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On good relationship advice

Yesterday, I blogged in the Guardian about crap relationship advice – there’s a mountain of it out there, often backed up by  poor arguments, pseudosciencey ‘facts’ and anecdotal evidence.

However, because I am a clumsy arse, I spectacularly failed to mention that not everyone is spouting bullshit – just as pseudoscience is irritating in opposition to real science, so there is good relationship advice to contrast with the bad. There are some people out there who give fantastic advice, based on genuine evidence, expertise and empathy. To try and rectify my clumsiness, here are a few fantastic people who know what they’re talking about, and won’t give you any crap about Rules, Game, or Ten Ways To Blow His Mind In The Sack…

Dr Petra

Dr Petra is a social psychologist – she writes a blog about sex and relationships, and advice columns in places like the Telegraph. Her advice is non-judgmental and evidence-based, and if you head to her website you’ll also find lots more links to good info sources.

Her recent blog about how one goes about getting involved in sex research strikes me as the sort of thing you might like to join in with. She also picks up on a lot of the bad science in sex.

Meg Barker

Meg’s site – ‘Rewriting the Rules‘ – is a source of fantastic advice too. I find anything Meg writes on gender particularly helpful – I am pretty clumsy and unsure on the topic, and Meg has taught me many things. If you’re a newbie to this topic too, this article on non-binary gender is a good place to start.


His advice is mostly for young ‘uns, but there is a hell of a lot of stuff on his website that I – as an adult human who has had a lot of sex – still didn’t know. He taught me that what I had previously believed about hymens was inaccurate, introduced me to cute ethical stickman porn, and is one of those rare people who can give you advice without ever making you feel bad for needing it.

Sense about sex

It’s like sense about science, but for sex – need I say more? I will anyway – this is also the source of Bad Sex Media Bingo, which you should keep by the telly so you can tick off the examples of media sex bullshit next time Channel 4 does a documentary on wanking.

This list isn’t exhaustive – from the comments on the Guardian article, I’ve already added OnePlusOne and Annalise Barbieri to my list of things/people to read in future. If you have other recommendations to add, please do drop a link in the comments! Then the next time I write an article about this stuff, I can remember to link to the good, rather than just rant about the bad.


  • TooShyShy says:

    Hi girlonthenet

    First time poster, I enjoy following your blog – keep up the good work. :-)

    Here are a couple more blogs to add to your RSS/Feedly –

    Science, Sex and the Ladies –
    A blog expanding on the subjects discussed in our upcoming movie “Science Sex and the Ladies.” We blog critically on a specific intersection of science, sexuality, and feminism; particularly paying attention to how female sexual response is discussed, portrayed, and studied in our culture. So…if you’re interested in science, sex, lady stuff, or indie movie making…this is the blog for you.

    And of course Savage Love for some amazingly frank relationship advice –

    • Girl on the net says:

      Ooh, thank you! I am a big fan of Savage Love – was introduced to it in Uni and have been reading ever since. I haven’t heard of Science, Sex and the Ladies, though, so I’ll add it to my feedly! Thank you for the suggestions! x

  • Kriss says:

    I like Dr Nerdlove – generally he has really interesting constructive things to say and for once it’s principally aimed at men

  • Paul says:

    I always enjoy the no nonsense sex and relationship observations of Marty Klein.


  • Peter T says:

    I suggest first distinguishing good advice from effective advice. If an advisor is sharing tricks to dupe a woman to get her into bed, and it works, it has been effective advice but maybe not so good advice for a long-term relationship.

    On relationship advice, there is the Gottman couple who claims to work based on evidence, see under
    How scientific they really are, I don’t know.

  • Northern boy says:

    Huge thumbs up for Bish who in one 5 minute chat at a party, using the metaphor of handshaking, explained mutually considerations more clearly that I could believe possible.

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