The Ecstasy And The Agony

By | September 5, 2008

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they need advice. Often you can turn to friends, or family. But sometimes that’s not possible. Perhaps the problem is too delicate, or your relationship with those close to you doesn’t allow the kind of openness you need.

It’s at times like these that some people turn to agony aunts in the media. Of course originally these columns were only in papers but now they appear everywhere, on TV, radio and the Internet. While they can be useful they do have one drawback.

Who the hell are these people?

They don’t know you so have to infer a lot from the letter/email you sent and give you advice on some very delicate subjects. There are no universities offering degrees in agony aunting to my knowledge so academic qualifications would have to be from associated fields like relationship counselling or psychology. Even then giving advice to strangers is not easy.

Then there’s the possibility that person you’re asking doesn’t have a bloody clue what they are talking about. Imagine someone asking for advice on contraception, sexually transmitted diseases or about how to maintain their relationship with their partner. That could end in disaster.

Worse yet there are people out there just sick enough to give misleading advice.

In a world where children are becoming increasingly more isolated from their parents and the younger generations automatically turn to the Internet for information this problem worries me.

So I thought I’d do something positive and find a few organisations that I know offer sound advice about issues of relationships, sex and sexuality. I found that the BBC has collated a great list here.

If you think there are any more that can be added to this list please let me know and I’ll oblige. If you have an organisation that you think I could feature here or on I’d love to hear from you.