Can you answer my question?

Baker’s note: We here at the Advice Fortune Cookie factory were going to skip these questions. We didn’t feel we could add to the information or presentation that our source material already had, or the answer wouldn’t have made a long enough Fortune to pass our quality control. But this didn’t sit well with me or the Cookies because you’ve entrusted us with your question, and as such would like answers.

Thank you for your patronage.

13-14-34-45-46 / 05

Today I slept from 12 noon to 8pm. I have a very early morning job and I just can’t seem to get or maintain a healthy and regular sleep schedule. How do I get on a healthy sleep schedule and stick to it?

We have found that this site gives a pretty innovative solution. Let us know if it works.

Please allow me to first state that this is not a medical question. I may or may not have an STI - I have an appointment to get checked. If so, how do I tell my recent partners? I know how to contact them, but we are acquaintances at best, so what do you think I should say if it turns out I do?

Truly, best of luck, Diner. Try consulting this site.


What is considered a healthy amount of sex?

We have said in this Fortune that sex should be fun and consensual from beginning to end. If it stops being that, then it is unhealthy. Otherwise, make sure to drink plenty of water.


I’m falling in like with this guy, and I think it’s mutual. We have fun talking, and there’s great sexual chemistry, but he has a girlfriend. He’s made it clear he’s willing to cheat on her with me, and I’m tempted, but we share a lot of friends, and things could get weird. Plus the guilt of possibly breaking up this (as far as I know) great relationship. Should I [enjoy] great sex, and ignore the possible consequences?

We have said many times that, as a rule, we Fortune Cookies do not judge our Diners. It seems you have already considered the consequences. If this is to be casual sex, how you describe your concerns doesn’t sound casual at all. That feeling is what you shouldn’t ignore.

What do these dreams mean?

Dear Fortune Cookie, I’m a man who is approaching 30 and in a relationship with a kind, intelligent, funny, and loving woman. We get along well, have similar tastes, and don’t fight. I love her dearly. Recently, I’ve been having dreams that involve cheating on her with former girlfriend or friends with benefits. The sex in dream world is as good as it was with these women in reality, which was off the charts amazing. I’m feeling guilty waking up hot and bothered from someone from my past. Help!

Sometimes a sex dream is just a sex dream.

02-12-13-28-35 / 30

Hello Diner. There has been very little valid research done on dream interpretation, and the general scientific community in this branch of psychology does not put much stock in the literature that’s currently out there. Your dreams most likely have nothing to do with a deep desire to cheat on your partner. In fact, your feeling of guilt is a great thing. Even though you know you have no control over your dreams, you still feel remorseful for having them. And it’s perfectly understandable that you’d be hot and bothered: you’re biologically designed to like sex. There’s nothing to be shameful of, and I see that you’ve done nothing wrong.

You may not have control over your dreams, but you do have control over your choice to be committed to your partner. I also see that you seem fine there. You still care about your partner, and you still see a lot of positives in her. Your message to me wasn’t about how fed up or bored you are of her.

Even fully conscious, abstract concepts and emotions are difficult to grasp. When you think of themes like love, wisdom, or sexuality, you most likely are picturing exemplars of those ideas. Love looks like a family; wisdom looks like a Fortune Cookie. Where dreams are concerned, what your brain processes is more complex. Any psychological or physical factors may have influenced the situations you dreamed about. You may be dealing with stress, or you may be thinking of things that your mind encoded with your former partners or the experience of having good sex. You have had a surge of testosterone in your body. Those dreams may have even come from positive sexual thoughts about your partner. Because of the lack of valid research, it’s hard to tell what brought it on.

If you still get satisfaction from your current relationship then take what happened as nothing more than your brain speaking in its own language of past experiences and images. You may even use your dreams to inspire new bedroom fun with your partner.

If you truly no longer get value out of your relationship, earnestly communicate your needs, or consider going your separate ways. We Fortune Cookies as a rule do not judge our Diners. We are baked delicacies; you are a living, sexual animal. But even as animals, you can choose not to act on your dreams as though they have a specific supernatural meaning. You do not need to feel guilty for being attracted to other people or for having dreams of sex outside of the relationship. Good luck, Diner, but in this case, I think you’re fine without it.

How can I tell if my boyfriend is manipulating my emotions so I’ll have sex with him?

Questions are often answers.

13-17-22-23-46 / 19

Hello Diner. This question, like the question “Is my boyfriend/girlfriend cheating on me?” automatically tells me something is wrong. When you have so much doubt that you find yourself questioning a Fortune Cookie about how healthy your relationship is, something needs to change. If you need a second opinion, here it is: Stop pretending everything is fine, and address whatever is bothering you. Read that over as many times as you need.

We Fortune Cookies as a rule do not take sides, but we know when things are strikingly out of balance. Since this Fortune isn’t a dialog, I can only surmise the reasons you’ve asked this question: confronting a possible end to something that brought you so much joy is scary and sickening. You ask yourself if you are being crazy or unfair. I sincerely doubt it, and I can even show you just because you seem to need it. Given only one percent of Americans have schizophrenia [1], it’s very unlikely you are. You are not hearing voices; you are not suspicious of everyone else. There you have it, Diner, you’re not crazy. Whether your boyfriend is deserving of your suspicions, there is no data I can cite. I don’t know if you have a pattern of feeling this way. However, you trusted him at some point to make him your boyfriend, and you can probably come up with a few examples that made you suspect him. If you can’t pinpoint anything, stop here. As you know, Fortune Cookies do not work on hunches. If you’ve learned nothing else from our kind, at least remember to demand data.

What you can be certain of is that something is wrong since you feel coerced. It bears repeating. Even when it is “just” sex with a stranger, having sex is consensual and fun for everyone. This is sex with your boyfriend. Shame, guilt, fear, or pity should not drive you to have sex. But to answer your question:

1. Is sex consensual from start to finish? All sex needs to be consensual all the time. It cannot be simpler, and there are no exceptions.

2. Is sex used as currency? The word “owe” should never be in the same sentence as “sex” or its many wonderful variants.

3. Are you complying out of fear? You are afraid of your boyfriend. Things couldn’t be more wrong with the relationship.

4. Is anything other than sexual urge driving you? Evolution is quite literally how successful adaptations are at helping you have sex and produce children. With billions of years of refinement, there is something wrong if you need to be convinced into it. Understand that I’m not saying something is wrong with you IF you need convincing–quite the opposite. Take your feelings seriously; find out why you need to be convinced.

Once any part of having sex becomes anything other than fun from start to finish, something needs to change. Diner, it sounds like you’ve reached that point. Good luck. You’re in my thoughts.




[1] Regier DA, Narrow WE, Rae DS, Manderscheid RW, Locke BZ, Goodwin FK. The de facto US mental and addictive disorders service system. Epidemiologic catchment area prospective 1-year prevalence rates of disorders and services. Archives of General Psychiatry. 1993 Feb;50(2):85-94.