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As a faithful reader of Miss Manners, I’ve anxiously awaited her pronouncement on one social phenomenon that affects me so directly: trick etiquette. However, she has chosen not to answer my inquiries, even when I used my best stationery. Her deafening silence leaves me with no other option than to develop my own structure for graciousness for yet another category of overnight guests.
In the interest of politeness, you and your potential new friend must perform certain ceremonial functions before leaving the club (or bar, bathroom, bushes, etc.). This includes gauging the compatibility—and safety—of the potential trick.
Helpful Etiquette Hint No. 1: Be subtle with your questions. For instance: ”When you were in elementary school, did they pick you up in a big bus or a little bus?”
Both parties must clearly state their expectations for the expedition. Nothing perturbs me more than getting halfway through the evening’s festivities only to be asked, ”You want to what?”
Helpful Etiquette Hint No. 2: It’s always more polite to deflect an unexpected request graciously. For example: ”I’m so sorry, I seem to be all out of matches. Do you like Cool Whip?”
I always offer a trick a minimum of one glass of water as soon as we walk through the door. Are other refreshments required? A Diet Coke, vodka tonic, or light beer is always appropriate. Offering other treats from your kitchen or from what you have left over from the bar is purely up to your discretion. However, it is rude to use all the treats without offering.
I have had the unfortunate experience of bringing a trick home only to turn on a fluorescent light and realize what a disastrous misjudgment I have made. Although one’s first instinct may be to quickly devise some excuse involving a forgotten business deal and a late flight to the West Coast—one should always project an aura of success—it is an urge best left alone.
Helpful Etiquette Hint No. 3: The only polite course of action is to turn off the lights and engage in a brief-as-possible act of mercy sex. Hell, one never said etiquette was easy.
But what do you do when you realize too late that you have chosen unwisely, and you find yourself dozing off with your mouth open and your legs wide? Go for the quick finish, and then explain that you have a nasty phobia about sharing your bed and are prone to kicking, punching, and biting while sleeping.
Helpful Etiquette Hint No. 4: Try not to hurt his feelings. Don’t tell him he must leave because you can’t face your roommate’s laughter when you take him downstairs in the morning.
If, on the other hand, your trick was especially fulfilling, keep him around for brunch. That way you can show him off to your friends. When it comes to men, it’s always polite to show others you have something that they don’t. But exercise caution; it’s never fun to discover that all of one’s friends have already traveled that particular highway.
Helpful Etiquette Hint No. 5: Thank-you notes are not required, regardless of what your mother taught you.
Excerpted from Boy Does World. Copyright 2010 Sean Bugg. Used with permission.
Boy Does World: Fifteen Years of Bad Behaviors, Bad Attitudes, and Happy Endings by Sean Bugg is available at select bookstore and online at amazon.com.
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