Ladies, Here’s Your Chance to Get in the Know

June 16, 2008

In the past few years that I’ve been writing my sex and dating column, and more recently my blog, I’ve received countless emails and posts asking every type of sex, dating, and relationship question known to man (and woman). Although I love interacting with the readers, they were just faceless names on the email heading in the vast of cyberspace. There was no personal interaction.

Now that me and my psychiatrist partner-in-crime, Dr. Paul Dobransky, record our NBC5 podcast “The Fireman and the Shrink,” our listeners connect with us so much that they wish they were in the conversation with us. Ladies, don’t you wish you could ask any question about sex, dating, and relationships and get a no-holds-barred answer from a male perspective? Well you’re in luck, because now you can!

Me and Dr. Paul will be appearing at JBar (inside the James Hotel, 610 N. Rush) this Thursday June 19th from 7 pm – 8:30pm. We’ll be answering questions at an open forum of ladies’ sex, dating, and relationship questions, and anything goes! We’ll also be interviewing and recording some podcasts with any ladies willing to be heard! And best of all, ladies, you’ll be in good company because the event is being brought to you by, THE site women turn to when they have questions about adjusting to life in the big city after college. And although it’s ladies’ night, guys, you’re invited too! It’s gonna be a blast, so hope to see you there!!


Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You

June 10, 2008

As any relationship guru will tell you, the key to any successful relationship is communication.  Believe it or not, the same goes for casual sex and dating.  Certainly good communication seems pretty simple on the surface, but the fact of the matter is that about 80% of the world’s population is stupid.  Casual dating drama is usually caused by vital information not getting from Point A to Point B.

This is never more true than when guys can’t read between the lines with what the girl they’re dating is telling them — especially when being dumped.  Now of course all the blame doesn’t lie with the dense guy.  When a girl is giving a dude his walking papers she should just say it outright.  But not everyone is comfortable giving the truth, especially when it’s something as uncomfortable as saying, “Call me never.”  So what the girl usually does is give vague details about why she hasn’t called, like she’s been busy, hasn’t been feeling well, cat died, etc.  But what she’s really saying is, “don’t call me, I’ll call you.”

For whatever reason though some men don’t get it.  Maybe they have a crappy ability of reading vibes, or they’re in denial that their girl is moving on to greener pastures.  Either way, the end result is the poor sap doing the endless texts and unreturned calls, which transforms him from the guy she used to dig to the desperate chump who can’t take a hint.

So guys, in the interests of saving some face and a little bit of frustration, use your instincts to tell yourself that when something doesn’t seem quite right with your girl — it probably isn’t.  Realize that when she’s giving you every excuse in the book not to see or talk to you or text it might as well be her saying, “Don’t call me I’ll call you.”  And follow those unspoken words as gospel.  If she does call you then things are just fine.  If she doesn’t then you were right.  Where I come from that’s called win-win.  

You can find out more about Jon at and make sure to check out his podcast “The Fireman & the Shrink” and all the other cool sex stuff at NBC’s Better Sex page at  You can email Jon at

Just When You Think You’re Out, They Pull You Back In

June 4, 2008

Remember that classic line in the “Godfather Part III” when Al Pacino’s character Michael Corleone painful and angrily professes, “Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in!”  He’s referring to the fact that as hard as he tries to become legit and move away from the mob life forever, a series of unfortunate events sucks him back into the life of a mafioso kingpin.

The deeper message, of course, is that it shows that try as you might, you can’t really change who you are.  Dress a pig up in a tuxedo and it’s still a pig.  Michael tried to act like he was a professional legit businessman, but the ruthless mob boss — his true self — always rises to the surface.  It’s kind of the same in dating.

You see, there are some people out there — such as yours truly — who have done the casual dating thing for so long that they feel uber-comfortable doing it.  They become pretty damn good at it, too. Just like the mob hitmen who can whack countless people without flinching, serial daters can casually date without the emotional binds that may affect other people. Eventually, like Michael Corleone, it becomes who they are. 

But then, every once in a while an anomaly occurs.  The serial daters sometimes meet someone they like just a little bit more than the others. Mind you, they don’t lose their bearings, dating common sense, or fall head-over-heels in love or anything. They just think that maybe it’s a person they can date a little more regularly in the interests of seeing where it goes.  Like Michael, you start wondering if you might have it in you to go legit. And for a while it looks like you might be able to pull it off.  But then…

The Godfather-esque unfortunate event happens.  For whatever reason it doesn’t work out and they’re back to the casual dating.  And on the surface it’s not a big deal; people go their separate ways all the time.  But, like Michael, the bigger picture is that try as hard as you might, they can’t change who they are. Til the day Michael died he wondered if he was beyond changing.  It makes one wonder that is once a serial dater always a serial dater?  In some ways it makes them cynical about anything beyond casual dating.  They may think, “Man I let my guard down and it blew up in my face.  I shoulda known better!”

But in the end and in classic Obama fashion I’m a big believer in change.  Can a serial dater change his (or her) stripes?  Probably.  But, like Michael Corleone, we may have to leave a trail of bodies behind us on the road to becoming legit.

You can learn more about Jon at and make sure to check out his podcasts “The Fireman & The Shrink” and all the other cool sex stuff on NBC’s Better Sex page at  You can email Jon at

Guys: See Sex In The City And Learn

June 2, 2008

With the Sex and the City Juggernaut sweeping the nation I’ve noticed a lot of media writers and columnist, mostly men, defending the male position that they shouldn’t be pressured by their wives / girlfriends to go see the movie with them. At the same time they blast these same women for being dismayed if their man doesn’t want to go. I have a problem with that.

Guys, take it from me, there is nothing wrong with liking SATC. In fact, men can learn endless volumes about women from SATC. You see, Hollywood is dominated by male writers. SATC is different in that the majority of the writers for that show are female. Writers always inject a little of themselves in what they write so we’d be foolish to believe that these female writers didn’t write a little truth about what women really want, need, and experience in the four female characters. It’s the epidome of life imitating art.

The bottom line is don’t be insecure. Seeing a chick flick doesn’t mean you’re not a man. Be mature and grow a pair. There’s no downside to attending with your girl. She’ll be happy you cared enough to go with her and if you have half a brain you might even learn something.

The great sex talk doesn’t end with the blog! Every week myself and Dr. Paul Dobransky, my psychiatrist partner-in-crime, record our street smart-yet-clinical podcast “The Fireman and the Shrink”. Check out our thoughts on the SATC here:

Full Audio Version:

Video Teaser:

Wanna Be a Serial Dater? It’ll Cost You

May 19, 2008

Not long ago a date sarcastically asked me if it was expensive being a “serial dater.”  The answer was simple:  “Hell yes!”

Good dates require legal tender, and last time I checked all those crab cakes and bottles of wine don’t pay for themselves.  But I’m not complaining.  Far from it.  After all, if you want to date regularly, and be successful at it it’s the cost of doing business.


One particular reason why being a regular dater is so expensive is because I usually do the paying.  And I’m not complaining about that either.  Not only am I happy to do it but in many ways it’s required.


As much as women deny it, most believe that a guy who doesn’t pay, or at least make a legitimate effort to offer to pay, is cheap.  In asking several girls, they said cheap men are the ultimate turn-off. 


I can’t really blame them.  I can’t stand cheap people either.  But for all you cheap dudes out there I’ll offer this advice:  if you want to be successful with the gals you can’t be cheap.  If a girl pulls money out of her purse creating the façade that she’s going to pay her share, you better not take it.  She’ll be turned off.  What’s worse, if you actually ask her for her half of the check you might as well throw your condoms away; you won’t be needing them anytime soon.

Now I’m not implying that women are money-grubbers and that it’s an unspoken ultimatum that if you don’t pay, you don’t play.  It’s not about the money.  It’s about what being cheap says about you.

One girl I polled said that if a guy is cheap, it says that he’s self-absorbed and selfish. And he’s probably that way in bed, too.  She thinks that they’re the type of men who in marriage says, “What’s mine is mine”.  The translation:  “No sex for you, Cheapo”.  Women are very analytical.  They find meaning in everything.


Some women out there insist on paying their own way because, they say, they don’t want the guy to think he’ll get sex just because he paid for dinner.  How silly is that?  In this day and age, do guys really expect that?  Call me crazy, girls, but if you think that’s a possibility then why are you going out with someone like that in the first place?


It might be old fashioned to say the guy should do the paying, but that’s the way it is.  It’s the politics of dating.  That same girl told me she never expects a guy to pay, yet is still turned off when he lets her pay.  Confused?  Yeah me too, but it wouldn’t be the first time women were accused of being confusing. 


So tell her to put her money away.  Insist on it.  Only the cheapies do the contrary.  Try not to complain about the cost of the lobster bisque she ordered when you get the check.  It won’t go over so well, and it definitely will do nothing for your love life.  Look at it as an investment – and you don’t need Charles Schwab to tell you that good investments may cost a little money now, but they’ll pay big dividends later. 


You can find out more about Jon at and make sure to check out his podcasts “The Fireman & the Shrink” and all the other cool sex stuff at NBC’s Better Sex page at  You can email Jon at





When it Comes to Sex There’s No Place Like Home

May 11, 2008

In sports, the home field advantage is coveted.  Teams do whatever it takes to secure the home field advantage for the playoffs.  Chicago is no exception.  At Wrigley the Cubs have the advantage with the rowdy bleacher crowd getting under the opposing teams’ skin with their relentless heckling.  The frigid Chicago weather is an advantage for the Bears when they host opponents visiting from warmer climates.  And the Blackhawks?  Well ok, they suck no matter where they play.  But you get the point.


The home field advantage is just as valuable in the game of sex as it is in sports.  When it’s time to close the deal with a girl and the age-old question, “Your place or mine?” pops up, I always choose “mine.”  Like athletes you have more confidence on your home soil.  Unfortunately we don’t have the cheering spectators to boost our confidence as they do in sports, although I did see my neighbors looking in my window once.


One of the biggest advantages, especially if you’re already at home before your guest comes over, is that you don’t have to drive anywhere.  One girl I dated lived in Gurnee.  That’s like almost to the Canadian border!  I hate driving, so if I can get the girl to come to me then it’s a score in and of itself.  Think about it:  when you order a pizza, would you rather pick it up or have it delivered?  Enough said.


How bout when you get that 2 a.m. phone call and she invites you to her place.  Now you have to get up, get dressed, blah blah blah.  With the home field advantage, you don’t even have to get out of bed.  If I know the girl well, I’ll tell her to just walk right in and come upstairs.  Then I unlock the door, jump back in bed, and get a few more minutes of shuteye until I wake up to her climbing in bed.  It’s like breakfast in bed with room service!


One thing I hate about going to her place is deciding when to leave afterwards.  I don’t want her thinking, “Man, when’s he leaving so I can go to sleep?”  When she’s at my place, that burden is on her.  My only decision is which side of the bed I want to sleep on.


The home field advantage also makes it a lot easier to provide protection.  At home I just have to reach for the “condom drawer.”  But when you’re at her place it’s not that easy.  I’m not the type of guy to carry condoms in my pocket.  That’s just tacky.  So what’s the alternative?  Well once I had to stop in the middle of foreplay, run down three flights of stairs half-dressed out into the cold to the car to get a condom.  By the time I got back to her I was so freakin’ cold that it took a while to get back in the swing of things.  Ever see a racehorse break stride during a race?  It’s an uphill battle from that point on.  That was me.


And at my place I’m more familiar with all the hot spots.  I know the good couches to have sex on.  I know that my bed is a good spot because it has a headboard you can grab onto.  I know which of the two showers give the most hot water.  I don’t know crap about her place.  I’d have to explore like Lewis and Clark but my place is already mapped out!


So you can see how having the home field advantage is truly an advantage.  If it’s a fact that athletes perform worse on the road than at home, why wouldn’t you use the same philosophy?  When it comes to sex Dorothy was right when she said, “There’s no place like home.”


Find out more about Jon at and make sure to check out his podcasts “The Fireman & the Shrink” and all the other cool sex stuff at NBC’s Better Sex page at  You can email Jon at   

For Us “Almost Lovers” It’s Lose-Lose

April 28, 2008

So the other day I’m doing the morning crossword puzzle and I had VH1 on in the background, which was playing a video from a new band called A Fine Frenzy.  I couldn’t help but notice the lyrics to the song playing in the background.  And then it hit me:  she was singing about me!


For clarification, regardless how big my ego seems at times, this wasn’t a case of narcissism gone amuck.  The fairly hot redhead in the band wasn’t singing about ME per say, but about guys like me – or should I say guys women THINK are like me.  It’s a sad state of affairs.


The name of the song is “Almost Lover” and if you read the lyrics you’ll notice it’s about a girl who gets heartbroken by a guy.  I know — another one of those, right?  Well the difference with this one is she’s heartbroken not because of something the dude did, but because of her foolish assumptions.  You see, she thought the relationship was more serious than it was because of the great way he treated her, even though in his eyes it was just a casual thing – hence him being dubbed an “almost lover.”  And here, as they say, lies the rub.


If I had a dime for every time this happened to me I’d be able to call Bill Gates a broke chump.  For “almost lovers” like myself it’s lose-lose.  You see, I make a point to treat every girl I date special regardless of the status of the relationship.  If it’s a serious thing or just casual, I don’t discriminate; they all get the same quality treatment.  Nice right?  Wrong.  Like the redheaded hottie in A Fine Frenzy, women often misinterpret the special treatment as a sign of me wanting things to be way more serious than it is.


The big stink of it all is if the relationship is casual I make it known right away in the beginning.  So when it all goes south later on and I wonder where the hell the drama came from, I remind her that I was very clear from Jump Street that it was just a casual thing.  They usually respond with, “I know you did, but I figured you changed your mind based on your actions.”  That’s the Catch-22.  If I treat them bad from the beginning then I’m a big jerk, but if I treat them great and they misinterpret it as me wanting to take the relationship up a notch only to find out later that I don’t then I’m still the big jerk.  It’s like a Greek tragedy.


So that’s what gives birth to us “almost lovers.”  We’re guys who treat women special as if we’re in serious relationship with them, but really aren’t.  More importantly, we don’t pretend to be.  We’re open and upfront about things being just casual.  It’s an error on her part, not ours. 


I suppose the only two solutions to this “almost lover” debacle is either One, treat women a lot worse so they don’t think you have stronger feelings for her, or Two, ladies make sure you don’t read into his actions.  If the great way he treats you conflicts with his announcement of relationship casualness it doesn’t necessarily mean he had a change of heart.  Just ask him.  Assume nothing.  For the sanity of everyone involved, and the reduction of my hate mail, I suggest option number Two.


You can find out more about Jon at and make sure to check out his podcasts “The Fireman & the Shrink” and all the other cool sex stuff on NBC’s Better Sex page at  You can email Jon at