Adulting, Ideas and Musings

The Rules of Taken Men

There I was, face to face with a woman who was currently dating a man I used to date. He was staring at us like violence was going to erupt at any moment and that if it did, it would be the best present he’d ever received.

Phil was a singer songwriter I’d dated for a few months. Neither one of us had gotten attached to each other and we were both happy to let it go, but my short relationship with him was pivotal to the completion of my “Rules of Taken Men”.


Yeah, they are they’re own critter. Book after book has been written trying to figure them out. Men tend to intuitively know that no book will ever explain women to them so they just throw up their hands, label us crazy and love us for it.

When I was in the Navy, I was surrounded by men, and not many women. It was like I was in a candy store, with only 57 cents. Did I take advantage of the situation? You bet I did. I did what any hot-blooded man would do if the situation was reversed and indulged myself. I had no rules.

I had no rules so I ended up hurting a lot of men. I want to send my apologies to Ricky, Kim, and Hollywood. There are others but these are my main regrets.

But they are not where my rules came from. My rules came from how to deal with men who are married or taken.

The Beginning

One night, I was in the club on base in Sigonella, Sicily. A married friend of mine was on his own because his wife and newborn had gone back to the States to visit family. He was determined to make the best of it and have as much fun as possible. He was drinking heavily. I was drinking heavily. And since I was a piece of work at the time, I decided his butt was coming home with me.

I don’t even remember his name. But I remember the night.

He followed me home and for the next 3 hours, we sat on my loveseat as he cried and told me about how jealous he was of the newborn because he was getting all of his wife’s attention. How lonely he was. Like he was looking in from the outside. This was a hurting man I had on my hands here.

It was clear that he had no business being in my room in the first place.

I gave him a pillow and a blanket and told him to sleep on the loveseat. He wouldn’t stay there, he kept getting up and coming over to my bed. I finally had to kick him out of my room.

There was simply no chance that anything was going to happen.

When his wife came back, every time I saw them, he’d give me knowing looks. I realized that it wasn’t cheating that was important to him, it was that he could have cheated, but didn’t. He played at that edge. He wasn’t the kind of guy to cheat and if he had it would have destroyed him and his marriage.

It was a wake-up call for me.

Since Then…

I’ve been studying a lot about men, talking to men, going to classes about men. I highly recommend visiting if you want to dive deep into men.

I’ve read books about men. Did you know that the population of men who are the biggest cheaters are married men who believe in monogamy? Yeah! That’s because men are socialized to not want to disappoint women. If a woman asks for sex, they feel like they have to comply. What happens is that a woman can smell the monogamy on a man, they ask for sex, they get it, then they think the man is going to leave his wife for her because he does believe in monogamy. Of course, he never does. He didn’t want the affair in the first place. Men really need to learn how to say no to women.

When I was young and wild, it amazed me when I’d eyeball some man and the first thing they’d say is “Karin, please don’t ask.” And now, it seems like every man I meet, the first thing out of their mouths is that they’re married or taken. Just trying to keep a problem from happening.

I started developing The Rules.

The Rules

Rule 1: Leave the man alone

He’s not my man, leave him alone. Even if I can seduce him, it may be under duress. He may feel like he has to. Who wants that? It’s destructive to both of us!

This will take care of 99.9% of all cases. But sometimes, there is a compulsion.

Rule 2: I have to truly want him

What I mean by this is that I feel a really deep connection. Big lust doesn’t count, go back to Rule 1. Odds are that if you got to this rule, you really do feel it, and it’s probably mutual.

Rule 3: The partner has to know about it

This is a matter of honesty. If you really do feel that connection, and you want to go to that place, it’s not fair to hide it from his partner. They get to make their own choices.

Rule 4: The partner has to agree

There are circumstances where they might agree. Maybe they are in an open marriage, are swingers, or are a part of the Poly world. Maybe she knows he’s having a mid-life crisis and she wants to give him other experiences.

I’ve been approached by wives asking me to become a secondary partner to their man. Of course, this was long after I was an asshole, and I had rules.

Rule 5: The partner has to tell me to my face

I’m not taking the word of the guy. I want to see their face. I want to know the truth.

Now, you would think that these rules are enough. That I’ve covered all the bases. But Phil, you remember Phil from the beginning of this post, had recently gotten a divorce. He and his wife were in the Poly community. She’d agreed to this type of relationship, but it ate at her. She wasn’t honest with herself about her true wants and needs. He didn’t make sure.

I myself got into trouble with a man, even though all 5 rules were adhered to. Well, not rule 2, I was depressed and didn’t really want the man in the first place. I was hurting and reality, I feel like I was taken advantage of.  But it led to the final rule:

Rule 6: I have to believe the partner

There they are, standing before me, either telling me it’s okay with them, or asking me to be a second. I look in their eyes and decide if I believe them.

I have to tell you; I don’t believe them. It would take a lot to get me to believe them. 99.9% of men who would actually make it this far wouldn’t pass this rule.

Which brings us back to Rule 1: Leave the man alone!

Leave the man alone!

That’s really my final piece of advice. They are in a relationship. I’m not a part of that. Men have been socialized to the point where they can get into a lot of trouble just because they feel like they have to do things, or that they’re not allowed to disappoint a woman. Do you care for the man? Leave him alone!

There was a study, I don’t remember who or where, in which a group of young, attractive men and women went around asking for sex from the opposite sex.

Almost all the women approached were offended. No surprise there.

76% of the men agreed. No surprise there either.

The surprise was the 24% who declined. They all apologized. They gave reasons why they couldn’t have sex. They felt bad because they disappointed the woman. It leads me to ask, how many of the 76% agreed due to social conditioning? Did they really choose?

You don’t know, so leave them alone!

Let them handle their own issues

Are they in a relationship that’s gone bad? Do they want out? Let them get themselves out of it.

Let them resolve their own issues and be able to stand before you as a man who is free and able to make their own choices.

Sometimes men think they want to have an affair. Maybe they’re separated, or hurting. Sometimes they turn their face toward me. But I remember my friend on the sofa. I know that it’s not really the affair they want. They want to feel like the affair is possible. That’s it.

So, when they have their imaginary affairs with me, I don’t take them seriously. I know that it’s a lot of hooey. I think that’s why they choose me; they instinctively know that I’m not going to take them seriously and that they’re safe with me.

If only they would shut up about it. The friend who is currently having an imaginary affair with me keeps saying things in public that makes people think we are actually involved. I just ignore it, but damn. And I worry that he’s saying things to his wife. We’re NOT HAVING AN AFFAIR! Don’t listen to that crap. Find a way back together!

I’m old enough to be his mama.

Men are their own critter

Phil didn’t get his wish for a cat fight. My friend in the Navy who wanted an affair was happier when he didn’t get it.  The most recent imaginary affair is still going on. I’ve never seen one this long.

So many women cry at men like they are the top dog. Like they have no problems. Like they should bend over backwards for women. But they have been socialized too. They are not perfect. They feel pressured to do things they’d rather not do.

That’s why I have my Rules.