All posts by Mr. Ethical Slut

I guess I consider myself a die-hard romantic with a high sex drive. Ultimately, I’m looking for my soulmate; however, in the meantime, there’s no reason for me to be celibate. So in my search for Ms. Right, I have come across the occasional Ms. Right-Now, which has led to many types of relationships from one-night-stands to booty calls to friends with benefits to girlfriends. Some people have told me that it’s impossible to be an ethical slut. However, in my experience, if two people are clear about each other's wants and needs, and they match, then why not have a little fun.

‘Tis the Season . . .

Two weeks ago, on a Wednesday night, I could not get a drink because all the local bars had an hour wait to get in. This scene was more reticent of New York’s Meat Packing District than downtown suburbia. Then I remembered that it was Thanksgiving weekend and many people were coming home for the holidays. People were out and reconnecting with childhood friends. Inevitably, updates were being passed along as to who got married, divorced, or pregnant. I’m very secure with my relationship status but I started to feel a demand to examine it, however, no one was challenging it. So why was I feeling burdened?

Then it dawned on me. What I was feeling was an added subconscious pressure from “holidating“. Holidating starts from Thanksgiving and lasts through Valentine’s Day. This is a 2½-month period, which consists of four holidays that heightens the pressure to clarify the status of one’s relationship status.


At the beginning of holidating is Thanksgiving. Newly formed relationships are confronted with the dilemma of how to spend the holiday. On one hand, it may be too soon to introduce one’s significant other to the family. On the other hand, they may feel hurt if they are not invited. Therefore, there may be premature pressure to evaluate one’s partner. As for individuals who are single, they may be interrogated with relationship questions from nosy relatives.


Christmas brings up similar challenges as Thanksgiving along with the extra pressure of gift giving. Depending on the relationship, it may be too soon to exchange gifts. If not, then there is the question of how much to spend on a present. Furthermore, being around family, an individual subconsciously compares their relationship with that of their parents and relatives. Single individuals may evaluate their dates more in depth by weighing how the person would potential fit within the family. Thanksgiving and Christmas bring the issue of family to the forefront of a person’s mind.

New Years Eve

Right around the corner from Christmas is New Years Eve. Dating can be tricky during this time of year because of the idea about ringing in the New Year with someone special. It may be premature to determine if this person should accompany you during this iconic countdown. On the other hand, there is the fear of feeling lonely and surrounded by kissing couples as the New Year begins. Once the new year has started and resolutions are made, we reflect on what is important and how we envision the upcoming year. Therefore, we may want to shed a sub par relationship or want to take our current relationship to the next step.

Valentine’s Day

The pressure of being with someone romantically significant on February 14th causes a lot of anxiety. Single individuals are assessing on who to date or whether to start dating before Cupid’s Day. Some singles prefer to avoid the day all together or to band with other friends who are single and honor singlehood. For couples, it is a also chance to assess their feelings for each other that may put some extra pressure on the relationship.

Has anyone else notice the effects of the holidays on their dating behavior or is it just me?

Holidating, Part 1: New Year’s Resolution or Cupid’s Coercion?

Have you noticed that holidays have a way of influencing our dating behavior? If so, then you’ve experience the phenomenon I call, holidating. For example, we just rang in a new year and many of us have made resolutions that revolve around dating: date more, screen out psychos, end unfulfilling relationships, get into a serious relationship, and so on. Furthermore, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. There is added pressure about our dating status during this couple-centric holiday. Therefore, some people will stay in a sub-par relationship just to avoid being alone on February 14th. On the other hand, some single people may avoid dating around Cupid’s day because it may prematurely escalate the development of relationships. For instance, a single person may want to casually date or may not be sure if this person works better as a friend.

So what’s the answer? Take notice of your thoughts and feelings about the new year and Valentine’s Day. Becoming aware of how these holidays influence your dating behavior is a big step. With this awareness, you now have a choice of how you will let it affect you. The important thing to remember is that you always have choices. So I wish you luck in the upcoming weeks.

Debunking “When Harry Met Sally . . . ”

Can men and women be platonic friends? Whenever I get into conversations on this topic, someone usually brings up the movie, When Harry Met Sally . . . (1998). This film is an icon for making a case that men and women cannot be platonic friends. The protagonist, Harry Burns argues,

men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

Harry may be right for his life but his theory is not universal. I, for one, am an example of someone who breaks the rule. Some of my closest friends are women and we have not gone down or even plan on going down the dating path. Some people are skeptical of my platonic friendships with women because of their subjective experience and perspective. It is understandable why they think they way they do, however, I would like to shed some light on why I disagree and show why When Harry Met Sally . . . is just a movie.

Does Sex Really Get in the Way of Friendship?

The biggest argument against platonic man/woman friendships is the possibility of sex. This reason presumes that we have not evolved beyond our primal instincts and that we have no control over our sexual impulses. It also supposes that men and women are only primarily interested in each other for sex. This reasoning is too simplistic and neglects that there are many other reasons why men and women befriend each other. Also, sex may be an issue but people have a higher level of discernment than that. Therefore, sex may be a factor but it is not mutually exclusive for relationships between men and women.

Rules of Attraction

In terms of attraction, people surround themselves by people with similar levels of attraction. The company you keep is like a mirror of your own self-image. There may be a few outliers (an ugly or hot friend) but most of your close friends are probably equally attractive. Therefore, it makes more sense to see friends be attracted to each other than not.

Importance of Communication

One of the most important factors in maintaining any relationship is communication. Most fights and arguments occur because one or both parties were not clear in conveying their wants and needs. People are not mind readers, however, we often think that people close to us should just “know”. Often we assume someone else’s intensions but we do so with little accuracy. Confronting a person about their intension can be awkward so many of us often settle for our misconceptions. However, if we are able to communicate our wants and needs more clearly and get confirmation from the receiver that they understood what we said, then many problems would be eliminated.


To make a good relationship work, it requires clear boundaries. By clarifying the basis of the relationship, it is easier to develop the relationship to its full potential. However, not being clear with where you stand can often blur the relationship. Having the Define The Relationship (DTR) talk may be uncomfortable but it is a necessary step in developing a close friend.

Usually when I hear why a platonic friendship did not work out, it was because one person crossed the line. Often this breach occurred because one party felt lonely, horny, or drunk. They may have also taken too much liberty in their friendship and did not respect the boundaries that were set up. Furthermore, a person can confuse intimacy with passion, which goes into my next point.

Difference Between Intimacy and Passion

According to Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love (1986), there are three components of love. These elements are commitment, intimacy, and passion. Depending on the existence and combination of these components, different types of love evolve. The following are the different forms of love:

  • Nonlove = No Intimacy, No Passion, and No Commitment.
  • Liking/friendship = Intimacy
  • Infatuated love = Passion
  • Empty love = Commitment
  • Romantic love = Intimacy + Passion
  • Companionate love = Intimacy + Commitment
  • Fatuous love: Passion + Commitment
  • Consummate love: Intimacy + Passion + Commitment

Therefore, intimacy and passion are separate components. Intimacy is closeness and sharing of private information. Passion is lust and desire. Close friends can be intimate without having the passionate feelings for one another.


Here are some of the benefits of having a platonic friend of the opposite gender:

  • Have someone to accompany you to +1 events (i.e. weddings and parties)
  • Access to information and perspective from the opposite gender
  • Opportunity to talk about different topics than you normally would
  • Fulfill a need for male/female companionship
  • Ability to participate in partner activities (i.e. ballroom dancing)

Having a close platonic friend will help a person learn more about themselves and how they interact with the opposite gender. By examining the relationship, a person can realize their capacity, habits, and blind spots. Ultimately, this will help a person become more sophisticated and grounded, therefore, more able to be in a healthy solid romantic relationship.

In Conclusion

Men and women can be platonic friends. There may be unique challenges because of gender differences and sex. However, a challenge is only a challenge and does not mean it is impossible or improbable. Therefore, be honest with yourself and be clear with your intentions. If you want to date someone, date them. If you only want to be friends then just be friends. If things change, communicate. Be truthful if you can be friends with someone you had a previous romantic interest in but they are not interested in you, and vice versa. The clearer you, the better able you are to nurture yourself and the relationship.

One Minute Girlfriend

Cupid and “timing” have conspired to make a mockery of my love life. This was not the first time these two have made trouble for me. In fact, it has happened so many times that I wonder if fate just likes toying with me.

I recently found out that she was leaving within a month for a job abroad. Long distance was one thing but international long distance was another, especially trying to create a relationship. When I looked at the odds and obstacles, it was much safer to keep silent and hold my feelings at bay. However, there was an incredible chemistry between us. From the first time we met, she brought out a side of me that only my closest friends have been privileged to see. This connection made connecting of our continents seem promising.

When I saw her next, my desire to live a life without regret released my restrained feelings. Words gushed out of my mouth, which left me naked with all of my intentions for her to see. She was shocked but happily surprised. Reality about our situation quickly weighted down my lofty dream. The only thing that steadied my nerves was the fact that her feelings for me mirrored mine. In her mind, she saw me as that person she would wonder about for the rest of her life. However, she didn’t realize that I was no longer going to settle for “what if”. It was too early for her to make a decision, so she went home to let everything sink in.

The following day, we met. A decision had not yet come to her. She felt pressured to give me an answer. I assured her that I only wanted to hear her decision when it came naturally, even it if meant waiting another day, week, or month. We parted early that day to let the dilemma marinate some more. Then, right before I went to bed, it dawned on me what I needed to do.

When we met the next day for coffee, I was nervous but determined to follow through on my new decision. So I told her that since I truly cared about her, the most loving thing I could do was to let her go. Her face expressed confusion. I explained that it was selfish of me to hold her back from being able to land with two feet firmly planted on her new home soil. It was not fair of me to hold her back from fully investing in her career just to entertain a fantasy of mine. As she listened, I could sense a conceded sigh of relief from her.

However, there was one request I had before I could completely let her go. I asked, “Will you be my girlfriend for one minute?” She stumbled back into her chair. When the shock settled, I extended my hand out and she took it. I looked deeply into her eyes. Time slowed down and every little second became a memory. As the second hand came full circle, I gave her fingers a final squeeze and let her go. I said my goodbye and walked away with a bittersweet grin, knowing that even though it was for only one minute, I had finally outwitted Cupid and “timing”.

Dating Definition: cougar

Function: noun

Definition: A woman aged 40 years or old who preys on younger men. During a hunt, she can often be spotted by her leopard print outfit, which makes her feel and look younger.

Example: “Sweet, look at all the cougars at this bar. Looks like we’ll be getting our drinks bought for us tonight.”

The name “cougar” was used because it was associated with the leopard print clothing that was popular among these women to help them feel young. My definition of cougar places the age of the woman starting at 40. I disagree with definitions that state cougars are 35+ because it seems arbitrary. Statistically, the risk of pregnancy complications significantly increases at age 35, however, culturally that age is not very significant. However, age 40 is recognized as “over the hill” and therefore many people have their midlife crisis then. Therefore, major shifts in a person’s own identity occurs so to maintain a sense of their youthfulness, cougars will have plastic surgery, get Botox injections, and wear provocative clothing.

Related article: Older Woman Seeking Boy Toy by Potted Plant

Dating Definition: camel sex

Function: noun

Definition: The ability to tolerate long periods of time without sex. It is the point when the urgent need for sex is replaced by the concession of not having sex anytime soon.

Person A: “Don’t you just want to fuck that?”
Person B: “Nah, I’m cool. I’m having camel sex.”
Person A: “WTF, you’re having sex with a camel?!!!”
Person B: “Noooo, dude!”
Person A: “So is this some freaky position that looks like two humps?”
Person B: “No, but, hmmmm, that might be interesting.”
Person A: “So what are you talking about?”
Person B: “I’m just kind of content and not craving sex because I’ve made peace with not getting it anytime soon.”

Booty Call, Fuck Buddy, or Friend with Benefits?

Recently, I heard “If I’m Not Your Lover” by Al B. Sure!. Listening to it now, the lyrics resonate more then back when I first heard it in the late 80s:

If I’m not your lover
If I’m not your friend
Tell me, baby
Just tell me what I am

The song reflects the role confusion of what many dating singles go through. Since there are many more types of relationships than before, figuring out where one stands is more challenging. Recognizing the terms of a relationship can help keep expectations realistic and in turn keeps you in control. Below are my definitions of some relationship patterns. By no means are these descriptions definitive.

One-Night Stand

Calling Pattern:
Calls and texts are confined to a 24-hour time limit. After sex, cell phone connectivity seems to peter out.

Social Behavior:
Situational factors such as weddings, recent breakups, traveling, and out of town visitors have a profound influence on initiating a one-night stand. The relationship is brief and intense. Attention is focus on the moment.

As the name designates this is a one-time thing. Therefore, having sex again after the 24-hour period would change the relationship into a different type. Common feelings associated with a one-night stand are “Wanting to get it out of my system”, “I was so trashed”, “Why not”, “It was just on”, and “Everything just fell into place”.

Booty Call

Calling Pattern:
Text messaging is the preferred mode of communication because of its conciseness. Calls or texts are often initiated around a bar’s last call. Chitchatting is avoided and instead there is a quick exchange of necessary details like:
– Can you meet up later?
– When?
– Whose place?

Social Behavior:
Time spent predominantly engaging in or preparing for sex. There is no dating or hanging out. Rarely do you see booty calls spending time in public together. After sex, spending the night is not obligatory and often discouraged.

You’re on the same sexual page. There is an understanding that each person is in the relationship for just sex. Booty calls are not interested in a romantic relationship with each other. Therefore, dating other people is acceptable and each other’s dating life is usually kept private. To keep the relationship on a sex-only level, getting to know one another on an emotional level is avoided. Depending on the terms of the relationship, if one partner has sex with someone else, then terms of the relationship may need to be renegotiated.

Fuck Buddy

Calling Pattern:
Calls or texts are initiated to see what is happening that night or around town. Calls are usually focused around the social scene and whether paths will cross during the night.

Social Behavior:
Fuck buddies are able to be with each other in public. They often bump into each other at the same parties, bars, and clubs. Fuck buddies will seldom make plans with each other. Meetings are usually more spur of the moment or if there is nothing better happening. Fuck buddies can meet at the venue where the other fuck buddy is at and then go home with each other, whereas, booty calls will usually just meet where they will have sex.

Fuck buddies are social play friends. The relationship is built on fun, casualness, and sex. They may be actively dating other people and are not interested in dating the other fuck buddy. Fuck buddies will usually only hang out if sex will ensue afterwards. Depending on the relationship, sex could be exclusively with each other or open to other people. This type of relationship ends if one of the members starts to seriously romantically date another person. However, if that partner returns to single status, the fuck buddy relationship can be reestablished.

Friend with Benefits

Calling Pattern:
Will call to just talk or make plans to hang out.

Social Behavior:
For the most part, these two people are friends. The big difference between their other friendships is sex. Friends with benefits have the ability to go out on date-like activities, which is useful for formal parties and weddings. However, real dates are not initiated because there is no romantic interest between the partners. The intention of hanging out is because they enjoy similar activities and each other’s company. Sex is an optional part of the relationship. If one partner has sex outside of the relationship, it does not end their friendship. Instead, the sex element is taken out of the relationship and they continue to be friends. Sex can also come back into the friendship when both parties are ready for it.

This relationship is primarily about friendship. Friends with benefits care about the other; however, they are not interested in romantically dating each other. They are able to have sex with each other without it being awkward because they either have a good foundation for their relationship and/or communicate really well with each other. Since friendship is more valued than sex, sex is often sacrificed for the sake of the friendship. Friends with benefits are also able to talk about each other’s dating lives.


Calling Pattern:
Calls and texts include all of the above calling patterns. In this relationship type, calling frequency also facilitates maintenance of the relationship. Content of conversations spans a much larger topic area.

Social Behavior:
Both parties are comfortable openly expressing their affection towards one another. Each person publicly acknowledges this type of relationship to others. Dating and sex are mutually exclusive.

There is a high level of exclusivity that does not exist in the other relationships. Both people agreement that they are a “couple”. There is a mutual understanding that this title involves social prioritizing and commitment. The couple will agree with the unique rules that determine their relationship.


These are only a few basic relationship types. Many of these types have different names associated with them. However, the name or the description is not of highest priority. The important point of defining your role in a relationship is to be able to get your needs and wants met. By communicating with your partner, one is able to better function within the relationship. Games, manipulation, unrealistic expectations, and jealousy can be somewhat avoided if each person is clear with what they’re looking for. Then more energy can be spent in getting the most out of the relationship.

Dear Matchmaker: I’m Single NOT Desperate

I appreciate when people want to set me up with their single friends. However, some people get overly invested in their role as matchmaker. Just because I am single and their friend is single does not mean that it’s a match made in heaven. When I tell them that I am not interested in their friend, they get offended and a slew of arguments soon follow:

  • “How do you already know?”
  • “You haven’t even given her a chance?”
  • “You may like her later when you get to know her.”
  • “Chemistry doesn’t happen right away, you know.”
  • “How come you’re not attracted to her? She’s beautiful.”

When they become incessant, it becomes a disservice to their friend because it pushes me further away. It is as if these matchmakers are more of an expert on me than ME I’ve been dating for most of my life, so I know what I like, don’t like, am attracted to, feel chemistry with, and if there’s potential. Anyway, I’m still figuring out how to tactfully let these matchmakers understand that I appreciate their intentions but that I am not interested.