| Lisa Lombardi,
Maxim, July 2001
When it comes to relationships, we women want constant reassurance as to where we stand, but we know better than to risk freaking you out with a machine-gun line of questioning. So we get sneaky, cross our fingers, and take a more subtle approach. We ask you indirect, seemingly harmless questions to suss out how you
really feel. See, were afraid the direct route (Where is this
relationship going?) will put pressure on you and make you run the other way. Worse, it might induce you to lie to spare our feelings to stay out of a fight.
Manipulative? Maybe a little, but you can use our tactic to your advantage. Think of it as a risk-free opportunity to tell us how youre feeling. Follow this no-fail guideand avoid a long, drawn-out discussion that would surely outlast the commercial break.
Dont you think Kate Moss is too skinny?
Rule of thumb: Anytime we ask for your opinion on another woman, were setting you up. We want to know were hot in your eyeseven if were nowhere near supermodel proportions. We also know incessantly asking you if our butt is too big drives you mad. So weve gotten slicker.
We were watching the Oscars when Gwyneth Paltrow walked out, and I said, Dont you think shes sexy? He said, Shes got no curves. Real women have hips and curves like you, says
Maddie, 28. Worked for me.
Before you think weve got big-time body issues, remember this type of question is usually asked when the relationship gets routine,
both partners have packed on the pounds, and those early compliments you used to whisper, like You have an amazing body, have evaporated.
Arent lesbian scenes/threesomes/orgies disgusting?
Of course you dont think soyoure a guy. We know this. So when you say Yeah, babe, really gross, our bullshit detectors go off. Give us
some credit. Besides, theres no need to rule out taboo sex. We love it, too, and might be up for some crazy stuff one dayas soon as were comfortable enough with you. At this point, though, we ask the question because we want to know how much sexual pressure we can expect from you. As long as were in the drivers seat, were more likely to show you our wild side.
When a kink question creeps up on you, handle it like 24-year-old Kates man did: We were watching a porn film with two girls going down on each other in one scene, she says. I wanted to find out how much he was into it, so I said, Arent lesbian scenes overrated? He scrunched up his face and said, Every guy thinks about it, but its not like itll happen in real life. Thenand this is the keyhe fast-forwarded it.
What do you think of John and Louise getting married?
When we ask about other couples, there are two things going on: (1) We like to gossip. (2) We want to find out how serious you are. Nows your chance to let us know where we stand with youfor better or worse.
If youre nowhere near ready to bite the bullet and make a commitment, deflect the implied similarity to the couple in question with something like Theyve gone out for six years, so it makes sense for them to get married now. Well get the hint.
If you havent entirely ruled out the idea of one day popping the question, use this opportunity to let us know without committing. When one of my best friends got engaged, I asked my boyfriend if he thought it was too soon, says Alicia, 28. He said, Its the right time. That let me know he wasnt closed to the marriage thing, and I felt relieved. An answer like that shows us where we stand with you without making any false promises
buying you time.
Would you still love me if I were obese/ugly/a Sox fan?
Bizarre, over-the-top inquiries inspired by too much Lifetime mean we want to know that despite physical deformity or debilitating disease, youll stick by us. Heres how to knock our insanity out of the park. Show us youre not a pushover (nobody likes a
wuss) by calling us on our craziness. Then reassure us with an offhand comment.
Paul McCartneys girlfriend with an artificial leg was on the news, says Jane, 23. I asked my guy if hed leave me if I lost a limb. He told me to stop watching so much TV, then said, Id buy you a wheelchair. Sounds a little psycho, but thats what I needed to hear.
Can you believe Mike cheated on his girlfriend?
It doesnt matter if Mike helped you perfect your Little League fastball or bailed you out of a Mexican jail. Now is not the time to stand by your best friend by happily cheering on his decision and reminding her that
his girlfriend is insane. Why? Be-cause this isnt about him at all. Our real concern is: You guys are so close, does that mean youll be doing the same thing to me at some point? Any support of your dirt-bag friend translates to us as an intention to cheat.
But dont overcompensate and come out with a heartfelt speech on how all cheaters should be strung up by the wrists and castrated. Well think youre either patronizing us or have been ordering from Oprahs Book Club, and neither is a pretty scenario. Just make it clear that you stand by your dog of a best friend (which shows youre not bullshitting us), but you think he made a big mistake.
Says Stephanie, 28: My boyfriends best friend started cheating on his girlfriend, so I was freaked out. When I brought it up, my boyfriend said, What can I say, hes an idiotthat guy is throwing away a good thing. Besides, whats the point of going out with somebody if youre going to screw around? I was so relieved to find out he felt that way. I knew I could completely trust him. Bottom line: Come down hard on cheating, but
dont pretend that youre disgusted with your friend. Were not that naive.
How many women have you been with?
Forget all the equations youve heard, like divide your number by three then subtract two, and so on. Save yourself the arithmetic because
any number is too high, and we dont actually want to know anyway. What were really asking is: Are we unique, or just another notch on the proverbial bedpost?
Your answer: Spare us the details. (Well never forget em, and youll be sorry you ever spoke up.) Instead, make it clear that youre done sowing your oats. I asked that question ages ago, wanting to find out if he really thought I was special, says Janice, 25. He just smiled and said, You know, I wouldnt trade my college spring breaks for anything, but after a while running around gets old. I was satisfied. Whether or not its true (most likely not) well get the message: Sex was meaningless before you met us.
Dont get thrown by her trick questionsgive bad responses like these and youll earn a few penalty socks to the jaw.
I told my girlfriend I just wanted a guys night out. She laughed and said, So, you like hanging out with your friends better than me, do you? I thought she was kidding, and I said, Well, thats not going to change, so youd better get used to it. I was joking, of course. She didnt think it was funny.Jason, 32
She came home and delivered the news that her sister was going away for the weekend. Do you mind if my niece stays with us? Before I could stop myself, I said, I dont want that bratty kid around. Next thing you know, Im a guy who hates kidswhich is complete bullshit. I just hate the rotten ones.Aaron, 33
Last week my girlfriend says, What do you think about Jon and Marie being on the outs? My honest response: Who can blame him? Shes been packing on the pounds since they started going out. Bad ideashe comes back with, Men are all pigs. Are you going to dump me if Im bloated?!Mark, 24
As were lying in bed after some great sex, my girlfriend asks me, Whats the wildest place youve ever done it? I tell her about this time I did it on a hotel windowsill. She just glares at me and says, Do you really think I wanted to know about you and another woman?Rob, 28
YOU VILL TOCK NOW
Was she up when you got home?
Mike Ritz of Team
Delta's interrogation camp helps you survive the Inquisition.
Tip 1: Dont get lulled.
If shes cuddly when she ought to be pissedyou came home late without calling
againdont be fooled. She didnt forget about her missing bra and all those cans of squeeze cheeseshes just softening you up so youll slip up.
Tip 2: Man the defenses.
When she starts pressuring you for details, try leading her down an alternate, less hazardous path. Fabricate a tale about a hilariously tacky girl who tried to pick up your buddy, draw parallels to a
Will & Grace episode, or evenbut only if all else failsdis a friend. (John was all over those strippers.) Hed understandin fact, hes probably returning the favor over at his place right now.
Tip 3: Tell the truth
Dont spin elaborate lies, or shell trip you up on the details. (Did I say I went to the restaurant before the bar? What I meant to say was...) Instead, be as honest as possible about where you were and whom you were withjust not about exactly what you did. Yeah, I went to the strip club with Alex, but I was throwing up in the parking lot the whole time. Hold me
Tip 4: Turn the tables.
If she angrily accuses you of lying, say, I wish you had a little more faith in this relationship. Shell think, Am I being a drama queen? and back off. Unless shes damn sure youre guilty as hell
in which case, of course, youre screwed. We suggest Motel 6.