Lost on the lane to love? AAA’s offering a unique space to talk

From Freedom News UK

Previously called #NHS4lefties, Anarcho Agony Aunts is a live-streamed relationship advice show featuring awkward questions and the hosts’ self-deprecating answers, all under the umbrella of radical feminism and anti-fascism. Hosts Rowan and Marijam are attempting to reclaim space from the alt-right in giving people (mostly men) a space to ask tricky questions in a judgment-free zone. Alex Pouget interviews the self-styled experts on how this project came to be and why is it important to talk about sex on the left.

What is Anarcho Agony Aunts?

R: Anarcho Agony Aunts (AAA) is a sex and dating advice show. So far we’ve done three live-streamed sessions where people submit questions about love, lust and relationships anonymously via Twitter and we answer them live on air. We wanted for it to be cosy and comfy, for us, and for the viewer, so we drink and sometimes smoke and just have a chat about people’s problems and try to like, come up with useful advice. We don’t discuss the questions beforehand so the conversations you see us having are totally spontaneous. That’s why we went with livestream, to make it as authentic and raw as possible. If we fuck up, you see us fuck up and I think that’s like … humanising, or something.

Why did you start the show?

M: I think one of us saw a video on YouTube where Jordan Peterson, a renowned right-wing commentator, was giving relationship advice to a couple on a talk show and we were like ‘no way we’re giving away that space to him, no way.’ How behind is the left when talking about emotions if people like him step in that place? No, thank you! The fact that *we* should do it was first it was just drunken pub chats, but the idea kept coming back. I was getting some more equipment for the Left Left Up show I do on gaming & politics and since we now had the hardware we figured we should definitely try and see if there’s interest, at least. The questions started pouring in very quickly!

What’s been the reaction?

R: Overwhelmingly positive! We’ve been really touched both by the amount of people who have reached out and submitted such thoughtful and vulnerable questions and also by the people who have watched and sent us messages of support. People seem to agree with us that it’s a necessary project and filling a vacuum, especially now, and also seem to really enjoy and engage with the way we do it – in terms of our living room vibe and that we answer the questions with honest, and sometimes embarrassing, recollections of our own dating and romance histories. I think people like it because it’s genuine. And a lot of people like it because they just find it funny. Also the fact that me and Marijam have like totally different tastes [laughs], I think is reassuring – there is a spectrum and there’s no single answer to anything, to what girls are into. We wanna show that. And people seem to like that.

Why is it a politically significant project?

M: Like we mentioned, it’s worrying when the right-wing is better at addressing the issues of alienation and loneliness. Some single men then cluster into internet-based movements like Involuntary Celibacy and Proud Boys etc. We think it is important for a left to have a response to that, a resource where men that are struggling to find a partner could go to ask, and receive an empathetic answer. The left can be so dismissive of such themes as nothing is as important as The Struggle, but how can one healthily involve themselves in political activism, if they’re having to hide a heart-break, for instance? Antifascism needs to be part of our everyday, and this is one tactic in attempting to broaden that discourse.

What have been your fears?

R: Hmmm, we are very cautious of being misconstrued or that our, like, frank honesty in answering questions might seem normative so we caveat a lot – like, before we say something potentially controversial we emphasise that we are doing this project from a feminist point of view, but that our views are only our own. We want to offer a place where it’s not scary to ask tricky or potentially “problematic” questions, but we also don’t wanna speak for or over anyone else.

What’s the toughest question you received?

R: We had a question about sex work that we weren’t qualified to answer so that was tricky, logistically. Aside from that so many of the questions are so heartfelt and, like, subjective – it’s tough to provide a definitive “answer”, but we just try to approach them from our personal perspectives and opinions and hope that helps.

What’s the question you had most fun answering?

M: All questions involving BDSM and stuff were quite fun. For me, the most important, was the one we did as the last one of the last episode – what was the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your past relationships? Tune in to watch our teary answers!

Where does the Anarcho Agony Aunts project go next?

R: Netflix special? [laughing]
M: We’ve been invited to do a couple of panel discussions / AAA live. We said we’ll agree only if we can drink on stage. [laughing]

Watch past episodes of AAA via  YouTube or Twitter (#NHS4lefties – pre-rebrand) and submit anonymous questions for future episodes via curiouscat.me/marijamdid. And stay tuned for their upcoming IRL shows and also for a potential column right here in Freedom.

There are 20 Comments

haven’t listend to this one yet, so can’t speak for the quality of content, but stuff like this is sorely needed and overdue. though it’d be better to turn off tv and log off permanently, as long as people are online, there are better ways and worse ways to spend their time there. it’s good that there are better alternatives to horrific crap that make things worse.

This is actually very refreshing to see and hear. Content seems pretty great as well.

It's definitely cool that there's more funny, playful, non-propagandistic stuff coming from left anarchists. For all the talk of sex positivity, leftists can be reeeal repressed. Also kinda reminds me of Street Fight Radio giving life advice to young people. Those guys make me laugh even though they're DSA shills.

anarchist sex therapy, great, lol. it's a mixed bag in terms of quality of advice

I like their "girl talk" attitude which is honest and refreshing compared to the more infamously dogmatic comic-book talk of anarcho-left, yet the advice they've giving is, like... just the same commonplace pop psych that tells you to act confident... to show you're "atop of things"... to have your bag of nice, insightful questions to ask... in other words, behave "original and confident" and maybe an intelligent talker can help... bla bla bla. It's not about *being* honest, but *looking* like you're being honest. Being honest means you might just ask straight up to a women if she wants to sleep with ya. We know what the likely response to that will be. SO therefore it's still about taking alternative paths to bed, and yes it's still the dude who's expected to do just that. Dude's proposing, doing the advances.... and the receiver consents or not. Aaaaand... same old aggressive boy meets passive girl.

Yet at the bottom line, which guys are successful in relationships? Self-absorbed opportunists, narcissists, nice talkers, and yes, complete annoying idiots and assholes (THEN... guess what'll be the typical complaints about these partners a few weeks/months later).

Because none of those categories are exclusive to "self-confidence", in a hypocritically-feminist liberal culture where the women (or the women role) are still the passive actors to be influenced or played into an intercourse. In a nutshell, no radical change or reverting of situation is being proposed here. Just play your socially-prescribed role well, be good at society's preset stage play, they everything will do just fine. As for the rest... well, enjoy the pleasures of depression and isolation. Yay!

"Yet at the bottom line, which guys are successful in relationships? Self-absorbed opportunists, narcissists, nice talkers, and yes, complete annoying idiots and assholes "

Okay, lol... To rectify myself, I'm being way hyperbolic here. Of course there's more empathetic, nicer dudes who get into relations. I'm referring to a tendency in Western culture, which encourages these crappier patterns.

further bit amount of nuance would be to also acknowledge the people who are isolated and depressed and in a relationship or dating/sleeping around.

maybe loners should make an advice podcasts on how to be alone, so daters and shipers could learn from them too. ok, this second bit is maybe 3/4 joking

Given how creepy insane loners get millions of views and two pretty and kinda intelligent women reached a groundbreaking record of like 135 views, looks like a workable plan...

I acknowledge "the people who are isolated and depressed and in a relationship or dating/sleeping around", yet it still doesn't compare with, just, being all on your own in an apartment/house.

Extreme differentiator: you're old, and have a heart attack while fucking vs heart attack while wanking. Potential outcomes: very different. In the latter case, you're likely to just die without a hope of an ambulance arriving in time.

But there's also the thing of just being with someone that's more than a literal mirror of yourself. Let's admit that no matter how you feel isolated with them, the fact you're still in a couple may be related to your fear of actual isolation?

i feel you

Joking please, we poor Incel losers learn to enjoy the independence and autonomous company of ourselves, and enjoy long conversations face to face with other lonely friends. Elsewhere, the overly hedonistic couples silently glued to screens self-indulgently explore the gorging of foods and house renovations inbetween holiday packages to plastic resorts and inane chatter about me me me, their world is rich in transactional relationships only.
So its free to be a lonely loser rich in simple pleasures on the same street in the same small town going nowhere on a bike.

yeah, it’s bad that there’s a stigma to being alone/lonely and single on top of how being isolated sucks by itself. it’s like an indicator of incompetence, lack of achievement, or indicator of lacking value. that stacks up if you’re not successful in other aspects of life.

short of overcoming all odds and “succeeding in life”, it’s pretty damn nice (for the rest of the world at least) if [euphemism for sad worthless fucks] keep to themselves and don’t resort to spectacular acts of anti-social violence.

considering the risk of listless sad isolated young middle-class cis-het white men pose to national security and society at large, clearly the only answer is to contain and eliminate the threat. this was an edgy joke in bad taste. the bad taste part was the statist and society bit. ideally they’re elimated through direct action. affinity groups acting as death squads to preemptivelly strike and neutrañize the threats. ok, i’m still joking, but i can’t come up with anything else.

maybe this isn’t such a problem after all and should just be left be? lone wolves are not as deadly as the flu and they’re neatly tucked away until they lash out, if at all.

ok, enough sarcasm. i find the intention and the effort behind their youtube project really commendable.

so how do YOU know about it?

*rolling eyes*

Another case of pretentia americanus.

Ok, checking back after having watched the three episodes. They’re both very friendly, lighthearted, sincere, charming, and cute in their interactions. They offer very basic practical advice based on their personal experience, but what’s the biggest contribution is providing an opportunity/excuse/segue for others to speak openly about the topic and their doubts or woes. They are very brave for putting themselves out there, and diligent for actually making their project and presenting it.

Ok, now for the shitposting:
Content warning for nihilist and pure black anarchists:
One of them is a self-declared anarcho-syndicalist who does not rule out shagging tories.
The other one emphatically abstains from shagging tories, but considers that they were “thrown into the deep end by reading Bonanno”. They both seem pretty anarcho-leftist/anarcho-liberal.

I suspect the edgier the tendency, the harder it is for getting laid and bond deeply with common people. What do you say anarcho-nihilist matte/gloss black anarchists? Has that been the case for you?

I suspect the edgier the tendency, the harder it is for getting laid and bond deeply with common people."

I think that's been the opposite for anarchoid gay trendies, but I get your point.

What these girls are doing is worthy because I felt there hasn't been any constructive convo about our daily sexual practices, especially when it comes to male/female interactions. That, even if I find their views to be lacking depth and perpetuating some way too normative bs.

Under the load of LGBTQ+ discourse and intense anti-sexism, other people are left in the dark as they haven't been prescribed what is positively good attitudes to have, instead of being called-out all the time about "no-no" behavior.

The idea of "common people" seems iffy. The activist, or especially the organizer, needs this conception to justify their social role, but it doesn't make much sense from an anarchist perspective. On the other hand, it seems to just be a feature of the human brain to make the distinction between in group and out group.

Anyway, it's really unhealthy to only fuck people from your own little isolated social scene, but lots of anarchists do just that. This is a good way to make sure the @ team remains nothing more than a youth cult/dating scene.

i was just being lazy with words when i said “common people”, but you got that i meant “non-anarchos”.
in my case my own “little isolated social scene” is made up of family, neighbors, co-workers, acquintances, non who are anarchos, or even leftists, and i’ve never fucked or dated any of them, or anyone else, for that matter. i have trust issues opening up to a non anarcho, they might be snitches or disapprove of everything i think and do and would like to do. how could they like me for who i am and not be okay with how i am?

@ youth dating scene sounds fun, wherever that may be, though i might be too old for that as well.

In that case I imagine an anarchist dating scene would sound pretty fun! It's not inherently a bad thing - socializing is basically what people do - but at least in my experience it's just a group of 20-something city dwellers fluent in subcultural signifiers who will eventually grow out of their anarchist phase. I had a lot of fun when I fit that demographic but it's not really something that's appealing to anyone who doesn't, and it's certainly not going to be the basis for a multi-generational community.

I get what you're saying about having trouble opening up to possibly judgemental people and it's definitely a challenge, but there are a lot of interesting, open-minded people in the world that haven't thought about things in the same way you have or aren't even interested in politics. I've always lived in a city, though, so I guess that's easy for me to say. But people can surprise you, in a good way. I think it's important to allow for that possibility.

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