Dear Margo: It’s Generational

When did “sluts” become “friends with benefits”? Margo Howard’s advice

It’s Generational

Dear Margo: I often see references in your column (and elsewhere) to “friends with benefits.” Where can I find a woman like this? It sounds wonderful. I can have sex and do nothing for her in return. When did this “friends with benefits” start? When I was a young man, we used to call those women sluts. So today we rename the sluts, and they fall for it. I wish I were 30 years younger. I could use a friend with benefits. — John from Essex

Dear John: Thanks for the laugh. Your sly take on this subject is most likely shared by everyone who is middle-aged. My guess is that this new casual approach to what used to be something meaningful is post-sexual revolution, if not post-post-sexual revolution. Somehow the kids went off the rails and decided sex was just something to do … you know, like a video game or playing darts.

The women you call “sluts” I would call “loose,” and they have been around forever. That behavior, however, was not sanctioned, as it is now; there was usually a reputational price to pay, if not a venereal disease. (Those are still possible, by the way!) Around the 1780s, Count Talleyrand observed: “In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily.” So you see, dear, the activity has remained the same; only the name has changed. — Margo, historically

Some Bumps on the Career Military Road

Dear Margo: My fiance is in the military, and for the past few years, we’ve been moving around the South. I am a New Englander, so this has been a completely new experience for me. While I’ve appreciated my time here, have learned a lot and have come to love a few things about this area and culture, I am hopelessly heartsick for home. My fiance and I usually make friends easily, but at our current location, we’ve both had a difficult time doing so, which no doubt adds to my misery. I’ve talked to others who’ve been in the military for decades, and they say it was harder to meet people at this base than at any other. So it’s not just us, but that doesn’t make me any less lonely.

I do what I can and try to enjoy the little things. I get home to visit as often as I’m able. I’m lucky enough to have found a great job here, which is not the case for many military spouses. And I know to some extent I am idealizing home. This is all particularly jarring and somewhat disappointing to me as I’ve always been the optimistic, go with the flow, I-can-be-happy-anywhere type. While I hate our location, I like military life in general, and we are in this for the long haul (18 more years). In his field, it is virtually impossible that we will be stationed anywhere near home. There’s a slight chance we could go overseas, which I would love, but most likely, we’ll be bouncing around the South for quite a while. How do I lessen my homesickness and enjoy it more than I do now? — Left My Heart at Home

Dear Left: My position has always been: “It’s the guy, not the place.” While I understand and sympathize with the problems having to do with your particular base and being parked in a different part of the country, I do see some bright spots. You have a job you enjoy, and you get to go home to visit. I can’t exactly figure out why your particular base is tough in terms of finding friends, but I suspect it can be done if you put some effort behind it. There has to be a town near your base, so perhaps through work or an affinity group you could broaden your horizons beyond life at the base. I hope you’ll start humming the song “Accentuate the Positive” and let the lyrics be your guide. I think you’ll be just fine. — Margo, optimistically

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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via the online form at Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.


Every Thursday and Friday, you can find “Dear Margo” and her latest words of wisdom on wowOwow

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211 comments so far.

  1. avatar Mandy says:

    No, it’s not “generational” Margo, it’s sexist, just shy of neanderthal mentality, and insulting.

    And John, to put a female twist on a great George Carlin line: I wouldn’t have sex with you if my worst enemy loaned me her vagina.

  2. avatar KDR says:

    The most telling part of ‘John from Essex’ letter is the following: “It sounds wonderful. I can have sex and do nothing for her in return.” Read that again: ” . . . and do nothing for her in return”

    Our John-from-Essex believes that sex is only for the pleasure of men and does nothing for women. Speaking as a woman I’ll bet, in the sack, he’s a big old bag of bliss and euphoria.

  3. avatar Katharine Gray says:

    Regarding John’s letter I suppose enough has already been said to excoriate him and Margo for their neanderthal views about sex and that it should mean something more than simply recreation.  I came of sexual age at the beginning of the 70’s.  It was before the age of AIDS but after the pill and VD (as we called it then) was something *no one we knew* would ever suffer from and if so it could be cured with pills or shots so no real deterrent to sleeping with whoever you felt like sleeping with (we called it *sleeping with* then).  Let me just say that looking back I don’t think having the FWB that I did when I was single (and I won’t say how many) did me any particular good or made me very happy at the time.  Some of them I hoped to have a more serious relationship with, others I did not.  Looking back, I cannot believe I dodged the bullet of unwanted pregnancy or an STD as I went off and on the pill and condoms were considered something from the 1950s and the men I met then assumed women took the pill or other measures to prevent pregnancy.  I still believe that Byron’s comment that man’s love is of man’s life a thing apart is true and that women generally attach more emotional weight to sex than men.  But users come in both genders and so do the used.  Women who prey on men for status or money probably do not consider the men who easily fall into their beds sluts but they certainly consider them saps.  And I daresay the man (I’m talking adult here)  who would object to being *used* for sex is a rare bird indeed but some probably exist.   As I have grown  older I just don’t really care to hear or think or talk about other people’s sex lives very much.  I am in firm agreement with Mrs. Patrick Campbell that as long as consenting adults  keep it out of the streets  don’t scare the horses, and provide for any offspring resulting therefrom,  I don’t much care what you do, how you do it, or what gender you prefer to do it with. 

    Actually, the more interesting letter for me came from LW#2 as I have a niece who is a military wife.  I  loved ashulee’s response.   At the risk of getting flamed, however, I wonder if LW#2 might feel differently if she was actually married and could view this as starting her permanent life and her own family as opposed to being a fiancee (which she must have been for awhile since she has moved around a lot).  I’m wondering if she has some reservations about getting married since she hasn’t already.   Also…while a military spouse/fiancee  is definitely in a more difficult position because the service member is always subject to deployment leaving the spouse/fiancee to deal alone with the worry of the dangers faced by the partner, frequent moves are not limited to the military.    Even when the economy was gangbusters, people got transferred in other jobs and their families had to uproot and reroot.   So…decide to commit to the man and your life together and decide to be positive.  If you cannot do this, perhaps its the wrong man or life for you.  The fact that you have found a job where you are  and established enough of a social life to learn that others share your experience of this particular base, indicates you are not a whining ninny so I think you can figure this out on your own.  I think you know how to put your big girl panties on…so do it.   



    • avatar Lila says:

      Katharine, glad you brought up the issue of marriage to the military fiancee. I was thinking, as a fiancee she is not eligible for any military benefits at all; no ID card, no unescorted access to the base, no on-post housing or off-post housing allowance, no commissary or PX privileges, no medical or dental care, no moving expenses… and if he ever did get stationed overseas, multiply the impact of all of that exponentially to include no access to the DoD school, for any kids. This couple is really messing themselves over financially by NOT being married. Not to mention, this also tends to physically isolate her from other military spouses / families.

  4. avatar Priscilla L says:

    Here’s an idea: why not stop judging people for their consensual behavior that doesn’t affect you at all? I am disappointed in Margo for even publishing, let alone agreeing with, John’s misogynist letter. Why is MYOB her answer in all matters other than sexual?

  5. avatar babsg says:

    “It sounds wonderful. I can have sex and do nothing for her in return.” Ugh. John’s letter was loathsome and Margo’s reply equally so. It’s far from “sly” for him to call young women “sluts” when he himself is wishing he could engage in the same behavior. I just registered with the site to say I’m taking you out of my bookmarks and never reading again.

  6. avatar Allaroundtheworld says:

    For the military fiance,
    My father was a military officer and I grew up moving every two years. When I was just a year old we moved to Cuba and from there we went to Greece, Germany, England, Japan, and the Phillipines. In the US we lived in Virgina, Alaska, Oklahoma, California and Washington DC. All I can say is I loved it. Yes, you do miss your first home but you need to look at it from the point of an adventurer. The cultures and art and food that our family discovered is priceless. My education was far advance than any school in the US cause the military knows that you will be moving so we were always taught a year or two ahead of any other us school. It’s hard to move alot and make friends but it’s worth it. I have friends from all around the world that I can visit.  And what with modern technology you can skype and e-mail your family. Don’t throw away the chance to see the world, you will regret it in the future. Just my two cents worth.

  7. avatar Deborah Key says:

    Katherine and Allaround the world are missing the point.

    This base/post she is at sucks sweaty donkeyballs.  apparently you missed the part where she liked/adapted to the previous locales.

    Speaking as both an Air Force brat(I went to 11 different schools) and as a retired Air Force member, I have always had the attitude that I could make any place work for me.  Until I couldn’t.   Longest three years of my life.  

    And this from a woman that had a good time in Haiti, Korea and Iceland. 

  8. avatar Katharine Gray says:

    Actually Deborah, I did miss the part where she liked/adapted to previous locales because she didn’t say she had.  She said she started to like some parts of the culture but has been homesick and making frequent trips home throughout their moves from base to base in the South.  Perhaps this particular base is less friendly than others but I see a young woman who has not completed decided to make this her life and is clinging to her old home to the point of, as she admits, *idealizing* it.  Having lived in places I hated myself, I can empathize with her.  But it is what it is and she can choose to be negative or be positive.  Or leave her fiancee and run home.  Since her letter shows no indication that she is unhappy with her man, going home is only an option if she is willing to be separated from him and risk the relationship.    The good thing is, if it is this particular base and not being in the South in general that bothers her, this posting is not forever.  And thus far, she has been luckier than quite a few military spouses in that her fiancee has not been posted to Afghanistan or Iraq yet.   Margo’s advice to seek friendship and interests in the larger community is good advice and she should take it. 

  9. avatar greyjoy says:

    Why stop at 30 years ago, though? I think people of a certain age (namely, Margo’s and John’s age) seem to think of “30 years ago” as some kind of arbitrary unit of time before which everything was peachy. Thirty years ago, it was 1981. The Iran hostages got released, Chuck and Di got married while millions watched, John Lennon was newly dead, and OH YEAH we were just a few years out of the so-called “sexual revolution” of the late 1960s and 1970s. I mean, hello? I don’t think anybody who celebrates the landmarks of their era such as Woodstock and “free love” has any place whatsoever calling today’s young people “sluts”. No, this generation did not invent the “friends with benefits” concept–yours did! Honestly. I’m nearly 40 myself and *my* generation is full of people whose parents were hippies and who filled our ears with stories about how great and freeing and innocent it all was. (Meanwhile, my childhood is filled with pictures in which we are all dressed in plaid polyester bell-bottoms and shirts with huge collars.) And now these same people are grandparents now and calling today’s college kids “sluts” and claiming they have no morals? Talk about the pot-smoker calling the kettle black!

    Let’s get a grip and remember our own youth. I feel confident that everyone alive today has had their “Animal House” days and therefore has no place to talk about how their generation was such a bastion of morality and propriety. And now we have it all on video on the Internet, so there’s no point in trying to deny it.

  10. avatar secretagent412 says:

    To the Editor,
    I cannot believe you published today’s Dear Margo column! How on earth did a column referring to women as “sluts” and “loose” get past your editors? Those crass words have absolutely no place in today’s society, and perpetuate an oppression of women that any modern columnist would be ashamed to be a part of. I am shocked that you allowed those words to appear at all, let alone that you tacitly approve of the sexist, misogynist message the column sends. You have just told millions of readers that it’s ok to call a woman those words, and that it’s acceptable to insult women about their personal relationships and sexuality.

    I want a retraction and an apology to the women of the world that you are so ignorantly subjecting to a tired, hateful double standard. Whether or not you approve of someone’s private sexual behavior, it’s absolutely none of your business. It is inappropriate to comment, even in general, about anyone’s sexual choices. It is even more offensive that women are branded with derogatory words while the men who make the very same choices are lauded. How dare you? How would you feel if your daughter was called those names? Would she deserve it if she embraced and enjoyed her sexuality just as any man does?

    I  am thoroughly disgusted, and I hope your advertisers vote with their wallets on this issue. I am forwarding this email and your column to every woman I know, and to every organization I can think of that supports women’s rights.

    Christina Buck

  11. avatar egg99 says:

    A hateful, horny old man wishes he could have used more “sluts,” himself immune to to his sexist dehumanizing disgust. How quaint. Margo, you dropped the ball with your response- there was nothing funny about this letter. According to you, men don’t just get a free pass for (oh my!) having sex, but they also get one for- the real problem- being hateful, controlling and dehumanizing towards half the human race. Guess what? Equality is coming. Sorry if it makes you uncomfortable (I’m not actually sorry).

  12. avatar gracem says:

    I am in my 40s. I have had sex with 3 men in my life. My ex husband was my first and only for 18 years until his repeated affairs ended our marriage. 

    Most recently I dated a man for almost a year before having sex with him, after a while he decided to move across the country because that is where his children were moving, and we didn’t see how continuing a long distance relationship was going to work, as neither of us were willing to move away from our children.

    In between, for seven years, I had a sexual relationship with a man I consider my best friend. We met in a support group for people who had spouses who had cheated on them. After both of our marriages ended, we knew we were not emotionally ready for romantic relationships, but we were attracted to each other.
    We were very clear about not having sex with anyone else while we were having sex with each other. We were very clear that if one person felt it wasn’t working for them the other person would be respectful of that and understanding.
    Sometimes we jokingly used the term FWB however we didn’t really feel the need to label our relationship. We never spent the night with each other if our kids were there. It ended because he (the man!!) began to feel like he wanted to find a relationship that would one day lead to another marriage. We both knew that was not in the furture for us. So we stopped having sex and started dating others. My relationship, as I said above, didn’t last. He has had a few, but now he seems to be in one with a woman that he loves very much. I couldn’t be happier for him. We are still friends and always will be. 

    So I suppose, I am a slut, or loose, or I don’t know the difference between sex and a video game, but that has never been something I have considered myself.   


  13. avatar gracem says:

    I want to make it clear I am not condoning calling anyone a slut, I am just pointing out that there are all kinds of people who have sexual relationships that do not involve romantic, “I want to marry you” love and to point out the ridiculousness of calling someone who wants that kind of relationship a slut, or to think it has anything to do with “kids today”.


    • avatar Drew Smith says:

      Very well said and a perfect real-life example.

      I have a cousin who would fit this mold as well, she is very selective about who she dates, who she even kisses, and has a similar history, broke it off with a FWB when it became clear that her feelings were deepening and he was admittedly not willing or able to take things to the next level in terms of commitment.

      That she was willing to take a friendship, to a friends with benefits, and explore if it would go further, makes her brave and practical IMHO.

    • avatar Ajen says:

      Sounds perfectly reasonable to me, Grace– thank you for sharing your experience. :)

  14. avatar Belinda Joy says:

    Letter #1 – John I hear what you’re saying and have my own prudish beliefs when it comes to the issue of “Friends with benefits”  because I personally find it disgusting.

    However, I hope this was not lost on you as you wrote your letter to Margo. In the process of taking jabs at the women that choose to debase themselves by way of of engaging in sex just for the sake of sex, and your confession you wish you had a woman of such low morals….you are in the same breath pointing out you are no better than those perceived sluts.  What does it say about your moral compass that you would engage in sex with someone without virtue of love, committment or true intimacy? Nothing more than animals trying to satisfy their animalistic raw desires.

    Dogs in heat don’t roman the streets seeking out female dogs, stumble across one and then stop and think “Ruff Ruff, I really want to plow that bitch (literal term) but, I don’t know her. Maybe I should try and get to know her first….” No indeed, they simply act on physical urges. We as humans are supposed to be more evolved. We are suppose to think before we act.

    You have shown that like the millions of men and women who have convinced themeselves they are mature and responsible because they can have sex without committment, that you too lack morals.          

    • avatar jessica lewis says:

      And who are you to judge anyone’s morals? I’ve had FWB, and my morals are just fine, thanks. Morals are subjective.

      Personally, I find those that sit in judgement on others to be lacking morals. If the Bible or religion is your thing, remember that the Bible also states judgement is a sin. Only God can judge.

    • avatar Ajen says:

      So not only are women who have sex just because they enjoy it debasing themselves, they also lack morals and are little better than animals, huh? I hope you’re trolling.

      If not, congratulations. Out of all the comments on this column, yours comes the closest to rivalling John’s offensive, demeaning attitude toward women.

      P.S. Margo, this is what you’re condoning when you respond to letters like John’s with a humorous affirmative. Ask yourself if all of the above is something you actually believe, or if it’s just judgemental, hate-filled rubbish.

    • avatar Lila says:

      Belinda, look out! You have just stepped into a hornets’ nest! Emotions are running super-high on this thread… and one’s opinions or ponderings will earn a thrashing from those who disagree… folks are really taking things very personally here… I was a bit surprised, myself.

      • avatar Ajen says:

        You’re surprised that people might object strenuously to women being labelled as debased, of low morals and being compared to dogs because they like sex? Really?

        I’d be surprised (and very disappointed) if people didn’t object to such offensive rhetoric.

      • avatar jessica lewis says:

        I’m surprised that there are women who aren’t offended, too.

        Anytime someone insults women, for whatever reason, I take it personally. I am a woman, after all.

      • avatar Lila says:

        I’m surprised that the letter elicited such visceral responses. I just didn’t care much about the content of John’s letter. Neither my husband nor I were virgins when we married. I don’t feel uncomfortable about my past or his, so – whatever, John. What John or other boors think about women and sex is absolutely meaningless to me. The big surprise to me is that what John thinks or says seems to mean a LOT to the ladies here.

        I am also a bit surprised at how the commenters here are so viciously attacking each others’ points of view, even when the points of view are pretty mild and the writer does not condemn anyone. There is a lot of reading-in and conclusion-jumping going on here, all around.

        And now along comes Belinda with a very clear and definite opinion. It’s actually pretty brave to express it, given the atmosphere in here at the moment. One can’t say much of anything without getting jumped on. My own morals are not the same as Belinda’s but she has a right to be true to herself and her beliefs, and to be honest about her perceptions.

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        Ah, Lila, I was laughing as I read John from Essex’s letter, and looking forward to a wry and witty response from Margo. Her answer didn’t surprise me as much as it may have others, as she has given a several rather divergent responses of late, but it did sadden me.

        Margo is not of my own, but of my mother’s generation. Her sweeping generation regarding the middle-aged was atypical, as was the remark about disease. But then, some of the responses from readers have been just as all-encompassing. I don’t believe that one can define a liberated woman as one who feels free to have multiple sexual partners. I have been rather free with my affections in the past, been married three times, been unfaithful (but not with Rusty, not in 17 years, and yes, he knows my past, and trusts me implicitly and with all good reason)…been with men I haven’t loved, run with the bad boys. I never got a disease or had an “accident”, despite being either a slut or a loose woman as defined by Margo and John and that wasn’t good luck. I am neither proud or ashamed of my past. It was what it was.

        I fully understood your posts, and I recognized all of your efforts to avoid generalizations (perhaps you ought to take my tack and put “disclaimer” before each “there are exceptions”, or “I haven’t polled all 3.5 billion women”, or “anecdotally”. I am not being sarcastic. I’ve learned the hard way that this is necessary on this website, or the blood-seeking hens close in). Also, recognize that anytime you recognize and express anything, no matter how factual and supported by empirical evidence it may be, that presents as potentially being even neutral towards women, you’re going to be the target of the heavy artillery. That would include evolutionary, biological, physiological, anthropological, archaeological, historical, sociological and cultural FACT, not opinion. I get it frequently for having the revolutionary idea that I have no reason NOT to be responsible and accountable for my own birth control (my uterus, my responsibility) and for recognizing all of the reasons that this is the practical, pragmatic, rational thing to do, according to all of the above, without wasting an enormous amount of time and energy in should-haves regarding what oafish, evil, rutting, irresponsible pigs ALL men are.

        My objection to Belinda Joy’s reply is not her opinion, but her blatant hypocrisy. As much as I respect your’, and a few other readers’, integrity, honesty, intellect and thoughtfulness, I find her constant vicious condemnation and brutal damning of other readers, and her absolute hypocrisy appalling, especially when anything sexual is the topic. So please, don’t take offense for her.

        As for Margo, given some of her recent comments, so atypical of her usual generosity, wit and broad-mindedness, perhaps it is time for her pass on her golden pen. John is just a dim, somewhat amusing and probably very lonely boor. But I miss the old Margo.

      • avatar Lila says:

        Briana, “blood-seeking hens”… oh, I almost spewed soda out my nose. Thanks.

        *Sigh* for all the reasons you have noticed, this thread makes me tired. Looking forward to a new Liz column tomorrow… or joy of joys, a Mr. Wow column, perhaps. Think I am done flailing on this dead horse.

      • avatar Ajen says:

        Lila writes: “The big surprise to me is that what John thinks or says seems to mean a LOT to the ladies here.”

        It seems to me that most of the commenters took issue not just with what John said, but the fact that Margo’s response validated it. Do I personally care about John’s good opinion? Well, no. He doesn’t sound like the kind of person whose opinions I would value. But it concerns me when someone so easily dismisses and demeans an entire group and are given tacit approval for doing so.

        “I am also a bit surprised at how the commenters here are so viciously attacking each others’ points of view, even when the points of view are pretty mild and the writer does not condemn anyone. There is a lot of reading-in and conclusion-jumping going on here, all around.”

        What vicious attacks are you referring to? Taking exception to peoples’ reasoning doesn’t exactly strike me as a bloodbath. It seems pretty tame, actually.

        “And now along comes Belinda with a very clear and definite opinion. It’s actually pretty brave to express it, given the atmosphere in here at the moment. One can’t say much of anything without getting jumped on. My own morals are not the same as Belinda’s but she has a right to be true to herself and her beliefs, and to be honest about her perceptions.”

        Of course she does. I don’t see anyone saying that she doesn’t have a right to express her views or behave as she sees fit. Do you? If so, where?

        Belinda’s entitled to her opinion, and everyone else is entitled to theirs. What we’re not entitled to is a forum free from opinions that dissent from our own.

      • avatar Sadie BB says:

        Well Lila, here’s the deal.

        When one agrees with the poster, they’re giving ‘a clear and definite opinion’ when one disagrees, it’s ‘a vicious attack’.

        It’s hard to train oneself out of this mindset…but worth trying.

      • avatar Lila says:

        It is neither the fact nor the content of the disagreement. Much is conveyed in the choice of language.

        Certainly, this thread is nowhere near as bad as some of the political discussions around here used to be, but I still find it a little too strident and shrill to constitute an agreeable discussion.

        Off to other threads.

      • avatar Ajen says:

        And some examples of what you consider to be objectionable language would be…? If there have been so many vicious attacks as you claim, it should be easy to cite a few. Unless, of course, Sadie BB is correct in that any disagreement counts as a “vicious attack” in your book.

        You know, I find it odd that you’re not bothered by John or Belinda’s choice of language even though it offensively denigrates women, but you object to the choice of language in the people who disagree with John and Belinda.

      • avatar wendykh says:

        This, a thousand times this.

        Frankly Belinda sounds like someone who is really angry/jealous women are out having good sex.

    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      So, Belinda Joy, having read your comments on various threads (along with those of all other readers…I have not especially singled you out), and being aware that you are not interested in marriage or procreation, and have not had a single successful relationship with a man, by your own admission…but that you claim to have an extensive collection of erotica (that seems to be a contradiction) and to have had sex outside of a truly committed relationship (you’re about my age, according to your posts, and have had a number of men in your life…which indicates that no relationship has stood the test of time) how do you rationalize your bitch in heat behavior when held up against your rigid, judgmental, so-called moral contempt for others’ animalistic, disgusting behavior?

      Why would you have sex with men, if not for procreation (you claim a very serious adherence to an extremely rigorous and severely judgmental Christian dogma) and outside the sanctified bonds of marriage, if not for pleasure? It doesn’t matter what you refered to your partners as: friends with benefits, significant others, f**kbuddies, toyboys, boyfriends, companions, partners…that’s all nomenclature, and none of them have been husbands. Are you going to claim you LOVED all of them, deeply and abidingly, and this somehow elevates you? If you are what you claim to be, you would not be engaging in sex with them…and you certainly would not have a collection of *erotica*.

      I have a large collection of erotica. Not pornography (though I don’t necessarily object, and that is a discussion for another time, people), but erotica. And while some erotica concerns romantic love, a great deal more concerns sensuality, the pure joy of the physical, the transcendence of human sexual beauty and pleasure. It has nothing to do with god, religion, dogma, rigidity, judgment (good grief), morality, strictures…or necessarily love, commitment, rules or debasement, or bitches in heat, or animalism. You, Belinda Joy, and erotica are a contradiction in terms according to your own self-description.

      Yes, she is entitled to her opinion, and no, I am not simply attacking her because she gave it. Belinda Joy has expressed a great deal about herself over the years, and, given her own history, what she has revealed here is an enormous hypocrisy. Semantics are not important when a person has clearly, by their own admission, engaged in the same behavior, under another name, that they are not just condemning, but reviling in others. I find that absolutely loathsome, and not in the least bit courageous.

      • avatar carol grzonka says:

        i laughed in one woman’s face, because even though our numbers of entanglements were competitive. she thought herself elevated because she ‘cared’ more and was looking to further the ‘relationships’.  i, on the other hand, was perfectly happy with friendships with very attractive young men.  i never wanted to marry and this fullfilled my needs for male companionship. she became very angry because i ‘don’t take them seriously’.
        this memory reminds me very much og john’s, belinda’s and margo’s insistence that if we don’t live by their circumscribed notions of proper behavior, this maked us ‘less’ or ‘bad women’.  but i gotta say,  i’m more than who i scr-w.  are you?

    • avatar R Scott says:

      So….. because I enjoy sex with other consenting adults I’m a debased slut who is no better than a dog having sex on the streets? Wow.

      How’s the view from up there bitch (technical term)?

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        @ R Scott: O, I almost lost my coke through my nose after that comment. The darling has a serious deficit of humanity, empathy and integrity from spending her entire life with her head in the celestial realm, inhaling seraphic flatus. It tends to give one delusions of divine superiority, moral imperative and messianic purity.

        Somewhere, I hear thousands of mournful female canines howling in despair and shame at your technical comparison. At least bitches can love unconditionally, and don’t judge the one they’re with…

      • avatar R Scott says:

        LOL – I should have footnoted an apology to actual female dogs…. god love ’em.

  15. avatar Elizabeth L says:

    I didn’t think John from Essex was funny and I don’t think it would matter if were a young man now he still wouldn’t be getting any.

  16. avatar Michelle says:

    To Left My Heart at Home: We were an active duty military family for the long haul. Some bases are like that unfortunately. You have young families caught up in the busy-ness of being busy and civilian families who in many cases figure you’ll be moving on in a year or two. It can be disheartening and lonely.
    Keep doing what you’re doing! Enjoy work, visit home, take classes, find a church or volunteer activity to get involved in and stay positive! At first, it just keeps you busy, but eventually, you’ll find some other lonely individuals who are as grateful for your friendship as you are for theirs, some for a short time, some become lifelong friends. It really works! Just hang in there!!

  17. avatar Belinda Joy says:

    I think there are a lot of women who are feeling judged (rightly so) by John’s opinion about their loose morals as it relates to sex. And whenever we feel judged we feel attacked and want to lash out and back at the person doing the judging. It took a long time for me to get to this point in my life where I see that for what it is. If I were the type of person that lacked a strong moral code and allowed myself to have a “friend with benefits” I too might feel bad if others judged me because of it. Of course I would want others to respect and condone my actions.

    So it isn’t any wonder that those on this thread that have engaged in such loose forms of sex would feel bad about themselves and want to lash out. My guess is they are subconsciously comparing themselves to others who use discretion and discernment when it comes to sex and they feel bad in comparison. I get it.  John used the third rail term for a loose woman of “slut” and immediately women took offense. The reality is however there are women and men, that are indeed sluts. And those that choose to engage in sex purely to satisfy a physical desire are….well….sluts. Whether they be male or female.

    But that’s just my opinion and as I can see, I have a different opinion than others.  I would suggest others on this thread of conversation need to respect the fact that not everyone is going to agree with your opinions or life choices and let it be. It would be nice if we could all agree on everything, but that’s not going to happen folks. So all of the negative energy on this thread in my opinion is wasted and unnessary. ♥♥♥      

    • avatar egg99 says:

      Actually it seems like most of the women offended here have never been in a FWB relationship. I never have been. However, we have the capacity of mind to either conceive of one (there was a beautiful reply from a woman who had one best friend / lover between two marriages) and/or they have the ability to see sexism in action, and justly point it out. The LW was a hypocrite (he wanted to have FWB relationships with women, while calling them “sluts”), and his hypocrisy was part of an insidious landscape of sexism, which IMO necessitates individuals pointing out if we want a widespread change. The fact that you feel so much more emotionally evolved to make banal observations and judgements about the motivations of complex strangers means you might have a bit more evolving to do (and yes, we all do). Because you know, I’ve been there ;), and it took me a while to get to this point in life where I see that I can’t simplify beautiful, complex human beings into projection screens for my past issues.

      • avatar R Scott says:

        Well, call me crazy but when some of us get compared to bitches in heat and rutting animals I find that just a tad insulting. .. no offence to actual bitches and rutting animals. So, yeah it might get our hackles up (get it? hackles? being bitches and all) and we might just get a bit defensive.

        Peace to you Belinda Joy and I hope you find your bliss.

      • avatar R Scott says:

        This was a response to Belinda Joy not egg99

    • avatar dcarpend says:

      Gee, Belinda, condescending much? You clearly do NOT understand. Many of us do not consider sex-for-fun to be immoral. We don’t have “loose” or inferior morals. I have a strong and well-defined moral code, it just doesn’t include “Having sex outside the context of a committed relationship is wrong.” I don’t feel bad about my sexual history; it’s a part of me that I actually like a lot. I didn’t get hurt, I didn’t hurt others, I never knowingly slept with a married man. My husband is completely comfortable with it. I don’t regret a thing.

      But since you obviously consider me so inferior to your morally elevated self, you can keep your hearts to yourself. It’s pretty clear they’re hollow.

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        @ dcarpend: you did notice that her devious little hollow hearts were just as black as her soul apparently is…

    • avatar Ajen says:

      Belinda Joy writes: “I think there are a lot of women who are feeling judged (rightly so) by John’s opinion about their loose morals as it relates to sex. And whenever we feel judged we feel attacked and want to lash out and back at the person doing the judging. ”

      Not necessarily. I’ve never been in a FWB relationship, and I’ve only ever had one sexual partner– my spouse. I just don’t feel the need to denigrate the people who enjoy sex as being of low morals, or liken them to dogs in heat, as you have done, or to call them sluts and imply they’re dumb, as John did.

      But nice try re: analyzing peoples’ objections to the offensive name-calling. I’m sure it’d be more convenient for your point of view if people were blindly “lashing out”, but there are perfectly valid and sensible reasons for objecting to demeaning insults. People have empathy, that’s all.

      “I would suggest others on this thread of conversation need to respect the fact that not everyone is going to agree with your opinions or life choices and let it be.”

      Funny how it’s okay for you to call women debased sluts and bitches in heat, but you advise other people to show respect for your opinions. I don’t think you understand what that term means.

      I’m new here, so maybe the regular commenters know better– are you all quite sure this user is not a troll?

      • avatar carol grzonka says:

        no, she’s not.  she just hasn’t been here for awhile.  i, for one, haven’t missed her condescending moral teachings. 

      • avatar Ajen says:

        I see, thank you, Carol. How very disappointing. :(

      • avatar Belinda Joy says:

        First of all Ajen, given you say you are new to the site, welcome.  I have been a blogger with this site from the very beginning. There was a time when I posted everyday – all day….those days are gone. I now post to others sites that address topics that speak more to issues that intrique me. I assure you, you are going to find A LOT of people on this site that will agree with your viewpoints. People who think as I do are in the minority.

        As for me being a troll, let me say this: Just because I voice an opinion that is divergent to yours does not make me a troll. You won’t see it often on this site, but once in awhile you may come across a woman or man that voices an opinion so far to the left or right of yours it can leave you stunned. Please don’t fall into the trap so many women on this site relish in, that being the hypocrisy of coming down on others for being judgemental and ignoring the fact that in the process they – themselves are judging others.  It’s not even a subtle line these women walk, its a broad one, an obvious one. I rarely post on this site but I continue to stop in and read what others have to say. I rarely am able to relate to anything said, so I am not surprised you and others are reacting to my comments in the way it is being perceived.  

        As a Christian with VERY strong spiritual beliefs, I do focus heavily on morals and values. Engaging in sex with someone you are not married to or in a committed relationship with (in my view) is morally skewed. However, there are millions and millions of Christians in the world that don’t agree with me on this.  This website is chock full of Athiests and non-believers, so my views which are so cemented in my spiritual beliefs are viewed as extreme. It is what it is. I lose no sleep at night from those who disagree with my beliefs. Life goes on.

        Be well, and again, welcome.

      • avatar Ajen says:

        Belinda Joy writes: “As for me being a troll, let me say this: Just because I voice an opinion that is divergent to yours does not make me a troll.”

        I’m aware of that, thanks. Expressing a divergent opinion is not why I wondered if you were a troll.

        But it is good to know. I’ll certainly keep the atmosphere of this site in mind for future Dear Margo columns, if I continue reading them.

      • avatar egg99 says:

        “Please don’t fall into the trap so many women on this site relish in, that being the hypocrisy of coming down on others for being judgemental and ignoring the fact that in the process they – themselves are judging others. It’s not even a subtle line these women walk, its a broad one, an obvious one.”

        Please seriously read about projection. You should strongly consider that you are seeing the parts you don’t like about yourself in others, as this is exactly how most people on this board perceive you.

        You already admitted you are projecting a personal struggle that you felt you overcame onto the complex lives and motivations of strangers (the struggle to move beyond an immediate defensive reaction). However, having overcome that struggle- and honestly, it’s pretty commonplace- has instilled you with a false sense of superiority and the idea that you can view complete strangers through this limited lens. From my vantage point, it has set your personal growth backwards.

        This is opening up a can of worms, but you keep bringing up your Christian values, and as far as I understand it, Jesus wouldn’t condone the idea of calling anybody a “slut,” nor would he approve the idea of men getting a pass for “sinful” behavior while women do not. And there’s the whole pride/ vanity thing, which after clicking on your name, it appears that you are struggling with :P. We all have our own experience, and if we want progressive growth and development, we do need to speak out against- and this is a very Christian perspective- JUDGING others, which is exactly what Jesus did, and judging others was the ONE AND ONLY purpose of this letter to Margo.

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        Belinda Joy wrote: “As a Christian with VERY strong spiritual beliefs, I do focus heavily on morals and values. Engaging in sex with someone you are not married to or in a committed relationship with (in my view) is morally skewed.”

        How very interesting. Women and men of WoW, if you bother to look at her profile, and can still access her past comments in the archives (the site may well have lost these posts when it had its great “change for the better”), I assure you that you will find that Miss Belinda Joy has never been married, abhors the institution (for herself, all others must bend to dogma), and has, by last count, had at least nine relationships with men that included sexual activity. This by her own blatant admission.

        Nice that she so loftily proselytizes to others regarding morals and Christian dogma that she will not (her God gave her free will according to her faith) even follow herself.

        I also found the following very amusing: “Please don’t fall into the trap so many women on this site relish in, that being the hypocrisy of coming down on others for being judgemental (sic) and ignoring the fact that in the process they – themselves are judging others. It’s not even a subtle line these women walk, its a broad one, an obvious one.”

        O, my, Belinda Joy, o dear. This is the woman who referred to women who enjoy sex simply for pleasure outside of commitment (and one must ask, if she herself is not married, despises children by her own admission, and has sexual relationships with men, why IS she doing it?) as rutting, depraved bitches in heat. I do not think it is being judgmental at all to call out a person as *hypocritical* when they have engaged in the same behavior that they have just damned as debauched and vulgar, and yet consider themselves pure, anointed and elevated.

        Judging you? No. Feeling a level of personal disgust for people like you? Yes.

  18. avatar Katy Dias says:

    wow Margo, you have officially rendered me speechless with your response. I’ve written to wowowow to let them know how appalled I am that a site dedicated to women would print such nonsense. I hope you come to your senses and offer up an apology for taking women back 50 years. I’ll no longer be reading your column.

  19. avatar Nancy Egan says:

    John from Essex: Whoa! Epic fail — double standard and sexist post offends multitude! Count me in among those who wouldn’t mind poking you in the eye.

    Re the middle aged thing, as a 55-year old, I suggest that John must be elderly. He strikes me as being from the Victorian era – certainly not from MY generation!

  20. avatar Miss Lee says:

    Since my last b-day, I must say that I am now in my upper 50’s.  FWB was a part of my college years way back in the 70’s.  Men who called women sluts were avoided and ridiculed.  I am not attached and would only consider a FWB relationship now.  I am definately not interested in doing a man’s wash or dinner with the relatives at Xmas. I would be interested casual dating with sex involved now and then.  However, I would not consider such a relationship with someone as “sly” as the LW.  He has an attitude problem that I wouldn’t tolerate for a minute and I think he was probably as much of an ass 30 years ago.  Just saying, some things never change.

  21. avatar doodydoo says:

    Wow. I’m appalled at Margo’s response to LW #1. Many of the other commenters have already voiced their protests and have articulated their points very well, so I won’t rehash it.

    But I will say that if we don’t see an apology and explanation forthcoming from Margo in the next few weeks, I’m done with reading this column. Her response was inexcusable.

  22. avatar David Bolton says:

    Damn you, Margo. How dare you publish something controversial. Don’t you know I’d much rather read an open letter on how important it is not to ride a bike on the sidewalk?

    You… cyber-trollop!*

    *Keep up the good work.

    • avatar Katy Dias says:

      David-it’s not the posting of the letter people take issue with. I think it’s actually good to post controversial letters that way you can call people out on their ignorance. The problem is margo’s slut shaming reply. She has never seemed so judgemental or ignorant before. Calling women “loose” is just as bad as calling them sluts and the fact that Margo basically agreed with this idiot is beyond shocking to me (and several others it appears.)

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        I see nothing in Margo’s reply that indicates the “slut-shaming,” as it were. She expresses her opinion that sex is something not to be engaged in casually, as if there were nothing better to do. She also says this isn’t a new behavior. Personally, I have learned a lot of technique by engaging in casual sex. Intimacy? Not so much.

      • avatar Ajen says:

        David Bolton writes: “I see nothing in Margo’s reply that indicates the “slut-shaming,” as it were. She expresses her opinion that sex is something not to be engaged in casually, as if there were nothing better to do.”

        And if she’d only done that, it would’ve been fine. Here’s where the problem lies:

        When an adult woman chooses to engage in sex with a friend because she enjoys it for its own sake, implying she has low morals, calling her a “slut” or agreeing that “slut” is the appropriate term for her is slut-shaming.

        Regardless of whether or not John or Margo agree with people choosing to have sex because they like having sex, there is no need to demean them or call them derogatory names. That seems fair, don’t you think?

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        God—I feel like I’m trapped in a corner at a party with the Ellen Jamesians from “Garp.”

        I don’t think either John or Margo said anything about low morals, or shame.

      • avatar Ajen says:

        David Bolton writes: “I don’t think either John or Margo said anything about low morals, or shame.”

        So let me understand. You think that:

        1) Using terms like “slut”, referring to women who enjoy having sex with dehumanizing language, i.e. “the sluts”
        2) Saying he (John) would like to take advantage of what he perceived was a shortcoming in their intelligence and judgement (“they fall for it”) to have sex with them
        3) Affirming the appropriate use of “slut” and adding “loose women” (Margo)
        4) Indicating that a soiled reputation (this is where the shame comes in, by the way) and “venereal disease” was the likely outcome

        …were all meant to be complimentary? The last paragraph of my previous comment stands. Even if you don’t agree, adults have the choice to have sex with whom they please, under the circumstances they desire. I see no need to call them derogatory, offensive names. Do you?

      • avatar Katy Dias says:

        Thank you Ajen, you said it way more eloquently than I could.

        David-are you dense or just completely clueless? Seriously, I’m curious. The word slut by it’s very definition is calling someone immoral. Also, do you know what it means to infer something? You do not have to say flat out, “women who sleep around are immoral” to actually be saying it.

        John said, “I can have sex and do nothing for her in return.” This implies that sex is only for the man, that women actually get nothing out of it. Well, if John knew what he was doing in bed (highly doubtful since he seems to be there only for his own pleasure) he would realize that women also enjoy sex, it’s not just something we are “giving” to men.

        Also, like ajen pointed out, saying that we “fall for it” also implies once again that women get nothing out of it. That’s the major problem in society and why slut shaming and only judging promiscious women is still so common. A lot of people still see sex as something only for the man, something a woman is “giving” to him.

      • avatar Ajen says:

        Thanks, Katy. I was beginning to wonder where the heck calling someone a “slut” *wasn’t* considered an insult.

        I’ve enjoyed the discussion overall, but frankly, some of the comments have been downright disturbing. Sadly, it goes a long way toward explaining why– in this day and age!– sexual violence toward women is accepted and even considered normal. Some might think that an exaggeration, but it isn’t. It stems from dehumanizing women and shaming them for having and exercising physical desires. (Often in the same ways men do, but with greater stigma.) It stems from thinking it’s okay to insult women, and then announce you’d like to take sexual advantage of them all in the very same paragraph. “Sluts”, “loose women”… those are terms for females undeserving of respect, so whatever happens to them is their fault, right?

        Wrong. I’m really sad that Margo and Wowowow appear not to grasp this, but glad that some of her readers do.

      • avatar Drew Smith says:

        What if I said to David,

        “Only a bitch would make a comment like that”

        Are you going to say that there is nothing in a label?

        Margo has had plenty of opportunity to chime in here and say for instance, “it cuts both ways, for men and women” and I still cannot accept that at 70 she thought she could speak for my generation.

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        Yes, sure, whatever.

        Next thread, please.

      • avatar Ajen says:

        I don’t understand. Is someone forcing you to read this thread? Because it’d be pretty silly to express impatience if you were doing it to yourself.

        For everyone who thought “slut” was a fine and dandy term:

        I hope the women in your life never have to endure such ugly, hateful speech. If this does happen to the women you love– your grandmother, your mother, your wife, your girlfriend, your sister, your daughter, etc., I hope you have greater empathy, compassion and courage to stand up for them than what you’ve shown here.

      • avatar Drew Smith says:

        Nicely Said

  23. avatar Lym BO says:

    Wowowow! I can’t believe a few of you spent the better part of your day reading and responding multiple times to this. I found both John’s view and Margo’s response quite humorous. and the big plus is she got tons of publicity, which , um, is her goal. She also apparently provided lots of fodder for your T Day.
    My opinion is irrelevant, but I , in my early 40s, have to agree with ole John. Who doesn’t want a FWB?! I don’t think he meant that he didn’t have to please the woman but simply he didn’t have to wine, dine or commit to her.
    And yes, morally speaking, sleeping with every Tom’s Hairy Dick can have repercussions of guilt later in life if one has any religious beliefs. I do believe the context was regerring to unmarried people.
    I frankly could care less about who is sleeping with whom. Truly the only reason anyone cares is because they either wish they were doing it as well (guilt free) or they are insecure it might be with their spouse. Seriously, monogamity is all about jealously. Monogamous relationships provide humans with order and rules and any break threatens many people’s security. That’s what everybody is upset about. Wouldn’t it be swell if we went around having a big love fest. Oh wait. The hippies did that. Guess it didn’t work out so well for them or it would still be in vogue.
    On a religious note: Jews and Christians, wasn’t that primary reason God sent the flood related to sexual promiscuity and drug ingestion? Humans fell out of order and all hell broke loose.

    • avatar Ajen says:

      You found it worthwhile commenting on. Why wouldn’t others? 😉

      None of the people who claim John’s letter was humorous has managed to explain why it’s funny to call women dumb sluts and then express the desire to use them for sex, but feel free to take a crack at it. Who knows, maybe you’ll enlighten those of us who are missing out on the laughs.

      “Wouldn’t it be swell if we went around having a big love fest. Oh wait. The hippies did that. Guess it didn’t work out so well for them or it would still be in vogue.”

      But the whole point of John’s letter and Margo’s response was that it was still in vogue. So obviously it does work for some people, just not everyone. That’s true of nearly anything, though.

      “On a religious note: Jews and Christians, wasn’t that primary reason God sent the flood related to sexual promiscuity and drug ingestion? Humans fell out of order and all hell broke loose.”

      Uh, no. The Bible’s rather vague, citing mostly the “wickedness of man”, corruption, and violence. It does not mention drug abuse at all. It does mention angels (“sons of God”) interbreeding with human females and creating great heroes. The Bible also says they married them, so that was in the context of a committed relationship and therefore okay by some commenters’ viewpoints. (But not by God’s, I’m guessing.) This is all in Genesis, for anyone who wants to follow along.

      Not sure why this is relevant, though. Not everyone is religious, and even those who identify as Christian don’t necessarily feel bound to follow Biblical injunction to the letter. After all, the Bible does not condone pre-marital sex, so being “in a committed relationship” is not enough unless that relationship is marriage. The Bible says those who commit fornication will be excluded from heaven. It also forbids divorce and classifies it as adultery. Merely looking at a woman with lustful intent is also adultery, and according to the Bible, adulterers will go to hell.

      Fortunately, I’m an atheist, and don’t believe any of that.

  24. avatar jezbrown says:

    At times I was shocked by how provincial some of your advice was in the Ask Prudence column. You have hit a new low in being judgmental and staid by sanctioning a border-line (tends toward the dark side of the line) misogynistic comment. You follow your self-proclaimed sarcastic response with one that restates your policy of “it’s the man, not the place.” As a journalist who uses print as your selected medium, you must know that sarcasm does not translate to the reader without you providing significant signals to lead the reader to understand your intent. Shame on us for not knowing your craft better than you do and reading between the lines to know that you were being sarcastic with good old John but serious in telling the next writer how to deal with the misery that resulted from her following her man around the globe. Why does Wow even include you in its roster of women who promote strength and independence? Jeanne Phillips is the voice of sophistication compared to you. And yes, I am aware of your relationships with Ms. Phillips and the other women in your family who were well respected in their era–you, madame, are a throwback of the worst sort to that type of stereotypical thinking. Sigh.

  25. avatar Lym BO says:

    Found it worth commenting on, but didn’t spend the entire day doing so. 😉 . There’s a few on here that no doubt spent more than an hour or two composing their numerous retorts.
    The humor was not so much John’s slut comment ,but his candid view that perceptions have changed and that what was immoral in his day is now not because it is called by another name. I think his intention was not to be derogatory but point this nuance out.
    Lol! The biblical reference was drawn from the movie series , “the Ten Commandments” or at least my skewed 25 year memory of it.
    Atheist or agnostic here. I will go with spiritually challenged for now. 😉

    • avatar Ajen says:

      Lym BO writes: “Found it worth commenting on, but didn’t spend the entire day doing so. 😉 . There’s a few on here that no doubt spent more than an hour or two composing their numerous retorts.”

      Some people are very concerned when they see women as the target of misogynistic and offensive remarks, so maybe they felt it was worthwhile doing. I thought it was, but it didn’t take me anywhere near as long as an hour just to write out a comment. I type quickly. :)

      “The humor was not so much John’s slut comment ,but his candid view that perceptions have changed and that what was immoral in his day is now not because it is called by another name. I think his intention was not to be derogatory but point this nuance out.”

      That’s a very generous interpretation, but I’m afraid it’s not one I share. The term “slut” is already a loaded one, and his context makes it pretty clear he thinks very little of women who fit his definition of a slut. Then John goes on to say that he’d like to take sexual advantage of such women. That seems pretty derogatory to me.

      His view is quite candid indeed, but I’m not sure where the humorous part comes in. I don’t think it’s very funny when men denigrate women and then announce they’d like to have sex with the very same women they can’t be bothered to speak of in respectful terms.

      “Lol! The biblical reference was drawn from the movie series , “the Ten Commandments” or at least my skewed 25 year memory of it.”

      It’s been a while since I’ve seen that movie myself! I don’t remember them referencing the Flood at all.

    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      Curious point Lym Bo. I never spend the whole day watching a thread. It so happened that I have insomnia, which accounts for the somewhat bizarre times of some of my posts. Second, this Margo column appeared on Black Friday (somehow appropriate), and we are among the sensible, informed who know about the extent of the illusory price/sales deals offered, and don’t think the insanity, fevered lust, and mob mentality conspicuous consumerism worth getting pepper-sprayed or trampled.

      I sometimes don’t post on WoW for weeks. I see others who go missing for equally long periods. This was an interesting topic. I reread because I find the responses fascinating, and the replies to the responses, and so forth. On some threads, I post once, on others, many. Contrary to what some might think, my longer posts that so annoy rarely take more than a few minutes to create (counting proof-reading for spelling).

      But spend *all day* on one thread? When it takes me that long to read, and respond, do send me on to that constant care center. I’m certain others feel the same.

      • avatar Katy Dias says:

        Lym Bo, you know what else is amazing? They have this little feature where they email you when someone else comments, this means I can quickly read through replies without even going to the site. This also means when someone posts something that completely rubs me the wrong way I can click on the little link in the email, type my reply, and *poof* off it goes. All of this is less than 5 minutes. So this means, with all three of my replies (four with this one) I have spent a total of 20 minutes on the site. I might not type as much as some people so I’ll say this process may take them 10 minutes each time (really, I think you are a bit niave if you think people spend hours typing up a reply) this then puts the total time for 5 posts at 50 minutes. So once again, where do you get “hours” from?

        If it takes you hours to navigate a site, I think you should probably invest in some computer courses.