Therapists Say That Valentine’s Day Is No Longer Sexy

Valentine’s Day has always been about sex — whoops, love. But, for many, this February 14 feels neither sexy nor particularly loving, thanks to political events from the confirmation of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, a man who tried to block women’s birth control access, to Donald Trump’s ban on immigrants from Muslim-majority countries. So, this year, sex educators and therapists are calling for Valentine’s Day to have a different focus: Instead of talking about sex, we need to talk about sexual rights.

“In a year in which the rights of sexual and gender minorities have been increasingly challenged, and reproductive health and rights are frequently in the news, this Valentine’s Day needs to be about more than just ‘sexy time,’” said the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), the major professional organization for sex educators and therapists, in a press release.

The press release does not mention Trump by name — but, of course, he’s there, as is his administration and the Republican party as a whole. It states that AASECT “opposes all psychological, social, cultural, legislative and governmental forces that would restrict, curtail or interfere with the fundamental values of sexual health and sexual freedom that we espouse.”

What forces would try to restrict sexual health and sexual freedom? Well, Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, has argued that employers should be able to deny contraceptive coverage to employees and believes, incorrectly, that contraception causes abortion. His vice president, Mike Pence, is rabidly anti-choice and, as governor of Indiana, signed a law banning abortion in cases of “genetic abnormality” and defunded Planned Parenthood in his state. Trump himself plans to overturn the Affordable Care Act, which promises free birth control to most women. Republicans, who now also have majorities in the House and Senate, have long sought to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides sexual and reproductive healthcare — including everything from STI testing to sex education — to millions of Americans.

The release goes on to say that AASECT is against “all abuses of sexuality including, but not limited to, harassment, intimidation, coercion, prejudice and the infringement of any individual’s sexual and civil rights.”

The subtext, of course, is a president who has bragged about sexually assaulting women and has been accused of harassment and sexual assault by several women, including his ex-wife (although she later said she didn’t mean it in a “literal or criminal sense”). As far as prejudice goes, Trump has hinted that he would appoint Supreme Court judges who would overturn marriage equality, and Pence signed a bill as governor to allow businesses to discriminate against the LGBT community. Infringement on civil rights? Trump has supported North Carolina’s HB2, which restricts transgender people from using the bathroom consistent with their gender identity.

This isn’t to mention attacks on sexual entertainment or (horror movie trailer voice) pornography. The GOP platform has declared porn a “public health crisis.” Utah has called it a “public health hazard” and suggested that it is addictive. (AASECT recently made news with a position statement acknowledging no “sufficient empirical evidence to support the classification of sex addiction or porn addiction as a mental health disorder.”) There is a push underway across the U.S. to censor porn on all internet-connected devices. And rounding out the current threat to X-rated movies, Trump has signed an anti-porn pledge promising to “aggressively enforce” obscenity laws.

These are but a few examples of the many reasons that this year’s Valentine’s Day calls for a little something more than candy hearts and lingerie. As AASECT puts it, “[We] would like to wish the citizenry of the United States a happy, healthy Valentine’s Day, but more importantly want to affirm the fundamental value of sexuality as an inherent, essential and beneficial dimension of being human.”

How to Buy Her Great Flowers for Valentine’s Day

If there’s one thing we know about Valentine’s Day, it’s that it isn’t about us. In actuality, Valentine’s Day is all about her—making sure we show her that we love and appreciate the time and effort she puts into being with us (as we know, we can be handfuls). Alas, we’re men. We’re simply excited by the prospect of a steak and a good after-dinner cigar. But her reward for listening to us prattle on about those things should be anything involving fancy dinners, small tokens of appreciation, handmade cards, flowers, and a whole bunch of other cute shit.

One thing men always seem to get wrong, no matter how hard they try, are flowers. It’s one of the mainstays of the holiday, yet we still tend to half ass it just for the sake of saying, “But honey, I got you flowers!”

This year, put some goddamn effort in.

First of All, Stop Ordering Flowers Online

The appeal of ordering a floral arrangement online is evident: They’re super convenient, and because online shops don’t have the overhead of maintaining (and paying for) a physical shop, their prices are usually relatively competitive. That said, specific delivery date fees and other less-obvious charges can add up.

The problem is, the flowers delivered by quick-and-easy delivery sites are often of disappointingly poor quality. There’s no telling what kind of quality they’re going to be beforehand, because there’s no way of knowing how they were stored, where they came from, or how old they are. You’re essentially clicking a button, placing the order, and hoping for the best… which is dumb.

Plus, local florists hate online services. The service is supposed to connect local florists and customers, but most of the time, they take the profits and the florist ends up losing money. One florist in California ended up $2000 in the hole one Valentine’s Day. So shop smart. Go to an actual store.

Do NOT Buy From Roadside Stands

You’re scrambling home from the office because you might be late for you dinner reservations, and there he is, parked outside the gas station down the street from your building. He has a sign that says, “Dozen Roses: $15.”

It’s convenient, it’s affordable (read: cheap), and since you didn’t care enough to order beforehand, it’ll likely get you out of some hot water when you get home to the missus. Only, you’re totally wrong. Those flowers suck, and she’s not dumb—she’ll notice.

Even in dire circumstances, you can always find some chocolates and a stuffed bear in a CVS or somewhere similar. Just don’t ever bother with the roadside cheapsies, because the last thing you want is to show up to greet her with buds literally falling off their stem.

Don’t ask us how we know…

Pick a Florist, But Not Just Any Florist—You Get What You Pay For

Flower shops are one of the most popular independent businesses for creatives because florists require no actual training. All a florist needs is a deep understanding of color palettes, an eye for complementary design, and a creative touch. For you, it means that every florist is different from the next. Rather than Googling “Florist in [City Name]” and picking the first option, do some research and find the best one in your area or the one whose style best matches your (or her) own.

We know, we know—it sounds like a lot of work. But that’s kind of the point.

Look around on Google, Yelp, and elsewhere to find a florist that people seem to really love. Additionally, don’t be afraid to actually walk into the shop and talk with the florist before you order. Hell, for all you know, this store’s about to claw you out of a self-dug ditch.

If You’re on a Budget, Head to the Grocery Store—No, Seriously

Buying good quality flowers without getting ripped off isn’t impossible. Believe it or not, many grocery stores (again, do your homework, here) store their flowers much like actual florists.

In fact, the bigger super-stores like Publix, B.J.’s, etc. have their own in-house floral shops. If you can find one of them, you’re golden, because they offer the exact same quality as your local florist, but usually at a price that’s 10-15 percent less expensive. We still recommend hitting up a local shop if you want a more personal touch, but, like we said, this is good if budget’s a concern.

The only tip here is don’t head in there on Valentine’s Day expecting to get a good bouquet. Order a few days in advance, and they’ll usually even ask you what time you’re going to be in to pick them up so that they stay in the freezer as long as possible.

Make Sure You Select Healthy Flowers

Doubling down on the grocery store suggestion above, if you’re going to go that route and are trying to select your own bouquet, you’re going to need to know how to select the right flowers.

First and most importantly, don’t look for flowers that look like they’re in full bloom. The idea is to select tight buds that are going to open up over the course of the next couple of hours. If they’re already in full bloom before you fork over the cash, you’re in for a disappointment.

Look at the flower’s calyx (the base, right below the bud). Is it a healthy green? If it’s a darker green or even slightly brownish, the flower is on its way out.

Don’t be afraid to touch the stem—how does it feel? Is it strong and firm, or does it feel softer and flexible? A healthy flower—especially a rose—is going to have a good strong stem.

Learn What She Likes

Even though roses are the symbolic Valentine’s Day flower arrangement, not every girl digs roses. Do the extra homework and find out what she likes—preferably without her noticing.

There are actually a lot of different types of flowers out there (we know; crazy, right?). Consider orchids, sunflowers, lilies, carnations, tulips, or even daisies. Or something we didn’t list, because there are a lot more of those too. We don’t need to tell you every woman’s preferences are different.

If She’s Allergic to Flowers, Do NOT Get an Edible Arrangement

It’s actually kind of ridiculous that we need even comment on this phenomena, but while doing the supplementary research for this story, we saw an alarming amount of men asking if it was acceptable to replace a Valentine’s Day bouquet with an Edible Arrangement and/or fruit basket if their girlfriend is allergic to flowers.

No. It. Fucking. Isn’t.

Edible Arrangements are awesome just about every other time of year (especially when they come with the chocolate covered bananas!), but on Valentine’s Day, if you show up with an Edible Arrangement, fruit basket, or anything else that says, “Hey, thank you for your business; you’re a wonderful client!” you should smack yourself in the face.

If she’s allergic to flowers, you can always go for the classic stuffed animals and chocolates routine, or you can even get more personal with things like small jewelry, a heartfelt handmade card, or even concert/event tickets. Just don’t even think about a fruit basket.

There’s Nothing Sweeter Than a DIY Bouquet

Boys, we’re speakin’ the truth here. If you really want to impress your significant other this year, doing it yourself is the way to go. Yes, it’ll take a lot of time and effort. You’re going to have to learn which flowers go with what, what color palettes compliment each other, how to dress a bouquet, and how to actually put it together in a package that doesn’t look like you put a bunch of crap on a table, bundled it up and threw a ribbon around it. But, in the end, it’s going to make you a V-Day hero.

Look into classic flower arrangements, or look at similarly colored seasonals, and then go from there. If you want to be a real Romeo about it, make an arrangement based on her favorite color/s.

There are a shocking amount of resources out there for doing it yourself, so it shouldn’t be toomuch work to pull off. Once you’ve come up with the arrangement style, call your local florist, tell them what your plans are, and then order each type of flower, one by one. Chances are, they’ll be eager to help you out and even give you tips and pointers along the way, because you’re so damn charming and cute.

New Study Shows Your Cracked Phone Might Be the Reason You’re Not Hooking Up

According to a survey posted on Monday by USA TODAY, your cracked iPhone could be the reason you’re not getting lucky. This comes as just one of many revelations revealed during the annual Singles in America survey, which asked 5,000 millennials their take on dating. When it comes to the iPhone, the singles surveyed made it clear that they don’t like phones which are cracked, old, or make those annoying clicking sounds when you text. To find out what else the survey revealed, check out the video here.

This Dating App Lets You Bond Over Things You Hate

Unlike most other dating apps where you put your best self forward and bond over shared interests, Hater’s premise is to find you matches based on mutually hated topics. Users are given 3,000 subjects to give their opinion on including slow walkers, butt selfies and sub-par tipping. Once you are matched with someone based on location and similar dislikes, the app also offers ice breaker conversation starters for both parties to answer, making that first move a little less awkward. The app, created by Brendan Alpe — a former Goldman Sachs employee turned comedian — is currently available in Beta mode for iOS with an Android version to follow soon.

Travel: The “Sex Cruise” For Nudists and Swingers Sets Sail in September

If you love cruises but have always hated that there’s not enough open sex stuff on board, we have some great news: The Desire Cruise—described as a couples-only, clothing-optional “high-end, sensual yet spicy experience” — is setting sail this September.

The cruise will begin in the Adriatic Sea and end in Venice, Italy. The “entertainment” on board includes activities and parties like “Sexual Scrabble,” “Sensual Superheroes,” “Naughty Nautical,” and “Golf pros and tennis hoes.”

There’s also something called the Signature Playroom. From the cruise’s website as:

You will feel the electrical currents pulsate through your body, as you mix & mingle with like-minded couples in a healthy, sophisticated, erotic playground for adventurers. We invite you to take your relationship to the next level, by living out your forbidden fantasies at sea, in our Signature Playroom.

And a private jacuzzi lounge:

Enter our private, clothing-optional spa deck, with bubbling salt water bath and powerful jets that massage you as you soak up the view in the company of other like-minded couples seeking to fulfill their fantasies. This private, intimate hotspot combines cool sophistication with steamy sensuality.

And, of course, a clothing-optional pool area:

Our clothing-optional pool area provides nothing but hot n´ steamy fun, as the leader in day life aboard “Venice Foreplay”. Desire Cruises continues its infamous reign with an amplified & progressive poolside experience that is all about making waves. So accessorize your sexy self with a carefree attitude, as our Dream Team brings the action to this holiday hotspot.

If you’re busy this fall, we have more good news: The Daily Star reports another sex boat/Desire Cruise is setting sail in April 2018.

Pornhub Launches Sex-Ed Site

Porn is often blamed for miseducating people about sex — from teaching young boys to “use” women to sending mixed signals about consent to encouraging unprotected sex. Members of the adult industry often counter that porn is simply entertainment and shouldn’t be expected to teach the public about the birds and the bees — but now Pornhub, one of the world’s most popular tube sites, has decided to get in the game of sex education.

On Wednesday, the site launched its new Sexual Wellness Center, an online sex-ed hub run by Dr. Laurie Betito, a clinical psychologist and author of “The Sex Bible for People Over 50.” It has information about everything from the female reproductive system to sexually transmitted infections to testicular cancer. Betito will answer reader questions about love and romance, and she is already offering tips on things like “achieving enduring love and intimacy.”

“[W]e wanted to provide our fans with a trusted educational platform they can utilize as their go-to resource for information and advice when it comes to sex,” said Corey Price, Pornhub’s vice president, in a press release. “We understand the importance of educating the general public on a wide range of topics pertaining to sexual health and awareness, and saw an opportunity to deliver knowledge and understanding through renowned doctors and experts.”

For a site that features categories such as “shemale,” the Sexual Wellness Center is surprisingly progressive — for example, there is a blog post on transgender issues that explains various terms like “cisgender” and “non-binary.” A post on the issue of consent advises readers to ask their partners, “Are you ok with this? Do you want me to continue? Are you comfortable? Do you want me to stop?” Not exactly the dialogue one is likely to find in mainstream porn clip. There’s even a post on sex positions for lesbians — fitting, given that “lesbian” is the top search term on the site.

Say what you will about whether people should be getting this information from a porn site — and, ahem, whether the U.S. government should be doing a better job of providing comprehensive sex education to young people — but there is no denying that Pornhub has a reach that is beyond the wildest dreams of most sex educators. As Betito said in the release, “It has always been a dream to connect with, educate and inform people all over the world on a massive scale.”

Google Trends Reveals Post-Holiday Breakups Are Coming

It looks like many people have taken Wham!’s “Last Christmas” to heart and are thinking of making this holiday the last they’ll spend with their significant other. According to Google Trends, the number of people turning to the internet for relationship-ending advice is currently surging.

Max Benwell, assistant audience editor at The Independent, pointed out Tuesday morning that the search inquiry “Should I break up with my boyfriend?” was on the rise. At the time of this article’s writing, “Should I break up with my girlfriend?” has surpassed that search — but both inquiries are still steadily increasing.

Despite what Love Actually and New Year’s kisses might have you believe, increased interest in breaking up post-Christmas is not uncommon. It’s been an ongoing trend: A 2010 study that crunched Facebook data found that people break up most frequently during the month of March, followed by the period between Christmas and New Year’s. A 2007 survey conducted by Yahoo! determined that people are twice as likely to break up between Christmas and Valentine’s Day compared to other parts of the year.

There’s so much breaking up after the holidays that the first Monday in January is known as “Divorce Monday.” In 2015, legal firm Irwin Mitchell said its surveys demonstrated that one in five couples in the United Kingdom planned on divorcing after the holidays. Comparatively, 2015 survey data from the law firm Co-Op Legal Services revealed that there is a 332 percent rise in divorce inquiries in January compared to the four months preceding.

“The surge happens on Divorce Monday,” James McLaren, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, told MarketWatch. “The number of filings is one-third more than normal. That begins in January and probably goes into early March.”

Why so many breakups after Christmas? Experts believe it’s because the holiday season can be a make-it-or-break-it trial for many couples.

For couples on the edge of the decision, breaking up before Christmas may feel more stressful than actually dealing with the breakup itself. Their emotions may also be amplified by the season’s sentimentality. People adapt to hedonic experiences (like a relationship), which ultimately makes positive experiences less enjoyable. But studies demonstrate that objects and experiences that have high sentimental value can act as a buffer against that adaptation.

However, the stress of the holidays — together with the discovery that a partner either can’t help with that stress or exacerbates it — can ultimately demonstrate to a couple that it’s time to call it quits. And while the desire to split could be immediate, people know law offices aren’t open until after the new year.

Improve Date Night by Having Sex Before You Go Out

Sex is an important part of the evening known as “date night,” but it doesn’t have to happen at the end of the date. In fact, there are a bunch of benefits to getting down before you even head out the door.

Not only does it put you in a good mood for the rest of the evening, but as Megan Cahn explains on A Cup of Jo, you don’t have to worry about ruining sexy times by overindulging in other ways:

But sometimes, after too much wine and trying one too many dishes off the menu (why do we always order so many apps?), when we get home passing out is all we feel like doing. The other night, though, something came over us and we ended up in the bedroom before we even left the house for dinner. The next several hours were spent at our usual spot eating our usual things, but it felt different — a little lighter, a little more smiley.

Obviously, this tip is meant for those in fairly stable relationships, and not meant to apply to dates of the Tinder persuasion. Having sex before drinks would be dumb in that case, as sometimes the alcohol is the only good part of a Tinder date.

On “Free Porn Day,” Why Is This A Thing?

The first annual Free Porn Day is well underway. If you were unaware of this newly minted holiday, 100 adult sites with paywalls are teaming up to offer their varied offerings for free for 24 hours, in hopes of attracting more customers. Depending on who you are, this either sounds great or raises the question: Who still pays for porn?

“We’re in a world of digital subscriptions, where products like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Apple Music are being heavily adopted,” said Chris Gentiles, VP of Product at adult site Evil Angel, and the brains behind Free Porn Day. “The adult film industry has not been able to enjoy the fruits of this trend due to extreme piracy and free content issues.”

“The irony for us is that porn is more popular than ever but fewer people are paying for it than in a generation or two,” added the company’s Chief Financial Officer Adam Grayson, who says that the total number of Evil Angel subscribers who pay up to $139.95 per year for access to the site’s videos is “in the mid-five figures.”

On this day, the participating studios are making more than one million videos — some 30 million hours of content — freely available to peruse. Their goal is to show the porn-consuming public why they ought to pay for content in an internet age overrun with free adult offerings. While millions of people turn to tube sites (the free YouTube-inspired sites that rely on paid advertising in order to stay afloat like Pornhub and YouPorn), the porn industry is having trouble getting people to pony up — even though they actually create lots of the content that ends up on those tube sites illegally and for free. In order to combat this and hopefully divert viewers to the original source, many adult video studios instead choose to work directly with these sites by allowing them access to cut-down “teasers” of their full-length videos.

Though inquiring minds would love to know, it’s difficult — if not impossible — to get hard data on who actually pays for porn today. It’s not that subscription sites are necessarily holding out on this demographic information, they simply don’t have it themselves. Anonymity is presumed to be important for potential subscribers, and requiring a detailed signup form is a risk most subscription sites aren’t willing to take.

But, one likely theory is that whoever is going to paid sites is doing so because they’re looking for something they can’t find for free.

“Ten years ago, tubes were pretty amazing,” Grayson admits. “You could get pretty much anything on there. But legality and enforcement have really reeled them in. Studios are much better at enforcement of [laws surrounding] their intellectual property.” And while it’s a notoriously tough area to regulate, you’d be hard pressed to find a full-length, HD version of any porn flick on the tubes.

As one might imagine, many subscription sites find their fans in those that feel tube offerings are too tame, and have more specific kinks and fetishes. Like Free Porn Day participants Tainster, a member’s only network with approximately 8,000 members, and Kink.com, which both offer movies featuring acts like waterboarding, combat, urine play, extreme anal sex acts, and “slimewave” (think bukake dialed up a few hundred notches). And then there’s the truly niche content, novel in its specificity. For example, PetiteBallerinasFucked is mere months old and already offers over 20 videos of content fitting that description. Even the most popular of all tube sites doesn’t have a single video tagged with “ballet” or “ballerina.”

Such is among the reasons that Rocco, a middle-aged porn consumer who drops between $100 and $150 per month on pay-per-download porn. As a fan of porn that delves in mind control/hypnosis/conditioning, he says that “free stuff is a drop in the bucket compared to what’s available for sale.”

In addition to the kinky, there’s another obvious demographic drawn to what subscription sites have to offer. Despite the fact that over three-quarters of American women between the ages of 18 and 30 watch porn at least once a month, there is an underlying premise that tube sites are geared towards the interest of men. For instance, in Pornhub’s 88-category breakdown, “for women” is nestled in between “French” and “fisting,” listed as though it is a niche interest. Of course, personal preference is based on far more than just gender, but data does show that women (regardless of sexuality) tend towards lesbian porn — something experts have theorized can be attributed to its focus on female pleasure rarely seen in heterosexual porn. Enter the rising prominence of premium female-friendly pornography (which is, in nature, appealing to people of any gender who get off on legitimate depictions of female pleasure).

Todd Spates, chief marketing officer at Yanks, known for its unscripted masturbation and authentic girl-on-girl content featuring “women of all ages and shapes and sizes and colors,” says that the 14-year-old company doesn’t “set out to make porn for women,” but he believes that the Yanks demographic is primarily female based on subscriber feedback.

“Our scenes have always been shot by women,” Spates said. “Being produced by women has always given us a very female-friendly product.”

“We introduce the model as a person; we introduce an emotional connection,” he added, noting that Yanks prohibits tube sites for using the commonplace derogatory terms like “bitch” and “slut” for women when posting their clips online.

Cindy Gallop, a sex educator and founder of the social sex startup “Make Love Not Porn,” which features depictions of real sex, finds much of the content freely available on tube sites isolates women and “right-minded men.” The result: a considerable market for pornographers heading in the other direction.

“Women are finally coming into our own sexually,” she said. “And women are the majority of purchasers and influencers of purchases. And women share. We share the shit out of everything in a way that men don’t, because we’re the talkers, we’re the gossipers, the advocates, the ambassadors. So when you have women wanting porn from a female lens, women will pay for that. And women will spread the word.”

Another larger trend in the movement towards pornography that suits all needs and desires is a growing interest in content that is ethically produced: well-paid, wholly consensual, and made in legal working conditions.

“Like feminist-based content, ethical content is a frame of mind that informs production more so than it is a specific form,” Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals, a sociologist and author with expertise in the realms of porn and sexuality stated. “The vast majority of the content tube sites display is pirated (read: stolen). As such, even if the content itself is ethically produced, because of the piracy cycle that is inherently exploitative of producers and performers (many of who are simultaneously producers of their own content), content viewed on piracy-based tube sites is unethical.”

Turns out, support for the industry (not least of all its performers) is reason enough for some to choose subscription and pay-per-view sites over the potentially sketchy free offerings from the tubes.

In addition to the hardcore, the kink-happy, the female, and the ethics-oriented consumer, another demographic that tends toward high-end, subscription porn: obvious as it is, one group willing to shell out are the connoisseurs — those that care enough about the content they’re viewing to care if it’s available in HD, watermark-free, has some semblance of continuity, a beautiful mansion backdrop, or that they’re able to use improved searchability to find the exact type of video they’re looking for.

“[Watching porn on tube sites] is like saying you’ve eaten lunch because you went to SAM’s Club and got a few cocktail weenies from the free sample lady,” Rocco said. “A few dollars make a WORLD of difference,”

How Becoming A Football Fan Will Improve Your Relationship

I am one of three girls. My parents never had a boy, and I’m forever convinced they had me to fill that void. I’m an enormous football fan, to the point I’m pursuing a professional career involving the sport. However, I’m in the minority. I know most women did not grow up on football, and most don’t understand how the game works. I’ve had a lot of my friends throughout the years ask me to teach them at least the basics of football, and it’s always exciting for me to teach another woman about the sport that I find so beautiful.

I always tell my friends that I think being able to enjoy a football game because you understand it really helps in romantic relationships. To take it a step further, if you don’t have a team already, learning to cheer for your man’s team can really help a relationship. I’m not a psychologist by any means, and certainly not a relationship expert. What I am, though, is a football-loving woman who has had endless men tell me how much they wish their significant other would sit down and not just watch, but ENJOY football with them. Here’s why taking some time develop an interest his football team could make your relationship even stronger.

1. Creates an activity you can do together.

Whether it’s going to a game in person, or just making plans to watch a game at your local bar, being able to watch football with your man gives you guys something to do together. It’s low maintenance, doesn’t require a ton of effort and can be really cheap. If you are able to spend a few bucks, football games are one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to gifts and surprising your man. Even if you get him nosebleeds and his team is 0-10, he’s going to be stoked. While you can definitely tag along to watch or go to games without having any knowledge of the game, being able to truly engage makes the experience better for both of you. Seeing you invested will make him have a better time, and knowing what is going on in the game will make your time there a lot more enjoyable. It’s a win/win.

2. Gives you more opportunities to hang out with his friends.

Let’s face it: football is usually associated with “the guys.” That’s at least three hours out of a Saturday or Sunday that he’ll designate to guy time. If he knows watching the game is important to you also, he’s more likely to include you in those plans. Whether guys admit it or not, their friends liking you is important to them. Becoming interested in football gives you more opportunities to spend with his friends in a fun, casual setting. Seeing you invest into something he likes will definitely win you points with them and give you all something to talk about, even when it’s not a game day.

3. Expands your topics of conversation.

I can’t tell you how easy it is to start a conversation with a guy about football. Learning a little about the game gives you something light hearted to talk about throughout the day. Once you really become invested in a team, you’ll be shocked at how many little tidbits come out in the news about the players, the team as a whole, and the league as a whole every single day. Developing an interest in a team and in the sport just gives you one more thing in a common to keep you connected through conversation.

4. Guys love to feel like they’re teaching you something.

Men like to feel needed. They also like to feel like you’re learning something from them. Once you learn the basics of the game, and you start to follow a team, you’re going to have a lot of questions. He’ll likely have the answers. I’ve been at this for my entire life, and I still find myself asking questions about the game. It boosts their ego when they have solutions to problem. In this case, problem: you don’t understand something that happened, and he has the solution: an explanation. Ego boosted. Additionally, a male’s face always lights up when they talk about something they love, and that’s pretty adorable, too.

5. Bonding through winning and losing together.

If you’re a fan of another sport, or competitive in anyway, you know the emotions that came along with winning and losing. Experiencing loss or victory with another person is a way to bond with them. While losing is certainly a depressing experience, it’s still bonding, because for some reason, humans love to commiserate. At the very least, when his team loses, you’ll know if he complains about something stupid that night, that could be the reason.

Winning, on the other hand, is an extremely exciting experience to share with someone. Wouldn’t it be awesome if when he looked back at that time his team scored the go ahead touchdown in a playoff victory, he remembers you cheering along side him? Allowing yourself to actually invest in a team takes you along the emotional ride a football season inevitably is with him. It sounds silly, but trust me, give it one season, and you’ll understand.

The best part about all of this is that you get something out of it too. I promise that becoming a football fan is something you won’t regret, unless of course, you choose to become a Lions fan. Just kidding. Sort of, but you’ll understand that joke soon enough. To all the ladies who already indulge in this beautiful American pastime, keep up the good work.