Friends With Penalties

Dear Susan,

I have been hooking up with a guy consistently for four months. It started out that we both wanted a friends-with-benefits situation, and we would basically hang out, do homework, etc., and of course hook up, but that was it. He made it very clear to me that he wasn’t into me further than a physical relationship and that he was on a break with his gf, so he still had feelings for her. I didn’t really have them for him either, though. I just thought he was attractive and fun, so perfect hookup material.

Throughout these four months, I helped him deal with his gf calling things quits and I have been tutoring him in school, and we have become overall closer friends. He even told me that I am his best girl friend and that he trusts me more than any other girl he knows.

Recently he has started acting really sweet to me and like he wants something more:

  • He gets really upset when I need to leave him and always finds excuses to spend more time with me. 
  • He also has started wanting to go out on what I would usually consider to be “dates”, and he pays for me. 
  • He has been calling me beautiful and gorgeous a lot and he gives me random unexpected compliments much more often. 
  • The other day I awoke from a nap we were taking and he was holding me in his arms and just watching me sleep. 
  • He even mentioned that his mom (yes, I met his parents, but in a “just-friends” situation) thinks I am really pretty and that I seem like quite a catch, and he regards his parent’s opinions very highly. 
  • He also always makes comments about how he could see us being married in the future, but he does it in a joking way of course. 
  • He even wants to do more couple-ish things together, like cook and learn more about each other’s lives. 

Basically, I feel like these are all signs of him falling for me as more than a FWB, but am I just fooling myself? Could he just be doing this because he is single and bored/lonely? Even though he pays for me now, he has never said anything about it being a “date”, and he has never tried to hold my hand or kiss me in public.

I just don’t get why he is trying to be so much more involved with me if he knows he could still hook up with me without putting in the time and monetary investment. So I am pretty much just confused about whether he actually is developing feelings for me or if I am just getting my hopes up for no reason.  


Hopeful But Confused


Dear Hopeful,

What jumps out at me immediately from your letter is the fact that you obviously have strong feelings for this guy and hope that the two of you can become a couple. I wonder why you ever thought that “attractive and fun” was perfect hookup material, rather than relationship material? You say that you just were looking for a FWB, but I don’t understand what the benefits of that arrangement were. If you really weren’t interested in a relationship, you wouldn’t have developed feelings for him, right? But it sounds like you fell for him anyway, which is what usually happens in FWB – someone catches feelings. Sometimes both people do, but it’s much more common for one person to get hurt. 

I agree with your perception that his recent actions appear to signal increased interest in spending time together, and a more emotionally intimate relationship. It may well be that he does like you and wants to make something work. There are several things I think you need to be concerned about:

  • Is he truly over his ex?
  • I share your worry that he is lonely and adrift right now, enjoying your company. Is he just biding his time with his great FWB until he falls for someone new, or is he trying to make this something more?
  • He has relied on you for support, both emotional and academic. Does he feel that he owes you in some way? Can it be that he has picked up on your feelings for him, and is responding in a way that pleases you? 

One of the most common mistakes women make is that they read too much into the time they spend with a guy. A guy can spend a whole weekend with you, cook meals together, laugh together, be passionate – do all the things that feel like being in love to a woman – and have absolutely zero emotional investment. If he is in a “no relationship” mindset, or views you as FWB material only, he can enjoy your company and the sex without any worries that you might get hurt, because these are the terms you both agreed to.

It’s time to stop guessing and ask him directly. You don’t need to make a big confrontation out of it, you could just say something like, “You’ve really been acting different lately, what’s up?” to get the conversation going. Because you like him, you need to find out asap whether the feeling is mutual. If not, you need to get out right away. 

There’s an article in The Atlantic today about a new study of FWB relationships, Romance Trumps Friends with Benefits. (H/T: Stuart Schneiderman). Researchers from Harvard, Syracuse and Purdue conducted an online survey of college females, half in FWB and half in traditional romantic relationships. Their findings:

  Friends with Benefits Traditional Romantic
Total # sexual partners 6.4 1.9
Frequency of sex Lower Higher
Non-sexual time spent Less More
Satisfaction with relationship Lower Higher
Comfort expressing needs and desires Lower  Higher 
Comfort setting relationship boundaries      Lower  Higher 
Discussion of other sexual partners Higher Lower
Condom use Higher  Lower 


I don’t find most of these findings surprising, but am particularly struck by the difference in sexual history between women in FWBs and women who are dating. This suggests, at least to me, that the casual, no-strings nature of a friends with benefits arrangement leads to faster dissolution of those relationships and increased likelihood of entering additional casual relationships, leading to partner counts for women more than triple the women in relationships.

If you were cut out for casual it wouldn’t matter, but you are not satisfied, you want a traditional, romantic relationship. So why don’t you get one? If not with this guy, with some other guy. As long as “attractive and fun” doesn’t mean “unavailable,” there are many other guys out there. 

Like so many women who try to do the FWB thing, you’ve found that it doesn’t really work. We are not meant to relate to other human beings in a strictly sexual way. We want emotional intimacy. I recommend that you not settle for anything less in future.

Hope this helps,



The Real Reason Why Men and Women Can’t Be Friends

The Reason

Pure projection by both sexes. 

Guys want to have sex with their girl friends, and assume girls feel the same way. 

Girls do not want to have sex with their guy friends, and assume guys feel the same way. 

The Cause

It’s built-in, massive miscommunication and it rarely ends well. Another wacky consequence of the feminist denial of sex differences, and of the sexes’ different mating strategies

Men were…more likely than women to think that their opposite-sex friends were attracted to them—a clearly misguided belief. In fact, men’s estimates of how attractive they were to their female friends had virtually nothing to do with how these women actually felt, and almost everything to do with how the men themselves felt—basically, males assumed that any romantic attraction they experienced was mutual, and were blind to the actual level of romantic interest felt by their female friends.

Women, too, were blind to the mindset of their opposite-sex friends; because females generally were not attracted to their male friends, they assumed that this lack of attraction was mutual.

As a result, men consistently overestimated the level of attraction felt by their female friends and women consistently underestimated the level of attraction felt by their male friends.

Cross-sex friendships are a historically recent phenomenon, according to the study’s authors, and mating strategies get in the way.  

Humans’ evolved mating strategies motivate involvement in cross-sex friendships and also lead to attraction to friends, even when not consciously intended. 

There are good reasons for men and women to view friendships differently:

As facilitators of a short-term mating strategy, men desire a greater number of sex partners than women do, experience lower levels of sexual attraction to their partners after initial sexual access to them, over-infer the degree of sexual attraction portrayed in ambiguous signals from women, and fantasize more about sexual access to a variety of partners.

In other words, men are all about getting it in, while women are (or should be) all about being selective. It is not surprising, then, that men had the hots for their female friends regardless of whether they were in a relationship, while women were less likely to diverge from a long-term mating strategy when partnered.

The men reported moderate levels of attraction to (and desire to date) their friend regardless of their own current romantic involvement or their friend’s current romantic involvement.

We predicted this pattern of effects from evolutionary logic that young males possess strong short-term mating desires that are activated in the context of the opposite sex, regardless of their current relationship involvement.

Women, whose long-term mating orientation tends to dominate, reported less desire to date their friend when they were already in a committed relationship. 

The Rules

Just in case you’re thinking it’s all good if you have a boyfriend, men didn’t hesitate to assume romantic interest from “taken” women, aka the mate poaching strategy:

…Although men were equally as likely to desire “romantic dates” with “taken” friends as with single ones, women were sensitive to their male friends’ relationship status and uninterested in pursuing those who were already involved with someone else.

However, single women were more likely than women in a relationship to develop a romantic interest in a guy friend:

Single men across age groups reported relatively high levels of attraction to their cross-sex friend, and single women across age groups reported moderate levels of attraction to their cross-sex friend.

Romantic feelings towards friends of the opposite sex decreased the quality of the relationship with the existing partner:

Younger females and middle-aged participants who reported more attraction to a current cross-sex friend reported less satisfaction in their current romantic relationship.

First studied in the late 1980s, cross-sex friendships present several problems:

1. They incite jealousy in romantic partners.

2. They are viewed with suspicion by others in social situations, reflecting the frequent undercurrent of sexuality in the relationship.

3. Some people use platonic friendship as a mating strategy – parties are frequently at cross purposes in the friendship.

4. The media portrays ‘‘normal’’ relationships between men and women as sexual, and hence non-sexual relationships between men and women as strange and essentially impossible.

Moonlighting, Cheers, When Harry Met Sally, Friends, The Office, Scrubs, He’s Just Not That Into You – all…thrive on romantic tension and excitement portrayed between cross-sex ‘‘friends’’ who end up either in a romantic partnership or a temporary attempt at one.

They may also provide some benefits, however, including a boost to confidence and self-esteem depending on the relative status of the parties. Also, the discrepancy between men and women decreases as they age, perhaps reflecting a higher frequency of existing partnerships.

The most extreme example of cross-sex friendship mentioned by the authors is the Friend With Benefits arrangement. A cross-sex friendship of sexual activity without romantic involvement. The FWB is well adapted to male mating strategies. 

Finally, the authors note that we do not have a good understanding of causation in cross-sex friendships:

  • Perhaps men and women who are dissatisfied in their romantic relationships increasingly turn to their cross-sex friends or develop new cross-sex friendships. 
  • Perhaps attraction to a cross-sex friend leads to dissatisfaction with one’s romantic relationship. 
  • Perhaps men and women with certain dispositions, such as high levels of novelty seeking, are likely to both pursue cross-sex friends and grow dissatisfied with their long-term mateships.

Cross-sex friendships are messy and laden with drama. As humans, our mating strategies are at cross purposes, and this is nowhere more evident than in these friendships. 

The Strategy



HBO’s Girls Exposes Pretty Lies

Not being one of the media darlings who got advance copies of HBO’s new show Girls, I had to wait for Sunday’s premiere before weighing in. I enjoyed the first episode very much, which surprised me – I wasn’t a fan of Tiny Furniture, the film that put Lena Dunham on the map and brought her an offer to collaborate from Judd Apatow.  I found Girls well written and funny – a sort of bizarre, young singles’ Curb Your Enthusiasm, coupled with a sad poignancy. Creator, writer, director and star Lena Dunham is telling the world just how effed up life is for Gen Y, with its anemic job market and crappy sex.

The first episode gives us a look at two very different couples, neither of which seems long for this world. They represent very well the contemporary diametric in sex and relationships, with its masculinized women and feminized men.  Still, either or both of these couples could limp along for ages in a very meh sort of way. This is courtship by inertia.


Marnie is dating Charlie, a boy so head over heels in love that he needs a constant “fix,” touching, stroking, grinning at his beloved. At one point, the morning after Marnie has avoided him by “accidentally” falling asleep in another room while watching Mary Tyler Moore, she  hands him her dirty mouthguard. He happily takes it and then signals his intent to kiss her good morning. 

Comin’ atcha… Here it comes…MWAH..that was my kiss blowing up on you.

We cringe with her, and we’re not surprised when she discusses her growing repulsion with Hannah shortly afterwards.

Hannah:  You literally slept in my bed to avoid him.

Marnie: I know. Hannah, I’ve turned a corner. His touch just feels like a weird uncle putting his hand on my knee at Thanksgiving. 

Hannah: (Sigh.) What does it even feel like to be loved that much?

Marnie: It makes me feel like such a bitch because I can feel him being so nice to me – and yet it makes me so angry!

Hannah: I think you need to admit something to yourself, which is that you’re sick of eating him out. ‘Cause he has a vagina.

That night, Charlie tries to get kinky by proposing a little role play, and Marnie suggests it might work if he pretends to be a stranger. “Like, someone who acts completely different from you.” Ouch. 

In the other corner, we find Hannah and Adam, f*ckbuddies except for the buddy part. They can’t have been at this for long, because Adam appears to observe the tattoos on Hannah’s body for the first time. Nevertheless, he’s indifferent enough to make it clear he’s already tired of her. He never texts her back, and when she stops by one day because she was “in his neighborhood” her affable eagerness provides a discomfiting contrast to his bored contempt. 

Hannah: I like you so much, I don’t understand why you disappear.

Adam:  What are you talking about? I’m right here.

   …You modern career woman, I know what you like, you think you can just come in here and talk all that noise?

   …Lie flat on your stomach, now reach back and grab your feet. Now stay in that position but take all that shit off.

Frank Bruni, writing The Bleaker Sex in the New York Times, describes the unfolding sex scene as he takes her from behind, looking bored:

“So I can just stay like this for a little while?” she asks. “Do you need me to move more?”

He needs her to intrude less. “Let’s play the quiet game,” he answers.

From the PC vantage point of a gay male who has no dog in this fight, Bruni asks, “You watch these scenes and other examples of the zeitgeist-y, early-20s heroines of “Girls” engaging in, recoiling from, mulling and mourning sex, and you think: Gloria Steinem went to the barricades for this?”

Meanwhile, in an eerie recollection of my recent description of the Goldilocks dilemma - women trying to find men worthy of both lust and attachment in just the right mix – writer Annie James channels Goldilocks in a post at The Frisky, identifying with the nice guy vs. asshole quandary.

Judging from my social media streams and a litany of text messages from friends, most of us watching “Girls” were struck by the dilemma of dating the asshole versus dating the nice guy and how neither is a viable option.

About six months ago I started seeing a sharp-mouthed, emotionally-damaged gentleman with his own serious commitment issues. He didn’t return emails or calls or make plans with me.

“What do you like about me?” I asked him. “You’re brunette and you have a vagina,” he replied.

When I asked what he expected to get out of our relationship, he told me to stop acting like a turkey. Then he shrugged.

“I don’t date girls longer than a fiscal quarter … and I don’t trust women. I’m easily bored.”

I was a little in love.

The meaner he was, the harder I fell. He once called me a retarded slut right after we had sex. On second thought, he might have still been inside me at the time. I was angry and disgusted. I stormed out of his house. I texted him some nasty expletive along with: “I should come up there and smack you.” He evenly replied: “You don’t have the code to get back in. Stop being a turkey.”

Wow, that is some tight Game right there. James (who’s in her 30s, by the way) sounds like she may have dated a certain prominent Game blogger who shall remain nameless. Predictably:

For the exact length of a fiscal quarter, he built barriers, I tried to tear them down and my cravings reached a fever pitch. At the close of four months, as promised, he informed me that we should no longer date over the post-modern Post-It note: GChat.

“It’s not like I owe you anything,” he typed, not even having the courtesy to include a sad face emoticon.

James decides to try the nice guy next:

He would meet me anywhere that was convenient for me. He texted. He emailed. He told me I was smart and pretty and that he thought every little thing that I did was awesome. He wanted to meet my friends. He wanted to meet my dog…He kissed me on the street outside of the bar [one] night. “I don’t want to play games. I really like you,” he said.

I hated him. Like another character in “Girls,” Allison Williams’ Marnie, who can’t stand her too-adoring, too perfect-seeming boyfriend, I was disgusted by his niceness. Similarly, there wasn’t an ounce of my loins that could quiver for this man. I even tried the age-old libido lubricant beer goggles in an attempt to spark some physical passion.

Five shots of Jameson later I couldn’t even fathom a cuddle. He made my skin crawl.

In an effort to understand her many failed relationships, James consulted Helen Fisher, an expert on the brain and attraction, and got a real answer:

When a person feels rejected, brain regions linked with craving, addiction and obsession become active. You can’t stop thinking about the person. You become obsessed. Someone is camping in your head and you can’t get them out. Anytime there is a real barrier in the relationship and you are not sure if you can win the relationship, it heightens the craving. The less you think you can win the person, the hotter the craving.

Of course, Fisher is describing the dopamine reward system here. I’d b willing to bet James is a DRD4 mutant. Acknowledging that she is likely to pull her hair out and become a madwoman if she keeps going for guys who call her a retarded slut, James holds out hope that the perfect man, the one who is “just right” will show up. 


I’m looking forward to the rest of the Girls season, as Lena Dunham continues to expose the reality of the schizophrenic demands women are making of men.


Is She Into Me?

Hi Susan,

I started law school 3 months ago, which means I see the same 60 people in my class every single day for hours at a time. Obviously, we’ve all formed our little groups, and there is a certain someone in my group that I have a huge schoolboy-like crush on.  I’m 25 years old so it feels entirely irrational and I can’t really explain it, but everything she does makes me laugh/smile/etc.  We’re as close as any 2 people can be that have seen each other hours on end for 3 straight months, and we have a fantastic friendship.  She is really witty and funny, and we have a more-than-healthy banter between us that I personally would consider to be openly flirty, but I think it’s just her natural personality.

Over the past 2-3 weeks I started casually sleeping with a classmate in a no-strings-attached situation.  We have kept it extremely quiet because law schools are as gossipy as high schools, but this girl somehow figured it out very quickly.  She has broached the subject with me and asked me if I thought it was going to become something serious and mentioning that even though I don’t think it will be that the girl involved does (she apparently knows this because her and another friend talked about it and came to this conclusion).  She also told me that she is here to talk to me about it if I needed someone to talk to (which I am not used to coming from a girl, so I don’t know what to make of it).

During these last few weeks she has also started coming to me for guy advice, including asking my thoughts on what another guy thinks of her that she has a crush in our class.  This obviously makes me think there is absolutely no feelings on her part (I mean, she’s telling me she has a crush on one of my friends).

On the other hand she has also become more ‘handsy’ recently- playful slaps/punches on the arm, etc (but that could just be a byproduct of the comfort factor that comes with knowing someone for a longer period of time).  Toss that in with the open flirting (or does she think it’s just friendliness?) and her frequently made comments that she “always seems to fall for the clever guy” and that she thinks I’m “super clever” and I have no idea what to believe (she tells me these things while describing hilariously awful first dates she’s been on).

This is especially frustrating to me because I am usually fairly strong at reading people across the board, but for the life of me I can’t figure her out.  I’m sure a large part of it is that my judgment is clouded by my desire for her to like me, but it’s frustrating nonetheless.

I also don’t want to risk saying the wrong thing to her and forever altering what we already have because 1- we are going to see each other every day until graduation in 3 years and 2- I really like what we have as a friendship already.



Dear Richard,

Wow, it’s only November and things are getting complicated! Let’s look at the facts and then determine your best strategy.

Is She Attracted to You?

She may well be, but there are several indications here that argue against it:

  1. You are really attracted to her, and if it was mutual, there should be some sense of mounting sexual tension – the sparks should be flying.
  2. She has come to you for guy advice. If this was done before you started hooking up with the other girl, it almost certainly means you are in the friend box. If after, it could be a strategic response (conscious or not) to your hooking up with someone else.
  3. She has offered to be your confidante for girl problems. This would be painful if she had feelings.
On the other hand….
  1. Her vibe is flirty. The key question here is: How does she act with other guys? What you’re looking for here is some sense of being treated differently. If she is flirtatious/friendly with everyone in the same way, then it’s obviously not significant if she’s that way with you. If she is singling you out for special treatment, that is flirtation, not friendliness.
  2. At the very least, you guys are sharing a mutual personality crush. The compatibility sounds off the charts, and usually when women feel that way, and make that kind of effort, it’s about more than friendship.
  3. Observing that you are very smart while saying she falls for smart guys could be a good sign – except that presumably your law school class has 30 other guys who are also smart, so I’m not sure how meaningful that is.

In short, it’s hard to say. If you can’t read her in person, I certainly can’t from your description. Here’s where I’m really getting stuck, though. You spend the first couple of months of the semester feeling like a schoolboy around this woman, then start hooking up with someone else. Why? That would certainly send a message of disinterest to the one you really like. You don’t seem concerned about the fallout with this other girl should things go bad (which they obviously will, and soon).

I’ve always heard guys say that they would risk a friendship in a heartbeat for a romance, and it sounds like you would too, but you don’t want to ruin the friendship by speaking your mind and making things super awkward if she rejects you. Understandable.

The Realities of Cross-Sex Friendships

Many women enjoy platonic friendships with men, and are highly motivated to cultivate them, provided they are not attracted to the guy. Why? Women want the male perspective, which can be tough to come by if you don’t read HUS regularly :-) and they want advice given with authority. Girls also love hanging out with guys because they’re often funny, loyal and honest. Male friendships are ideally drama free, and women usually don’t use friendship as a means to get close to a guy and spring a move on him – the friendship is the end, not the means.

Conversely, men generally say that they don’t waste time and energy on any relationship that has zero chance of getting to sex. There are exceptions, but in my experience, that’s the prevailing view. It makes more sense for him to invest his effort elsewhere, and that’s doubly true if he’s been LJBF’d by the woman.

There have been several studies looking at cross-sex friendships, and the biggest pitfall is sexual tension. In one study, 62% said there was sexual tension present in the friendship. Not only that, men indicated that sexual tension was a primary motivator for initiating the friendship in the first place, while women indicated they disliked it. So you have the sexes acting at cross purposes, which is often the case due to conflicting mating strategies.

Another finding is that cross-sex friendships tend to atrophy when one or both partners secure other romantic attachments. This is usually because new partners are uncomfortable with a strong level of intimacy between their partner and someone else. So it’s likely that your friendship will change when or if one of you falls for someone else. The truth is, friendships are always changing. Keeping things exactly as they are now is probably not a realistic option.

What Should You Do?

The blog Guyism has some suggestions for guys who have been friend boxed:
Having a hot female friend is always a challenge. Because no matter what you do, the word “platonic” sounds a lot more like a reference to earthquakes than your attitude toward that smokin’ bod. But how can you crack the barrier and add a heavy dose of attraction to the bland, unfulfilled vat of friendship the two of you share?
Here’s my take on their advice, which is pretty much a Game 101 approach:
  1.  Create some breathing space. “You’ll get to her when you get to her.”
  2. Meet her halfway, but don’t bend over backwards to make things convenient for her. She won’t be invested if she doesn’t make an effort.
  3. Tell her what you’re doing and invite her to join. “I’m going for a coffee at the bookstore, come meet me if you feel like it.”  (Channeling Zen Master Yohami here, except that he would leave off “if you feel like it.”)
  4. Tell her about the girls you are seeing. (You’re already doing this, and it is a DHV (demonstration of higher value) in her eyes.)
  5. Talk about guys she is seeing. Guyism says to cleverly make fun of your competition, and this can be done to great effect, if you can pull it off. It’s tricky.
  6. Don’t praise her looks or tell her she’s hot, etc.
  7. Tease and poke fun at her. Good-natured only, please.
  8. Show, but do not share, what you have to offer the one special woman in your life.

The bottom line is that you should treat her like a friend, not a love interest, while sparking her desire to please you and qualify herself to you.

My favorite advice on this topic comes from David Wygant. It’s advice I’ve followed myself, summed up as Say What You Need to Say. Some excerpts from Wygant’s blog:

Don’t Be Afraid To Express Yourself:

If you’ve already been friends for a long time with the female whom you’d like to date and she’s never thought about you in a romantic way, then you need to understand that there’s a good chance she’ll never think of you romantically. The way so many guys get themselves into the eternal friend zone is that they played it too safe when they first met that woman…They are so afraid of really expressing to her any indication of their romantic interest in her, that they go out of their way not to express any feelings toward her at all.

Be Patient:

Four of my best relationships have been with women with whom I was friends before I became romantically involved with them. To do this, you must be patient…Not every woman you meet today is going to want to go out with you tonight. I tell guys to think of befriending women they meet like building a portfolio of interesting people with whom they can get together in the future. You need to treat women you meet like long-term investments.

Take Action:

If you are interested in a female friend and would like to get out of the friend zone with her, then you need to ask her out on a date. Take the risk. She might actually feel the same way about you as you do about her. She may have been developing a crush on you too. So what you need to do is take the risk, because the friendship can survive something like you asking her out on a date. You, however, don’t want to have to live with the self-torture of never knowing if you could have become romantically involved with her. Don’t wait to take action, thinking that will say something to you if she is interested…It doesn’t matter if she says yes or if she says no. It just matters that you take the chance. You will define the relationship one way or another, and then you can move forward.

How you proceed depends on the depth of your feelings. If this is someone you might see yourself with for a very long time, maybe even a lifetime, then the cost of staying silent is much higher than the cost of risking rejection. If you tell her you are attracted to her and want to date her, with confidence and dignity, she will respect you for it, even if she doesn’t feel the same way. You need not be an object of pity, nor feel humiliated.

There may be some awkwardness, but a strong friendship can survive that. In any case, the friendship is bound to change either way over time. Why not influence the outcome to your mutual benefit if you can?

Say what you need to say.

Readers, what’s your take on this? What is Richard’s best strategy?


Hooking Up With Public Radio

Thanks to Topher, a reader I haven’t “met,” but who recommended me to Susan Morris of public radio for her weekly show What Would Your Mother Say? at WRCT Pittsburgh. It’s a very good show, on every Tuesday at 9 pm, and it can be streamed live. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with Susan Morris and the kids!

Here’s the podcast of my interview. Highlights include the remarks of Dan, a physics major, at 6:30 and again at 8:45. Also, the general feedback from the panel after I’d signed off, at 11:55. The panel of two female students and one male was a surprisingly accurate representation of the SMP as we often discuss it here.

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