Ask Natalie: Seeking counselling and oral sex

“Dear Natalie,

Is it better to talk to a friend than see a UBC counsellor when you have a mixed school/personal problem?”

It’s better to talk to someone than no one. UBC Counselling has a pretty terrible reputation — long wait times, missed and moved appointments, and a general lack of support for a lot of students. But that being said, if you need to talk to someone, you don’t feel comfortable using any other on-campus support groups like the Wellness Centre or SpeakEasy, and you don’t have the money or ability to go to an off-campus counsellor, UBC Counselling is better than not going at all.

As a side note, shout out to the the AMS Health and Dental Plan for upping their mental health coverage to $400 per academic year. Sure that might get you on average of only three sessions for the whole year with a registered clinical counsellor, but you know, at least they’re trying?

If you do go to UBC Counselling, it’s possible that unless you’re having a mental emergency, you won’t have your first appointment when you first go to see them. When you do get in, it will help, but waiting times vary and in the busiest season, the wait can be over two weeks. You should try talking to your friends in the meantime. Talking to someone can often help with stress as well as help you see your problem in a new light. Plus, we’re all students — we can generally understand when someone is going through normal levels of stress.

If what you’re feeling is going beyond normal levels of stress/depression/anxiety, then you can still talk to your friends, but make sure you do look into some kind of counselling. I know it might feel strange, but if UBC Counselling isn’t working for you, you can go off-campus. If you’re still under your parents’ or personal health insurance, look into what’s covered. Sometimes it’s a percentage of any cost — sometimes it’s a full refund up to a certain amount. Money spent on your mental well-being is money always well-spent.

If you aren’t covered and you really don’t have the money, try again with UBC Counselling or SpeakEasy. Request a different counsellor. They are there to help, even if they’re underfunded, understaffed and overworked. When you do get an appointment, it will help.

If you’re feeling extremely stressed or having any suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately. Call 911 or go to Vancouver General Hospital. They have people that can and will help.

“Hi Natalie,

Do all girls love oral sex? Some say they don't, but I think they're lying.”

It’s almost like you should talk to your partner! I know, I know — it’s a pretty new idea in the whole “being with someone” world, but you should try it out. You know? Use your mouth for something.

Also, if someone tells you they don’t like oral sex and they don’t have a history of lying for zero reason, then generally you should take it at face value. Maybe have a discussion about it. I’m hoping you didn’t reply to her saying, “I don’t really like oral sex,” with “LIAR!” because then we would have a more serious problem on our hands.

That generally goes for any situation though. Don’t go about shouting that they’re lying because that’s not how you gain trust in a relationship.

“I need a good book?”

I like how honest you are. Libraries.

Personal suggestions require a little more effort though.

“What would happen if I give up an amazing opportunity to be with someone, but then they break up with me after? I’m not wrong to hate them right?”

Oh man, yes. They for sure should have ended things before you turned down whatever amazing chance this was and you can resent them sure — but hate them? That’s a pretty strong word for someone who in all likelihood didn’t do anything wrong other than a mistimed break up. What did you want them to do? Stick around without feelings because they felt bad? That’s no way to have a relationship.

Turn this missed opportunity into a personal opportunity. Make sure you talk to someone before passing something like this up. Make sure you are on the same page.

Need advice? Contact Natalie anonymously at or at and have your questions answered!