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Sexual Etiquette Rules for Men 

Almost everything we deal with in life has its own set of rules, including the ultimate sport, the dating game. There is no other match with a more complex set of rules and etiquette, where the players are varied and challenging, with zero predictability, and no referee.

Sometimes I think someone should write a book on sexual etiquette. There are certain male actions that drive women nuts-- to the point that some men just need not worry about calling back for a second date. I wonder if men's confusion may stem from just not knowing any better. Some of the screw-ups they execute with polished precision make me wonder how they ever get

laid to start with. Fortunately, some of the rules do come with double standards. Take notes.

Rule #1. Paying for Dinner. Throw out the modern day who-invited-who rule. If it's a first date, the man should pay -- period. Women still relish this tried and true act of courtship. Even if you men don't plan to see your date again (or unless she does something unforgivable like ordering four courses to your one because she feels like being a smartass), just suck it up and throw down the credit card. If you're from the much-younger generation and an older brother has advised you that men paying on the first date is no longer necessary, stop taking his advice. Like a good black suit, some things never go out of style.

Rule #2. Opening Car Doors: If you're a man under 25, listen up -- this very small quickly-dying-chivalrous gesture will get your further on a date than you realize. Women love it when a guy absolutely will not allow her to open a car door for herself. It's an instant sign of consideration, admiration and female worship; it will always work in your favor. The truth is, so few men open car doors these days; you'll definitely stand out among the other suitors currently on her e-mail list.

Rule #3. Next Day Phone Call: I wonder how many relationships and marriages could have been saved if the man had learned to master this one task. The myth is that women want to stay on the telephone all night and talk -- of course, men can always end the conversation if she does venture in that direction. A phone call the next day is essential, especially if you and your date decided to play a game of nude-Twister-with-baby-oil in the bedroom -- all women deserve a telephone call the next day, for no other reason than to say you had a good time -- yes, this applies to one-night stands as well. You never know when you'll have a dry spell, and trust me, women have a natural instinct for remembering every time you didn't call when you should have.

Rule #4. Sleepovers: This is kind of a double standard. . .but one I happen to agree with. Women will sometimes leave in the middle of the night on you, but you absolutely cannot leave on us. We have issues with vanity, and women don't necessarily want to get up at some guy's house with no clean clothes, toothbrush, make-up, etc. It's just not done. However, if you do sincerely have an early meeting, or if she snores, you may quietly leave while expressing great regret. Then refer back to Rule #3 for instructions on the morning after the date.

Rule #5. Condoms: Throw them away! It's your body, and your. . .eh, well, you know, and we did have sex with you, so the least you can do is clean up your mess. There is nothing a woman hates worse than to get up the next morning and put her bare foot on something cold and slippery, or worse, have the dog find it and run through the living room, slinging it around in his jaws, especially after Mom stops by for an unannounced visit. There's just no way for us to recover any level of dignity.

Rule #6. Inappropriate Dress: Some people have panic attacks when they're in large crowds. I have fashion attacks if I'm dressed inappropriately or get stuck with a date who is. Gentlemen, you don't have to have a lot of money to nail this rule, just common sense. If you're taking a date to the University area or Lake Norman, nice shorts are fine for a summertime outing. Should you make plans for South Charlotte or Uptown, at least break out a pair of chinos -- and iron them! We spend at least an hour getting ready for you. Return the favor by not dressing like you picked an outfit out of the "not so dirty" pile of laundry.

Rule #7. Introduction of Friends: Again, a small detail that causes men so much more grief than they realize. Women will burn the memory into their brains if we're out with a guy who runs into one of his buddies, and yet fails to introduce us. We don't care what you introduce us as -- we're not royalty and don't have titles -- but we won't tolerate being any less than the center of attention. This thoughtless act, no matter how innocently committed, will automatically register with us as "we are not important"; at that point, you can save yourself a dime by not bothering to call again for another date. If you slip up, and remember it later, you can always save face by saying, "I would have introduced you to that guy earlier, but I couldn't remember his name." All will be forgiven.

Rule #8. The Infamous Booty Calls: Another double standard. I almost believe it's our duty as women to refuse any and all booty calls that may come via telephone or Internet; however, there are some exceptions. If a guy calls before 12 midnight, and he's in good standing (see Rules 1-7), chances of her accepting the booty call are actually pretty good. However, if a guy calls after midnight, this isn't flattery, it's an act of desperation -- he has apparently tapped out his resources at the local bar and couldn't find another option. And don't worry -- we can smell acts of desperation at less than 10 paces.

Happy Hunting!

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