Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence Uncensored: My Sister’s Keeper

This week, Danny M. Lavery and Christina Grace Tucker discuss a Prudie letter: my sister’s keeper.

Christina Grace Tucker: WHEW.

Daniel Lavery: this one struck me as a possible fake at first, just because it’s hard to believe someone could write out such an obviously hypocritical narrative and not see where they went wrong

Christina Grace Tucker: Right, that is what boggled my mind

Daniel Lavery: But it also does track with how a lot of people still talk to and about sex workers (or anyone sex-work adjacent, I’m not trying to make a universal ruling about what sugar baby dating is or isn’t, just that this seems like an obvious factor)

Christina Grace Tucker: Yep, there is a real “well, I will do it in a way that is proper and ‘right’” attitude

Like…you don’t have a next move here that isn’t “apologize”

Daniel Lavery: you can’t tell someone (over email, no less) “I found your SUGAR BABY ACCOUNTS and you need to change them all right now because you’ll never get a job and our mother will DIE if she ever finds out”

and then two weeks later “By the way, are any of your dates available to buy me leather goods?”

Christina Grace Tucker: I don’t think an alias is a bad idea for the stepsister but you simply do not have the moral high ground you seem to think you do?

Also “I messed around online” is doing a lot of work there, huh

Daniel Lavery: Sure, it’s a good idea, and there’s a world of difference between “a lot of sex workers/sugar baby daters use pro names” and “I’m personally going to email my stepsister, who I’m not usually close with, demanding she do it right now lest she fall into a pit and die”

yes! what does that MEAN!

“After my divorce, I started googling all of my relative’s names plus the words “sugar daddy” afterwards, just as a lark”

Christina Grace Tucker: “I stumbled into some seeking arrangements websites, through no fault of my own”

Daniel Lavery: lots of things are “a good idea,” but it feels pretty clear that the reason the OP felt so comfortable just tossing off all these instructions and judgments in an email is because sex work is stupid/dumb/frivolous/unimportant and anyone who does it or anything like it deserves to be treated with contempt and like they’re stupid

but yeah, your next move is to apologize

Christina Grace Tucker: Has to be! She is right! You are wrong here!

Daniel Lavery: also, you can still date casually and be clear you’re not up for anything serious without doing sugar baby work of your own?

I didn’t really get that line

Christina Grace Tucker: Yep casual dating is a real thing

Daniel Lavery: please start being honest with yourself!

Like, either you forgot that you can just say “I’m looking for hook-ups / casual relationships” on regular dating apps

Christina Grace Tucker: I think that is the real kernel of it here! Be honest with yourself, read this letter again!

Daniel Lavery: or you just don’t want to admit that you would like to find a sugar daddy *because you actually want something*

trying to frame it as “well I want to date, but my divorce was so bad that I can *only* borrow my stepsister’s sugar daddies” is so obviously disingenuous it’s almost cute

ALMOST

Christina Grace Tucker: VERY NEARLY

If you want a sugar daddy you can absolutely find one without demanding your stepsister do that work for you

Daniel Lavery: She might very well have said “No thanks” if you’d simply said, “Hey, let me know if you want me to butt out, but I saw you had a profile on [whatever site] and I’ve been thinking about trying it myself. Do you have any tips or recommendations?”

but you….didn’t do that at all

Christina Grace Tucker: You are not getting away with a moral high ground by trying to go around the website

Daniel Lavery: yeah that combination of “let me tell you how to live your life” followed by the immediate “hey by the way help me break into the business” is like

I am not surprised she went off on you!

Christina Grace Tucker: Of course not!

Daniel Lavery: so yeah, apologize, don’t add anything to your apology

no “I’m sorry, but…”

Christina Grace Tucker: Yep, no qualifiers, just a real apology!

Daniel Lavery: and if she stays mad at you, leave her alone!

Christina Grace Tucker: Don’t explain the fight to your parents either

Daniel Lavery: right, you do not have to give your parents by-the-minute updates on your relationship with your step-sister

Christina Grace Tucker: One hundred percent

Daniel Lavery: also “You’ll have to ask [Stepsister]” feels like another dig

or an attempt to signal to your stepsister that you’re flirting with dropping hints to your parents

Christina Grace Tucker: It is! That’s why it feels like one!

“Ask HER”

Daniel Lavery: in general parents die a lot less from surprising news than people claim they will

“She’ll DIE if she ever finds out”

usually they just mean “She’ll probably be upset”

Christina Grace Tucker: Parents can deal with being upset

Daniel Lavery: Don’t be shitty, don’t make other people’s lives harder than they have to be, definitely don’t make sex worker’s lives harder than they have to be, if you have already made their lives harder, definitely don’t ask them for free career development

Christina Grace Tucker: Good advice for us all, I think

Daniel Lavery: and stop lying to yourself!

“I don’t think what she was doing was shameful”

Come, now!!!

Christina Grace Tucker: PLEASE come on

“I thought what she was doing was shameful until I realized I too could do it”

Daniel Lavery: “This will haunt you forever, ruin your reputation, bring about the death of our parents, this is the most awkward email I have ever written, but don’t be ridiculous, there’s nothing *shameful* about what you’re doing, I don’t know where on earth you got that idea.”

log off, letter-writer! mess around elsewhere, give the internet a good long break

Christina Grace Tucker: Log off indeed

Daniel Lavery: Christina, as always, you are an angel in human form, strong and true

Christina Grace Tucker: Danny, it was a honor to be here with you today

Daniel Lavery: before you go, please remind our readers how tall you are, and how emotionally available you are to actresses of a certain age:

Christina Grace Tucker: Right, of course, I am 5’10 and VERY available to anyone over….45

Daniel Lavery: If any striking 45+ actresses are reading this advice column, please send mash notes directly to Christina Grace