I have never received a hand job. Unfortunately, I probably know what you’re thinking. “Stephan, that’s because no one wants to give you a handjob.” Touché, reader.Let me rephrase: hypothetically, if someone (hopefully a human girl) were to offer me a handjob, I would refuse. Women, unlike men, are not experts in this area and should generally refrain. Just wanted to clear up any confusion. Moving on.Seriously though, I’d like to offer a few perhaps under-publicized perspectives on the dating scene and long distance relationships. (Note that whenever I say something like “seriously though,” or “Let me tell you about that time I had sex,” usually what follows is completely unserious and generally fallacious. Since this is nearly always the case, there is very little point in distinguishing between times when I say something like “seriously though” and times when I say something like “Bearginas are vaginas in the shape of bears.”)I have a lot of friends in long-distance relationships. Well, actually I don’t really have a lot of friends of any sort, at least not many non-imaginary ones. But of the almost three existing friends that I do have, one is in a long-distance relationship, so over 33 percent of my friends are in long-distance relationships.Honestly, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about those kinds of situations. On the one hand, you presumably wouldn’t commit to a relationship with someone so far away if you didn’t care very deeply about him or her. That being said, I think a lot of people underestimate the potential stresses of being committed to someone so far away, especially at such a young age when so many other interesting opportunities are right here in front of you. To be fair, you should take my criticism of long-distance relationships with a grain of salt, because I’m not really a huge fan of short-distance relationships either. Certainly there will be times when you meet someone with whom you feel a connection strong enough to enter into a committed relationship.But it’s worth mentioning that most people do (and you probably will) spend a great majority of life in a committed relationship. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 57 percent of Americans over the age of 15 are married, and another 37 percent have been married before. So it’s probably a good idea to take advantage of being single while you can, and while it’s still a huge amount of fun, which it definitely is.Anyway, let’s actually talk about alternatives to serious relationships. (I’m not entirely sure why I said “let’s” talk, because you’re not saying anything. If you are you should probably stop, because I can’t hear you and you probably look like a crazy person.)A lot of people are hesitant to end old relationships because they fear they won’t be able to meet new people, and I think this is at least partially a result of the way people go about getting to know someone new. It’s quite common for guys to ask girls out on dates, taking them to fancy restaurants and whatnot. This isn’t necessarily such a good idea.I do think that dates are a perfectly reasonable way for two people who think they might be interested in each other to spend time together, and I don’t see anything objectionable about that. But I would argue that a lot of dates aren’t really on these terms.Even when they are, the social custom of men paying for women results in an uneven playing field. There are plenty of ways to get to know someone without paying for their dinner, like going on walks, or to the beach, or going hunting, or building a time machine and traveling to 1066 to watch the Battle of Hastings together.The main point here is that before you ask someone on a date, you should be aware that you’re already communicating a lot of interest in that person.If you do take a guy or girl on a date, a good first one is sushi. I like sushi places because they generally have a unique atmosphere and you can sit at the bar to watch the sushi chef so you’re not facing each other the whole time, which definitely helps relieve the pressure of the situation.Then there are the obvious ones: make sure to have mints, don’t eat like a barbarian, and make sure to freshen up. If you’re back in your room after a long night out, and your genital unit isn’t fresh, don’t be afraid to tack a quick nutwash onto your bathroom trip. If you’re not familiar with the nutwash, it’s basically a quick rinse of the down under, maybe with a little soap to get rid of any stanky sweat.If you’re wondering who the hell is going on dates with me and giving me the experience from which I presumably derive this advice, screw you and die in a fire.