Love Markets: Putting Out Efficiency

by Johnny Debacle

Relationships as a whole would be improved if this was made clear that the relevant trade-off to not putting out or meeting your significant other’s needs is that the relationship has to be dissolved. Inertia and fear of change are powerful forces, so incentives should be contractually outlined to minimize their deleterious effects on your life. Most people dawdle or settle or both

To rectify these inefficiencies in the love market, we recommend contractually allowed cheating contingent upon putting out not happening enough. A requirement of some sort of formal notification and a cure period (30 days or so) would resolve fair warning obligations. Additionally, the contract would also provide (but not make mandatory the exercise of) the option for the counterparty to terminate the relationship upon the commencement of cheating. This ensures that there will be an adequate level of putting out or a faster resolution to the relationship — a veritable “win-win” situation for each side of the contract and also for society which would benefit from improved relationship velocity.

Problem Scenario Example: Bob loves to get it on. Bobette, Bob’s right hand, gets tired after only a few rounds and sometimes “she” just doesn’t “feel like it.” Normally, Bob and Bobette would stay together in a sexless and loveless relationship for months on end, until one or the other was “fed up.” This could take months, possibly even years if kids were to enter the picture. With a well drafted love contract, Bob could put Bobette on notice and the cure period would begin, allowing for Bobette to fulfill Bob’s needs. Were that not to take place in the given 30 days, Bob would be free to start seeing Bobetta, Bob’s left hand (Bob describes “her” as “like hooking up with someone else”), and/or Bobette would have the legal right to immediately terminate the relationship.

Recommendation: Long love contracts. There is nothing that a properly designed contract cannot improve, or at least make less worse. Not even love.

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  1. Juan
    June 25th, 2008 | 10:30 am

    It’s a contract. See, families should be run like companies with everybody’s responsibilities clearly defined. Children, at the age of reason should be provided with legal representation and a contract drawn up.

    All the best relationships are based on contracts.
    Bunny and I have a contract.

    -Igby Goes Down

  2. June 25th, 2008 | 11:51 am

    While this works out quite nicely in your simplistic example, reality further complicates things.

    For example, what remedies do I have if my “bobette” isn’t fulfilling her contracual obligations despite much time, money, etc being spent upon her? What recourse have I? By what means will compensatory, if not punitive damages be awarded?

  3. June 25th, 2008 | 11:58 am

    It would depend on the love contracts your love legal counsel drafted. Refer to the documents. This can be handled trivially if you ensured that your love contract determined a minimum put-out margins (market value of action over costs associated with enticement/bribe towards action).

  4. To The Hilt
    June 25th, 2008 | 1:42 pm

    I like where you’re going with this.

    I would add that it is also typical in contracts of this type to begin accruing default interest upon providing notice. I would suggest including this clause:

    In the event that, and for so long as, any Event of Default shall have occurred and be continuing, the outstanding principal balance of the Lovin’ Amount shall accrue interest at the Default Rate, calculated from the date the Event of Default occurred.

    Tailor the defined terms as needed.

  5. June 25th, 2008 | 2:02 pm

    Right, anything can be included. A standard default provision should also include a bump up in pricing (or in this case a bump up in bump ups). Generally 200 basis points is market standard, in this case it would be in Love Action units of some flavor.

  6. girl
    June 25th, 2008 | 2:19 pm


    Nice try but we’re not giving back your gifts. Consider it our payment for being impossibly lovely.


    All of womankind

  7. June 25th, 2008 | 5:28 pm


    You know, conceivably, this could work the other way around. Would that same logic apply? If some sugamama wants to lavish me with gifts and other fancy things, am I to consider that payment for being a hot young buck and ‘crushing it’ (so-to-speak)?


    All of Hot Young Buckdom

  8. girl
    June 26th, 2008 | 9:40 am

    Were that the case (which is suspect at best), then certainly.

  9. newyorker
    August 13th, 2009 | 4:11 pm

    avoid cheating entirely by being honest about it. its not cheating if you’re not lying.