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Where did the idea for this book come from?
My book on general etiquette, How To Behave: Modern Manners for the Socially Challenged, came out in 2003 and ever since, people have been coming to me for advice. I couldn't help but notice that many of their questions had to do with dating, relationships and sex. Maybe it's who I hang out with, I don't know. It makes sense when you think about it--none of the old dating rules apply anymore, so we're without guidelines. And dating puts you in such a vulnerable position, you're naturally more anxious that you're going to do the "wrong" thing. Stakes are high. So it seemed like the obvious pick for a sequel.
What kind of research can you do for this kind of book? Hang out at bars?
I didn't do much on-site anthropological research. It was more about asking people, pretty much everyone I met, what questions they wanted answered and what kinds of sticky situations they'd run into while dating and in relationships. I really tried to get down to those nitty-gritty universal scenarios that everyone experiences but that are hardly ever addressed, such as: pets in the bedroom while you're having relations--yay or nay? And what's expected from you the next morning should you host a one-night-stand?
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