Dear Minxie,
Like you, I am an independent lady who happens to be over 35, not married, and I have no children. At a recent social gathering, a male acquaintance called me a 'spinster'. I was taken aback. How would you respond to such a label? Miss Chaka

Dear Miss Chaka,
I'm glad this male is just an acquaintance, as you definitely would not want to be friends with someone who uses such a weird and outdated term to describe a swinging lady about town. Frankly, Miss Chaka, I am embarrassed for him. But, that said, this wouldn't have stopped me from informing him of the correct term for someone of your stature - a Spunkster. With a name like Miss Chaka, I'm sure you are a knock-out. But, even if you happen to look like Phyllis Diller after a big night on the tiles, no-one has the right to pour cold water on your fabulousness by using the tone of a pastor, bank manager or insurance salesman (all married men, of course) from the 1950s. I would have demanded an apology and, if this wasn't forthcoming, I would have had no problem flinging my Flaming Flamingo cocktail over his brown suit (polyester no doubt) before departing his riveting company. That way, he would think twice about going down this path again with a woman. I would hope that he would also pass on his hard-learnt lesson to his other male friends - if indeed he has any - and to his wife or partner, who clearly has not pointed out he is really quite dull. So, being cruel is being kind to Mr Beige. Miss Chaka, carry on being fabulous, fierce and forthright in the face of such ignorance. Go get 'em Spunkster. MJx


Dear Minxie,
Muu-muu and kaftan - what’s the goddam difference? Aren’t they just big pieces of unflattering fabric? Mike

Dear Mike,
I’m not sure I like your tone. There is little difference, in my mind. Like the Little Black Dress, these two are fashion royalty, mainly because they can blend seamlessly from day to night without blinking a false set of eyelashes. I can’t think of one situation where this stylish zeitgeist would not be appropriate, except maybe nude sporting pursuits … and who wants to partake in those? The muu-muu and kaftan are both fabulous. A quote that best sums up the spirit of the kaftan/muu-muu was uttered by one of this style’s biggest fans – Liz Taylor. She said 'Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together'. If this doesn’t scream 'Hi honey, I’m home. Give me a moment to slip into some sexy behind-closed-doors gear' (ie kaftan), then I don’t know what does. Add some beaded strappy sandals (women only) and, oh my giddy Aunty Minxie, all bets are off. Best strap yourself in, because it will be a bumpy night, but in a good way. Get yourself  a man muu-muu Mike, then wait for the magic to happen. MJx

Nudity is not a game

Dear Minxie,
I have just been reading about the global trend for nude fitness groups. Do you think this would be a good place to meet women and maybe ask them out? Pete

Dear Pete,
Three letters: OHS
You might think I'm alluding to occupation health and safety, which is very valid in this situation, but no. In my dictionary it means Oh Hell Stop. Pete, I have no idea whether you have a fine physique or a sizeable awning over the toolshed, but I can't imagine an unsexier place to work the room than a nude group fitness gathering (except maybe the sauna room at any seat of government). Sure, some women respond to the 'dangled carrot' method of male seduction. Hell, even I have agreed to a randy rendezvous merely on the strength of the cut of a man's trousers, jazzy aftershave and bulging wallet. But the only carrot you would have to dangle for these cheeky fit lasses would be your shark tooth on a gold chain ... that is if you are allowed to keep it on in Nudeville. If jewellery is forbidden (as is often the case as it can throttle you if it gets tangled in your squash racquet or wrapped around your javelin) you've got nothing. Stick to the tried and true pick-up methods. That way there will be absolutely no confusion about the definition of 'date'. Darling Pete, slap on some slacks and a spandex body shirt and hit the wine bars. Maybe choose one with an intimate dance floor where you can either show the ladies some righteous moves, or just circle like a confused White Pointer ready to strike when a baby seal leaves the dance floor in an emotional state. So, my love, keep your gear on and no-one gets hurt. You'll also avoid a life time of therapy sparked by an ill-timed glance while attempting the downward dog at Yoga in the Raw. Happy circling! MJx

Step away from the question

Dear Minxie,
My husband and I have been married for years, but he still won't answer any question from me that starts "Sweetheart, do I look fat in...". I seriously want to know his opinion. Surely he realises that I know he loves me for who I am, so why won't he answer the question? Mel

Dear Mel,
You are on to a winner with this one. If he will not swallow this verbal cyanide pill under any circumstances – including being threatened with being sent to "Sexy-Time Siberia" for a few weeks. I can confidently say that your bloke is a dead-set champion. With that cunning and resolve, he would survive a nuclear winter. He will never be coaxed into a false sense of security. With his pedigree and superior survival instincts, he will always emerge intact and no doubt drag you along with him. You see, he is not keen on suffering a very painful, slow death or being severely injured - emotionally and physically - for the rest of his natural life and probably beyond. He's a smart man. Ask your mother or best friend to appraise your appearance. They are brutal and have no problem with telling you that you are letting yourself go and need to enter the hall of mirrors (illuminated by fluorescent lights). That's their schtick. Your man's job is to give you the thumbs up and saucy wink when you look freakin' fantastic, which I'm sure is 99 per cent of the time. MJx

Corralled in paradise

Dear Minxie,
I love spending leisure time with my husband, but he has become a bit of a fitness fanatic and has started choosing holiday destinations that are activity based. Rock climbing, extreme hiking and cycling. I like keeping fit, but I think holidays should be more relaxing. How do we find a happy medium? Janis

Dear Janis,
We all like to keep trim, but there is a time and place for it. A holiday is not one of them. Take a cruise. That way Action Jackson will be corralled and his activities confined to the deck and pool. You can pretend to be taking an interest in his fitness regime from your deck chair. While he is executing his 200th turn in the lap pool you'll just have to lower your Jackie Collins novel a tad to give him an encouraging wink. The only danger is when the boat calls in to a port. Here you will have to use all your feminine wiles to keep him in the cabin long enough so he misses the shuttle bus to El Extremo. A powder pink negligee, cocktail slippers and a spray of my signature perfume ManTrap should keep him below decks and working on his Personal Best with you. Aloha! MJx

Nothing's swingin' in the friend zone

Dear Minxie,
I believe you have quite a few men as friends. As a straight man, I really have trouble being friends with a woman. It always gets complicated and I end up hurt. How do I make it work as I really like hanging out with women? Owen

Dear Owen (such a manly name btw),
Yes, I have a lot of male friends, but they are quite different from my Man Friend. I’m not going to lead you up my garden path, no matter how fancy it is. It is very difficult to be besties with someone who is as fabulous and alluring as me. I just have that X-factor that turns men of a certain age (well, any age really) into molten chocolate. I was born with it. Some women are. It is their cross to bear. Most of my male friends secretly all have a crush on me. I damn well know it and ignore it. I figure they will either die of unrequited love or just give up and move to New Zealand. Owen, if you start having saucy thoughts about your bestie, don’t waste your time trying to make being a friend work. Declare your love, or get out. Otherwise it will be a train wreck. If a woman wants you as her bona fide Man Friend, she will make it abundantly clear with these classic signs:

  1. She will make contact with your lips and NOT pat your back when she kisses you.
  2. She will wear a very fancy dress or tight pants suit when you go out to dinner (ie, not the t-shirt and jeans she washed her dog in) and
  3. You will wake up next to her in bed and you’ll both be naked and a bit giggly. That is, you will not see the dawn fully dressed lying in the foetal position on her bedroom floor with a slice of cold pizza stuck to your forehead.

Owen, choose wisely. Why wait patiently to enjoy a frozen fish dinner that may never thaw, when you could be making reservations with a foxy lady who has already ordered the Chilli for Two? She’s out there, my love, I’m sure. MJx