Seven Girls & Seven Nights
Dating more than one woman really is a sport. It involves skill, concentration, and (if you're lucky) lots and lots of scoring.
In the digital age, juggling more than one girl at a time is far more complicated than just worrying about a few incriminating traces of lipstick on the collar. With the advent of cell phones, text messages, and IMing, the danger of your lovelies finding out about one another-and messing up your winning streak-has never been greater. To stay in the game, you need to empty out your playbook.
You don't have to be sprinting back and forth between two restaurants like Jack Tripper in an episode of Three's Company to risk "Ms. Right" finding out about "Ms. Right Now." All you need to do is make one technological slipup. Here are our suggestions for staying in the clear...
Danger Zone 1: Social-networking sites (such as MySpace or Facebook)
You can assume any girl you date will check out your page at some point to see who's left you messages and vice versa.
Game plan: Be discerning when allowing girls to post comments. When it comes to "adding" people, it's best if you go all or nothing. If you're "friends" with all the naked sluts under the sun, you'll desensitize her and she'll assume you just want to seem popular. Also remember, no matter how your relationship progresses, to keep your profile status set to "swinger," never "single" or "in a relationship"; it adds an air of mystery and privacy. If she asks, just tell her it's a joke.
Damage control: She offhandedly asks you how you know that smiling redhead with the enormous tits. "Opt for the crazy-ex-girlfriend excuse-I just tell girls that my ex is still hung up on me and is always harassing me about all the other women on my page," says Barry, 24.
Danger Zone 2: Texting
Your cell isn't just a phone, it's a relationship journal, delineating every covert move you make.
Game plan: Whatever you do, don't ever leave your phone unattended or unlocked, especially if she has the chance to snag it. Text in front of her as little as possible; unless it's an emergency, save it for when you visit the can. Or, if you must text when she's in the room, keep your answers brief-one word or even a single letter is ideal. And remember, when you say you are texting your mom a "happy birthday" message, she is making a mental note to check if your mother's birthday really is today. Finally: Delete, delete, delete.
Damage control: She backs you into a corner, smoke coming out of her ears, and asks about "Dana." Roll your eyes and laugh. "Richie Dana," you explain. "It's not his fault his last name is Dana-give me a break." Another out: "I make sure I create male aliases for the girls who tend to blow up my phone the most," says Jordan, 29. "Like Amy becomes Aaron and so on." Initials work in a pinch as well.
Danger Zone 3: E-mail
Many a player's lifestyle has been marred by a failure to log out.
Game plan: A girl who doesn't trust you will make it her life's work to hack into your e-mail. So instead of using your dog's name or the street you grew up on as the password, use creative passwords that are combinations of letters and numbers that only you could know (and 123456 isn't one of them). You should also disable the cookies and cache on your computer so the machine never tries to remember your access codes for you. Or, even better, if your girl absolutely has to use your machine to check her e-mail, try setting up individual, password-protected accounts for both you and her. This protects not only your e-mail but also necessities such as the links to porn in your Web-browser favorites. If she asks what's up with the codes, play dumb and tell her you don't know how to turn them off.
Damage control: Since the worst that can happen is that she'll access your e-mail archive, don't make it easy for her to bust you if she breaks in. Move potentially incriminating messages from your bulk e-mail tray into specially labeled folders with the most boring-sounding names you can think of: "work," "term paper research," "fantasy football league," or whatever you think she'll be least likely to open if she is trying to see what you've been up to. Or just set up multiple e-mail accounts, and use a different one to woo each of your women. That way, should she get into the only e-mail account she knows about, the only messages she'll see are the ones you've sent her.