How to Hang on to Your Lady

This morning I read a piece by Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon about Holly Hill, who lived for a year as a “mistress for hire.” Apparently, Hill believes that negotiating infidelity with your husband (aka hiring a mistress for him to bonk on the side) will help you hang on to him. Because men are biologically incapable of monogamy, right? As Mary Elizabeth Williams points out, women are bombarded with so many messages telling us we need to “keep our man” at all costs. Because anything – even buying your husband a prostitute – is better than ending up a spinster cat lady, right?

Williams writes:

But honest to God, how much more of this “Wanna keep your man? Let him stray” tripe are we supposed to swallow? And, when, by the way, is anybody going to write the book about how to hang on to us ladies? (Hint: We too enjoy getting laid.)

What would that book look like?

I rounded up the most common and irritating “How to Hang on to Your Man” advice tips, and then changed them around a bit just for funsies. Remember that all of these are examples of actual “advice” given to women. Like all the freaking time.

Hetero men, pay attention:

How to Hang on to Your Lady

  1. Take pride in your appearance. Eat right, exercise, put special emphasis on your hair and grooming. Just because you’re in a committed relationship doesn’t mean you can let yourself go. If you do, she will start flirting with the hunks at the gym and cheat on you with someone hotter.
  2. Spice things up in the bedroom. Your woman isn’t going to be satisfied with the same sexual routine over and over. Try buying sexy lingerie, lighting candles, or ask her about a sexual fantasy. Then buy a costume and role play her fantasy. If you don’t keep her interested, she will get bored with you and spend the night with her iPhone instead.
  3. Let her have a “girl’s night.” Your woman needs time with her girlfriends, and being too clingy will drive her away. To show that you are supportive and cool, turn the extra room in your house into a “woman cave” where she can invite her girlfriends over to do “girl stuff.”
  4. Remain your own person. Your primary objective here is to not appear co-dependent. She is the most important thing in your world, but you have to act as though you have other interests and priorities so that you don’t drive her away. Get a hobby or join some clubs. Women like to know that guys have a life of their own. They also don’t want you hanging around the house when they have their friends over.
  5. Don’t take her for granted. Believe it or not, there are things she does for you every day, and it’s easy to overlook them. Try to remember that she does all the housework and childcare and works a full time job. It’s little things like these that we often stop noticing.
  6. Don’t have a headache. Take a Tylenol and put that headache on the back burner so you can have sex with her when she’s turned on and she wants to. If you aren’t in the mood for sex, you should do it anyway because if you don’t, she will look for it elsewhere. (She can’t help it, it’s in her biology.) And if you find that you “have a headache” more than once a week, you should really look into Viagra because you might have a sexual dysfunction disorder.
  7. Stop stalking her. Don’t call her more than once a day, and only when you have something important to talk about. If she loves you, she will call you. You must not look needy and desperate. You don’t want to come off as nosy or controlling either. She needs to feel like she’s not on a leash and can do what she pleases without having to tell you about it.
  8. Talk to her when the environment is right. Women need space and react to things differently depending on the environment. For example, if she is just coming home from a long day at work, wait until after she settles down in the Lazy-Z boy and you’ve gotten her her slippers. Also be sure to never criticize her in front of her friends. That is incredibly efeminating and will make her lose face among other women. She will only resent you for this and you will pay the price later.
  9. Love her for who she is. Everyone knows you can’t change a woman. Don’t criticize her or try to make her over, it will only cause conflict. She may not match up to your ideal, but maybe your standards are unrealistic. You need to appreciate her for who she is now, and love her despite her faults. Instead of expecting her to change, try changing yourself or your own expectations.
  10. Hire her a boyfriend. Look, women are just programmed to want to sleep around. They aren’t in control, their vaginas are. It’s science! So, by negotiating infidelity within your relationship, you can keep her satisfied and be involved in the process (by paying for it!)
  11. And finally, don’t be a doormat! Women don’t like doormats.

If you have any others, add them in the comments.

7 thoughts on “How to Hang on to Your Lady

  1. Respect her career: a lot of women base their confidence and self-worth around how much money they make and how well they can support their families. Make sure she knows how much you value her work and her career by not stepping on her toes. If you make more than she does, let her pay for things every now and again so she feels like a real woman who can take care of her man.

    You know the saddest thing about lists like these? If we took out the ridiculous patriarchy-ism, and stopped selling them to only women, there are some legitimately reasonable ideas hidden in the lousy dressing. It probably does make sense, for people of any gender, to pursue romantic relationships without stalking anyone, treating their partners courteously, and maintaining their own hobbies and interests.

    Patriarchy: let no good idea go unsullied.

  2. Seriously I dont see anything that wrong in what I think you intended to be a satrical piece.

    If I dont want to step out it doesnt mean that my wife shouldnt have some variety if it would make her feel better about herself and our relationship, sure there are risks but without great risks there are no great rewards in anything.

    Taking pride in ones appearance for me is a general comment that includes my health and so why wouldnt I pay attention to this aspect of my well being as it has profound effects for me and my entire family.

    Maybe not everybody can deal with infidelity in both directions but personally I know that certainly when I was single the ‘one nighters’ were way more about animal passion and physical exercise/exertion than anything else and in a relationship that can be tough to replicate so if she is missing that or I am missing that do we really have to say its an either or situation when both can be possible ?

    Anyway I dont see the issue if one is somewhat discrete in ones personal business.

    • @Justin

      I’d hope one would be somewhat discrete in one’s personal business, because to be continuous would just get exhausting. HA Ha! … homonym.

  3. A “woman cave,” you say?

    … must … resist …

    I’d like to explore the depths of HER “woman cave!” Heyo!

    …Sorry. I can’t resist an easy setup. In all seriousness, though, I think you’ve brought to light an important fact: Most of that stuff (if not all of it) goes both ways. And if people are enlightened enough to understand that the desire to stray has nothing to do with your gender, maybe people will start being a little less ridiculous. One can only hope.

  4. Justin, I disagree.

    Yeah the piece is satirical, but the satire was used to explore the patriarchy and sexist guide lines that girls and women are taught and subjected to.

    It’s agreed that it’s not wrong for men and women to practice some of these tips in order to maintain a healthy relationship. But that’s beside the point.

    The whole premise of the article is to examine how these guide lines have been solely directed at women for ages. The idea that the female sex needs to be taught “how to keep a man” is constantly replayed in books, media, and studies, as opposed to the idea that both parties need to deliver the same amount of effort and work to succeed in a peaceful coexistence. These tips would need to be presented to both boys and girls in balance and commutuality. But it’s not. This advice is purposed for women and illuminates just one element of patriarchy.

  5. Now that I think about it, a lot of this advice (presented in almost exactly this way) was in a series of articles I read as a youth on how to “get” women (but not keep them, because the fun is in the getting don’tcha know!) Numbers 1, 4, 7, and 11 were all integral parts of the Pick-up Artist’s playbook, though they tended to go the opposite way of #5 and #9 since sticking around long enough for those to be an issue means you’ve already failed. And they flipped #8, saying that a backhanded compliment to a woman in front of her friends (as well as pointedly ignoring her and focusing attention exclusively on her friends) is a great way to manipulate her by appearing to be a “challenge” for her to surmount.

    Btw, nice transformation of emasculating into efeminating. Which is the worse fate for a lady, efeminating or masculating?

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