Clueless: Three Chivarly Conundrums That Continue to Baffle Us

***Before beginning, I want to remind everybody that Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm at Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating, and Fighting Crime is available at Amazon.com.

Also, we’d like to thank you all for helping us reach #1 on Amazon’s Movers and Shakers list and #4 on Amazon’s Bestsellers in Love, Sex & Marriage Humor list!***

21st Century Chivalry” — chapter seven in Your Degrees Wont Keep You Warm At Night — devotes 3,000 or so words to the idea that there’s a certain way that men and women should treat each other; a set of guidelines that covers everything from “Facebook chivalry” and “Medieval freaks” to “Who should sleep in the wet spot, and why?” and “Should penis proficiency matter when deciding whether to make certain bedroom requests?

But, despite this chapter’s comprehensiveness and by “comprehensiveness” I mean “comprehensiveness sillinessthere are a few things about chivalry and social etiquette that I intentionally neglected to mention because, well, I just don’t f*cking know the answers. (Shocker, right?)

Thing is, I’m not alone. While most of us are somewhat aware of most of the rules of chivalry (even if we chose to ignore them), there are several chivalry/social etiquette conundrums that continue to baffle each of us, and I decided to shed light on three of them today so we can finally get some f*cking answers.

1. If a man and a woman are both approaching a revolving door, who goes first?

We already know how men and women are supposed to navigate doors, elevators, lines, and getting on and off public buses. Basically, all a chivalrous man has to do is position himself in the best possible place to get a clear look at a woman’s ass. (Think about it: everything from opening doors to letting women have your seat on crowded buses just gives a man a better opportunity to admire a woman’s ass-to-waist ratio.)

But, there aren’t any set rules for the revolving door. Does a man push through the doors first and risk his clumsy-ass woman getting her heel stuck in-between the revolving doors, tripping, and giving herself a grade-two concussion, or should the man allow the woman to go through first, risking his woman getting swept away by a sudden microburst of hoodrat activity as soon as she exits the doors?

Also, while we’re on doors…

2. Is a man still required to open car doors if a woman is driving?

I understand the reasoning behind opening the passenger door for a woman (you’re making sure she gets in the car safely, and, well, the whole booty peek thing), but what was once practical seems like useless pandering if a woman is driving.

Plus, if you open the driver side door for her, it now creates this awkward moment where she has to wait for your non-driving nincompoop ass to loaf all the way around the car before she’s able to take off, and those 10 seconds are all she needs to think to herself  “Damn it. I need to just run his ass over so I can get me a new man who actually f*cking drives. Damn Kappas!”

3. If you’re at a restaurant and your date decides mid-meal that the food needs to be sent back, should you continue eating your meal, or should you also stop mid-meal and wait for your date’s food to come back?

We all know that you’re not supposed to start your main course until everyone at the table receives theirs. In fact, most places make sure to serve everyone at the exact same time for this reason, and some waiters will even let the patrons know that a certain dish “takes a bit long” to prepare, which is just code for “Look. You can order this food. Be my f*cking guest. But, since this contrived-ass dish is going to take 180 minutes for us to make, be prepared to have the entire rest of your party pissed at you, and also be prepared to have me pissed at you since their pissed-offedness and your collective blackness basically ensures my tip will suck.

But, what’s the protocol for when your date returns the meal after you’ve already begun eating? Do you just sit there and stare at each other? Return your perfectly delicious meal as well? Give him/her some of your food? Tease them for ordering a sh*tty meal? Eat slower? Order more bread? Bounce? Bounce to the back and have a Applebee’s bathroom quickie? Who f*cking knows?

***Btw, anyone who thinks this is a too contrived scenario has obviously never been on a date with an actual human woman. At last count, the “she doesn’t like her food (even though they gave her exactly what she ordered) and now I’m the only one eating while her hungry ass is making goo goo eyes at my steak” thing has happened to me at least 171 times.***

Anyway, people of VSB: do you have any answers? Any proofs for these problems? Any results for these riddles? Any clues to solve these conundrums?

Also, can you think of any other chivalry conundrums that you just haven’t been able to solve?

The carpet is yours.

***Btw, if you get a minute, check out my profile on upcoming R&B group “The Maintenance Men” at Clutch Mag***

—The Champ

5 Acts of Casual Chivalry Men Never Get Any Credit For

“I don’t care how many times you kiss me. I’m still not sleeping in the wet spot”

“You got a gold star this weekend.”

“Word?”

“Yup.”

“Cool. I’ll put it on my refrigerator. Can you tell me exactly why, though? What good relationship deed did I do?”

“If you don’t already know, I’m not telling you”

“Why not?”

“I want to continue to think you did it on purpose.”

Originally written almost three years ago (and revised many times since), “The VerySmart Guide To 21st Century Chivalry” is a somewhat traditionalist list of a few of the right ways men and women should treat each other.

In a perfect word, there’d be no need for such a list because there’d be no ambiguity about chivalry, but since “the concept of chivalry died years ago, neglected so long that it ended up gaunt and emaciated, starving to death outside of a KFC because no one could spare him the big piece of chicken” many contemporary women are surprised when men practice it. So surprised, in fact, that we occasionally receive “points” for things we’ve been doing since we were eight years old. (I said “eight” because that’s the first time I remember my dad smacking me in the back of my head because I didn’t open a door for my mom. That shit hurt like hell, so I tried to make sure to never to it again)

But along with the usual typically chivalrous acts, we spend much of our waking hours doing certain things for the sole purpose of making women’s lives easier, things we don’t get any types of special points or extra credit for.

Here’s a few of them.

1. Sleeping in the wet spot

Each gender has an equal stake in making sex a pleasurable experience. From courting to coitus, sex is the world’s truest symbiotic activity; an event where much of the outcome is based on creating an environment where teamwork trumps talent and unity usurps uniqueness.

But, the moment the last orgasmic reverberation ends, all notions of gender equality, togetherness, teamwork, and sexual ubuntu end as well. Men are expected to be the sacrificial “lay in the mysteriously colored (and mysteriously temperatured) wet spots made as a result of your collective effort to cum” lambs, ignoring the fact that human’s aren’t built to lay in random coital dampness. (Well, human’s not named “Kat Stacks” aren’t meant to lay in random coital dampness.)

Yet, despite this blatant and flagrant inequality (and despite the fact that we’re not the ones secreting random water-based lubricants all over the sheets and shit), we accept this arrangement, as long as you don’t ask us to get up and make you any kool-aid. (It’s cold out there, and, well, we generally don’t like how we look when it’s cold and we’re butt-naked.)

2. We don’t complain about our days

We hate our commutes, our bosses, our idiot coworkers, our “too damn talkative for a f*cking Monday morning” cubicle nemesi, our secretary’s terrible brick-based brownies (and the fact that she’ll “accidentally” misplace one of your messages if we refuse to eat one of them), the lunchtime lines at Au Bon Pain, the too flirty cashiers, the fact that the one cashier who’s actually cute is the one that never flirts with us, and the fact that no one in the office remembered it’s our birthday just as much as you do.

But, in what may be our most altruistic act, we usually leave it all at the office, allowing you to bask alone in your professional martyrdom glory. Trust me, on the chivalry scale, there’s no difference between “walking on the outside of the sidewalk while with a woman” and saying “My day was fine. Yours?” when you ask us about our day at work.

3. Allow you to convince us to try “new” foods

I have a friend who has literally eaten at least one junior bacon cheeseburger every day for the past 17 years. This may seem like a particularly depressing piece of Pittsburgh-area hyperbole, but his diet isn’t really that much different than the typical man’s diet.

Seriously, if you were to open the fridge in any random bachelor’s apartment today, you’d probably see nothing but myriad representatives from each of the three main food groups—breakfast food, reheatable beef products, and fruity shit stored in the fridge just in case a woman decides to come through. That’s it.

But, when we’re with you, we’re eating Ethiopian lasagna and Thai scrambled eggs and anus-angering Indian food. (Seriously, can someone tell me why Indian food hates our anuses so much? Did our anuses sleep with their sister? Do our anuses own them money? Did our anuses promise Indian food that it would always be its “spirtual son”? If anyone has any idea what their beef is, please let me know) So what if our stomachs are growling like Busta in the “Scenario” video, we do it in an attempt to appease your need for “atmosphere” and “newness” and “ambiance” and other gay-ass sounding descriptive nouns.

4. Leaving the toilet seat up

After getting up in the middle of the night and stumbling through the darkness to relieve ourselves, we occasionally forget to put the toilet seat down when finished. Women usually complain about this.

But, if you all knew the actual truth—if the toilet seat is actually down after we’ve relived ourselves in the middle of the night, there’s a likely chance the seat was never actually up, which also means there’s a likely chance we just said “f*ck it” and decided to pee on the toilet seat—you’d realize exactly how kind and considerate we were to leave it up.

5. Masturbating

We masturbate (frequently) so we’re not as compelled to sleep with each of your friends, an extremely chivalrous act saving you the trouble of having to find a new group of women to borrow dresses from and dread going to Saturday brunch with.

Anyway, people of VSB.com, can you think of any other chivalrous acts men always do, but never get any actual notice or credit for? Also, ladies, are their any forms of “reverse chivalry” you regularly practice but we don’t know about?

The carpet is yours

—-The Champ

the verysmart guide to 21st century chivalry

***the following is portion of a chapter from the upcoming Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm at Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Meeting, Dating, Mating, and Fighting Crime***

for many of us, the concept of chivalry died years ago, neglected so long that it ended up gaunt and emaciated, starving to death outside of a KFC because no one could spare him the big piece of chicken.

well, the champ is here to say that we’re wrong. chivalry isn’t dead or even dying…just in need of a bit of a makeover. an update. a reboot. a few minor tweaks and adjustments for the 21st century.

1. men still should always pay for (at least) the first three dates

it doesn’t matter if the guy’s a grad student working at starbucks dating a CPA making 80k a year. if he approached her and they’re dating, the man should always cover at least the first three dates.

this may seem a bit antiquated, but this universal rule actually benefits both parties. if she’s really into him, she won’t mind the fact that the first couple of dates have been at borders, the cheese dog stand at the arts festival, and the sample soup counter at giant eagle. if she does mind the limited spending dates, that’s all the proof he needs that she’s probably not the woman for him. see how easy that works? it’s not rocket surgery and sh*t

2. if a woman, any woman, is within 15-20 feet of a man and approaching the same door you he is, he must always attempt to open it and let her walk through first, even if you’re coming from an awkward angle.

if she’s within 20-40 feet and walking at a pace which insures that she’ll be at the same door you’re about to enter within 7-10 seconds, you can walk through the door first, but you must hold the door for her.

this is pretty non-negotiable. any man who doesn’t open doors for women, and doesn’t wait as a human doorstop for a woman that’s less than ten seconds away from the door sounds like a diva dude. sure, there are extenuating circumstances (you have crutches, you really, really have to pee, she’s running from the cops, etc) but this is another one of rules that will never change.

plus, as an added bonus, there’s no better way of getting a really, really good clear booty peek. women always seem to jiggle the hips a little extra whenever a door’s being held open for them. i think it’s some form of a primitive mating mechanism actually, some evolutionary correlation between held doors, jiggled hips, and ovaries, but i really have no idea.

in the rare case that you happen to come across some woman who feels as if any male holding a door for her is a symptom of 200 years of western oppression, patriarchy, and male privilege, do shrug your shoulders and continue to hold the door. and, even though you might be tempted, don’t pat her on the head when she walks by.

there’s really only one instance where you probably should treat lightly, and that’s when she’s with another man who looks as if it might be HER man.

door opening now can be tricky because it basically shows the other man up, visibly usurping one of his most important roles. you don’t want to cause some poor stranger any unnecessary anguish. he doesn’t need to hear “what, some stranger can open the door for me and your lazy ass cant??? maybe I should have given him the shower quickie this morning instead of you!!!” when he gets home.

remember fellas, happy woman means happy man, and happy men means less crime.

3. always volunteer to sleep in the “wet spot”

why? Because making her the one who always has to lay down to sleep in the spot on the bed where you just finished having sex is a sure-fire way to ensure that her spot won’t be too wet for too much longer.

along with “walk on the side closest to the curb, even though if a car does actually jump the curb, it’s probably going to kill you both anyway” this is one of those you just have to take for the team. its all about the greater good and sh*t

4. always let women within 10 feet of you go first in elevators, buses, cabs, etc, etc

this is also a great time to watch women’s behinds. you see, there are ways to appreciate women’s figures without doing the piss-boy pirouette, and chivalry actually allows for many of them. nothing beats watching a nice pair of hips walk up a few city bus stairs.

i’m actually beginning to think that chivalry is just a convoluted system devised for men to look at as much ass as possible. underneath all of those layers of clothing and armor, those damn knights and maidens must have been a bunch of freaks.

5. the man should always be the first one to change his status to “In a relationship” on facebook or any other social networking websites.

you see, her friends probably pay more attention to that stuff than your friends are going to, which means they’re much more likely to give her hell for changing her status before you changed yours than your friends would. plus, when a woman does that first, it usually screams “My name is Ation. Desper Ation”, and you don’t want to put her in that position.

subsequently, unless it was a particularly foul “she slept with my bipolar teammate” type of break-up, the man should probably also wait until his ex has changed her status back to single before he does

6. a man can never say “please” and “thank you” too much, except in the bedroom, where they should be given the condiment treatment: Best used with light sprinkles

the bedroom in itself is a paradox where the common rules of chivalry don’t exist. for instance, saying “please” during a sexual act is a bit tricky because “please” accompanies a request. depending on his disposition, body language, and penis size, “please” could be interpreted as “a playful request lightening the mood”, “a considerate lover”, or “an annoyingly desperate dude who should just shut the f*ck up and be happy that his cornball ass is getting some”

there’s basically no in-between, no gray area with this, exactly why he needs to be absolutely sure about the nature of their sexual relationship before he continues with the “pleases”. usually in these situations, a slight nudge or eye contact is all that’s needed to get his point across, whatever it happens to be.

also, the appropriateness of “thank you” is just as dependant on the situation

a) after finishing a very fulfilling tryst with your lover, you kiss her, lay flat on your back, and say “thanks baby” while you’re both still laying there, catching your breath, enjoying that post-sex hazy silence, and reflecting about the entire experience.

in this case, the “thank you” enhanced the level of intimacy, two lovers letting each other know that the act which just occurred was greatly valued and appreciated, a stark contrast from…

b) right after finishing a fulfilling tryst with a lover, you remove yourself from inside of her, jump out the bed, say “thanks babe” and hop in the shower before she’s even moved a muscle.

in this case, the “thank you” completely disengages the situation of all intimacy, treating the act as if it should be accompanied by a credit card swipe and receipt coming out of her ass. i understand that all sex isn’t going to be love-making, but it still is sex. it’s not like she just made you a grilled-cheese sandwich.

7. don’t bullsh*t the chivalry Gods.

men, don’t break your neck to open doors for every Zoe Saldana you see but refuse to give up your seat for the slightly homely chick with the eclectic face on the train carrying 90 textbooks

on the same token, women should always acknowledge a chivalrous act. it could be a smile or a “thank you” or a slight head nod or head an “accidental” cleavage peak…anything as long as it lets the guy know that his efforts haven’t been in vain. if you see a guy doing the doorstop thing for you, the very least you can do is make an effort to sped up your walk so it doesn’t seem like he’s standing there waiting for the seasons to change in the time it takes your inconsiderate ass to get to the door.

there you go young grasshoppers. go on now and make the champ proud

—the champ

[***Admin Note: On June 3rd in New York City, The Champ will be on a panel with a few other "relationship experts" to talk about relationships, love, sex, and all that other good stuff, and he'd greatly appreciate your support. Go to moderndaymatchmaker.eventbrite.com for more details.

Also, if you're planning on attending, please buy your tickets with the promotional code "VSB" to receive a 20% discountTickets are almost sold out, so it's probably not the best idea to wait for the last minute to purchase. Thanks!***]

the sad tale of the BAB: three signs that you might be a bitter-a** bastard

the official drink of the BAB

the official drink of the BAB

from the real world’s BBC (big breasted coral) to omarosa manigault-stallworth, the image of the “angry educated black woman” has become a fixture in modern day american culture. studied, discussed, debated, and caricatured, you almost can’t escape a day without reading some blog or watching some special focused on angry educated black women’s views on dating, racism, sexism or kim kardashian.

thing is, the non-stop attention paid to these belligerent and bookish broads has caused us to overlook and ignore a growing contingent in our communities, a group thats still growing like chinese gymnasts and spreading like the legs of vsb.com groupies california wildfires, the bitter-a** bastard.

acrimonious men who have allowed a few real or perceived minor slights to vindicate their displeasure with womanhood in general, there are bitter-a** bastards walking among us and angrily insisting dutch first dates as we speak, and and its our duty to locate and brand them before they continue to poison the already misty dating pool

so, without further ado, here’s three signs that you might be a bitter-a** bastard (BAB)

1. you’re proudly unchivalrous.

there’s nothing else that screams “i’m a bitter a** bastard” louder than a grown ass man who’s practically excited to get the opportunity to let everyone else know all the simple-ass sh*t they’d never do for a woman.

“pay for dinner??? trick, please. what i look like buying you appetizers and water and sh*t when you don’t even swallow??? plus, you make like 31g’s a year!!! you’re telling me you can’t afford to buy your own damn ice tea???”

look, i understand that it’s 2008 and that acf (annoyingly convenient feminism) combined with the gains women have made in the workforce has made male and female interaction increasingly complex. plus, with all the diseased free panties running the streets nowadays, why walk the extra mile for some “undeserving” chick when you can run a train in your basement?

yet, despite whatever argument you conceive, there’s still no justifiable explanation being this way. part of being a grown-up man is doing the right thing without any expectation of acknowledgment or reward, but a typical BAB will voluntarily and happliy relinquish a crucial component of his own manhood just because some janky broad or two didn’t immediately fellate him when he gave up his seat for her on the train seven years ago.

2. scapegoating is your friend

BABs love scapegoating and pigeonholing more than crackheads love home depot. words such as “all” and “every” always seem to find a way into their sentences when speaking negatively about the opposite sex, a common practice used by folks so blinded by bitterness that they can’t see how foolish a statement such as “all black women with master’s degrees give terrible bj’s” really is. ****editors note: although, with this example, he might have a point****

3. bitter? me? hell no!!! not at all. I’m just a little more practical now, thats all”

theres nothing a BAB loathes more than actually admitting that he’s a BAB, a phenomenon which produces some of the most hilariously misguided attempts of synonym use known to man. from “practical” and “prudent” to “rational” and “realistic”, a typical BAB will have an endless supply of words and euphemisms that make his BAB-ness sound much less harsh

“i’m not bitter. far from it. i just tend to look at the entire idea of womankind in a perpetually jaundiced light, thats all.”

the first step in any type of healing process is acknowledging the fact that you actually do have a problem, but because BAB’s are typically reluctant to do this, its our patriotic duty to alert them ourselves. good people of vsb.com, its in your hands now.

i challenge you all to find one BAB today, look him dead in his beady eyes, and tell him to “man the hell up!!”. don’t let your country or your champ down.

–the champ

raised right

For many of us, the concept of chivalry died years ago, neglected so long that it ended up gaunt, emaciated, and barely recognizable, starving to death outside of a KFC because no one could spare him the big piece of chicken.

Well, the champ is here to say that we’re wrong. Chivalry isn’t dead or even dying…just in need of a bit of a makeover. An update. A reboot. A few minor tweaks and adjustments to help it combat the depraved mindsets attempting to eradicate it.

Without further ado, here’s a partial version of the champs simple guide to 21st century chivalry…what it entails and encompasses and how to make sure it always gets that elusive big piece.

1. If a woman is within 15-20 feet and approaching a door at the same time a man is, the man must always attempt to open it and let her walk through first, even if he’s coming from an awkward angle. If the women is within 20-40 feet and walking at a pace which insures that she’ll be at the same door he’s about to enter within 7-10 seconds, he can walk through the door first, but he must hold the door for her.

This is pretty non-negotiable. Plus, as an added bonus, there’s no better way of getting a really, really good clear booty peek…women always seem to switch and jiggle the hips a little extra whenever a door’s being held open for them. I think it’s some form of a primitive mating mechanism actually, with an evolutionary correlation between held doors, jiggled hips, and ovaries, but I really have no idea.

***Also, even though the man isn’t holding the door just so the woman can say “thanks” , the man does reserve the right to mutter “bitch” “witch” under his breath if the act isn’t acknowledged at all.***

2. A man can never use too many “pleases”….except in the bedroom, where it should be given the condiment treatment: only used with light sprinkles

The bedroom in itself is a paradox where the common rules of chivalry don’t exist. For instance, saying “please” during a sexual act is a bit tricky because “please” accompanies a request. Depending on his disposition, body language, and penis size, “please” could be interpreted as “a playful request lightening the mood”, “a considerate lover”, or “an annoyingly desperate dude who should just stfu and be happy that his cornball ass is getting some .

There’s basically no in-between, no gray area with this, exactly why he needs to be absolutely sure about the nature of their sexual relationship before he continues with the “pleases”. Usually in these situations, a slight nudge or forceful grab of the neck eye contact is all that’s needed to get his point across, whatever it happens to be.

3. Men should always pay for the first three dates

It doesn’t matter if the guy’s a grad student working at Starbucks dating a newly hired cpa making 80k a year, if they’re dating, the man should always cover at least the first three dates. This is a universal rule that actually benefits both parties. If she’s really into him, she won’t mind the fact that the first couple of dates have been at Borders, the cheese dog stand at the arts festival, and the sample soup counter at giant eagle. If she’s feeling him, but does mind the limited spending dates, then thats all the proof he needs that she’s an evil, money grubbing hobbyhorse not the chick for him. Its that simple. If things are going well, by number four she should offer to pay or at least provide the setting and the man should accept her offer.

lastly…

4. Don’t bullsh-t the chivalry Gods.

men, don’t break your neck to open doors for every Esther Baxter or Zoe Saldana you see but refuse to give up your seat for the slightly homely chick with the eclectic teeth on the train carrying 90 textbooks

on the same token, women should always acknowledge a chivarious act. It could be a smile or a “thank you” or a slight head nod or head an “accidental” cleavage peak…anything as long as it lets the guy know that his efforts haven’t been in vain. If you see a guy doing the doorstop thing for you, the very least you can do is make an effort to sped up your walk so it doesn’t seem like he’s standing there waiting for the seasons to change in the time it takes your inconsiderate ass to get to the door.

there you go, young grasshoppers. go on now and make the champ proud

—the champ