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Newport Manners & Etiquette: How To Talk About Bad Sex, Wedding Dress Code 2018 + Vaping Etiquette

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Coming to the end of Love Month, Didi Lorillard answered questions about how to talk about bad sex to your lover, what to do when you are equally in love with two people, Vaping Etiquette, and NewportManners Wedding Dress Code for 2018.

Trending Informal Wedding Dress Code

Q.  What style of wedding dress code is appropriate for a 4:00 ceremony. The reception for 50 people will follow immediately after the ceremony. We are having a cocktail hour, then dinner, and dancing. I am the Mother-of-the-Bride. The wedding colors are blush, ivory, and periwinkle (a very pale blue, similar to a Williamsburg blue). Very soft colors.  Mother-of-the-Bride, Atlanta, GA

A.  Dear Elizabeth, Your daughter's wedding sounds lovely. Fifty guests is a perfect number. Close friends and family. About the wedding dress code:

A four o'clock wedding is traditionally a semi-formal wedding. The wedding party can be dressed formally, but the guests do not have to wear tuxedos and long evening dresses. Since this will not be a formal church wedding, the dress code is slightly informal.

  • The groom, best man, and ushers follow a set dress code. Meaning mid-grey, charcoal grey, or navy blue suits. There is also a trend in warm weather toward khaki suits and navy blue blazers worn with off-white trousers (quite handsome in the photos).
  • The bride would not have a wedding gown with a train, nor a cathedral veil of great length, and the skirt length could be knee-length, ankle-length or any length in between. The wedding dress would not be a ballgown, but even for a church wedding her shoulders can be bare (though not if held in a Catholic church).
  • The bridesmaids' dresses can be of different styles to suit the particular bridesmaid, but are usually the same length, fabric and color. The choice of color is up to the bride because the color reflect her dress, bouquet and wedding colors. Knee length is preferable for a 4:00 pm wedding, even when the bride's gown is long.
  • The mother-of-the-bride chooses her dress, usually in a shade of beige or a pastel, and sends a photo and/or description to the mother-of-the-groom (who traditionally wears beige or blue). In wedding photos the mothers-of-the-bride and groom always look the best when they are wearing the same length and basically a similar style, although not necessarily the exact same color. Neither would wear white nor any shade of off-white. The only woman at your daughter's wedding wearing white is the bride.


List the dress code on the invitation as Business Suits, or for a less informal wedding, Jackets & Ties. If it is decided that all the men are to wear tuxedos, the dress code is Black Tie; although, you'll find that most women guests will prefer to wear knee-length dresses or dinner suits, rather than a long dress.

We are here to help, Elizabeth, and happy to answer any further questions. As my info about your daughter's wedding was limited, this is a rather general answer to your important question.


The Politics of Pleasure

Q.  What is the best way to talk about bad sex?  I feel I need to talk about it, but I don't know how to bring it up without sounding as though I'm shaming him or being critical. I don't consider myself a "Second Wave" feminist or a Twitter feminist, I just like sex.  Name Withheld

A.  Bad sex for women is different from bad sex for men. What the guy perceives is stress from trying to keep pace so that when he arrives at the right time and with the right tempo, he won't be too exhausted. Bad sex for a women varies from sensing disinterest to succumbing to the grinding of a workhorse.

The classic cultural conditioning of submission: his organism is requisite, hers elective. The reward is self-esteem; the price is self-respect.

As women are expected/socialized to be the emotional nannies at their own expense, our sexually illiterate culture makes it difficult to talk about bad sex and the many nuances of consent or the curves of great sex.

If he likes to read, send him this short story, "The Cat Person," by Kristen Roupenian, from the online New Yorker magazine. Hopefully, after reading this sexy story he'll then be open to a discussion about the intricacies of intimate sex and gender power dynamics.


Dos and Don'ts of Vaping

Q.  My roommate complains about my vaping. It's totally legal, but he's on my case about not smoking in our dorm room. It's cold out and I'm not always fully dressed for the weather. How do I politely convince him that vaping is OK?  Name Withheld, Providence

A.  Obviously, you're not vaping in bed, while waiting in a queue, dining in a cafeteria, and you would never light up in your dorm common room, even though socially in polite society, the etiquette for vaping is opening up. Nonetheless, vaping is not universally accepted, the rules are discretionary, but vaping is now fairly mainstream in Europe and the US.

  • You'll have to find a place where you can vape, or deal with donning a jacket and walking outside to vape. 
  • Don't vape in anyone's face, it's as rude as blowing tobacco smoke in their eyes.
  • Ask when you're in someone else's room or home, before you vape.
  • Never vape while being around a person who is cooking, or around any children.


A recent survey of 2,000 people sponsored by the leading e-cigarette brand, Vype, found that the number one grievance, the gravest faux pas made, is vaping while enclosed in a small space, such as a car, restroom, hallway, entryway, passageway. 

However, with the use of the sleek Juul*, (which resembles a flash drive making the e-cigaretts easier to conceal) you could probably get away with smoking in the backseat of someone's car without them realizing it. By the way, despite the juicy-teen flavors offered by Juul, its mission statement swears they're not marketing to teenagers despite the choice of pod flavors: cool mint, mango, fruit medley.

  • According to a just released New York State study of teens smoking e-cigaretts, one in five vape - nearly twice the national average.  
  • E-cigaretts don't use tobacco, they emit warmed up liquid nicotine heated to a vapor.
  • According to the New York Times, in a recent NYU study of teenagers it was revealed that the results of lab rats exposed to nicotine vapor for twelve weeks showed that "e-cigaretts can cause damage DNA, thus impeding the ability of cells to repair themselves, possibly increasing the risk of cancer and heart disease."


*Juul is an easy to conceal handsome, sleek flash-drive size object with a two-part system consisting of a battery operated temperature regulation device with a cartridge that comes in an assortment of tremendously chic marketed colors. Supposedly the difference between Juul and other e-cigarettes, aside from the sleek-chic design, is that Juul is free-base nicotine, it is nicotine salts found in the tobacco leaf.


One Too Many Women

Q.  Is it right to fall in love with two ladies at once?  Oluwapelumi, Kwara, Nigeria

A.  Dear Oluwapelumi, since I'm not a priest or relationship therapist, my answer is based on manners and etiquette.

First off, you probably feel like a fool for being romantically in love with two women at the same time, and feeling guilty that you're breaking some kind of rule or taboo. A lot depends upon which woman you are the most committed to. If you are married to one, work on that relationship first; don't see the other woman while you're trying to make a decision about the first woman.  

Loving two people at the same time must feel overwhelming.

It is perfectly possible that you are capable of loving two women at the same time. Although, eventually you may start running out of energy and resources trying to please two women, and that could affect your health, as well as your bank balance.

Your two relationships may be at two different stages. The first being a flirtatious infatuation, while the other has reached a more mature level.

Ask yourself: 

  • If the table was turned and one of the women was romantically in love with two men and couldn't decide between two guys, what would you advise her to do? 
  • How do you feel while imagining both of these women kissing other men?
  • Which woman would you not be willing to share with someone else? 
  • What would you think if you knew one of the women was in love with someone else? 
  • Is it about love or sex?
  • Are you really torn between two lovers or do you have your ego and love mixed up?


Occasionally, love comes knocking and you find yourself torn between two lovers. Best of luck.

Didi Lorillard researches manners and etiquette at NewportManners for a forthcoming book.


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