The Internet's 9 Best Advice Columns

Dear Sugar is the anonymous agony aunt of The Rumpus. Reading it requires slogging through some overwritten personal anecdotes and a pile of "sweet pea"s, but Sugar's the only female (we think?) advice column willing to deliver the so-specific-you-cringe sex advice that you just know someone needs to hear. She ends posts with beautiful, infinitely reusable aphorisms like, "We are here to build the house."

The Rumpus

The Slate advice column by weird hat vehicle Cary Tennis is the opposite of the Times' Ethicist, all prosaic and self-indulgent screeds. He used to be a favorite Gawker target because he writes exclusively in baffling, fragmented sentences. ("The world we live in is right here. The barriers to the ideal are also the water we drink and the air that we breathe.") Don't ask him for advice, but watch gleefully from afar.



On Jezebel's Pot Psychology Tracie Egan-Morrissey and FourFour's Rich Juzwiak get stoned and answer questions on totally SFW video. Well, Juzwiak does. Egan-Morrissey mostly eats and fixes her hair. But she looks really cute doing it!

Ron is the online advice columnist of Vice. You're hard-pressed to find another advice columnist who specializes in Oedipal problems and signs off with "love."  Vice may be the least qualified moral compass in the history of the press, but someday you might find yourself with Vice-grade problems. And then you'll know where to find someone willing to admit that when your buddy tells the girl you like you have herpes so she'll get with him instead, it's "a straight-up knuckle-up situation."


Dan Savage's libertine but practical sex advice is so good MTV is delivering it to teenagers as an antidote to Skins. He's an important gay rights advocate too. He founded "It Gets Better" and is the progenitor of the neologistic Google-bomb  "Santorum."

Rest in peace, defunct Awl column Social A's with Emily Gould. Putting the blog world's most charming oversharer on other people's problems was inspired. Equally important, she had the good taste to answer the etiquette questions that matter, like what to do about embarrassing blog comments from older relatives. And when no one wrote in, she made up even better ones.

The Hairpin's Ask A Dude column uses a form is lifted directly from Cosmopolitan, but doesn't feel like it's written by aliens. The dudes are sensitive, anonymous and rotating, and the questions are real-feeling and humiliating. Just another way The Hairpin is making women's mags obsolete. Too often the advice boils down to "move out of Brooklyn."


Emily Yoffe, author of Slate's Dear Prudence, is the Internet's highest moral authority. When you have a problem that you can't tell your mom about because it's too shameful, but you really need motherly advice, write to her. She can handle everything from anal sex to, well, how to talk to your mom.

Lesley Arfin's Ask Barf is a great girly corner of the otherwise douchey Vice-spinoff site Street Carnage. Her advice combines what you want to hear ("Why aren't you at a bar doing Irish Car Bombs and making out with frat boys?") and what you need to hear ("Fears are wishes.") Arfin wrote a memoir about her wayward youth and addiction recovery, which kind of explains everything. Her native chillness and all the internalized self-help books bubble up in every column.

The Selby

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