Dear Lucia,

Are FWBs really that common with people nowadays? Not one of my close friends - man or woman - has ever had one, nor would go there for fear of liking the other person or being jilted when the other person found someone they liked better. - Kim C.

Dear Kim,

First of all, I don't like the expression "friends with benefits." Let's call it what it is: A lover. I believe if someone is not in a relationship and hasn't taken a vow of celibacy, they should have a lover.

I especially believe women should always have a lover. Men are usually happy with a booty-call relationship, but I think women need a lover. This would be someone who is not only skilled in bed but is also able to take them out, sleep over sometimes, and generally be there for them, with no expectations on either side. Impossible, you say? Not at all (I know!)

A lover should be someone with whom you know there is no chance of a real relationship. This could be because the person is either too young or too old for you, someone whose company you enjoy but know you could never commit to, or an ex you get along with but no longer have any romantic feelings for (nor they for you).

Life is about balance. Just because you don't have a partner at the moment, there's no reason to deprive yourself of male energy if you're a woman or female energy if you're a man. That way, when you do meet someone you think you may want to get to know better, you won't be tempted to jump into bed with them because those needs are being met.

Dear Lucia,

Thanks so much for explaining why not to date men who life soap operas or watch too much TV! I'm sure women all over Southern California are rejoicing at the pearls you're giving them!

I must say, though - not dating someone because they don't have a cell phone really takes the cake. The nerve! I mean, who wouldn't want to pay $50 monthly to have an annoying little gadget with them 24-7?

I can't believe women even talk to men without cell phones! I mean, like, gawd - it's 2005! Why wouldn't someone want to be encumbered with yet another material possession to have to carry around and keep up with - not to mention those monthly charges? Geez, I wonder why (and how!) women ever dated men without cell phones! It must cut down on their bitching time by half!

Thanks for opening my eyes! Dating Unabombers? I don't think so! Now I'm going to summarily reject any loser that doesn't have a cell phone! Geez, that makes it so much simpler.

Oh, and the no e-mail thing! God, you're so right! Who are these losers who actually like to write mail, the old-fashioned way? I mean, puh-leeze!! No e-mails and no cell phones - they might as well just tattoo "I'm a fucking loser!" across their foreheads! Seriously, who can't afford a cell phone or a computer? Only losers!!

Thanks so much for the wonderful advice! Keep those pearls coming! - Unsigned

Dear Unsigned,

Well, it's so very obvious you are not a loser. After all, you did use e-mail to send your diatribe.

Dear Readers,

After sending the above response to Mr. Unsigned, he wrote back to ask "What my story was?" and if I was "As hot as my picture?" Men! You gotta love 'em.

REMEMBER: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.

Watch Lucia's show, "The Art of Love," on the Adelphia Public Access Channel on Thursday, Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. The topic: Sex.

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