The other night The Nymph and I were watching an episode of Sex in The City (third season I believe) in which Samantha was stressing about menopause until, to her relieved delight, she began to bleed all over the sheets of her penis-of-the-week. The sheets, of course, were some sort of satin ten-thousand thread count jobs made from select hand-combed tufts of fur from angora rabbits fed on milk and honey by consecrated virgins. The owner of the sheets (and the penis) was accordingly quite pissy with Samantha, causing me to wisecrack that a gentleman never bitches about what a lady (or any other woman) might leave on his sheets.

Only apparently it wasn’t a wisecrack. Apparently there are actually men in the world who need to be told this.

Brad from Dirty Questions writes:

One night I was at a party and met a super sweet girl. We hit it off, left the party to go out for drinks, and ended up going back to my place. The next morning I took her to her car and as I was saying goodbye she decided to break some news to me.

“I thought I was done with my period last night. I wasn’t. I’m really sorry and I’ll buy you new sheets.”

It’s got to be really hard to tell someone you’ve only known for 12 hours that you bled all over their bedding. Of course, she neglected to tell me that not only did she bleed on my sheets, but my featherbed and the cover for it and the sweatpants she borrowed.

Should I have made her cough up the $214 for a replacement feather bed from Eddie Bauer (that’s where the original was from)? Or was buying me replacement sheets enough?

Enough? Enough? Arrgggg! This “super sweet girl” graces your bed, and you’re fussing about a $214 article of bedding?

The gracious thing to do would be to minimize the situation and reassure the poor girl. “The sheets? Pshaw! I have a dozen more just like them. Don’t mention it. Anyway, I have a laundryman who’s an absolute wizard. Besides, the exuberant pleasure of your company has made me entirely too happy this morning to worry about mere trifles like bedding. Now, what would you like for breakfast?”

I can no more imagine dunning a lover for the costs of ruined bedding than I can imagine sending her a bill for the wine she drank in my kitchen. Sorry old chap, it’s just not done, eh?

This is not just archaic or sexist courtesy. Gentlemen, this is strategic. Women, Zeus love ’em, emit at various times from their juicier parts an entertaining variety of fluids, smells, and flavors. And they tend to be freaked as hell about it, which means they are always washing, swabbing, denaturalizing, sterilizing, and fumigating themselves with soaps and perfumes strong enough kill an entire flock of peregrine falcons passing three city blocks away. If you like the scent or taste of any of a woman’s natural juices, you’ll be smart and shut the hell up about any you don’t like. “Blood? What blood? I didn’t see any blood.” The last thing you ever want to do is encourage, acknowledge, or reinforce a woman’s self-consciousness. In sticky situations, it’s your solemn duty to make her laugh and then change the subject real quick.