Sex Advice From Cartoonists

Q: "Why are cartoonists good in bed?" A: "I have to quibble with the premise of the question."

by Grace Bello

Emily Flake, 34 

Illustrator and cartoonist for The New Yorker and many others

Why are cartoonists good in bed?
Are they? I think that's a terrible lie.

What's the best way to pick up a cartoonist?
Get a five-dollar bill, make 'em dance, and just put it on their forehead. That usually does it.

Has being a cartoonist gotten you laid?
It's gotten me not laid, probably. I can't think of any specific instances in which it's worked in my favor. I think that the things that make up being a cartoonist are, by and large, the exact same things that keep you from getting laid — pretty much being awkward and sad.

You don't have any fanboys or anything?
I've gotten a couple of creepy fan letters, but they're not the kind of people that you engage. I've gotten the odd friend request — or friend demand, actually. I've gotten friend demands.

What events from your personal life have been featured in your work, if any?
The Lulu strip, I would say, is usually based on something that went on in my life. I would say about ninety percent of what goes in a cartoon is, if not from real life, at least from some conversation I've had. I don't name names, but I draw faces. The awkwardness of leaving a one-night stand or the ridiculous things that people say when they break up with you — those have definitely found their way into a couple of cartoons.

I'm a straight girl, but I think I have feelings for my best friend, who's a woman. What should I do?
Watch Buffy, and just do what they do.

My new girlfriend is way more sexually experienced than I am. How do I step up my game?
I would say you pretty much have to fake it 'til you make it. Because unless you go get experience with other women, you're just going to have to experience it with her. Or you could just ask your mom.

My husband wants an open relationship. I'm kind of into the idea, but how can we make it work?
You won't. It never, never, never, never works. It's cute that you think it can, but no. I've known a couple of people who have tried it, and it's always, always bullshit. I tried to pull that once when I was nineteen or so. "Maybe we should have an open relationship!" But, basically, what that meant was, "I don't want to bang you anymore; I just don't have the balls to say it." Yeah, I'm pretty skeptical of the whole thing.

My girlfriend is good friends with her last ex. How can I ask her to ditch him without sounding like a jealous douche?
You can't. You're basically going to sound like a jealous douche. You can either own that or not own it. As long as they're not actively banging anymore, you can't tell somebody who to be friends with.

I'm thirty-four and newly single with a kid. Is it kosher, on the first few dates, not to mention that I have a teenage daughter?
Since it's a teenage daughter, I kind of feel like that's less weird than not mentioning that you have, like, a five-year old at home; at that point, it's almost like you have a roommate. But I'd say it's better just to get that out in the open right away. Because the longer you wait, the weirder it is that you didn't say anything about the fact that you have a kid.

My last three ex-girlfriends broke up with me and then crawled back to me. How do I keep myself from getting broken up with in the first place?
Um, stop using phrases like "crawled back to me?" 

Commentarium (11 Comments)

Dec 13 11 - 2:27am

I loved Big Questions so much I got it for three friends for Christmas. So, fuck yeah, Anders Nilsen.

Jan 08 12 - 2:51am

It really is a great book. Also, UGH/SIGH: Anders Nilsen so hot! I nurse a long-term crush on that guy, to the point of being super awkward when I run into him every couple of years.

Dec 13 11 - 2:35pm
Big Bang

I'm a woman in comics and I've gotten hella laid because of it. Not everyone who works in this field is isolated and/or socially awkward! Just puttin' that out there.

(I'm a cartoonist and I approve this message.)

Dec 15 11 - 5:04pm
also not Kate Beaton

I'm a woman in comics and I've also gotten laid because of it numerous times and I would agree with the interviewees that cartoonists are generally not good in bed.

Dec 15 11 - 6:22pm
patty leidy

I've never been able to find an AVAILABLE, well groomed cartoonist I WANTED to take to bed....the majority lack social skills and a razor and comb...big sigh on my part.

Dec 13 11 - 4:22pm
Sad But True

None of these are Kate Beaton so I don't care.

Dec 14 11 - 10:23pm

I will beat the next person who says "dealbreaker" into the pavement.

Dec 15 11 - 1:21pm
Kate Christensen

Emily Flake, I love you!

Dec 15 11 - 6:21pm
patty leidy

I always warn my future lovers, I'm a cartoonist, beware I WILL be writing about this eventually.. HEEEE

Dec 16 11 - 1:32pm
asterios papsmear

anders totally nails it. especially the sketchbook thing. thank you for being a good representative for cartoonists everywhere, anders!

i'm also a woman in comics, and i really try to avoid dating within the scene because i don't want to shit where i eat. it's risky. but i find that immediately outside the pool of cartoonists, dudes have wanted to fuck me *more* because i was a cartoonist than if i wasn't.

it does attract a certain kind of personality and it is a certain type of lifestyle. at their best, cartoonists are honest, funny, kind, and hardworking people, and make great company. but they're often introverts and can be pretty sensitive and lost in their own heads. you aren't meeting new people working in your room all day so it's a little harder to put yourself out there. if you don't already know how, it can be an uphill struggle.

but nobody's not getting ass MERELY because they're a cartoonist. it's like, honey, no, you're not getting laid because you're really self depreciating and have low self-esteem. that doesn't get anybody anything.

Dec 17 11 - 11:39am

My friend often said life is lack of passion till he met a cutest girl Angel on --CasualLoving dot c'0m--. It's where for men and women looking for intimate encounters.
It's a first and safe place for people who wanna to start a short-term relationship....
no bounds or limits in front of true love.