In Which This Is His Most Difficult Confession

Hard to Say is This Recording’s weekly advice column. It will appear every Wednesday until the Earth perishes in a fiery blaze, or until North West turns 40. Get no-nonsense answers to all of your most pressing questions by writing to or by dropping us a note at our tumblr.


My boyfriend Hal and I were recently watching Bravo’s Married at First Sight for reasons. One couple on the show renewed their bows in Las Vegas. It was absolutely disgusting.

Hal started talking about his only trip to Vegas seven years ago, and confessed that during the trip, after some encouragement from his friends, he had sex with a prostitute in a brothel.

I guess I didn’t really know how to react at the time. Maybe I still don’t. I know STD-wise that Hal is clean, but I’m having trouble dealing with this admission. Am I right to be upset?

Joan R.

Dear Joan,

I’m more worried about Hal’s judgment. He could have lied about this and you would never know the difference until the prost in question came looking for child support.

I had a friend who looked for sex on Craigslist for years before his marriage. He also patronized Asian massage parlors quite frequently.

Whether or not his wife knows about this period, I couldn’t say, but I told him what I would have told Hal. Nothing good comes from telling the truth about sex with women for money.

As is, there’s no going back to the place where you did not know this information.

The bright side is this: not only do you have a get out of jail free card for anything you want, you can be sure Hal is super into you. Finding a man who can’t lie is not the worst development. Make sure this is the case by going all “Did you order the Code Red?” on him and try get him to admit to other prosts. Also, ask the woman’s name. It always helps to get all the information first.


I recently wrote to Hard to Say about my boyfriend Jeff. He was insisting on taking things slow, and after I wrote in, things have only gotten more serious. One thing hasn’t changed, though – he still insists that he has no intention of ever getting married again.

In the intervening time, Jeff has made plans to relocate to my city and we are thinking of ways that we can live together as soon as the fall.

Am I making a mistake?

Andrea R.

Dear Andrea,

It’s impossible to know completely what Jeff is thinking without taking stock of other factors. It’s good that you and Jeff are not moving in together immediately. If he does move in with you or stay with you for any extended length of time you will be married in everything except name, which is not a very good situation to be in.

Why not say you’ll be needing your own space for the indefinite future? If things are going as well as they seem to, he’ll crack on this issue. Anyone’s mind can be changed, but the one way you can be sure that it won’t be is by asking him outright at this juncture. You need to know more about the relationship and judge it on its real terms before suggesting ultimatums or making promises of your own.

Actually, fuck Jeff.

Illustrations by Mia Nguyen. Access This Recording’s mobile site at


“Current Carry” – Vetiver (mp3)

“Time Flies By” – Vetiver (mp3)


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