Rules of Engagement | Night Court | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Rules of Engagement

Talking with handsome young Nathan, a blue-eyed, big-shouldered guy I met at Blue Martini last week, it became obvious that the last thing men obsessing about the anatomy of women want to think about is how that anatomy works. Not to be too delicate about it, but when Nathan suddenly came to the realization that a girl he was talking to on the telephone the other day happened to be calling him during a bathroom break, he vowed never to speak to her again.

"She's disgusting to me now," he said.

Apparently, she'd broken a rule that says the women hunted down for one-night stands shall not betray their real, physiological selves. At least, not in the time it takes for a night in the sack and a quick brushoff.

Nathan's standard made me wonder whether his thinking was universal. Just what kind of one-night-stand etiquette should a girl know before putting out?

Rule One: It's just sex.

Charlie, a wonderfully chatty, 43-year-old tossing a few back at the Wayward Sailor Pub, said he's "known" women of various ages and types. He credits the South Florida landscape, where he finds partners in endless abundance.

"If you lived in a small town somewhere," he explained, "you could probably meet someone you really liked. But in South Florida, it's a paradox of choice. There are so many women down here, you can never be sure if you've got the right one."

But Charlie keeps on trying, bless him.

"It's amazing that with all the things going around out there, you can still pick up a woman. It's easy. You're sitting at a bar and you tell them, 'I want to take you over to the 1700 Club.' They have this great guy there, and he plays the B-52's right when you walk in the door."

And what a come-on, because when Charlie gets you to the "club" — his place — he's the one who plays that music himself.

Of course, once you've agreed to head over with him, the deal is done. But you're a big girl. If you had no intention of hitting it, you would have made up an excuse, no matter how ridiculous, not to take the first step.

Night Court knows whereof she speaks. I've narrowly skirted the one-night stand many times in my night ramblings. After entertaining a man's attention for too long, I've had to hide in a crowded bar, pretend friends were boyfriends, and tell guys off as I escaped to my car. I've even been on the doorstep of other men's equivalent of Charlie's 1700 Club, thinking that maybe the bloke really did want to show me his high school yearbook or his record collection. It's infinitely more difficult to wrangle an escape plan when standing on the threshold. But really, we should know better.

Back at Blue Martini with Nathan and his friend, Adam, 31, I heard more about the sport of taking down big game.

"I went crazy hooking up with chicks," Adam said, remembering his Fort Lauderdale blowout party days, ten years as a bartender in places like Sutra and Chili Pepper.

Nathan interjected, "Girls from back then still come up to him and say, 'Hi. '"

Are they happy to see him? I asked.

"They are," he answered. "Nobody has a bad taste in their mouth."

"How did you manage that?" I asked.

Adam explained: "They pretty much knew it was a one-time thing. A lot of girls would come back regularly to see me at the bar. I'd take them in the side room or out on the catwalk and we'd do whatever."

But was it mutually gratifying? Perhaps. It is commonly said among women that there is an inverse relationship between the number of women a man has slept with and the caliber of his performance in bed. Perhaps it's the lover-with-the-slow-hand phenomenon. But we gotta give these boys credit for playing a straight game.

Nathan added, "I have no problem telling a girl that I don't want anything more with them."

Such as skill with a mop, for example, which brings us to...

Rule Two: Keep your house clean, but don't mess with mine.

"I went into a girl's house one time, and it was so disgusting, I almost threw up," Adam explained. "There were roaches all over. I was out."

Nathan added: "I don't always make my bed, but a girl has got to make her bed. If she's too messy, I'd fuck her on the couch and then leave."

What gentlemen. But if they expect immaculate rooms from the girls, they hate it when we clean up after them.

"If they make your bed, they want to come back," Adam said. "That's basically saying, 'Thanks for letting me come over, for the hospitality, and I'd like to come back. '"

Struggling to remember the last time I'd even made my own bed, I asked, "Are you serious?"

"Ninety percent of women or more make your bed. I know, because I don't like that," Nathan replied. "I don't like a woman to make my bed, do my laundry, or do my dishes."

Women make clingy lovers. You give 'em six inches, and they take a mile.

Rule Three: Don't smell bad.

"I don't like for a girl to smell at all," Nathan said. "I don't smell. When a girl wakes up in the morning, she better brush her teeth before she even talks to me."

"With your toothbrush?" I asked.

"I don't like to share my toothbrush," he replied.

Adam said: "I don't care if a girl uses my toothbrush. We're already making out. I usually don't deal with smokers, though. If I do, I make them use mouthwash."

These boys are so particular, one wonders how any girl with functioning physiology could meet their standards. But if she is one of the lucky, odor-free, tight-bodied, nonsmokers, I'd highly recommend she bring her own toothbrush.

When they're in love, the fellows admit, it's a different standard. But just when I thought these Neanderthals might be redeemable, Nathan whipped out his camera phone and showed me a picture of a blond with her face buried in another girl's posterior.

Jesus.

He scrolled to the next picture, eager to show evidence of the threesome he'd recently enjoyed. Which meant that he was clearly in violation of...

Rule Four: Don't kiss and tell, boys.

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Courtney Hambright

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