A Facebook “Friends with Benefits ” contract for the ladies

A received an email from a friend who complained about her single life. Often, she says the whole “friends with benefits” gets soured because one person has different expectations than the other. Especially on Facebook she says “Any time she get a “friend request” immediately that person thinks their best friends”. A contract according her should alleviate these awkward issues. For example, the contract might stipulate whether at any point the other party might be asked to attend a wedding or a family function, if only so that the single person won’t be asked the entire night why they’re single.

Or the contract might say that under no circumstances can the other party be called after 2 a.m. on a weekday night. Or maybe before 10 p.m. on a weekend night. Or there may be certain actions that aren’t allowable — Julia Roberts’ character in “Pretty Woman” had a “no kissing on the mouth” clause, although it’s not exaaaactly the same thing since she was playing a prostitute. Or perhaps a stipulation stating that at no point should either party say in the morning that they “will call” the other party. We both know it’s not going to happen.

In fact, the odds are much greater that he will never call if he actually uses those words than if he had said nothing at all, or had said “I’ll see you later.” And even if he does call, it’ll be so much later that you’ll have already taken his number out of your phone and will have forgotten who he is, anyway. You get the point.

Since she can’t afford the services of an attorney, She was hoping that I could whip up a draft and post it for general use. “We single gals would be most grateful” she said because, “frankly, the booty call thing is getting way too complicated, and if one more guy starts bitching and moaning because I don’t want him to sleep over, I’m going to axe murder the next male thing I see.”

Not WANTING to have that visual in my head I think the contract comes with six provisions:

1. You can’t call it a “booty call.” No self-respecting guy would ever use a phrase like that. Back in the day, I always used the phrase “stop-by” because it was intentionally ambiguous. Guys like ambiguous. It makes us feel comfortable. “Booty call” sounds like something Arsenio Hall would say to Magic Johnson in the late-’80s, followed by them both collapsing on an oversized sofa in hysterics.

2. No weddings or functions of any kind. For one thing, you can’t meet anyone else if you already have a date, and weddings are an absolute hookup gold mine in your 20s (so why remove that option for yourself?). Also, you’re opening yourself up to people coming over to you and saying, “So, what’s going on with (fill in Date’s name)?”, and then you have to pooh-pooh the thing and people will mistakenly think that either he’s gay or you’re a harlot. This is much worse than anyone thinking you’re single (and possibly available).

3. No unannounced stop-bys. You have to call first. I wouldn’t put a time limit on phone calls — it’s like making a fantasy trade. The hotline should be open 24 hours a day.

4. I would leave in the provision of one or both parties saying, “I’ll call you tomorrow,” because it’s tradition, as well as a nice litmus test — if they say they’ll call you tomorrow, and they actually do, they might be developing real feelings and/or have accidentally stumbled across “When Harry Met Sally” on HBO 7 later that night and gotten the wrong idea. I like the safety of “I’ll call you tomorrow.” It’s right up there with a woman saying, “I’ve never done anything like this before.” It’s just good to get it out of the way.

5. If you’re doing the F.W.B. thing with a guy who’s actually bitching because you won’t let him sleep over, you need to re-evaluate things. What woman wouldn’t rather wake up in her own bed ?

6. You should probably negotiate which actions aren’t allowable before you enter into the contract. As your attorney, I would allow ALL actions and negotiate a provision that explicitly says “both parties will exhibit good hygiene at all times.”

But here’s the important thing: These stupid contracts never work. In the history of mankind, there has never been a F.W.B. situation that worked out in the end. Somebody always ends up wanting more than the other person, there’s almost always bitterness, and if you manage to remain in touch with the same guy five years from now, I would be absolutely amazed. It’s just human nature.
My advice would be to find an actual boyfriend … and if you can’t find one, move to a different city. It’s crazy to me how many women have trouble finding a decent boyfriend, yet they’ll stay in the same city or guy for 10 years. If you were fishing in one section of a river every day, and you never caught anything, would you keep returning to the exact same spot, or would you try your luck somewhere else?

Look some of us are the same guys who look back nostalgically on Britney’s “Oops, I did it again” Era, Alicia Silverstone in “The Crush” and Anna K’s first Wimbledon, and they’re the same guys who counted down the months until the Olsen twins’ 18th birthday and spent entire days exchanging e-mails on whether Lohan bought implants. The point is that the vast majority of guys are “total pervs.” That’s just who we are. And women you should know this.

I think there’s a bigger question here: To borrow a phrase from Malcolm Gladwell, what was the tipping point that made a woman want to get a contract? For instance, Nicole Eggert was smoking-hot on “Charles in Charge” back in the ’80s, but I doubt adult males were openly lusting after her like they would now. Was it the birth of the Internet? The growth of these pseudo-Playboy mags like “Stuff” and “Maxim”? Did Kournikova start this whole thing? Britney?

My friend would argue that it goes back to “Beautiful Girls.” Remember that movie? The one where Timothy Hutton (searching for himself in his late-20s) returns home for a few weeks, hangs out with some old buddies, and ends up in a bizarre mental love affair with a 13 year-old Natalie Portman? Romantics would argue that Hutton’s character appreciated the purity of Portman’s personality — she was untainted by life, wise beyond her years, and maybe three more years from being smoking-hot — and it was easy to have a harmless crush on someone like that. Cynics would argue that this was a romantic comedy about a budding pedophiliac.

And again, she was like 13 at the time. Which is really, REALLY creepy. But that was the whole point of the movie — Hutton’s character was beaten down by life and relationships, and the Portman character symbolized a fresh start for him. He just had to wait until she was legal. That’s how desperate he was to find true love — he would rather wait on the potential of the “Token Hot Girl Everyone Loved Back in the 8th Grade” and the “Token Unattainable Hot Blonde” (Uma Thurman’s character) over rolling the dice with the above-average, unexciting relationship he was already involved in.

Maybe it was predictable, maybe it cheesy, and maybe there were lines in it like “Don’t let her go, man,” but this was a pretty good portrait of a tortured guy in his late-20s. And a good example of why SOME guys are “total pervs.”

And yet there’s an entire generation of men who watched C. Thomas Howell swimming for Lori Loughlin at the end of “Secret Admirer,” Mary Stuart Masterson dressing up like a chaffeur and bagging Eric Stoltz over Leah Thompson in “Some Kind of Wonderful,” or Ally Sheedy putting on some makeup and landing Emilio Estevez at the end of “The Breakfast Club,” and they assume that the world works like this in real life. Which it doesn’t. In fact, you could argue that ’80s movies owe reparations to an entire generation of aggrieved women in their 30s-40s suffering from the damage these movies cause right now.

On behalf of the entire male race, I apologize. Plus I don’t want to have that “axe murder the next male thing I see” visual in my head.

Because I am a Guy…A guide for women to understand Us

Because I’m a Guy

Because I’m a guy, I must hold the television remote control in my hand while I watch TV. If the thing has been misplaced, I’ll miss a whole show looking for it, though one time I was able to survive by holding a calculator.

Because I’m a guy, when I lock my keys in the car I will fiddle with a wire clothes hanger and ignore your suggestions that we call a road service until long after hypothermia has set in. Oh, and when the car isn’t running very well, I will pop the hood and stare at the engine as if I know what I’m looking at. If another guy shows up, one of us will say to the other, “I used to be able to fix these things, but now with all these computers and everything, I wouldn’t know where to start.” We will then drink beer.

Because I’m a guy, when I catch a cold I need someone to bring me soup and take care of me while I lie in bed and moan. You never get as sick as I do, so for you this isn’t an issue.

Because I’m a guy, when one of our appliances stops working I will insist on taking it apart, despite evidence that this will just cost me twice as much once the repair person gets here and has to put it back together.

Because I’m a guy, I don’t think we’re all that lost, and no, I don’t think we should stop and ask someone. Why would you listen to a complete stranger – – how the heck could HE know where we’re going?

Because I’m a guy, you don’t have to ask me if I liked the movie. Chances are, if you’re crying at the end of it, I didn’t.

Because I’m a guy, I think what you’re wearing is fine. I thought what you were wearing five minutes ago was fine, too. Either pair of shoes is fine. With the belt or without it looks fine. Your hair is fine. You look fine. Can we just go now?

Because I’m a guy and this is, after all, the 21st century, I will share equally in the housework. You do the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, and the dishes. I’ll do the rest.

Note: All ” Sara Palins real men” answer “C” to all of the following questions. In understanding this and carefully reviewing the “C” answer, women will come far in understanding men and enriching their own lives.

1. Alien beings from a highly advanced society visit Earth, and you are the first human they encounter. As a token of intergalactic friendship, they present you with a small but incredibly sophisticated device that is capable of curing all disease, providing an infinite supply of clean energy, wiping out hunger and poverty, and permanently eliminating oppression and violence all over the entire Earth. You decide to:

Present it to the President of the United States.
Present it to the Secretary General of the United Nations.
Take it apart.

2. As you grow older, what lost quality of your youthful life do you miss the most?

Innocence.
Idealism.
Cherry bombs.

3. When is it okay to kiss another male?

When you wish to display simple and pure affection without regard for narrow-minded social conventions.
When he is the Pope (not on the lips).
When he is your brother and you are Al Pacino and this is the only really sportsman-like way to let him know that, for business reasons, you have to have him killed.

4. In your opinion, the ideal pet is:

A cat.
A dog.
A dog that eats cats.

5. You have been seeing a woman for several years. She’s attractive and intelligent, and you always enjoy being with her. One leisurely Sunday afternoon the two of you are taking it easy. You’re watching a football game; she’s reading the newspaper when she suddenly, out of the clear blue sky, tells you that she thinks she really loves you, but, she can no longer bear the uncertainty of not knowing where your relationship is going. She says she’s not asking whether you want to get married; only whether you believe that you have some kind of future together. What do you say?

That you sincerely believe the two of you do have a future, but you don’t want to rush it.
That although you also have strong feelings for her, you can not honestly say that you’ll be ready anytime soon to make a lasting commitment, and you don’t want to hurt her by holding out false hope.
That you cannot believe the Broncos called a draw play on third and seventeen.

6. Okay, so you have decided that you truly love a woman and you want to spend the rest of your life with her, sharing the joys and the sorrows the world has to offer, come what may. How do you tell her?

You take her to a nice restaurant and tell her after dinner.
You take her for a walk on a moonlit beach, and you say her name, and when she turns to you, with the sea breeze blowing through her hair and the stars in her eyes, you tell her.
Tell her what?

7. One weekday morning your wife wakes up feeling ill and asks you to get your three children ready for school. Your first question to her is:

“Do they need to eat or anything?”
“They’re enrolled in school already?”
“There are three of them, right?”

8. When is it okay to throw away a set of veteran underwear?

When it has turned the color of a dead whale and developed new holes so large that you’re not sure which ones were originally intended for your legs.
When it is down to eight loosely connected underwear molecules and has to be handled with tweezers.
It is never okay to throw away veteran underwear. A real guy checks the garbage regularly in case somebody (and we are not naming names, but this would be the wife) is quietly trying to discard his underwear (which she is frankly jealous of because the guy seems to have a more intimate relationship with it than with her).

9. What, in your opinion, is the most reasonable explanation for the fact that Moses led the Israelites all over the place for forty years before they finally got to the Promised Land?

He was being tested.
He wanted them to really appreciate the Promised Land when they finally got there.
He refused to ask for directions.

10. What is the human race’s single greatest achievement?

Democracy.
Religion.
Remote control.

The question this time, from the men’s side of the table: what should you do when the women you’re with asks you: “What are you thinking?”

Every male in the world has had to deal with this question, which is more often than not uncorked at entirely inappropriate times, such as when you are watching sports, locked in a passionate embrace, or reeling in a feisty marlin from the Gulf of Mexico. Regardless of what you’re doing, you must come up with a complete and satisfactory answer, or stand accused of Hiding Your True Feelings. Which means, of course, you’ll spend the next week pretending to be sorry. So you’ve got to come up with something. And it had better be good.

Now, the obvious question here is: WHY do women want to know what we’re thinking? Simple: they assume we’re thinking in the first place. Hard to believe, but there it is.

Why on earth would they think that? Well, go up to a woman and ask her what she is thinking. This is what she be thinking about:

“Off the top of my head, I’m thinking about the party we’re having Saturday, and how I’m going to fix that chandelier in the front room so that people can walk around without hitting their heads. Underneath that I’m thinking about my work schedule this week and whether or not I’m going to have time to do some of the things I need to do at home as well. And under that I’m wondering if it’s too late to get tickets on a plane to NYC for Christmas. AND I’m thinking about getting a snack.”

Not only is she thinking about something, she’s thinking about four separate things. If I check back in five minutes, she’ll still be thinking. Women are always thinking, and often about practical things.

Men, on the other hand, are actively thinking for about five minutes out of every hour (usually not in sequence). So, at best, you have a one in 12 chance of catching a man actually having a thought. What are we thinking about?

Sex
Food
Jelly Donuts
Sports
Victoria Secrets
Sex
Work
The black unknowable nothingness that frames our existence, and whether a benevolent and omnipotent higher power can
possibly exist within it (or Beer)
Sleep
Sex

In summary, randomly asking a man what he’s thinking has precisely a 8.83% chance of turning up a real, verifiable, honest-to-God thought. You might as well bet on the New York Jets. Sound harsh, guys? Fine. Quick — what are you thinking? Had to think about it, didn’t you. You lose. Sit down.

Despite the overwhelming evidence that we men, in fact, are almost never thinking, women will still demand to know their innermost thoughts. In a way, it’s touching; women are expressing faith that, if prodded long enough and frequently enough, they may yet boost the number of times we think in an hour. And they will. Unfortunately, most of what we’ll be thinking is “stop asking me what I’m thinking.” And that’s just going to get us in trouble.

The best way to keep a woman from constantly asking you what you are thinking is to have a ready, pre-memorized answer for the times that she does. Here are some tried and true responses, with the pros and cons of each:

“I’m thinking that tonight it’d be nice to stay at home and sit by the fire together.”
Pros: Romantic; Sounds as if you’re spontaneous.
Cons: Requires fireplace (or a cement floor and ventilation); Romantic moments often prompt even more “What are you
thinking” queries.

“I’m thinking how much I love you.”
Pros: Generally provokes a positive response that short circuits any need for further conversation; Is often also true.
Cons: If you use it too much, she’ll know it’s a line, and then you’re really in trouble.

“I was wondering if there is actually life on other planets.”
Pros: Cosmic; Shows you are a deep thinker.
Cons: Woman may wonder if this is an intro to the same sort of “alien sigmoidoscopy” story that ruined her last
relationship.

“I was imagining, if I were an animal, what sort of animal I’d be.”
Pros: Imaginative; Allows woman to spend many happy minutes trying to establish your place in the animal kingdom.
Cons: She might think you resemble a marmoset or skunk; She may forego the animal world altogether and go straight to
yeasts.

“I’m just thinking about how true the lyrics to ‘Dust in the Wind’ really are.”
Pros: Shows depth of musical knowledge; As last resort to forestall conversation, you may break out into song.
Cons: If she’s a connoisseur of 70s melodic rock, you may find yourself in a bitter, divisive quarrel about which is
deeper, “Dust” or Aerosmith’s “Dream On”.

Keep in mind that these responses are not to supersede an actual thought. If you find yourself having one at the moment she asks, go ahead and share it, as long as it’s not something along the lines of “This relationship blows” or “I really like margarine”. With a little practice, you should come out okay.

But, hey. That’s just what I think BECAUSE I’m just a guy