population without anyone’s informed consent that they are in a study. This was the way in which medications were released in the 1950s. Some were introduced in the subways and many people were unknowingly observed as to the consequences. Except for marijuana, it is illegal to do this anymore. But politics overran common sense and public safety, and marijuana was prematurely introduced on the general population as a medical substance. Yes, it was already there, but it wasn’t being sold as medication to fix and cure anything and everything.

Marijuana probably does have medicinal properties. Possibly for diabetes, possibly for pain; but marijuana as a plant has many ingredients in it, some more poisonous than others. There are new strains being introduced to limit the THC and increase the flavonoids and these might not have toxic qualities. Marijuana might be someday be a good treatment for something but now it has very limited usefulness in a limited population where it’s advantages outweigh it’s disadvantages. Thousands of people who don’t meet medical criteria are at this moment in line to buy it at the many moneymaking facilities that have been prematurely opened for purely political and economic reasons.

I am not against the possibility of medical marijuana use. I am against the way in which this is happening. I am against the current policy of medicating the entire population because of the treatment of an individual, even if the population is dripping with desire for it.

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says: the fact that this recent research is coming out only now that marijuana is gaining legal ground shows why it is important to legalize marijuana. Up until now, it’s uses and effects have been largely heresay and experience through the unregulated alleys of life.

I have thoroughly researched the matter and found that the drug studies which Dr. Brilliant refers to in the 1950′s were not medical studies, but rather studies perpetrated by the US government to see the effects of substances, often for military use. There is no resemblance between the type of research which is now being openly done, and the horrifying secret operations carried on by the government in the 1950′s. In addition, there are countless pharmaceutical drugs that have been researched and approved which end up being recalled due to complications which could not be foreseen until the medications were released into the general population and their effects studied over time. Any medical study is done within an extremely small cross section of the population, for a limited time, and it is simply not possible to anticipate widespread or long term effects and interactions. In this sense, every medication is an experiment upon the general population. They are just not seen as such because of the regulation and documentation at initial, limited, phases of study.

I would like Dr. Brilliant to speak with any cancer patient who is using marijuana, patients with cancer, chronic and crippling pain issues, glaucoma or wasting diseases, and ask them whether they feel that marijuana has no proven medical effect. It seems absurd at this point to say that marijuana has no proven medical use. Simply because it has not gone through the exact testing procedures as pharmaceuticals does not mean that the medical effects do not exist. That is like saying that China does not exist if we don’t officially recognize it.
With the potential of widespread legalization and efforts towards regulation, more is known about the immediate and long term effects of marijuana than ever before. And, since it has been clearly stated that marijuana will not be sold to under aged teens, one can anticipate that the same publicity campaigns given to the negative effects of tobacco will be shown to the public in an effort to stem the use of pot by kids with developing brains.

There is another reality going on here which must be addressed, and it is an economic and legal one. Dr. Brilliant has argued that kids don’t get their pot from dealers, but rather from friends and family members and this may be true in some cases. But where does he imagine those friends and family members got the marijuana from? Stop & Shop or the mall? The illegal drug trade is a multibillion dollar industry that contributes to the death and exploitation of hundreds of workers and enforcement officials. Keeping marijuana illegal supports the illegal drug trade and deprives the economically battered state governments of an opportunity to develop a legitimate and well regulated industry to stoke badly depleted coffers.

The use of marijuana is an unstoppable tide. Continuing to fight to keep marijuana in the class of illegal streets drugs is an effect that makes as much sense as the prohibition of alcohol in the 20′s and early 30′s. Prohibition made a lot of ruthless crooks rich, but it did nothing to stop people from drinking.

Legalizing marijuana is not an indulgent nod of approval by the government for pot’s unchecked recreational use. Rather, it is an acknowledgment of marijuana’s existence and long term realities, and an effort to bring an already existing aspect of our culture into the light where it can be examined with clarity by everyone.

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Taking advantage of our kids for charity:

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché,

As a parent, I am upset- but I’m not sure how I should handle this situation. My 10 year old daughter’s school is doing a charity fund raiser. The kids received a magazine showing what prizes they will get for raising varying amounts of money. Both the magazine and the school are handling this fundraiser as a competition. At the $200 Raised level (on which my daughter has her heart set) she will WIN a family of rubber ducks. My daughter plans on turning in all the money she has saved over the last two years through chores, birthdays and holidays, a little over $200.00.

I don’t mind teaching kids about charity or encouraging giving but this is not the case here. My daughter feels she has to win the competition and the ducks are her aim. She isn’t learning charity through this event; I feel she is being taken advantage of. She could go door to door instead of turning in her own money but she probably won’t get enough for the ducks and she knows she has enough now to buy the win so she hasn’t the motivation to do any work.

We try to teach our daughter value and need vs. self-indulgence by having her buy her own toys with money she has saved. Prior to this school contest, she put a lot more thought into whether she truly wants a toy. This fund raiser has her competing for a prize against her peers and she wants to buy the win. But if she spends all her savings, I will hear ” buy me, buy me, buy me,” for the next year.

It is her money to spend on what she wants. Should I let her be manipulated for a good cause?

Tara T

Dear Tara,

This is yet another example of the disconnect between the morals which adults say they want to teach vs. what they are actually teaching. Marketing to children is often a wolf in sheep’s clothing. There is more than one huge corporation that is supported via having kids “raise money.”

There’s not much you can do to change the system but you can role model the values you hope to instill by volunteering, voting and giving to some charity that doesn’t give you a toy in return.

As to your specific situation, I would let your daughter decide for herself, but clearly explain that she will need to save for any new toys and it might take a while to do so. Ask her: “Are you ok with that?” She will probably give over her money for the ducks anyway but you will need to hold to your own intent to have her save again before buying more toys.

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says: your daughter is how old? The reason I ask is because there is a line being drawn in the sand here, and $200 is a lot of money for a young child to throw away. Perhaps in Dr. Brilliant’s world, it’s OK to let a child throw away such a large amount on pure crap, but where Granny comes from a parent would NEVER permit such a thing because economics are so close to the bone that even parents don’t have $200 they can afford to throw away. That is utility payments for a month!

Granny advises you to not be an idiot. There are limits to letting your kids make their own decisions. Would you allow a 10 year old to decide to get into a car with a stranger so that they can learn a lesson?

Put your foot down and be the adult. Proper role modeling by a parent should be more than watching a child make a grievous error and then saying “I told you so.” Good parenting also involves protecting your child from adult manipulations that they don’t understand. This contest is pure crap and you should no more tolerate it than you would drug pushers at the school. I’d complain to the administration if it were me; but then, Granny is famous for putting her big foot in her mouth.

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It’s not easy being Teen

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché,

I am very distressed. Not only do I keep reading about teen suicide in the paper, but recently it’s hit close to home- my neighbor’s teen daughter killed herself. It seems that many of the 12 to 18 year old population are either trying to kill themselves or ending up in psychiatric institutions.
What gives? Is the whole population at the breaking point?

Sad Neighbor

Dear SN,

This is indeed an alarming trend. Suicide is now is the #2 cause of death for tweens and teens, coming in second after accidents. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t the ubiquitous use of antidepressants which is fueling it. The suicide rate has actually gone up since psychiatry pulled back using antidepressants on teenagers due to suicide black box warnings on these medications.

There are many cultural factors that function together to make the teen years difficult. A Teenager’s brain is fueled primarily by feelings that are reflexive and in the moment. It is as if they are always surrounded by mirrors. Everything is experienced through these mirrors as a reflection of the Self. This greatly exaggerates everything. In later years, the higher cortical centers begin to innervate and these mirrors start becoming translucent. Perspective takes time to develop.

The media bombardment with Armageddon is creating both a response of fear…and it’s opposite. Teens can develop an apathetic “I don’t care” stance. Both of these attitudes fuel non rational thinking and also sell a lot of products. Also, due to the economy, jobs ordinarily filled by teens are now being taken by desperate adults, leaving teenagers bored and unchallenged. For some of them, an intense competitiveness has developed through lack of opportunity. The prevalent belief is “only the best will succeed.”

Internet and texting perpetuate superficial relationships, instant gratification and a self inflated sense of importance. The internet is yet another set of mirrors exaggerating a teen’s feelings. Ideas are contagious and suicide is a virus quickly spread through media. There is also an easy access to inappropriate prescriptions, drugs and guns; this most certainly is not helping today’s teens.

It’s not easy being teen. A lot of forces are piling up to interfere with our kids developing a perspective that will give them the skills to develop into healthy adults.

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says: Teen suicide is undoubtedly on the rise. The incidence of suicide amongst the 15-24 age range has tripled since 1960. However, an article in the New York Times, March 1, 2013, states that the suicide rates among middle aged Americans, particularly the Baby Boomer crowd, has also risen sharply. Men are far more likely to take their own lives than women (27.3 per 100,000 compared to 8.1 per 1000,000.) Economic worries and the prevalence of painkillers and other drugs are both contributing factors, although the leading method of suicide is still guns (please heed these statistics, NRA.)

I doubt that this will ease your neighbor’s mind, but the New York Times also printed an article in 1987 that noted that teen suicide rates had risen 50% from previous decades. It has been a problem for many many years, and our current economic crisis, along with availability of prescription drugs, is doing little to stem the tide.

However, here is something that it is VERY important to know: according to, which dedicates itself to preventing this tragedy, 60 to 80% of teens who kill themselves sought help in the month before they died. Suicide attempts are often a cry for help- there are far more attempted suicides than successful ones. Successful attempts are usually very well planned. What this means, for all of us, is that it is important to watch for signs of trouble in teens, and to take threats of suicide seriously. If teens did not want to be stopped, they would not seek help. They would just shoot themselves in the freakin’ head.

In these days of abbreviated communication, depersonalization, and teen apathy, it is essential we remember that behind the drive to appear “cool” and the need to win, there is still a vulnerable and very real human being inside every teen, with feelings and emotional needs. When they believe that that there is no one they can turn to in times of weakness and pain, it is then that they are truly lost.

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My Boyfriend LIKES girls:

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché,

I love my boyfriend. He is a great guy. The only problem is he LIKES girls. No he isn’t cheating but when he isn’t with me he is always surrounded by and talking to other girls. He is a good listener and a sympathetic ear and women just flock to him. I used to be a caretaker of men and my therapist said I had codependent issues. So I was so happy to have found a man that I didn’t need to baby. But I see lots of my old qualities in him. He says he loves only me but I can’t help but worry and it leads to a lot of fights, with him complaining that “I don’t trust him.”

Polly Noid

Dear Polly,

You wouldn’t want your man to not like girls as that would set up a whole other set of problems; there is nothing wrong with a man talking to women. I think that your concern is what they are talking about…this is what can become a slippery slope.

As you pointed out boundaries are important. It isn’t mild office flirting that usually leads to infidelity- more likely it is launched by someone being “the hero” or “the only person who understands me.”

Codependence is when you take on other people’s troubles as your own. The problem with this is that it creates psychological indebtedness.

One study on cultural anthropology shows that relationships/bonding can form when you help someone. There is a natural reflex to wish to pay them back in kind. When you can’t it creates psychological debt or a bond.

This is why marketing companies send you free sh_t. It makes you feel indebted to them and increases your desire to buy their product or idea, or give them a donation.

These women feel indebted to your boyfriend for listening to their sh.t and the fact that he is with you prevents them from paying him back. This tension could increase their desire for him.

There is a great movie about this type of phenomena, The Tao of Steve.

Your boyfriend needs to understand that he has to keep his conversations with these women superficial. No diving deep. If he keeps it light, this will pre-emp most unhealthy bonding. That’s why mild office flirting isn’t as dangerous- it is 99.9% superficial. It is only when it develops into listening and personal involvement that it becomes a problem.

So the rule to pin to the refrigerator is: stay out of other peoples SH_T.

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says: Hmmmm. Looks like Dr. Brilliant is setting your boyfriend up for a life of forced superficiality with his happy little flock.

The problem with real friendships is that they always involve a sort of intimacy. Most men that I know can only have healthy and uncomplicated friendships with women if they have work in common or kids on the same soccer team.

Your boyfriend’s affection for being surrounded by women is not conducive to a good relationship with one woman. The juggling of all these personalities takes time and energy, and if that is what he gives his spare time and energy to, it says something about him. It says “I need to be the center of attention.” Most men with their own interests to develop and a future in mind find the flocking of chattering women annoying.

You are having a relationship with a more than one man- you are dating a man and his entourage of bleating sheep. If this is what you want to cope with for the rest of your life, do what you can to work it out. Quite honestly, I think it’s just going to drive you nuts in the long run. I’d jump pastures if I were you.

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Breast augmentation for his birthday

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché,

My boyfriend is a breast man. He loves boobs. As such I was thinking of surprising him and getting implants. He never asked me to and he says he loves the way I look. But I seriously lack in that department and I see who his eyes track and where they linger. I can’t help feeling I am a disappointment to him. My question is not should I do it because I want to do it for him but should I talk about it first or just spring it on him as it’s not like I can return them?

B Cup

Dear B,

First understand that this is not something you are doing for him! It is your body and you feel uncomfortable in your own bra. Another woman might think, “Accept me, all of me or hit the road.” No relationship should hinge solely on breast size; if it did, it wouldn’t last no matter how much surgery you had. There would always be a more perfect set to come along.

There are consequences to every behavior and breast augmentation has risks. Would you want to be with someone who wanted you to take those risks just to please him? If you turn the logic around, would you leave your boyfriend if he didn’t get a penis or tongue augmentation? As a doctor, my opinion is that one should never get surgery of any type if it is avoidable. The only people who legitimately might argue the benefits out way the risks are those that are in a profession where augmentation is necessary for their line of work and thus can be claimed a business expense on their taxes.

Don’t do it but at least if you’re going to anyway discuss it with him before you’re cut up.

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says: considering that your boyfriend has never expressed the slightest dissatisfaction with your breasts, I am worried about your future. You seem to have a level of insecurity that has you considering a potentially risky surgical procedure that could alter your health forever, simply because you “think” your boyfriend might like you better.

Lots of men like to look at big boobs. It doesn’t mean they want to have a relationship with every well endowed woman they see. They just wish they could play with them. Boobs are like toys in a store window for men. It has nothing to do with a relationship.

The level of insecurity you express in your letter suggests that you are not only going to suffer from jealousy and unreasonable possessiveness, you will probably also enable your boyfriend by trying to indulge every whimsy he has.

There are some personal issues you need to address. I suggest you watch the movie Singles

(1992) and observe Bridget Fonda’s character as she seeks breast implants to keep her boyfriend, Matt Dillon. I think it will tell you far more than either Dr. Brilliant or I can about relationships and boobs.

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Pharmaceutical grade marijuana:

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché

I am a guidance counselor for an inner city high school and the amount of marijuana use in the students here has completely skyrocketed. Not only that but the amounts and quality have completely changed. We used to confiscate small baggies out of lockers, now its jars of pharmaceutical grade marijuana. These kids really believe marijuana is no big deal but these same kids also can’t fill out simple forms. I swear it makes them retarded. There is so much talk now about medical marijuana. These kids think it is a vitamin we all should be on as according to the internet testimonials it helps just about everyone for everything. Does it? Can anyone not become a useless lump using it? It is hard for me to imagine this is so.

Guide me

Dear Guide,

With some people, you would be surprised to learn they smoke pot because they don’t ever show it on any level. However, a lot of stoned people just act stupid; the stoner stereo type doesn’t come from nowhere.

Medical marijuana is appropriate for some people; I even have a few clients I would recommend it for, off-the-record. But many people who use it shouldn’t. Most medical marijuana use isn’t purely medicinal on any level, it’s recreational. For these users, it is no different than alcohol and can do more damage overall than good.

People see marijuana as being safer than cigarettes, especially as most people smoke less of it than others smoke cigarettes. But cigarettes effect in your body lasts for about four hours whereas marijuana lasts in your brain for about a month. This means there no such thing as moderate use of marijuana. It acts on the brain and some effects can be long lasting or even permanent. With any medication the benefits of use must outweigh the risks. There is no reason whatsoever for teenagers to be smoking pot but whatever their parents do, they will do.
Pot is especially detrimental for teenagers as it works by giving them distance from feelings. Whatever coping skills teenagers practice will be the coping skills they continue to use for the rest of their lives. Denial and avoidance are bad coping skills and the most detrimental for quality of life. Marijuana is a very effective form of denial therefore one doesn’t learn how to deal with adversity in any way other than ignore it.

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says,

OK, I have a few issues to take with the information Dr. Brilliant has given out.

First, this statement: “cigarettes effect in your body lasts for about four hours whereas marijuana lasts in your brain for about a month.” Please! If cigarettes only affected your body for four hours, they wouldn’t kill so many people with cancer and other diseases from long-term use. Dr. Brilliant is trying to compare a brain effect to a toxic tissue effect. They really can’t be compared. I do hope he is not advocating cigarettes over pot because he thinks the effect is only temporary.

Second- although pot can be an effective way to fog the brain, unlike antidepressants and alcohol, it does not dampen feelings, it often exaggerates them to an even greater degree, especially paranoia. If one is trying to avoid feelings, pot is not the best way to do it.

But back to the point at hand- actually, most people are incapable of self-regulating ANYTHING they indulge in including exercise, sex, TV, work or alcohol. Let’s face it- most people just plain act stupid without any excuse at all except bad inner mythology.

I do have to say though- young kids should not be smoking pot any more than they should be drinking alcohol. If they use substances to alter their mood at this point in the game, they will always be dependent. PLEASE- develop your brain before you start filling it with alternative chemicals! Smoking pot in early life is like fueling up a Ferrari and taking it out for a spin before you learn how to drive. The results can be deadly.

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To be significant one must first embrace their insignificance:

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché;

I read the book, The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut, and one scene in particular sticks in my mind. Two men are flying in a plane high over the earth, looking down and musing that there were now nearly 7 billion people down there, all of them struggling for life. One man turns to the other and says “and I suppose they will all want dignity.”

Something about that passage puts things in perspective for me. Here we are, nearly 7 billion people on a small planet which is running out of resources…and most of us seem to act like the whole thing revolves around us- the control freaks who can’t let go, the drug addicts who can’t accept or process their own pain, the pampered princesses and princes who pout when they don’t get the exact color Porsche they wanted for their birthday..

When you pull back and look down at it all, we are like millions of ants crawling around. And yet we all want dignity. We all get upset when someone doesn’t treat us properly or follow our wishes.

Do we all need to go and live in Darfur for a while, or what?

Green Greta

Dear GG,

My daughter is ten and whenever she doesn’t get her way she reacts with righteous indignation, “what do you mean I can’t have…!” As a child, this is normal and healthy- seeing the world as it all revolves around you. Children do not see the world as separate from themselves and there is both gain and loss in the awareness one gets with age of a separate sense of self. The story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is such a metaphor.

Our culture seems to reinforce immaturity; it is unable to balance the self and not-self very well. The message ends up: “It is all about you.” I’ve been noticing many bad decisions and unhappiness stem from personalities which simply don’t understand their own insignificance.

Reality is a duality and insignificance needs to be balanced with significance. “You can make a difference” has to be balanced with “you matter not one iota in the big scheme of the universe.” Having one philosophy without the other makes a person self-centered. That can be either positive narcissism (i.e. I am the hero and everyone depends on me) or negative reverse narcissism (i.e. I am the anti-hero and everything is my fault.)

The first step in AA addresses this issue: powerlessness is a synonym of insignificance. Until you embrace your insignificance you can never learn how to be significant.

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says:

So true…
Do-gooders seldom realize how much of their ego is involved in their deeds, and how much importance they place on themselves.

One of the things I like best about being older is that there is no temptation to imagine one is the center of the universe.
The closer I get to leaving this world, the more I wonder why the hell I drove myself nuts over so many things that had nothing to do with me.

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Arguing or volunteering can be like blowing smoke:

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché;

I was listening to my 18 year old daughter hand me a list of excuses as to why she didn’t clean her room, and getting ready to argue, when I had a profound realization- arguing with her excuses is like trying to grab a wisp of smoke floating through the air. Everything I said would go right through it…because the excuses weren’t the real reason.

My daughter once wanted to go to a Pink concert so badly that nothing would stop her,. She had to find jobs to earn the money, call relatives in another city and ask for overnight lodging, figure out bus schedules, you name it. But she did it all because it mattered. Cleaning her room has no meaning to her at all. So any excuse will stop her.

This realization has caused two changes in me- 1) I didn’t waste time arguing with my daughter, I just told her that if she wanted to go to the mall with her friends this weekend, she’d have to figure out something (which she did; motivation works wonders) and I started seeing the world in a different way. Now, when I hear my friends present me with a list of excuses, I understand immediately that they just aren’t enthused and I back off, rather than trying to help them overcome their obstacles. When I hear myself start to make excuses, I stop. I just say, “Sorry, I love the idea, but it’s just not my thing.” I may not seem as eager to please, but I don’t waste anyone’s time with run arounds or broken promises. I was always afraid people wouldn’t like me if I didn’t at least try to please them- but everyone seems to have more respect for me, not less.

It floors me that this one little realization has changed the way I am thinking about everything. I don’t waste my time trying to fix things for other people. I don’t waste my time or create animosity arguing with my daughter.

I just wanted to share this experience, because I am the kind of person who used to go nuts trying to figure out how to make everyone happy and make everyone work. Is this what therapy is supposed to do for people? And btw- some of the stuff I’ve read in this blog have helped me change my thinking. Thanks, Dr. Brilliant and Granny.

Joy Manana

Dear Joy,

If we could just bottle this realization, call it truth and spray it as a perfume on everyone life would be a lot less crazy. Yes, these epiphanies are what therapy is supposed to encourage and the support in carrying out behavioral changes based on them. Realization without the behavior to follow it up is useless.

My wife sits on a not for profit organizations board. This organization relies on volunteers. She always is frustrated and asking why do people say they will do things, volunteer, when they have no intention of following through. You explained the answer to this question nicely.

Thanks for sharing,

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says: I love to hear good news.

Changing the way you see the world is what changes the world. You said it all.

You know, if anyone else has a personal experience to share…write! If you think I’m full of crap you can write in about that too. Sometimes I am. But my understanding of human nature grows with every story I hear.

At Dr. Brilliant and the Granny Doctor, there is nothing more interesting to us than you.

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Wild taboo fantasies:

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché;

This may seem like a bizarre question, but what does it mean if a person has fantasies during masturbation that don’t match their preferences in reality at all? I belong to a woman’s group and we discuss literally everything that we do. Lately we’ve been talking a lot about our sex lives, and we discovered that most of us enjoy picturing scenarios we’d never get into in a million years- in fact one woman said that when a guy she was dating began hinting he’d like to do some of the things she fantasized about, she immediately wanted to break up with him because he was too wild.

Why are so many women turned on by things that they are also somewhat repelled by? Do men do this too?

Anita Grey

Dear Anita,

Fantasy is just that- your imagination. People play with all kind of ideas but that doesn’t mean they will act on any of it. In fact there’s a saying: “ It is those that can’t imagine it that have to do it.” The more repressed a culture one was raised in, often the more wild the imagination. I doubt this differs from men to woman.

These days the internet caters to all fantasies and this is somewhat dangerous- in chat rooms you can meet up with people who are really acting out the imagined scenario you would never do. This can pressure an individual to break boundaries and act out their own fantasies, more than likely discovering all the reasons why it was bad idea in the first place.

I have met people who lost a great deal pursuing such scenarios. Fantasy doesn’t reflect reality and will always come at a price.

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says: I disagree- fantasy is not just a person’s imagination. Very few people are capable of fabricating original thoughts out of thin air. Every “imagination” we have is triggered by something that was, at least at one point, very real.

I think that the fantasies people have are a direct reflection, or distortion, of things they have experienced or grapple with in many areas of their lives. Children who were abused are far more likely to gown up with fantasies of abusing. Powerful men who are in exhausting control of every other area of their life will fantasize about being controlled by a strong dominating partner. There is nothing that we think or do that does not come from us and the life we have lived.

The things we fantasize about are a clue to what is inside of us. Interpreting those clues however is a very tricky business, and meaning has to be balanced against the fact that what we choose to concentrate on becomes stronger with every passing moment. I think that many a life has been wasted in the pursuit of a balance that can never be found.

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What’s love got to do with it?

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché,

All I hear about is love, love love.. Love makes the world go round, a life worth living is a life of love, Love will make it all better, yada yada. I loved my husband. He left me and his two young children to be with his secretary. Love isn’t always that great. In fact sometimes it just hurts. Is it just me or are we all just being fooled?


Dear jade,

Love is an emotion. Life is your choices. People who live solely for passion aren’t very consistent and tend not to have long lasting relationship skills. Although you didn’t choose your husband’s betrayal, that was his choice, you get to choose how it will affect you from here on. He seems to have chosen to live by his passions; if you continue to stay forever bitter then you are also deciding to live by your passions. Sometimes love is sweet and sometimes bitter. Often it’s both at the same time. Love is important but it’s not everything. Someone still has to take out the garbage. I think the meaning of life is not love. I think it is balance. Find someone who is better balanced and learn to balance with them.

Good luck in your quest.

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says: Love is a word that has many different levels of meaning. I love my grandson so much I would die for him without blinking. Some couples love each other so much they would do anything to work through their problems.

The type of love you had for your husband was a different sort. It wasn’t the stuff people write poetry over or die for. You had a misplaced fantasy of who your husband was- and in reality, he was a sleaze ball who had no regard for you at all. If you loved a sleaze ball who had no regard for you at all, then you really do have a problem. But I think you loved your fantasy of him not the man himself. btw- being bitter is going to get you absolutely nowhere. If you can accept the fact that you had your own part in all of this, you can learn, move on, and build a better life.

Granny adds:

Someone ought to come up with better words for love-
like Eskimos have hundreds of different words for snow

Granny Dr.

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