The Interview: Elle Magazine’s E. Jean Carroll

This article is part of the TNGG Sex Week series on Gen Y and sex. Read more from the series here.

Interview by Gillian Maffeo: “I am a staunch Republican. I was born wearing stilettos and Coco Chanel perfume. Fact: I can find a pair of Manolo Blahniks for $50.”

I met her when I was a sex confused freshman in college, not knowing which brands of condoms were the best – Lifestyles or Trojan? And if KY Jelly would give women yeast infections. Serving as one of the most proclaimed sex-perts and relationship advocates, E. Jean Carroll is one brilliant, clear cutting, concise advice expert.

You can find her her brilliance and witty advice in every issue of ELLE Magazine or on one of her many websites. Move over Carrie Bradshaw, “Auntie E” will eat you alive.

Tell us about yourself and your accomplishments:

No accomplishments. Just kidding. Since 1993, I have been writing an advice column for ELLE magazine called “Ask E. Jean,” and  it was ranked one of the five best magazine columns by the Chicago Tribune.

I had a television show on NBC’s, America’s Talking, called  Ask E. Jean , which was based on my column from 1994-1996. I was also nominated an Emmy for writing Saturday Night Live, in 1985 and a Cable Ace Award for the Ask E. Jean show in 1995. In 2007, I launched, based on the Elle column. It is an on-going experiment in the gripping ways people give and get advice. Users can type in questions and receive instant video answers on topics such as career, beauty, sex, men, diet, “sticky situations,” and friends. Or, users can join the Advice Vixens (a section where “YOU become the advice columnist”). “Top Campus Sex Columnists” features the best college advice columnists from across America (Miss Gillian Maffeo is one of my top sex columnists).  In 2004 I launched another website called, where people put their profiles on trading cards and buy, sell, and trade each other. In 2002, I started another website called, where women can recommend their ex-boyfriends to each other.

I have written four books: Female Difficulties: Sorority Sisters, Rodeo Queens, Frigid Women, Smut Stars, and Other Modern GirlsA Dog in Heat Is a Hot Dog and Other Rules to Live By; Hunter: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson; Mr. Right, Right Now, and have been a contributing editor to Esquire, Outside and Playboy magazines.

How did you get started in giving your quality and trustworthy advice?

I started in my career at Elle, and I was a journalist at Esquire magazine. The Editor-In-Chief at Elle loved my style hired me to write advice column.

Why is sex so important?

Nobody would have sex if they thought about it for five seconds. It costs too much money – i.e. children, mortgage – and makes you stupid and ties you down. Sex makes you crazy and causes nothing but pain, but that moment of pleasure is worth it all. Sometimes we can’t help ourselves.

Do you think Gen Y is more sexed than Baby boomers?

Right now yes. Except, the with problem with Gen Y women is that they don’t have enough orgasms as baby boomers do. Gen Y women don’t have enough orgasms because they don’t quite know how to tell their guy how to give them one. Guys are idiots at your age – they just don’t know to “do it.” Guys are a little confused about sex and the women don’t want to tell them how to make them have an orgasm because they don’t want to hurt their egos. But trust me, when you reach your 30’s, it will all work out and your man will be giving you orgasms every day. Gen Y watches way too much porn too. That’s another reason why women are not having orgasms. Guys think it’s all about them. In contrast, the Baby Boomers are about free love and the women don’t care and they tell their guys exactly what they want, and the guys give it to us.

Do you see relationship differences with Gen Y versus Baby Boomers?

Gen Y has more friends. There is way more dating and way more hooking up. Gen Y tends to go out in groups and Baby Boomers go out in smaller groups.

Give us some of that kinky advice for those who cannot get laid:

Gen Y Women:  If you really like someone, you can get laid. That is the secret ladies. If you meet another man and you really like him, just pay attention to him and REALLY listen. If you show a lot of interest in him, along with liking him, you will get laid. It’s about really liking someone else – like laughing at jokes, flirting and listening, that will ensure you will get laid. For example, if you have you ever interviewed a guy, he will ask you out after. Reason being: you paid special interest in him and asked him questions about himself, which makes him think you are into him. You’ll be in bed by that evening, and don’t drink too much because that is such a turn off.

Gen Y Guys:  They can get laid if they pay attention to girls. The cocky ones will get laid no matter what. Girls love cocky guys.

So what’s your thought on Texting/Facebook and dating?

Social media helps. Texting helps because you can see how smart someone is by a text. If someone texts you ”Were uz at?” You can see they are unintelligent, and if you like the smart types, obviously this person is not for you. With Facebook you can have 3 dates a day. It’s brilliant. You can have a lunch date, a dinner date and a cocktail date, and then choose from those three. However, I believe that Gen Y does not need to be on or any dating site because they have Facebook, and it’s free. Baby boomers do the dating site thing. A couple of my favorites are,, and

How do you feel about the “22 year old dating the 40 year old”?

The human heart loves what the human heart loves. Sometimes those types of relationships work great and are the happiest of all marriages. One of my friends was 24 when she met her husband, who was an actor. He was 46. Now, he’s ancient and she’s 35. But still, to this day, they are as happy as can be. It can work. If women try older men, it can be eye opening in a good way.

Do you think that Gen Y is getting married and having babies too early? Do you think that contributes to the divorce rate?

Early marriage is fine and having a baby whenever you feel like it is fine. Early marriages can be happy, but it really depends on the person. For example, some women wait way too long to have children and that equals to no stamina and no eggs. Then they have to take fertility drugs in order to have children. Think seriously before you have kids though. Gen Y doesn’t have to have children if they don’t want them. Don’t be pushed into anything. Give it serious thought. The world is not going to be a pretty place when Gen Y’s children grow up.

What is your take on plastic surgery?

Go and get it. What’s the difference between plastic surgery and eye shadow? Both are used to make the best out of your assets. Do what you want to do. Live it while you got it.

Author: Gillian Maffeo — I am one of the brilliant editors and a staunch Republican. I was born wearing stilettos and Coco Chanel perfume. Fact: I can find a pair of Manolo Blahniks for $50.

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11 Responses to “The Interview: Elle Magazine’s E. Jean Carroll”

  1. Mariam Shahab

    I love E. Jean's witty tone every time she writes or gives advice! She doesn't sugar coat anything and keeps it real. She's the only advice columnist I've ever bothered reading in a magazine.

  2. Tyler Hayes

    I really am afraid of leaving my thoughts on this post because I have an inkling I'm about to get my head ripped off.

    So I'll start with this: “Girls love cocky guys.” Yes, that's true. Girls love jerks/assholes/bad boys. But women love actual men.

    I'm not sure if it was just the way Ms. Carroll was portrayed in this article (this is the first time I've heard of her), but saying things like “What's the difference between plastic surgery and eye shadow?” make me think she's either ignorant of the difference between a symptom and a cause (i.e. she doesn't understand the concepts of self-esteem and self-actualization), or she's purposefully making salacious comments for the intended effect. If the latter, she's certainly successful. But so is Ann Coulter.

    Of course, either option is equally dangerous. Ms. Carroll is just making it OK for anyone who agrees with her points to rest on their laurels. This, in glaring opposition to the fact that those same readers should be researching actual knowledge behind, for example, plastic surgery and its effects on self-esteem and other psychological/emotional characteristics, as well as the causes for these self-esteem problems in the first place and if plastic surgery is really the “best” solution to those problems.

    This does not remove the enjoyment of “Live it while you got it,” which I'm not sure Ms. Carroll is even applying herself given such unfounded opinions as “The world is not going to be a pretty place when Gen Y's children grow up.” You don't have to get plastic surgery & judge people via text & get laid by boys to live life. As Kipling said:
    “If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!”

  3. Gillian M

    Tyler, nice thoughts. I have gotten plastic surgery and my confidence boosted dramatically. When I put eye shadow on, my confidence boosts, although I don't cake make up on my face, sometime it feels nice to put “eyeshadow” on. And anyone in their right mind should research before getting plastic surgery. She is witty and bold, leave it at that. You're a man, not a female, so I hope you wouldn't know that putting eye shadow on makes women feel more confident. I agree with her, live it while you got it, because life is too short and if you want to do something, then go and do it.


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