Do Men Want a “Hall Pass”?

Fantasy is a weird word.

Fantasies are meant to be some sort of flawless situation that could never come to fruition in real life; a dream that allows you to touch the intangibles, and motivates you to better yourself in the hopes of making these things realities.

Sounds like positive reinforcement to me.

But, what happens when your fantasies are presented to you as a completely plausible experience, even though you’ve done nothing to deserve it? Would you be even be able to wrap your mind around it much less make a level-headed decision on whether or not you should actually pull the trigger and partake in this fantasy-reality?

That’s what the movie Hall Pass examined.

The (very) basic premise of Hall Pass is that a group of semi-slackers are starting to regret being married and pining for the days of singlehood. Sensing this, their significant others decide that in order to save their marriages, they should give the men a week off to sleep with other people so that they can be fulfilled on a level their women can’t provide.

As if giving the men something that great and then taking it away from them a week later wasn’t bad enough, the ladies decide they also deserve hall passes of their own.

Hijinks ensue.

If this were a documentary, it would be the greatest movie ever made.

But it’s not. It’s fantasy (proven by the fact that anyone could be unsatisfied having Jenna Fischer as a lover).

Even with all this make-believe, I wanted to know what would happen if you took these real-life fantasies and set them in a real-life world.

So, I talked to four of my male friends. All married, happily, I presume.

I asked them if they would ever take the bait on a hall pass.

I promised to keep their identity anonymous, so they had no reason not to be completely honest unless they were just trying to prove to ME that they’re good people.

But I know them all well enough to know that they’re not.

These are some of my favorite parts of the four responses I received:

“I honestly wouldn’t accept a Hall Pass, because I know my wife would dangle that shit over my head for the rest of my life. She and I went to a strip club once and she cried when I got a lap dance. I’m not sure why she’s so jealous, considering she’s had more sexual partners than I have. If I step out on my wife, I’m keeping it a secret.”  Stewart, 33

The Hall Pass sounds like torture. There’s no way to accurately play out all the possible scenarios in your head, and you would just eventually drive yourself crazy, I would assume. Seems like too much work. Relationships are hard enough.”  Will, 43

“The wife would always hold this against the husband. Always. The guy’s life would be ruined. No matter what the husband does, no matter how much time goes by, the wife would always have the hall pass card to play and she will subtly use it throughout your life. She will have all the power over you in the relationship from now on. The Hall Pass is a trick, even though she says its cool, it is really like making a deal with the devil. Also the guy could never enjoy it. Yeah, he can bust a nut and have new, crazy exciting sex, but what happens after it’s over? How do you thank your wife for allowing you to have sex with someone else? The guy would feel too guilty to enjoy it.”  Gotye, 35

“If my wife ever offered me a Hall Pass, I would know it was a trick. She would divorce my ass in a second if I actually acted on it. I guess an ideal situation would be for her to offer it to me and then for me to NOT use it just so she can see that I would never fuck around in any situation.”  Dallas, 24

So there you go. Professor Rayke has just proven that 0-in-4 men would actually use a Hall Pass if given the opportunity.

That’s like, 0%. I’m a fucking scientist.

I honestly can’t deduce if these results prove that men are geniuses or complete morons, but it’s definitely one of them.

And the fact that “Dallas” stated that in an IDEAL world, his wife would offer him a Hall Pass and he would NOT use it makes me question my taste in friends.

He is basically saying that in a perfect reality, his wife would want him to cheat on her, and he would defy her as some sort of grandiose gesture of monogamy. I’m pretty sure that’s the opposite of a fantasy in a healthy relationship. But what the hell do I know?

Here’s a fun experiment: Take 15 seconds and try to imagine a world where every single person could suddenly make their fantasies into a reality on a whim.


Now, it should have taken you less than five seconds to figure out that we’d all be dead if that were possible. The point is, there’s a REASON we don’t deserve to have these things. We need something to keep us grounded, humble, and motivated enough to continue striving for ways to make them realities.

At the end of Hall Pass, amidst the chaos of pot-brownies, car wrecks, and gunshots, our characters realize that they actually do love each other, and things end happily ever after with a bow tied on top as the credits roll. Because this is, in fact, fantasy.

I have heard people claim that open-marriages have “saved their relationship”, but I’m not buying it.

Humans are wired for jealousy just as they are wired to breathe. The real-life repercussion of a hall pass situation would involve fighting, lawyers, and probably even more gunshots.

It may be the only thing that actually ends worse than that movie.

So, I say pass on the hall pass.

Stick with your fantasies.

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'Do Men Want a “Hall Pass”?' have 2 comments

  1. August 21, 2012 @ 7:29 pm Liz

    Interesting post … I didn’t see that film but heard crazy stuff about it. :P

  2. August 21, 2012 @ 7:39 pm Anon

    Loved this. Well written, and made me laugh. I did actually offer a hall pass to my fiance (now husband of 25 years). He was driving me crazy for various reasons and I said we should break up for a few months because he needed to go live his life, meet some people, do whatever. I’d already been there, and knew what I wanted. And I’d wait because I knew for certain he wasn’t going to find anyone better than me and that he’d be back. And I completely meant it. He freaked out and refused to do it. I would not have hung it over his head, though. I rarely do crap I don’t want to. Could I do that now? That I don’t know the answer to.

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