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Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 4:00 pm | A Few Clouds 61º


Louise Palanker: Pressured Into Having Sex, Thrift Store Shopping, Being Mean for Laughs

Question from Stephanie

A few months ago, I had sexual intercourse with a guy I did not know. He was not abusive, but when I said I didn’t want to he said, “Sure you do.” I was confused, and I didn’t know what to do. We didn’t use protection, and I was scared and hurting the next day. It was my first time, too.

How do I get over this? I have told a couple of my friends, but no one understands. I’ve never regretted anything more. I realize that I’ve made a horrible mistake. I just want to know how I can get over this.

I feel horrible that I can’t call myself a virgin anymore. Is it OK to tell people that I am even though I am not?

I used Plan B by asking a friend to get it for me because you have to be 17 to get it and I am 16. I am not pregnant, and I am very grateful.

Please give me advice and some guidance. Thank you.


You are a human being who made a mistake. The label, “virgin,” does not define any person. What matters is who you are, what and who you hold dear, your sense of purpose, how you treat others and the content of your character.

The only power this experience holds over you is the lesson it provides. This boy was able to very easily talk you into doing something you knew you did not want to do. You are not going to let that happen again.

Speaking in sweeping generalities (which I get to do because it’s my column) women tend to be “pleasers” and guys can be “persuaders.”

Boys and men have been known to say all kinds of things in pursuit of a sexual outcome. “Sure you do” was probably just the beginning of this guy’s repertoire. Other jerk favorites include “Guys have needs,” “It will hurt if I stop now” and “Don’t be such a tease.”

If you do not want to have sex, you need to separate yourself — physically — from the person as you are saying no. He is not going to want to hear no. He may pretend he did not hear no because as long as you are still within his embrace, he may choose to believe that you meant yes.

He may continue trying to turn your no into a maybe by saying something like “Sure you do” — words that are now ringing in your ears because they confused you and you liked this boy, so you went along.

OK. This happened. It’s now a lesson. Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.” Now you know better. Stop beating yourself up over this. Learn from it and let it go. When it starts to creep up and haunt you, repeat these words in your head, “Learn and let go.”

Here is Terri Cole with more on “The Disease To Please.”

(Terri Cole video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Samantha

Weezy, My family can’t afford clothes and other stuff all the kids at school have and sometimes we go shopping at thrift shops. One time someone who goes to my school must have seen me there because suddenly everyone was calling me poor and dirty.

I feel lonely and excluded because I don’t have Coach purses or Bench jackets and my iPhone is from my friend who sold it because it was all cracked. How can I feel like I fit in when I don’t?


Fitting in should have nothing to do with possessions. It’s sad when it does. Your most valuable possession is not an item. It’s your personality. Own what you’ve got and love your look. If somebody has something negative to say about it, you can reply with, “Do you know how shallow you sound right now?” Then just walk away.

My mother once taught me that it is nobody’s place to judge another person’s clothing. She says there are only two reasons for someone to wear a particular outfit:

» They like it.

» This is what they can afford.

In either case, a lady or a gentleman stays out of it, bringing us to a basic rule of personal decency: If you can not say something nice, say nothing.

Anyone who has called you “poor” or “dirty” has displayed to you that they deserve none of your time or attention.

Additionally, a lot of very cool people choose to shop at the thrift store because you can find one of a kind items that are truly unique and special. With some creativity, you can put together your own look and style that displays your personal individuality.

In fact, I have a low opinion of wearing “label” items for the sake of that label. Isn’t that just like becoming that label’s little servant? Why don’t they pay me if they want me to advertise their product? I am not some company’s billboard.

You do you, and when someone says something rude, stick up for yourself and shine a light on their idiotic words. They are the ones with poor and dirty character.

Get excited about thrift store shopping with Alexandra:

(Alexandra video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Veronica

Why do I act so mean all the time? My friends do it, too ... Everything we laugh about is insulting to someone.

For example, lately we have been laughing our A***s off at this one YouTube that shows these kids on a bus teasing the bus driver until she starts crying. I feel kind of bad about it but the stuff these kids say to the bus driver is just so funny to me. I don’t know why.

And these people at school that we tease are like a big joke. How do I stop?


It is far more difficult to laugh at someone you know.  If you want to stop, mean it. Get to know the “big joke.” This is all rooted in your own insecurity. You have developed your perception of others as being somewhat less human in an effort to protect yourself.

If you are a funny kid, use your power for good and not for evil. You can laugh with people. You do not have to laugh at them. I have not watched the bus driver video. I’m too sensitive. It would make me cry.

But something or someone has toughened you. That speaks a lot for your instincts. Rather than crumbling, you have become too strong. Your survival mechanism is kicking in. I am not here to scold you because I do not know what created this version of you but I can tell you that protecting yourself does not necessitate hurting others.

Please know, that all people on this earth hold a very precious piece of humanity within them. It’s the babies we once were. Innocent and vulnerable.

When I picture a bus driver driven to tears, I don’t hear how “funny” the remarks were that drove her to those tears. I see the baby, the child inside her, helpless and crying. Why would anyone choose to damage this precious soul?

When you become too hardened, you become capable of cruelties which are beyond imagination. I work with Holocaust survivors who speak to school children at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. They tell kids that what happened in Hitler’s Germany can begin on a playground.

When you remove someone’s humanity, it becomes possible to first laugh at their pain, then taunt them, and ultimately, to physically harm them and much worse.

You have asked a very important question, Veronica, because it shows me that you do have a very big heart. You are just not sure where it goes sometimes. Don’t tuck it away to protect yourself. Share it to find the humanity in others. Nobody is a big joke. Nobody. Not you. Not anybody.

Being mean is not funny. Laughing at people who are mean can be, as Jimmy Kimmel has discovered:

(Jimmy Kimmel Live video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (Family Band: The Cowsills Story is currently airing on Showtime Networks), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Our Place, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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