When The A.V. Club thinks about Valentines' Day, we naturally think about relationships, passion, and Sean "Slug" Daley, MC of hip-hop duo Atmosphere, who has written some of the most pointed love-and-sex rhymes we know of. So we enlisted him to answer some questions in honor of the holiday, figuring that he'd be willing to get deep with our readers. (He is, after all, the guy who told us at length about his theories on alien life.) The call for questions was overwhelming, with multiple marriage proposals tucked within actual cries for help. (Names have been omitted to protect the innocent and guilty.) Slug decided to answer 14 questions in honor of February 14. He also decided that whether or not you have love problems, you should know he's got a new Rhymesayers record, When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold, coming out on April 22. His album Strictly Leakage is also available for free download at rhymesayers.com/atmosphere.

Every couple of years, some girl I'm dating will just spontaneously burst into tears after sex. I've talked to guy friends of mine, and they've had it happen, too. What the hell is the deal? Just some female thing I'm not getting? Or do I have an effect on women that reduces them to tears?


Slug: Crying is a common defense mechanism for the women who sleep with you. Don't get neurotic about it, though. They are not defending themselves from you. They are defending themselves from themselves and their overwhelming desire to burst into laughter.

I am 18 years young and pretty shy. There is this male in one of my classes and I can't keep my mind off him… I don't even know his name, so what are some good ways for him to notice me without looking like I'm trying too hard?

Slug: Who are you afraid of looking like you are trying too hard in front of? I'm going to assume that the male in question is a) not your professor, and b) near the same age as you. If these are both true, relax. I usually try not to generalize, but most male prey your age do not analyze the hunter's technique the same way that you might. He will be too busy wrapping his head around the fact that you were proactive to question whether you appear desperate. Go for it. Now.


I made the mistake of taking my boyfriend to go see Juno with me. Ever since, he's been terrified of getting me pregnant, to the point where he damn near refuses to sleep with me. Help a girl out.

Slug: Relax. It will subside. In the meantime, catch up on The Wire.

I am a 28-year-old woman who has had the pleasure of having one partner for the experimental period of my life, and he and I explored all the doors of intimacy. My now-fiancé lacks the forbidden fun that I am craving. I am the one who had the cuffs, the rope, the toys, and the knowledge, and if I bring these things out during our private time, he acts scared and intimidated. I have tried to break him out of his shell and get him to explore with me, but he just likes to do the same thing over and over again. How do I get him to open up to me and be comfortable enough?


Slug: Comfortable enough for what? Maybe it's not your knowledge that he is intimidated by, but rather where you obtained it. Try some things that are new to both of you. My best half has been to Mexico, I have not. So when we plan our next vacation together, I would prefer to go somewhere neither of us have been, rather than experiencing Mexico with her as my tour guide. I'm not wrong for that (maybe a little stubborn), but I prefer the idea of a shared adventure more than I like the idea of trying to track down some restaurant that she remembers from when she was a teenager. Now if she absolutely must go to Mexico, and I'm still not into it, I'm secure with the idea of her going with her homegirls, while I stay at home and rap. Figure out an adventure that fits both of your tastes. If that doesn't work, figure out how much you need the adventure. If you can't live without it, do what is best for you. But never, ever, guilt or manipulate someone into doing something they don't wanna do. After reviewing your question, I think maybe I wanna go to Mexico.

What warnings do you have about marriage besides the fact that there will be arguments, and you'll likely hate one another after living together for a year? I am a 21-year-old single mom who is constantly being proposed to, and I wonder what it would be like if one of these guys could actually wrangle me into commitment. I have had long-term relationships, but I have never lived with a man I had been in a relationship with. What are the ills that could scare me off from marriage for good?

Slug: Constantly being proposed to? By who? Co-workers? Neighbors? The guy at the local food co-op juice bar? Are these long-term friends that you've known for a while? Or just random guys? Forget focusing on the warning signs. Focus more on the bond you share with the person who is proposing. Due to the way your question is worded, I feel like your parents may have left you with a twisted outlook on "happily-ever-after." Join the fucking club, and only marry for love. Anything else won't work. Besides, your child will benefit more from learning what happy looks like alone, rather than what misery looks like embraced.


What is your advice to a couple in which one person is sober, and the other is addicted to crystal meth?

Slug: Personally, I don't believe in the risk. The addict needs to get well. The addict also needs to examine how he/she could ruin the lives of the people he/she loves. The addict won't do either of these things if the addict can take advantage of the love and nurture of his/her lover. My advice is to wean off of each other. Send the addict to treatment. And once the addict learns to establish a love for self, the addict may actually end up mentally and emotionally available enough to love another person correctly. Or not. Either way, throwing away one life trumps throwing away two. I don't believe in the risk.

I need a good pickup line, something that will sweep a girl off her feet and into my bed. Give me some sort of dope line, please!


Slug: Try this one. Next time you're at Daiquiri Joe's tossing a few back with your Billy Bro-ceans, walk right up to that long-legged makeup kit and tell her, "I'm the type of guy that thinks it's hilarious to write into an advice column asking for good pickup lines." Dog, she will think you are the cat's pajamas.

I'm a 27-year-old female and I'd been with this guy for about a month and the sex was okay, but I didn't really feel he had much passion for it. He was a mechanical dick, at best. That is, until I let him cross the velvet rope and enter my virginal back door during one of our encounters, and his inner gay was released. He likes the backdoor action A LOT. Giving, receiving, butt plugs, dildos, tossing, he's all about it. He can't even get off now unless HIS ass is being stimulated or penetrated with something. He even talks dirty in a different and somewhat feminine tone when I'm dominating his ass. I've hinted and teased that if he were any more flaming, he'd spontaneously combust. He laughs it off, but doesn't deny. Would you guess him gay? Would you marry me?

Slug: I'm not entirely sure, but I think you are asking me if your boyfriend is gay. Is that the question here? Maybe you should ask him. I really have no answer for you. I don't think people's metaphysics are defined by who or what they have sex with. But I do think you and him should link up with the couple from question number four. And no, I will not marry you. Buy my new album.


The woman at the root of my grief shouldn't be as tricky as this. It's almost transparent that she no longer has feelings for me, but this doesn't impede her ability to call me (sober, no less) and say that she loves me. Her words never seem to match her actions, and I'm constantly fighting between my urge to stay away and my urge to try and get her back. How do you get past it all?

Slug: Drama is a helluva drug. We get addicted to it. When we are in a dysfunctional relationship that lasts long enough, we will still crave the dysfunction after the relationship has ended. We will still carry out some of those dysfunctional actions with that ex. It's our way of still feeling important to that person. A string to hold onto. The Vali-Dating Game.

My advice to you (and her, for that matter) is to stop taking the calls. Self-intervention does work. Do not go to the bars she frequents. Do not hang out at mutual friends' homes if you know she may come around. Ignore her away. The more progressive the dramatic advances become, the bigger step back you take, until you are both far enough away from each other that you can stop acting like the people that you know you are not. You are both bigger and deffer than what you've become for each other. Growth time. And then go get the word "codependent" tattooed somewhere on your upper torso in a place that only can be viewed by the next person who sees you naked.


What, in your opinion, is the biggest difference between men and women?

Slug: The "wo." Sorry. Had to. I'm an idiot, mostly.

I'm a shy small-town girl, and I need some advice. I've been single for the past two years, because it seems like every guy that comes along just wants a piece of my ass. How do I get the fellas to look beyond the exterior? I'm no hoochie, nor am I a skank. I just happen to have a body that appeals to guys. Can you help me out?


Slug: Honestly, change your preferences. You yourself are attracted to a certain body type. Some tattoos, maybe. Dark hair. Tall. Change your preferences. Start noticing a different type of boy, and that different type of boy will start noticing you. Eventually, the type of guy that you are complaining about won't be so obvious in your life, because they will get tired of you not giving back the attention. Go directly to the independent record store (vinyl stock is a must), and start flirting with that employee shaped like Grimace from the McDonald's commercials. He doesn't have an awesome sleeve tattoo. But he isn't embarrassed about his dandruff, he knows way too much about cool music from Alice Cooper to Zhigge, and he has studied enough Internet porn to teach classes at junior college. If your "shy small town" does not have an independent record store, move to the big city.

Why is it that girls can't resist a cocky asshole?

Slug: I'm going to assume that you are not a cocky asshole. And that you are frustrated with how the cocky asshole always walks away with the girl you desire. Relax. You don't really want her yet. You are best off without her for now. Give it five years. Everyone is amused by bells and whistles at first. Those neon lights distract us, like moths. But eventually, we realize that there is nothing else there. And that's when your worth will translate. The real question is, once everyone realizes how awesomazing you are, will you have your face buried too far up a stripper's butt to notice? Good luck.


Do you believe that everyone has one specific person or "soulmate" that they are supposed to be with?

Slug: No. But I did murder the tooth fairy once (by accident). It's a long story, and I've told it before. Go Google it.

What's the best way to celebrate Valentine's Day when you're single and you're secretly jealous of people in relationships? Should I get blind-drunk and forget what day it is? Or should I go to the strip club? Or both?


Slug: Hell, why not both? And when you are there, blind-drunk, make sure you preemptively used a Sharpie to write this on your hand: GET USED TO THIS, YOU SCHMUCK. Ha. I've never even said the word schmuck, much less typed it. I'm all about new experiences.

I love you all as if you were my own. —S