Adult wife chat
Dan Savage, of the Savage Love column, draws on his own complicated sexual and romantic history, to sometimes crude but great effect.
Writing as Ann Landers, Howard’s mother had famously fetishized experts. “I was thrice divorced, analyzed, bordering on elderly, and I thought, My answers are going to come from my experiences.” To that end, she did not hesitate to recommend divorce or estrangement, from family members and friends alike.
See, for example, her decision, back in 1998, to hang her shingle as an advice columnist, despite having failed three times at marriage, and despite her minimal acquaintance with the average person’s practical and financial difficulties.
(Howard has employed domestic help, in the form of housekeepers, butlers, drivers, baby nurses, and nannies, for all of her adult life.) Over a Kir (her drink of choice), she tells the story of how, at age 8, her son looked in his baby book and deduced that the family had been celebrating his birthday on the wrong day.
Landers doled out advice in an analog world; Howard helped retool her mother’s conventions for the Internet.
In turn, over the past 20 years, freed from the space and other constraints of the women’s pages, advice columns have proliferated, many with exceedingly specific angles on the world.