Advice From Paradise: Love Advice (and Music) from Nedelle Torrisi

This week: confronting same-sex attraction and what to do if your boyfriend won’t let you see his phone.
Art & Culture
Advice From Paradise: Love Advice (and Music) from Nedelle Torrisi

This week: confronting same-sex attraction and what to do if your boyfriend won’t let you see his phone.

Words: Nedelle Torrisi

August 21, 2015

Advice From Paradise

Hi, my name is Nedelle.

I’m a musician who started playing the violin and singing in musicals at age seven. I come from a Sicilian–American family; I’m the daughter of an ex-nun and an ex-priest who ended up working at a prison. My brother is a neuroscientist and will probably discover something really awesome someday. We’re all musicians, too.

I’ve put out a bunch of albums on different labels and under different monikers: Nedelle, Nedelle and Thom, and Cryptacize. The most recent one just came out on Ethereal Sequence/Drag City under my full name, Nedelle Torrisi, called Advice from Paradise.

I also began giving out love advice semi-professionally on my Tumblr a couple of years ago, after doing it unprofessionally for friends for years before that.

Have a question? Need some advice? Ask me anything at [email protected] or ask anonymously at


Dear Nedelle,
I need some love advice. I’m a woman and I have never really liked men. I’ve had a lot of bad experiences with them. I feel like I’m more attracted to women, but I’m kind of scared and don’t know what to do or how to go about it… what if I’m just scared of men, or what if this isn’t real? What should I do?? Help!
Luckily this is a better time than ever to explore this part of yourself. Sometimes this exploration is just a rite of passage, and doesn’t necessarily lead anywhere, but what if this is the real you? It would be a shame if it remained unexplored. I know it must seem daunting to try and go down this path, and so many factors come into play that you have no control over. For example, if you live in a small town, maybe it would help if you lived in a bigger city. If you have friends who are gay/bi, or you have friends and family who are endlessly loving and supportive, that would be helpful, too. That said, we now have the Internet to help us reach out to others! It’ll be easier to connect with people than it was even 5 years ago! The most important things are to take it slow and to trust your instincts. People always tell me to listen to my heart, and it’s actually very difficult when the brain is so persistent. But it’s still good advice! As of right now, we know one thing: that your heart is trying to tell you something. Some Greek dudes said “Know Thyself” and believed that this knowledge emanated outwards—what you learn now will be passed on to subsequent generations. Dope! Now you know you’re on the right path. Good luck!

Song Recommendation: “Golden Lady” by Stevie Wonder

Dear Nedelle,
I’m pretty sure my boyfriend is cheating on me because he’s so protective of his phone and never shows me anything! How do I approach him about this without sounding insecure about our relationship?

I’d suggest you bring it up in a low-pressure way: tell him women have strong instincts about this sort of thing, and you’d be remiss not to bring it up. Of course you prefer the truth to being lied to. If he tries to turn it around and accuse you of erratic behavior, then he might as well wave a red flag! If he isn’t cheating, his response should be reassuring, loving, and simple. If his answer is vague and seems bullshitty, then either hire a private detective, go on Cheaterz (does that show still exist?) or simply dump him, because, as I said above, a woman’s instincts are often on point. Good luck!

Song Recommendation: “Who’s Sorry Now?” by Connie Francis