A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it, is committing another mistake.

rebound(quote by Confucius)

It’s alarming and confusing to me that so many women go back to the exes they’ve sworn off. It’s a habit–possibly a bigger addiction than smoking, and potentially as dangerous. There should be a one-rebound limit to relationships because it is absolutely masochistic to continue going back for more pain. I’ve had this discussion with the recently parted many times; it almost always ends the same way.

“Hey there. Where’s your boo?”

“Oh, that asshole? I broke up with him. I’m over it. He’s such a jerk. He’s constantly drunk and treating me like shit. I’m done with him.”

“Bet you’re not.”

“Done, I tell you. You should see the text messages he sent me, calling me names and putting me down. I can’t believe I wasted so much time with him.”

“So, this is probably the fifth or sixth time you’ve split, right?”

“This time it’s for good.”

“Last time it was for good.”

“No, this time it’s real. I’ve moved on. He’s out of my life.”

“Have you unfriended, blocked, and deleted all of his contact info?”

“Um, not yet, but I will.”

“Right.”

“Seriously. He’s horrible. I want nothing to do with him.”

“What if he claims to have changed, promises to treat you better, and begs for another chance?”

“No way.”

“Yes, way.”

“He won’t do that anyway.”

“He most certainly will. Just wait until he has an empty arm and busy liver around midnight. You’ll get the text.”

“I’ll ignore it.”

“Then he’ll send another. Maybe he’ll email you a poem, lyrics, or a song video of some sad dude singing about how he lost his soul mate. You’ll probably find flowers on your doorstep. Whatever it takes to bring back his emotional punching bag.”

“Doubtful.”

“Likely.”

Naturally, a few weeks pass, then while parked at my usual bar corner, I see the unhappy couple–united as predicted. She’s too embarrassed to say a word to me, because she can’t justify taking him back to herself, let alone a jaded fool like me. Eventually, she faces me. Her shame is hard to hide.

“Ah, I see all is well in paradise again.”

“He’s totally changed.”

“Not even a little.”

“This is his last chance. I warned him: One slip-up and we’re done for good.”

“You mean ten slip-ups, and you’re done for a week or so. You’d make a horrible judge.”

“He’s sobering up, and treating me right.”

“Good. Let’s see how long he can carry out the charade.”

“Maybe it’s for real. Maybe he realized what he lost, and knows he needs to treat me right or lose me forever.”

“All right. I’ll see you in a few weeks, after he can no longer wear the emotional disguise, and we can discuss his assholeness once again.”

“We might surprise you.”

“Hey, it’s your life, sugar. When you find where you’ve left your self-esteem, you’ll realize how silly this is.”

“I don’t see any girlfriend with you.”

“Yes, you don’t. Serenity is a good friend to me.”

Be a Sponge, and I’ll Squeeze You

This may not work for you but, for me, it’s necessary. When I arise, I strive to leave my bed a dry sponge ready to absorb new knowledge, beliefs, and experiences … oh, and perhaps some wine, thank you. Most people I encounter are saturated sponges. You know what happens to saturated sponges you leave on the sink, right? Same goes for these people — they rot, smell, and attempt to infect.

For example, the whole gay marriage debate. Many sponges have been filled with hate and disapproval by their parents, preachers, and politicians. It’s silly. Squeeze that away. Why have any opinion on this matter other than, “If it makes you happy, go for it.”? It’s basically a preference, isn’t it? Why be concerned about another person’s preference? I don’t care if the woman next to me prefers white wine, brown men, or decaf coffee. Why would I care what she prefers sexually? I may find it interesting. I may not be able to relate to the preference. Heck, I may or may not share the preference. I certainly don’t care enough about it to try to squeeze it out of her.

Another one absorbed in youth is religion. Most people absorb the holy water from their parents. That’s fine as long as it doesn’t adversely affect me. I squeezed the christian religion out of my life because I could not reconcile reality with the stories in the ancient book. I did what the nuns forbade, but what Nature insists upon: I questioned everything. I went to museums, saw evidence of prehistoric man and life forms that existed millions of years before him. I learned about ancient religions, the purposes they served, and how they spread and became other religions. I deduced that the ancient books were simply that: ancient, and not applicable. So, my sponge contains no faith in imaginary beings or ancient customs. If someone wants to live by old rules instead of Nature’s rule, that’s fine too. I’ll take the wine and wafers, and leave the guilt.

Writing is an exercise in taking my dry sponge out into the world and attempting to sop up any goodness that might amuse a friendly reader. This makes me a nice person because, unlike most others who prefer to squeeze their own sponges by bragging or venting, I walk around asking questions and taking mental notes — I’ll squeeze your sponge, Baby.

  • Where do you live?
  • What do you do?
  • Have any kids?
  • What’s your favorite restaurant?
  • Tell me about your worst date ever.
  • Seen any good movies lately?
  • What did you think of The Fifty Shades?
  • How do you keep your skin so soft?
  • Are you a Chargers fan?
  • What is your dream vacation?

Then, once my sponge is saturated, I squeeze it by slapping keys on my computer. This is what comes out. Sometimes it’s difficult to squeeze out and sometimes it stinks. But, sometimes (like this time, I hope) my drops are absorbed and cause a nod, head scratch, or giggle.

Your guide to love in the workplace.

It’s time for that ancient HR manual to be updated. The entire chapter on interoffice relationships needs an overhaul, and I’m just the man to do it. You see, I have a PhD in Reality.

The Situation: You’re spending almost half your weekday waking hours around mating options.
The Dilemma: If you have sex with a coworker, it could affect your work and (when applicable) your other relationship.
The Solution: Have at it and avoid being caught.

Don’t groan at me!

Yes, yes, I know: Most relationships fail, so any interoffice relationship is doomed from the get-go. Right. So, why not acknowledge that fact in advance, and agree to enjoy the fantasy fuck until it’s no longer mutually pleasant? Then, just like at the end of a recreational sporting event, you shake hands and go about your business.

Office affairs don’t really need to complicate things. They can be as simple as, “You scratch my gland (with your tongue, please) and I’ll scratch yours.” You don’t fall in love with your masseuse or chiropractor, right? Keep love out of it. Provide a kind service to a coworker, and I advise you to keep money out of it. (You don’t need the stress involved with collecting tax IDs and reporting payments to the IRS.)

Sexual tension and frustration cause job performance issues. It needs an outlet. By the way, I’m leaving in the clause forbidding office masturbation–that’s just creepy and gross. Let’s do a little role-playing exercise, shall we?

Scenario: Director Phil (unrelated … honestly) is clicking through his unread messages in his office while sipping office coffee made from ground-up twigs. New employee, Valerie, strolls up and taps on his door. She’s wearing a skirt and blouse that teeter on the edge of office-inappropriate (according to some HR beast whose vagina gets used about as often as Rush Limbaugh’s treadmill).

“Good morning, Sir. A group of us are heading to Friday’s for happy hour, and I thought I’d extend an invitation.”
“Ah, how nice. I’d love to join you.”
“Excellent. See you at six.”

Later that day, the group slams appetizers and cocktails on the boss’ tab while trying to avoid talking about work. Valerie’s on martini #3, her blouse is partially untucked, and her hair is wild. She sits next to the boss and chats about … who knows. All the boss hears is, “Please put your penis inside me.”

At first there’s some positive body language: outer leg crossed over inner leg toward boss. Then a bit of harmless touching of hands to arms and knees to knees. Things escalate with a hand on thigh, to make a point. Tension rises. Coworkers kind of notice, but they’re not sure. They begin leaving. Finally, just the two of them remain.

Choice A: Phil walks Valerie to her car, ensures she’s sober enough to drive, thanks her for inviting him, delivers a gentle fist-tap, and says he’ll see her tomorrow.
Choice B: Three shots of tequila later the two sneak off to her SUV, crawl into the back seat, and knock nasties.

Choice A is by the (former) book, which results in two highly frustrated individuals whose only recourse is to go home to their mates and fantasize. This is unhealthy.
Choice B results in the bliss of sexual afterglow and an exciting little secret, which can be reminisced upon at any time to lighten the mood and improve morale.

I vote B.

It’s time to put the man back in romance.

Hey, what about us? We feel neglected as we stare at a sea of Hallmark cards full of words we’d borrow to keep your fire burning. Love is more than just a blowjob, you know. We could use some non-sexual treats too. Think of the stress we go through at the florist’s counter.

“I would like some flowers, please.”
“All right, which ones?”
“Real ones?”
“I mean which types of flowers? Roses? Tulips? Lillies?”
“Um, yes?”
“OK. Let’s start with the recipient.”
“My girlfriend.”
“The occasion?”
“Maintenance.”
“I see. Budget?”
“Whatever it takes.”
“I have no way of knowing that, sir. Can you give me a ballpark?”
“Jesus, not as expensive as a ballpark.”
“…”
“Baseball joke. I get it–you were speaking metaphorically. What can I get for twenty bucks?”
“A pat on the head from a disappointed lady.”
“Fine. Fifty?”
“We can create a nice arrangement for fifty. Would you like a vase?”
“No, I wouldn’t. Would she?”
“Probably.”
“A vase it is.”

Can you feel the turmoil? This poor lad is knocking years off his life with chores like holding doors, tucking chairs, remembering important dates, and delivering jewelry. Where’s the reciprocation? He deserves something more than permission to squeeze boobies.

Here are the top ten suggestions for romancing your man:

  1. Bacon – It doesn’t matter what it comes with, just make it crispy.
  2. Kegerator – We’ll even keep it in the cold basement or garage.
  3. Bathe Us – Ah, to be surrounded by suds. Add a frosty mug while you’re at it.
  4. Wings – See #1.
  5. Headphones – Really good ones that help us ignore things … not you, of course.
  6. Women-Only Weekend – We trust you. Can you take the kids too?
  7. Fine Cigars
  8. Single Malt Scotch
  9. Nine Uninterrupted Innings – If you want to know what HBP stands for, Google it.
  10. Neck Rubs – Extra points if you do it topless.

There, that wasn’t so difficult, was it?

Sometimes it’s not good to have options.

As we tipped back a few sudsy beverages and watched the Padres blow another game last night, my pal Hank lamented about his single life being complicated. I thought only relationships were complicated. Heck, I’m single and that’s simple and straightforward. When I sleep alone I prefer to be by myself. What could be complicated about single life?

“The problem is I have options.”
“That sounds like a good thing, Hank.”
“Not always. You see, people in relationships have limited options: remain faithful or stray.”
“Right.”
“I, on the other hand, have no girlfriend yet I have multiple partners who play different roles.”
“Do tell.”
“Well, I have Cindy who will have sex with me at the drop of a text, but will pressure me into taking her on dates.”
“A reasonable request, no?”
“No. I don’t like her that way and I can’t justify the expenditure when freebies abound.”
“Interesting. Next?”
“Option two is Pam who will have sex with me and leave without demands.”
“Well, she sounds like a better option … for you.”
“Right, except she’s married.”
“Ah, that does complicate matters.”
“Then I have option three who is Jessica, a delicious young specimen I have yet to bed.”
“Why not?”
“She’s a cocktail server at one of my favorite establishments.”
That Jessica? This establishment? Dude, she’s twenty years younger.”
“Hence the complication. Well, that plus the fact that she probably doesn’t want to have sex with me.”
“Then why is she considered an option?”
“Because she parties hard and if I can manage to stuff enough tequila into her, she might issue me a day pass.”
“Doubtful, but you give her that old college freshman try.”
“Option four is an ex-girlfriend, Gina, who misses me.”
“I assume she’s an ex for a good reason.”
“The quality of the reason is indirectly proportional to the length of  my dry spell.”
“Wouldn’t going there be a step backward, Professor?”
“Dude, haven’t you ever had make-up sex? It’s right up there with hitting a walk-off grand slam.”
“Yes, I have, actually. In this case, though, you’re not actually making up, are you?”
“Oh, hell no. But, she doesn’t need to know that, right?”
“And here I am with two options–righty or lefty–while a swine like you needs a fucking abacus.”
“Don’t hate the player.”

Hank can keep his complications. I don’t mind watching his game since it’s entertaining. I just have no desire to play. I’m an old clown who has retired from juggling vaginas.

How long after a breakup must you wait?

Is there a certain resting period required after a relationship ends? Are we like microwaved food, dough, or wet paint? I think not. If your man gives you the heave-ho, you’re free to go, Sugartoe. The minute you receive that icy message–“I think we should see other people”–consider yourself released and free to entertain other options.

Men have foolish pride, so it rarely works out that way. Clyde gives Bonnie back the keys to her vulva hoping she doesn’t hand them to Mr. Next too soon. That’s nonsense. If Clyde can’t commit, she can and should begin healing immediately, and if such healing requires the touch of another man (or woman), it’s her right to solicit such.

Ah, but friends complicate matters further. One day after Clyde tells his buddy, Jackson, that he’s cut bait, Jackson runs into Bonnie looking better than ever with a new suitor in tow. Jackson fancies himself a New Age Columbo, as he fires up the photo app and sends incriminating (?) photos to Clyde.

“Check it out, dude: Bonnie is already with another guy.”
“That fucking whore!”
“I know. Man, I’m sorry. She’s heartless.”
“I bet she was banging that guy all along. That’s why we were having so many issues.”
“No doubt. But, wait, you broke up with her, right?”
“Yes, I did, but you don’t see me out poking some new skank. I’m home alone healing.”
“You want me to go confront her?”
“No. I’m coming over.”
“Cool. I got your back, bro.”

It’s senseless. All logic has been purged from men who think this way. Who’s to say the new guy isn’t her friend, for example. I play the role of healer often. I get to play pool and provide emotional support and encouragement. I don’t get to play hide the pepperoni. The last thing I need is for her ape-ish ex to attack me for dressing the wounds he inflicted.

Men, when you relinquish your woman, you relinquish your right to control her or be jealous of what she does and how long she waits to do it.

Dear Philly: Why do men [fill in the blank]?

I realize it’s dangerous to post such questions on Facebook and Twitter because men are stupid, psycho, stalkers. So, you can post your question anonymously as a comment on this blog post and I’ll write a reply on my Facebook fan page at SuchaNiceGuy.

Post any question or observation you have about dating, relationships, and sex. Philly the Guru will rub his crystal balls, end your confusion, and ease your pain.

How can she tell if he really likes her?

This is a problem most women have, although few men do. Perhaps it’s because women have more to invest and lose … oh, and because they don’t have hanging brains beneath their privates.

“How can I tell if he really likes me or just wants to sleep with me?”

“You’re hoping for both, aren’t you?”

“I don’t want to have sex with him if he’s not emotionally invested.”

“All right. That means you like him.”

“I do. I also don’t want to frustrate him and scare him away by making him wait too long.”

“Yep, that happens. Like you would with a new hire, you need to set expectations.”

“Right. I’ll tell him he can’t touch me until he likes me.”

“No, you need to be more specific. Show him some light at the end of the love tunnel. Tell him you’re selective about your lovers, and it could take a dozen dates before you’d be willing to go there.”

“Will a guy wait that long?”

“If he likes you he will … or, if his prospect pool has dried up.”

“Great.”

This is quite a love tug, isn’t it? If I’m attracted to a woman, by definition I want to have sex with her. That desire usually arrives before I have her name memorized. It’s a good thing as long as I don’t insist upon sex too soon, or have it and leave. It takes days or weeks to build a strong like; it takes seconds to build a strong desire.

I’m fighting myself by suggesting women make their men wait when women desire long-term relationships. Sometimes (right fucking now, in fact), a casual encounter is what the doctored ordered to get Russell the Love Muscle back in shape. A long sexual drought will cause a man to say and do whatever is required to close the deal. Humbly, I’ve been stunned by what came out of my mouth (and wallet) when I needed a slump-breaker.

Still, I bet most women can see through all the pleasantries and tell if there’s potential for a walk down the aisle or a walk of shame.

“If you know how you feel about him and have specific desires and goals regarding your relationship, you should tell him. Be honest. Be prepared for him to be scared off due to impatience. His departure will be a blessing.”

“Fine. Give me an example of what to say.”

“OK. Remove all distractions, sit across from him, and look into his eyes. It’s probably a good idea to hold his hands so he doesn’t sprint away. I’m kidding, sort of. Then say something to the tune of, ‘I want you to know I really like you and am excited about the possibility of building a significant relationship between us. I’m highly attracted to you and eager for the day we make love. If you feel the same way, we should enjoy the build up and not take things too quickly. Don’t worry. I won’t make you wait forever–just long enough to be confident that our hearts are equally invested. Fair enough?'”

“Wow. Can you print that on a note card for me?”

“Stop it, silly. Ad lib and he’ll find your sincerity refreshing … or, you’ll be back tomorrow for my consolation services.”

Zip It

Women and men list things they want to hear from their partners, but rarely do we get a list of things they don’t want to hear. I guess that makes sense: People don’t want to hear what they don’t want to hear. All of this pussyfooting around is giving me shin splints and migraines.

Fine. I can’t hug it out so I’ll write it out.

Men don’t want to hear the following from the person they are mounting:

  • I’m late.
  • I have a yeast infection.
  • Remember that guy I used to date?
  • We need to talk.
  • My mother is coming to visit.
  • You weren’t saving the [insert dearest thing], were you?
  • I made some room in the closet.
  • Diesel gas works as well as regular, right?
  • Promise me you won’t be mad.
  • I picked up a DVD I’ve been dying to see.
  • You left your phone/computer unlocked.
  • We just received another wedding invitation.
  • Don’t you love my new hairstyle?
  • The car is making a funny noise.
  • Wow, that was quick.
  • My ex was hung like a buffalo.
  • Pfffbbbpppttt … phht … breep.
  • How hard is it to get the garage door back on its tracks?
  • I got rid of those old magazines.
  • Aren’t you getting too old to be still [wearing/playing/watching] that?
  • Did you read the directions?

Women don’t want to hear certain things either:

  • I think the rubber fell off.
  • … and it’s stuck inside you.
  • Why are your boobs uneven?
  • I bought you, I mean us a treadmill.
  • My buddies are coming over for poker night.
  • It’s not what you think.
  • It didn’t mean anything.
  • You don’t really want dessert, do you?
  • I’ll do all the work. You can just lie there.
  • Surprise! I did the wash and ironing for you.
  • Why do you need another [purse/pair of shoes/bracelet/scarf/ring]?
  • Can you come get me?
  • I don’t know whose those are.
  • Do you think we can live off your income?
  • Should I pop that zit for you?
  • Every woman has a lesbian fantasy.
  • Don’t you think you’ve had enough?
  • Your [friend/sister/boss] is hot.
  • My ex used to do it.
  • Can you help me with my résumé?
  • I just got the hottest stock tip.
  • You have to see this. Bring the camera.
  • Look at those tits!