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Living in Sin: Got Validation?

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Every week in Living in Sin, Jen Sincero provides advice for LA's sexually curious. Now you can see her column in print in the LA Alternative Press. Ask Jen your questions: all are posted anonymously.

Dear Jen,

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You spout all kinds of wisdom that's basically begging people to become self-validating. But my question is this: How do you justify offering people validation while you're trying to get them to validate themselves? Isn't all your wonderful advice eventually feeding their need for someone else's stamp of approval?

- Insincero

Dear Insincero,

I gotta say, your question really stymied me. I usually have some sort of gut response to the things people write in about, but your letter left me with a big blank bellyful of nothin. I re-read your question over and over, got up and dusted off my desk, clipped my toenails, took a pee (the toilet being the portal for my most profound thoughts). I made a grilled cheese sandwich, re-read your question, laid face down on my bed, picked the burrs out of my cat's underbelly - I even went to Loehman's to see if they had any 36" inseam jeans on sale but still, nothin. I finally decided to chew it over with some of my friends, and the general consensus was, "hmmm, she's got you there. What the hell are you gonna say?" And I thought, what can I say? She's totally right.

It is hypocritical to tell someone not to worry about what other people think. But here's the thing: it's really hard not to care what other people think. Everyone's got to start somewhere - we can't all be in love with Number One without a lot of work. My jumping up and down on the sidelines with my pom poms serves much the same purpose as training wheels do. I try to get people up and running, to play my tiny part in taking away the wobbliness and fear of falling that's keeping them from taking off, with the ultimate goal of them not needing me, or anyone else, to steady them. So, yes, there is my answer. And if anyone can tell me where the hell I can find some pants long enough to fit me I'd really appreciate it.