MISS WINGMAN’S DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO BIRTHDAY WISDOM

It’s a Miss Wingman holiday! Which is kind of like a national holiday, only that no one gets off from work, and there’s a lot more drinking involved. In any case, today is the anniversary of the birth of this smartass lil’ writer, so I thought I’d keep the tradition going and impart more birthday wisdom, though the 1st one’s still my favorite.

As per usual, this one’s a mixture of sage advice people have given me (for a change), and things that I’ve gleaned myself. So, since we’re only as old as we feel, here’re 24 truths in honor of my 24th birthday (wink.)

*I have spent way too much time pondering why there is no emoji for cheese, but there are like 12 for train and calculator. WHERE’S THE FUCKING CHEESE EMOTICON, APPLE?

*I’m the girl who’s more likely to have banged up knuckles than painted nails, and any guy I end up with will have to be OK with that.

*There’s no need to point out people’s shortcomings in life or at work. They’ll almost always come out on their own eventually.

*My taste in booze has gotten better as I’ve gotten older. My taste in reality television has not.

*The exact right people you need will be brought into your life at the exact moment that you need them, so hang in there. And if they’re taking too long, just binge watch “House Of Cards” in the meantime.

*I stand by my contention that a well-placed expletive is sometimes (OK, often) necessary. And artful, when done correctly.

*Meet someone at the gym. If that person still wants to date you after seeing sweat drip off the end of your nose, they’re a keeper.

*In life, in relationships, and in work, Never. Stop. Trying. Things only fall apart when we phone it in.

*Awkward moments and shared laughter make for the best ice breakers. You can approach any woman this way, even if she’s out of your league.

*Citi Bike, leg warmers and green juice are a good idea in theory, just not in practice.

*People can get used to anything. Case in point, my own conservative parents tolerating the fact that their daughter writes about sex for a living. And yes, I probably should give them more credit.

birthday-candles

*No matter how much I know it’s not a real place, I’ll still never give up my dream of moving to Dillon, Texas and marrying Tim Riggins.

*When people disappoint you, take comfort in the fact that it was God’s way of showing you what you’re NOT missing.

*Uploading pictures of yourself draped in women will make any female worth holding on to run for the hills. The worthy ones won’t compete for your attention.

*Quoting “Can’t Hardly Wait,” “Mean Girls,” or “The Sandlot” is the quickest way to make a girl (this girl, at least) swoon. Amanduhhhhhh.

*You’re never too old to play in a bouncy castle. There is, however, a weight limit on kiddie swings.

*There’s a special place in hell for people who post spoilers on social media. Presumably, it’s right between Chris Brown and those Westboro Baptist Church A-holes.

*I only have 1 regret in my life, and he knows who he is.

*Peanut butter is not a food group, but it should be. Ditto for avocados.

*One day, we will all look back at Tinder, selfies and high top wedges and wonder what the fuck we were thinking.

*Don’t make someone a priority when they just make you an option.

*Once every 4 years hockey becomes relevant to everyone. To the bandwagon haters, I offer a heartfelt “Suck it.”

*There is nothing in your life that an hour with a heavy bag can’t fix.

*And the trifecta of rules everyone should live by: smile at strangers, find your passion, and call your grandparents.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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FALLEN WINGMAN: A RESPECTFUL PAUSE

While Miss Wingman doesn’t usually delve into serious matters terribly often (unless you count romance serious business – which I do), sometimes a moment of pause is necessary.

Such is the case today, on this most solemn of holidays. In this most stellar of countries, filled with these most remarkable of citizens. Sure she’s got her flaws, but the let no one ever say the fabric of America isn’t woven with the integrity of the people who call her home.

While much is written about the sacrifice that our military men and women make to serve our country – not to mention the sacrifice made by their families – it is a rare piece of work that can make us truly understand that experience. I’ve had occasion not only to write about the personal stories of those affected by the loss of war, but also to have lost friends of my own. Neither of these facts qualify me to speak adequately on their behalf, but I’d like to honor them just the same.

Much of what Miss Wingman encourages is for you to strive to be great men. And I can think of no greater men (and women!) than those who put their own needs aside and step up to the line for the benefit of us all. Whether it’s stories like this one giving a face to the fallen, or the man who’s running across the country right now to “honor the fallen by challenging the living” (donate!), outstanding tributes are all around us.

But the most powerful thing I’ve seen recently was the film below, based on the true story of Lt. Col. Mike Strobl’s experience when he volunteered to escort the body of Pfc. Chance Phelps home in 2004. I can’t recommend it enough, honestly. So today, while you’re enjoying a sun-drenched BBQ with your loved ones, take a moment to remember those families who have an empty seat at the dinner table. And to the ones we memorialize I just say this: we can salute you and wave flags all day long, but perhaps the best way to show our honor is simply to say, “Thank you.”

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A FAREWELL TO ONE OF THE ILLEST

Most days I hammer away at my keyboard wondering if anyone is feeling exactly the same way I am. I click-clack on about love, lust, or plain old douchery, depending on the hour or my mood. But today wandering down that same road didn’t feel right, because I don’t just know – I’m certain – that others feel the same way I do upon learning of the loss of Beastie Boys co-founder and rhymin’, stealin’ badass, Adam Yauch.

So indulge me for a moment if you will, because one of my heroes is dead, and writing about anything else would just be inauthentic.

“Born and bred Brooklyn U.S.A.; They call me Adam Yauch but I’m MCA…”

I suppose it’s only appropriate that I was in Brooklyn when I heard that MCA was gone. I’d been doing that obnoxious thing where I was reading the news feed on my phone as I walked, head down, oblivious to everything around me. Then I saw it… and I froze. I stood there in the middle of the sidewalk for a good minute, feeling like the volume of the world had been abruptly turned all the way down.

And I begged for the words to be wrong.

“Fuck,” I said out loud (sorry, mom). “No. Fuck. No no no…” I think a lot of people were similarly poetic when they found out, too. There’s really nothing else to say when you hear something like that, is there? Only I wasn’t just reading about some guy in some band that lots of people who never owned Paul’s Boutique or couldn’t recite a verse claim to be huge fans of now, especially after something like this happens. I was reading about a member of the only band I’ve ever really considered to be a part of me. Like one of my limbs was just lopped off, and I wasn’t prepared to figure out how to go on compensating for its loss, how to adjust to life without it.

Licensed to Ill came out when I was in first grade. First. Grade. And yet within a few years, it became my favorite album of all time – still is. That fact consistently surprises people, like when they learn that my favorite movie is a blood-soaked, historic war tale (“Braveheart”), or find out exactly how many tattoos I have. Like somehow my girly exterior belies all of this, covers up my sheer affinity for people and things that can f*ck shit up.

In high school I drove around blaring “Hey Ladies,” “Root Down,” “Get It Together” and the newly-released Hello Nasty album like the certified badass that I wasn’t, in my white girl voice, in my parents car. My sports teams took the field to “Sure Shot” like the suburban hard-asses that we weren’t, and in college my dance team choreographed a suggestive routine to “Girls” like the wannabe skanked-out Jesuit school girls that we definitely were. The Beasties were everywhere that I’ve gone, and if my iPod could be depicted by a pie chart, a sizable slice would belong to them.

To this day, I’ve been known to walk out of a bar in disgust if the jukebox is conspicuously lacking in Beastie-ality, I know every word to at least half of their catalog, and I long for the days when the only “situation” people talked about was doing homework on the train to High Street station, with no mention of the Golden Ab’d One (sigh).

I’ll never forget the day at my old job when my boss told me I’d be interviewing them for the first time. It had been my biggest dream and deepest dread from the moment I’d started my career interviewing bands and celebrities for a living. “Shit!” I thought. What if they weren’t everything I’d always imagined they were? What if I met the single most important band I’d ever really call myself a “fan” of, and they disappointed me? What if, in real life, they sucked?

I’d never been nervous doing interviews, but the day I sat down across from them I could feel my breath get shorter and my voice get higher as I introduced myself. It was like the part of the roller coaster ride where you slow climb to the top. Exciting, scary, but mostly you just try desperately to keep from hurling.

The thing about the Beasties, who I ended up having the pleasure of interviewing a few times over the course of my career, is that they loved, LOVED, to mess with people. They’d run circles around your questions, making hysterical, nonsensical statements back, playing off of one another like some perfectly attuned hacky sack circle of total BS. You never really knew if you were in on the joke or if you were the joke.

But I remember that MCA was always the one who I looked at to gauge how badly I was being played. If anyone cracked a smile or tried unsuccessfully not to laugh, it was him. He had a kindness that took pity on the likes of me, I wasn’t the first one they’d done this to, nor would I be the last. And if they seemed cooler than you when you spoke to them, it’s because they really were. Not in a pretentious way, it was just fact. Though they’d never be the ones to bring it to your attention.

I can still remember the gritty, old New York feel of their Oscilloscope offices, their hipper-than-your-average-white-guy sneakers and tees, and thinking when I walked away from them (more than once) how lucky you’d be to have one of these guys be your dad.

And now a little girl is without her impossibly cool, thoroughly decent father, and that’s brutal and unspeakably sad, any way you slice it. My heart breaks for everyone in Yauch’s inner circle today: for his wife, his child, and for Mike D and Adam. That’s the kind of chemistry, history and dynamic that can never be replicated. Can never be substituted. And all that they can hope for, and we can hope for as fans, is that the hole left in his absence will get smaller eventually over time.

That’s the thing with Adam, and with the Beastie Boys. People will throw around words to describe him like “pioneer” and “legend” now, they’ll mourn the loss of his gravelly rhymes and activist lifestyle. And they’re right on all counts. What the Beastie Boys did for hip hop at a time when three smart-mouthed, white, punk kids dared to charge the scene was unheard of. It was brazen. It was irreverent. It didn’t only take talent, it took balls.

But the thing with legends and pioneers is that they seem impossibly far away for your average fan. They’re the kind of unattainable that us common folk never really expect to be able to grasp with two hands. But Yauch was different. He was as regular a guy as you could ever be… if you were an ordinary guy with extraordinary lyrical talent, that is.

So tonight I mourn the fact that I’ll never see the Beastie Boys perform live again. There will be no more cryptic, silly interviews in the future. The mic will never be rocked quite as hard as when Ad-Rock, Mike D and MCA took the stage together.

Lastly, thank you, Adam, for the years that you fought for your right, sabotaged the competition, and showed us all how to elevate the game. Your beloved five boroughs weep for your loss, and I salute you. For a guy who was never anything but down to earth, it’s only fitting that you now take your place in the heavens with the rest of those we lost too soon.iWINGMAN

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ROGUE WINGMAN: ONE MAN’S INSANE DECISION TO TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN

What happens when you score a deal with one of the biggest brands on the planet to shoot a commercial for their new campaign, you sign off on the creative, and then you toss it out the window and globetrot on their dime until the cash runs out? Ask Casey Neistat, the very director in question, because he just did exactly that.

And got away with it.

Neistat and his camera man just took the money and ran – Nike’s money, no less – and decided that they could shoot a better representation of their “Make It Count” marketing slogan by taking the company’s words literally. And not telling them what they were doing, either. The pair hit every place Neistat had ever wanted to travel, partied, met the locals, ate scary food and generally burned the candle at both ends until their budget ran out. Ten days, to be exact.

What they returned with was more raw footage than any person could realistically sift through in their 11 day deadline, some serious jet lag, and the overwhelming fear that the company that they had essentially just flipped off (or paid tribute to, depending on how you look at it) was going to sue them, murder them, or effectively just end their careers. All together now, say it with me, “Ho-ly. Sh*t.”

And what was Nike’s reaction? Initially fear, then disbelief, and ultimately…well, here’s where I pass the buck. I’m sure I’m not doing this story adequate justice, so you’d do well to check out this interview with Neistat and a more comprehensive rundown by the folks over at FastCompany. It’s a pretty jaw-dropping read. But make sure to watch the final product from the YouTube embed below (it streams better), and watch as the viewer numbers keep rising and rising. If what Nike wanted was a viral hit, I’d say they got one…one way or another.

The takeaway from this is that this guy essentially did what every person who was ever struck with inspiration dreams of doing. Going big. I mean really, really BIG. Granted, Neistat had the benefit of a strong relationship that gave him creative freedom, a solid head start and most importantly, a gut feeling that he could just do it better.

Those among us who have the swagger, the bravery and yes – the stupidity – to do something better than everyone else are to be lauded. Or viewed as cautionary tales, depending on how the story shakes out. But in this case, not only is the ad pretty damn cool, but the (forgive me, mom) balls it took to pull it off are even more impressive. So find your passion, boys and girls, take a leap, and don’t forget to make it count.GEEK WINGMAN

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DATING AND THE AGE GAP: WHAT WOMEN THINK (BUT MIGHT NOT SAY)

Is it me or does every man, once he gets to 30, only date women 5-7 years younger? If I had a dollar for every guy friend who’s now dating a 24-year-old, I’d have a serious financial windfall on my hands. This isn’t a new trend, but it is one that makes us women raise an eyebrow – and form an opinion or ten. Maybe it’s because it’s March and Miss Wingman has a birthday approaching, but getting older has been on my mind lately. And now, lucky you, it’s on my keyboard too.

If age is a case of mind over matter, then it shouldn’t matter in regards to relationships, right? Wrong. Women mind, and what we think matters – if you ever want to end up with one of us, at least.

This isn’t the stereotypical bitter-older-woman-hating-on-younger-girls story, on the contrary I completely understand the draw. But it is an appeal to think about what your actions say to the female population. And ladies, don’t think you’re off the hook either. I’ve got some choice words for those of you who only date older men, too, so sit tight.

Guys who date women that are fresh out of college might as well be wearing a billboard that says, “I’m not looking for anything serious.” It tells us that you’re only interested in looks or a casual set up, because a woman that age likely won’t be checking her watch and tapping her foot any time soon waiting for a ring or a commitment. Not in the Northeast or California, at least. A guy who serially dates young women and then tries to date someone his own age will automatically garner some skepticism, as if we’re not sure you could really be serious about us if you’ve never stepped up to the plate until now. We want you to be, but we’re just not sure we’d like to be your trial run.

That’s not to say that women 25 and under aren’t mature, intelligent and sophisticated in their thinking, on the contrary I think they have those things in spades. It just means that they’re just getting started having fun, and they won’t be looking to settle down any time soon. If you’re not “done yet,” you don’t care if the person you’re dating isn’t done yet, either. Having no pressure is the biggest draw, but if you’re dating her when she heads into that Quarter Life Crisis freak out stage that most of us hit, you could be a casualty of her youthful wanderings, so be warned.

Women are equal offenders, having long fallen into the pattern of dating older men. Maybe that’s why guys opt for the younger model, partially as payback for their high school and college years when women treated freshman males like plankton – the lowest form of life in the romantic food chain.  So then it’s no wonder that, as soon as we hit our late 20s and 30s, we end up dating men who are closer to 40 – they’re the only ones who seem to have their acts together.

Hold it right there – I said “seem to” have their acts together, not that they’re the only ones who do. In my observations, guys want to be established and have (at least somewhat) arrived at the man they’re trying to be before feeling like they can settle down with someone. So, the later we catch them in life, the more chance there is that they won’t flake out on us like their younger counterparts. Plus, they’re not afraid to show women that they appreciate us – arguably the biggest draw of all. This might sound like a money thing, but in reality it’s a maturity thing. Money is easy to come by, but maturity? Not so much.

The flip side to all of this is that women fundamentally want to end up with someone who feels like their peer. I’m fine with dating a few years older, but after a certain point it just starts to feel wrong – like a creepy old man. Maybe it’s because I’ve never stopped thinking of myself as 20-years-old, but if the man I’m dating can’t accompany me to a fratty bar and dance with my friends and I to cheesy music every now and again – as we’ve been known to do – we might be doomed in the dating department. There’s a difference between being a grown up and taking yourself too seriously, and it’s a fine, fine line.

As for women dating younger men, I support it but my question to the guys is: Really? What’s in it for you? Either you have a true appreciation for a woman who knows what she’s all about, who she should surround herself with (and who not to), what she wants and where she’s headed…or else you just want to be able to tell your friends you took down a Cougar. I’ve dated much younger guys, and while it’s fun, it fundamentally makes you wonder if you’re just going to end up an anecdote. Like the time you dated a red head. Or an identical twin. (I’m kidding, some of my most favorite people are red heads – and now they hate me).

So where does this leave us, then? Hopefully at a truce. Women – at least this woman – would like to date men in our own age group. And, if more men would shrug off the Peter Pan syndrome, we’d be happy to forego the older guys. But only if you boys promise to stop thinking that every single woman over 25 is trying to pin you down into marital submission. Some of us aren’t in any hurry to be wifed up. Some of us are content to just sit tight. Some of us have faith that it’ll all shake out in the end… and if you need us, we’ll be over here enjoying life in the meantime.

If you care about the person you’re with, trust them, and can agree that neither one of you is going anywhere anytime soon, then that should be enough. Granted, not every female thinks like this, but more of us do than guys tend to realize – so give us some credit, please.

I know it’s tempting to go for the woman with the 24-year-old ass (you’d be crazy not to, frankly), but equally important is the woman who has had the time to cultivate a strong sense of accomplishment and self. But these things only come with time, it’s as simple as that. You should aim to find a female who wants to be with you, but doesn’t need to – there’s nothing sexy about being dependent.

Likewise, be patient, ladies. If the man you’re dating hasn’t arrived at the life he wants to lead yet, rather than pointing it out, be excited to see what he will do with his potential. Encouraging a guy to be the best version of himself and realize his goals is preferable to pointing out his shortcomings all the time. If you tell him you think he’s going to end up disappointing you, you’ve just solidified that he will. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, not to mention unfair.

So the moral of the story is this: age matters, but maturity and mindset matter more. Life experience, perspective and a generally solid set of values is key – and they can come in all different ages, shapes and sizes. Just try not to be a total cliche, and we’ll do the same. Maybe one day we can all meet somewhere in the middle…but I won’t hold my breath. Unless it’s to blow out my birthday candles.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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SOLO WINGMAN: AN INTERESTING READ

Whilst trolling the Interweb for compelling things to share, Miss Wingman stumbled across a fascinating read in the NY Times. The article talks about the quirky habits we develop when living alone, and it got me to thinking about how difficult it is for us to let people into our weird little worlds – which is essentially what we do in relationships. It’s OK to be an odd duck when we’re behind the privacy of closed doors, but when those shutters get thrown open for the world (or the person you’re sleeping with) to see, that’s when things get interesting.

According to this assessment, as someone who has lived alone for years, I’m not alone in my strange apartment-dwelling ways. I, too, stand partially clothed in my kitchen preparing a snack. And closing the bathroom door? What’s the point if there’s no company over to shield oneself from?! I fully support it. I sometimes say things out loud to no one in particular, and I’ve come to accept the fact that the nice people in the conference room across the way have probably seen me naked on more than one occasion. So be it.

But, this does mean that one day I’ll have to adjust my bra-hanging-from-the-coat-rack ways to accommodate the (hypothetical) man in my life, unless he has a particularly good sense of humor when it comes to laundry.

And sleeping hours? Don’t even get me started. Anyone who could peer into my apartment at will would likely witness me wide awake, typing away or catching up on my DVR at 2am. My neighbors now think nothing of seeing me heading to the gym at 10pm or sauteing up some dinner at 11:30. I’m certain I keep vampire hours. We’re a strange breed, us solo dwellers, and one day we’ll be forced to change our spots (or at least show them to someone else).

The same goes for men, however, in adjusting their living and cleaning habits to eventually domesticate themselves enough to share a space with (read: not horrify) someone of the female persuasion. Suddenly you’ll not only have to close the bathroom door, but you’ll be asked to put the seat down, take your hand out of your shorts when couch lounging, and probably even stop screaming like a maniac during playoff games. Oh the travesty…So enjoy it while you can, boys, freedom is a fleeting thing.

Eat peanut butter right out of the jar, let your laundry pile up in the corner and blare your music first thing in the morning – or maybe that one’s just me. Revel in your solo living as long as possible, because one day we might actually look back on our tiny apartment days fondly and wish we’d appreciated them more. I’ll probably still sleep sideways in my bed, though, so I hope I end up with a man who doesn’t mind occupying a small portion of my mattress real estate.

But, we are capable of cleaning up our acts, we just need to be really, really sure before taking the plunge to live with someone. It’s a huge decision and one that, in this girl’s opinion, should only be arrived at when you’re certain that your names will one day occupy a marriage license, not just the same mailbox. The quickest way to get to the bottom of your compatibility is by living with your significant other. And if after a few months of wiping toothpaste out of the sink and enduring their Sounds of the Ocean Sleep CD you don’t want to murder each other, you’re probably fine. We just have to step outside our own comfort zone (which widens the longer we live alone) and consider another person’s habits. Because sometimes the easy part is sharing a life, the hard part is sharing a living space.GEEK WINGMAN

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SEXLESS RELATIONSHIPS: YOU COULDN’T PAY ME ENOUGH

Relationships are a trade off. Sure, we get to have someone we care about whose company we enjoy, but we also make a barter of sorts. When we’re dating someone – or married, as the case may be – we trade some of the more exhausting aspects of coupledom in exchange for the obvious perks (read: regular access to sex).

We tolerate listening to someone else vent about their day when all we want to do is unwind from our own, we spend time dealing with family drama that isn’t from our blood relatives, and we generally consider someone else’s feelings at every turn – or at least we’re supposed to. But it’s OK, because we get companionship and support in return. And did I mention sex? Right – that’s the undisputed high point (and if my parents are reading, kindly cover your ears and stop from this point on). Sorry, mom and dad.

But what do you do if you’re in a relationship where having sex has become a thing of  the past? An artifact of courtship days long gone, if you will? Do you lay down the law and demand it like a foot-stamping child mid-tantrum? Avoid the giant, 1000 lb chaste elephant in the room? Or do you run for the potentially sex-filled hills and never look back?

I can’t tell you which choice is the best for you, but I can say this: That nonsense has to stop – now. Why any person in his or her right mind would ever tolerate this lopsided setup is beyond me. Whether you’re married, have kids or are just dating and the sex well is already running dry (think I’m lying? you’d be surprised how many people fit this bill), sexually-sparse relationships are more common than people realize.

It is maddening, it’s depressingly sad, but most importantly it’s indicative of a larger problem in your relationship. And if you don’t confront it head on, you’re headed for one of three scenarios: infidelity, an obsession with porn that may eventually border on clinical, or the resignation that comes with having dust form on your…equipment.

Anyone running to sign up for any of these? Didn’t think so. (Except maybe the porn one – I get it).

So what’s a guy to do? Or a woman, if you fit the bill…although I’ve yet to come across a woman whose man isn’t an eager and willing participant in bed. First, you need to determine if your own sexual habits fall on the woefully deficient side of the spectrum. Then you need to address it. And then you need to do everything in your power to find a happy medium with your significant other to satisfy both parties. First things first, though – the sex depraved part: does it apply to you?

I’d say anyone who either A) has sex less than three times per week or B) can’t remember the last time because it’s been weeks or (gasp!) months fits the bill. Again, I can’t wrap my head around this, but in my informal and highly unscientific surveying of my readership and numerous conversations with friends, this is what I’m finding to be increasingly true.

If I was an even bigger smart ass than I already am, I could’ve titled this post, “Congratulations on your marriage – hope you didn’t like having sex.” Or maybe, “Congratulations on having kids – guess you’re never getting laid again.” They both would’ve been accurate for a portion (not all!) of the population – if in poor taste, of course.

It’s not a blanket truth of course, but for those to whom this applies they’re pretty vocal in their discontent. Specifically, with regards to men who complain that their sex life has flat-lined since becoming a parent, I say this to you: Duh, of course things have dropped off. Your libido would suffer too if you spent your days having conversations about breast pumps and your child’s poo habits. Motherhood is a messy business – give her a minute to adjust.

In arguably the least shocking revelation ever, not only are you blindingly tired from chasing after your children, but you’re also not feeling particularly sexy in most instances. Many women consider it a good day if they’re able to take a shower or brush their hair, so worrying about tempting their man sexually often becomes less important than other things…like cleaning the baby puke perpetually running down their backs. Being a mom is one of the lesser glamorous (on a daily basis, at least) things women encounter – at least until they find their stride and settle into a comfortable routine. So while she’s figuring it out, kindly bear with her, guys. It’s only fair and it’s only temporary, she’ll find her way back to her old, put together self. If you love her, you’ll be patient.

But, don’t get it twisted – my loyalty isn’t one-sided. In fact, I’d say that there’s a finite window on how long you can starve your man sexually post-baby, and if it exceeds a few months (bearing in mind that six weeks of that is doctor mandated), you fellows have a right to be frustrated. And don’t even get me started on couples who sleep with their children in their bed – no wonder your sex life is waning! Fidgety toddlers wearing Underoos is a mood killer, to say the least. It’s cute to cuddle with the kiddos, but there’s a time and a place – and it shouldn’t begin until the wee hours of morning, in my opinion.

If I could say one thing to the women reading this it’s that yes, juggling your family, household and often a career makes you pretty much Superwoman – you deserve all the praise in the world. But don’t forget that at the most primal, fundamental levels your husband (or baby daddy, whatever) is still – and most importantly – a man. That means his sexual side should never be ignored, lest he look for other outlets to express it.

Am I saying, “keep your man happy so he doesn’t cheat on you?” It’s more complicated than that, no one should ever get a free pass or excuse to shirk their relationship commitment because of a dry spell. Especially if you’re married to or have kids with someone, it’s not as simple as just giving up when things are less than favorable. But maybe, on some level, I am saying this outright: You can’t deny a man sex, it will end badly. This should come to the surprise of exactly no one.

But while we’re at it, where’s the women’s libido in all of this? It consistently blows my mind when I encounter women who view sex as a chore or an obligation. Whether you’re simply married with no children (in which case you have no excuse, let’s be honest here) or just dating someone but still not feeling particularly frisky – if you don’t feel compelled to put the Do Not Disturb sign on the bedroom door from time to time (figuratively, of course) then something is amiss.

Far be it from me to call anyone abnormal, but there’s something fundamentally unsettling when women say they’re not particularly sexual. That should be a strong part of your identity – of anyone’s identity – but if it isn’t, it doesn’t mean that it can’t become that way. Maybe it just means that it hasn’t been tapped into fully or properly until now, but there’s always hope. If your woman hasn’t expressed a huge interest in having sex, or if you’re always the one initiating things, this begs a conversation. You need to find out why.

Whether you flat out ask her what she enjoys (then do it more often), or ask if there are things she hasn’t tried but wants to (and do them more often), you need to talk it out. Or if the biggest impediment is fatigue, change the time of day you try to cozy up to her. If it’s a confidence issue find ways to help her bolster it and feel less self-conscious, etc. But again, please talk it out. If she feels like things have gotten too routine then find a way to spice things up and be more spontaneous behind closed doors – or, hell, out in public. Whatever floats your boat. If she feels like things are low in the…pleasure department, figure out what will correct that for her -  and have a good time in the process. If you weren’t having any fun in bed you wouldn’t be readily signing up for it either, would you? (Who am I kidding, of course you guys would).

If you take nothing else away from this discussion hear this: Don’t ignore a sexually sparse relationship. You will come to resent her, men, and it will be your relationship’s undoing over time. And ladies: for the love of God (OK fine, maybe I should leave God out of this, I doubt he’d appreciate the reference), don’t let the pilot light go out. There’s nothing sadder than women who view sex as a chore. Find a way for both of you to enjoy it equally, and don’t ever give up on keeping sex appeal in your relationship. If you care about the person you’re with – whether you’re a man or a woman – don’t accept the death of your sex life, fight for it. Remember – we shouldn’t lay down and take it…but maybe start by just laying down.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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