I love catchy lyrics. One of my favorite lyrics goes: “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one who beats you.”

I think Rihanna is currently laying that track down in the studio.

Now, I am not the person who will be able to unravel the mysteries of males and females and why they love-hate each other sometimes. I am just the person who wants to think about the paradox of hitting the person you love in the hopes that I can clear up some of the boundaries. Here are some of the things that come to my mind:

First off, I think it’s very confusing because a lot of the girls I’ve been with have insisted that I hit them repeatedly and “harder, harder.” If I follow those instructions, they tend to like me more. Personally, I haven’t ever asked a woman to hit me. So I don’t get it. Mixed messages, ladies.

Secondly, in gay male couples, I imagine there’s a lot of sex-based hitting and slapping going on. What are the rules on this? And what about outside of the sex-sphere? Is domestic violence an issue amongst the gays? Am I an asshole for thinking that’s even just a little bit funny?

Thirdly, in the case of lesbian females having a physically abusive relationship, I get confused again. Is this a cat-fight? Is it not a cat-fight? Why are you abusing your woman, Kat? Is it because she’s wearing your cargo pants without your permission again?

This guy lets his palm do the talking.

Sean Connery, in this interview with Barbara Walters, makes a really important distinction which has aided my thinking on this topic. He talks about the difference between a closed fist and an open hand. Never, he says, would he actually close his fist and hit a woman. But, apparently, the occasional slap to end a conversation he’s just plain tired of having is a-okay.

I think that’s a decent distinction, but it basically applies to all kinds of hitting and fighting. If you’re slapping, no one’s going to take you seriously. We do it to our kids all the time and no one seems to mind.

Unless there’s a lot of money to be gained, we’re generally not going to allow people to just start punching each other. We’re restricting everyone to a few well-timed slaps. That’s all.

Personally, I’ve gone through my life collecting slaps. I think that every girl I’ve loved has slapped me at some point or at many points. On the shoulder, on the neck, in the face.

Am I doing something wrong?

Probably.

There are only two girls who have ever hit me with a closed fist:

The first one, a former best friend in college, used to punch me on the shoulder until I bruised. I used to punch her back. Yes, she had a vagina. I checked.

The second one was another best friend, except she also happened to be my wife at the time. She used to close that fist right up and swing for the fences. One time, she hit me in my solar plexus in front of my friends and it knocked the wind right out of me. It was like a Bruce Lee dragon punch. I don’t know where she learned that, but clearly she’d been practicing.

She was less than five feet tall and had fists the size of limes, yet she essentially took me out with one punch. In front of my friends.

On my birthday.

It was after that dragon punch from the woman I’d decided to spend my life with that I became very confused about the physical contact rules between men and women.

Nowadays, I basically avoid touching women or really even looking at them unless they need me to sign off on a TPS report or answer a question about where they can find the nearest Panera.

Sure, I’ll punch one occasionally. Just to get the lead out. Her name is Djamaika. She’s 6’3″ and trains at the local kickboxing gym.

I go there once a week where she lets me beat the shit out of her for an hour. Then she follows me home after the workout and sneaks into my house where we role play a home invasion. After she knocks me out with a two-by-four, she ties me up and makes me watch while she cooks us some Penne alla Arrabiata. She’ll meticulously explain each step, infusing her descriptions with just the right amount of poetry. There might be some NPR playing quietly in the background.

It’s the most elegant relationship of my entire life and it’s costing me a fortune in medical expenses.

You have nothing at stake here. Why not insult me?

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