Whatever happened to chivalry? Where did all the gentlemen go? Does anyone out there remember the word ‘dating’? Does anyone know what it means? In fact, whatever happened to plain old-fashioned good manners? We live in an age where in order to land a $15 per hour job you need a $100,000 college education, and yet it seems that no one has any common sense anymore. In fact, sometimes, the multi-degreed, most educated people out there seem to be the most clueless when it comes to common courtesy, appropriate behavior, and consideration of the feelings of others.

We seem to be living in a grab-all-you-can, ‘I deserve it all for free’ society. You can blame our economic environment if you want to, but, personally, I believe it’s a symptom of the evolution of man that needs to be reversed, sooner rather than later. What do good manners and common sense have to do with sex and dating? Everything. It seems that we need an elementary education on dating and sex etiquette – something that unfortunately is never taught in school. And I wonder, when did parents stop teaching polite manners, consideration for others, and social skills at home? Not having children, I think of my sister’s comments, since she has very well-mannered 9 and 11 year old kids. She told me recently that she has noticed a lack of telephone etiquette and communication skills in many of their classmates. Kind of surprising, since they all have cell phones by the time they are in the fifth grade. Could it be that the cyber world of texting, email, and social media with all of its acronyms like LOL, OMG, LMAO, and TTYL is turning our society into communication retards?

I recall my sister once commented that she found it disturbing that ‘the system’ seems to be rewarding children for mediocrity. For example, if your son or daughter joins a soccer team, at the end of the season, whether they played well or not, everyone on the team gets some sort of trophy or reward. So even if a child sat on the bench for most of the season and had no skills at all, everyone at the end feels like a ‘winner’, even if the team lost every game. Apparently, we now give accolades and prizes just for participation. Maybe we have created a generation or two who are so addicted to the television, the Wii, the X-Box, the i-Pad, etc. that we have to offer them a reward for simply getting off their little asses and going outside to play. I also hear they have changed grading systems in some schools from point systems, like A’s & B’s or numerical scores to letters for satisfactory and unsatisfactory – as though a child will be traumatized if they are compared to the intellectual levels of other children. When my sisters and I were in (Catholic) grade school, we worked our butts off to be at the top of the class so we could receive a little plastic Jesus at the end of the year as a reward for our high grade point average. We studied for hours to compete in and win inter-scholastic spelling bees and receive the coveted prize – a pen and pencil set. What is wrong with some good healthy competition anyway? Isn’t that the real world? I thought we lived in a society where those who excelled were the most highly rewarded.

Back in the dating world for several years now, after ending an 18-year marriage, it appears that this system of rewarding mediocrity may have been in place much longer than I realized. It appears that no one wants to work for anything anymore and they all feel entitled to a reward for minimal or no effort. Case in point: men who cannot spend $15 to take you to a movie or ask you out –anywhere – and take time to get to know you, but who expect instantaneous sexual gratification. I date a lot of younger men, mostly because that’s what I attract and often times find more attractive and interesting than men my age or older. But it seems as though this new style of connecting between the sexes, which we call ‘hanging out’ and ‘hooking up’, has spread like wildfire throughout every generation across the male species.

Has our high-tech world of instant gratification handicapped us when it comes to interpersonal relationships? And has easy access to online porn caused women to think that they have to open their legs and give up the goods in exchange for a $7 drink or a dinner at Arby’s? Are women so desperate that they are afraid if that they don’t engage in sex fast enough, they’ll lose a man’s interest and he’ll head out in search of a woman with looser morals, or go home and jack off to internet porn? Or is it just that today’s man has evolved into an ADHD-stricken underachiever who gives up too easily and targets the easy goal?

I’m not saying that women don’t get horny. In fact, sometimes women just want to get laid without strings or drama, just like men. I’m all about embracing one’s sexuality in a healthy way. I can certainly extol the virtues of a high libido that just increases with age. But there are many ways to get your sexual needs met. So if you are a woman who has had a string of liaisons that left you in tears, one-night stands that left you feeling empty, or any interactions with men that damaged your self-esteem and left you feeling ‘used’ or unhappy, you might want to rethink your strategy and find a healthier solution. If you have a high libido but don’t want the drama, you may want to get online and order yourself a Magic Wand by Hitachi, and the accompanying dildo.

Call me old-fashioned, but I like to think of myself as a valuable prize to be won. And to win the prize, you have to put in some effort. If you are not at all familiar with the art of dating, wooing, and winning a woman, go to Netflix and pull up a few Cary Grant movies from the 1950s. I know these are stereotypical portraits of men and women in the 20th century, and our roles have changed (slightly) since then. I know that we are much more open-minded now and that we have birth and STD control. I know that you can watch free porn on the internet and find swingers’ clubs almost anywhere. So what? Does that mean that common courtesy, good manners and polite communication should be abandoned? I don’t think so.

Anyone who reads my column knows that I’m no prude. I am, in fact, a disciple of the ‘joys of sex’, so I’m not talking about abstinence here. I’m talking about common sense on the part of both sexes, valuing ourselves as human beings, and having some respect for sex itself. In my last article I wrote about the value of a vagina. I will say this again: We teach people how to treat us. I wonder what would happen if women all started using the ‘professional’ scale when it comes to men. If a high-class paid escort makes $300 (a conservative estimate) per hour, then if a guy in a bar buys her a $10 drink, all she needs to do is spend 2 minutes expressing thanks with a short conversation. If he can capture her interest within that time, it could lead to something more. This is worth the investment for the guy, and guilt-free for the girl. And of course, this could work both ways. I’m not saying that a woman shouldn’t buy a drink for a guy if she has the means and wants to take the risk.

All I’m saying is if you want a worthwhile experience with a man or woman whom you deem worthy of your time and attention, put in a little effort. If you are a man who is looking to score with a smoking hot chick, know that she’s not lying around at home in her matching push-up bra and thong on a Saturday night at 11 PM waiting for you to text her ‘what R U doing?’ so that you can come over and do her. And if you are a woman who would like to feel ‘valued’, set the expectations properly right from the beginning. If a man is worth your time, and he is truly interested in you, he should learn how to call you and ask you out for a proper date. If he wants the ‘prize’ he should have to win it. Value yourselves, girls. I hear so many women complain about men not treating them well, or being taken for granted. If you begin a relationship by rewarding someone for mediocrity, do you really think they will ever have the motivation to work harder?

And for my male readers, who say they don’t understand what women want – it’s pretty simple. Women want to feel sexy and desirable. They want to feel valued, and be treated with respect. These are the basic rules of any type of relationship – whether it’s a fuck buddy situation, dating, committed, or long-term relationship – marriage is no exception. You want the sex kitten in the bedroom and the perfect lady out in public? Most women I know, especially experienced older women, want that too, and it comes naturally to them. You can unleash your bad boy self to play with the sex kitten once you have both decided to take it to the bedroom. But act like a gentleman and treat her like a lady first. Yes, women enjoy sex! But unless you are a rock star, or a Chippendale dancer, I can guarantee you – all women have more options than you do to get laid on any given night, and with a lot less effort. So buck up, and make an effort. If you need help, I offer dating coaching. Also stay tuned to my website for future teleseminars on the topic.