Dear ACABby a punk advice column

Dear ACABby: A Punk Advice Column by jimmy & bryan

Minneapolis punks jimmy and bryan answer Razorcake readers’ concerns in Dear ACABby, an advice column for the rest of us. In today’s column, they tackle the age-old question of how to tell your roommate they didn’t do their chores, amongst other things. If you’ve got a problem you’d like Dear ACABby to have a go at, you can email them at [email protected] and they’ll get back to you here at razorcake.org.

Dear ACABby,

I’m pregnant and poly. My side boo is super grossed out by the idea of breast milk and I just started lactating. Should I tell him or is it fucked up to watch him find out for himself?

Sincerely,
Sugar Tits

Hey Sugar Tits,

While one of the more fulfilling aspects of polyamory is that different partners can connect to you in different ways, we can’t help but worry about your side boo’s maturity level and ability to be there for you in this new chapter of your life. Maybe being grossed out by breast milk is a serious phobia for him, but it’s worth investigating whether it’s indicative of more serious problems. This is not an accusation of your partner, as we don’t know the greater dynamic, but a general concern given what we do know about the situation.

Men, cis and trans alike, being grossed out by AFAB bodies is all too common, often rooted in the general tendency for patriarchal culture to distance itself from the less sexy aspects of this kind of body and the perpetuation of shame surrounding these aspects. It might be time for a serious talk with your boo about the reality of the changes you’re going through right now, likely even more confusing, gross, and painful (among other beautiful and/or rewarding elements of parenthood) for you than they are for him. Bottom line, while being grossed out by breast milk on its own is fairly innocuous, we want to make sure you’re getting the support you need and want during a process so complicated and potentially life-changing as pregnancy.

While we too enjoy the image of you squirting milk in your partner’s face, we think you should probably ask first. It might not be the worst idea, though, to let him find out on his own in a more casual way. Maybe that will help open up a conversation about his feelings about you lactating in a different way than before, or maybe he’ll find it’s not so bad in real life. Whatever comes of the conversation, it can’t hurt to touch base. Regardless, we wish you the best of luck in parenthood whether this is your first kid or you’re a seasoned veteran, and hope you and your lovers can continue to find ways to connect as things change for you.

Stay sweet,
jimmy & bryan


Dear Acabby,
I just moved into an apartment with my longtime best friend. It’s going really well! But the first time we went to clean the apartment, they took the bathroom —I took the living room and kitchen. I was at it for hours; they finished very quickly. When we were done I realized they had only cleaned the toilet. How do I tell them they didn’t clean the whole bathroom? How do I get them to clean the whole bathroom?

–Lousy Loo


Hey Lousy Loo,

A bit more than a stone’s throw away from the human death toll and exacerbated poverty thanks to government inaction, communal living has been a particular victim of COVID-19. When we’re alone together so often, what is lacking in a housemate can become all too apparent. But this new reality can also provide an opportunity for us to be vulnerable and honest with the people we spend most of our time near in a new way. While the bathroom definitely needs to get cleaned in a way that works for both of you, it’s worthwhile to mention that part of living with each other, too, is living with our different standards of living. It all comes down to communication, clear expectations, and caring for each other (all easier said than done, of course, especially when the dishes start to pile up)…

As I’ve (bryan here) personally only run into this problem in houses of ten (and more), I see your smaller scale situation as a blessing, though still tricky. Avoiding the passive aggressive norm of writing anonymously on the white board (or getting with the times, messaging the house groupchat), you are in the charmed yet scary position of telling your roommate how you feel. First, you might try just asking directly: “Hey, would you mind cleaning the rest of the bathroom today or tomorrow?” But if that doesn’t work, or this is indicative of a larger pattern (which we must assume it is), we recommend waiting until you’re feeling calm, using “I statements” (I feel pretty bummed out at the incongruity in the ways we’re cleaning the house), and be clear about expectations (I believe cleaning the bathroom to include scrubbing this that and the other thing).

After you’ve started the conversation, maybe plan a regular “chore check-in” (call it a “house meeting”) so you can continue having these conversations without the onus being placed only on you. Also, this way, minor issues like this don’t need to become out-and-out conflicts before they get resolved. Afterwards, do something the two of you enjoy (perhaps a game of chess…) to remind yourselves why you decided to live together in the first place. And remember, this is your best friend, and your relationship will benefit in the long run from both regular communication about your needs living together and creating a space that the both of you feel good about living in.

Happy cleaning,
jimmy & bryan


jimmy & bryan are two Minneapolis punks trying to figure out how to stick together in the long Minnesota winter. You can send them your advice inquiries at [email protected] and they’ll get back to you as soon as possible.