Covert Contracts vs. The Princess Fiona Plan

From the forum…

Matt266:  So @Athol_Kay talks about Shrek, Donkey Princess Fiona Plan in the book.  One thing I don’t understand is he says that Jennifer gets Princess Fiona preference, fine.  But then he goes on to say, if I rescue the princess I bang the princess.  Isn’t this a covert contract? ie. if I do this for wife then she gives me sex.

Please set me straight, just trying to learn!

Athol: Okay… so the original Shrek-Fiona-Donkey post is here. The TL:DR version being, I’m framing myself as Shrek, and making the women in my life fall in either the Princess Fiona or Donkey categories. I willingly do a lot of nice stuff for a Princess Fiona, but we also have an intense sexual connection, and Donkeys I don’t have a sexual relationship with… and they are their own beasts of burden.

Jennifer is the only woman in my life on the Princess Fiona Plan. I’d usually make some kind of joke about her frowning on other women or something after saying something like that, but it actually felt oddly peaceful to say that. Huh.


A covert contract would be where you decided to do a whole bunch of nice stuff for a woman, and then had an unstated expectation of sexual payment for services rendered. Typically sexual payment doesn’t happen anyway and then you get mad because you did all this stuff and didn’t get paid… which isn’t fair!  Meanwhile she thinks it isn’t fair that you suddenly sprung your cock into the mix like a bill collector.

What I’m doing with Shrek-Fiona-Donkey is making an overt contract.  Jennifer and I both understand and agree to the arrangement. I do X and I get Y. She gives Y and she gets X. It’s a fair exchange.

A covert contract is like when you stop at a red light and some homeless guy with a bucket and sponge starts washing your windshield, then holds out his hand for money.

An overt contract is like when you go to the car wash and pay for a car wash.

So the point of Princess Fiona vs. Donkey is to clarify in your mind, what your relationship is.

(1) A sexual relationship in which you’re all in.

(2) A non-sexual relationship in which you’re not assuming any special services.

I just clear it up ahead of time what it is going to be. There’s no point wasting your entire Saturday helping a girl you’re interested in, only to discover she has no interest in you beyond your labor assistance. If you’re going to end up masturbating no matter what… well you may as well just enjoy Saturday doing what you want to do.


  1. Once upon a time…

    There was a point to doing things for women with no expectation of immediate results. Think of it as free samples. One expected that word would get around.

    I once called it a *beta competence display*.

    This was in the olden days, when competence was valued. Nobody blathered about “The Myth of Meritocracy”.

  2. BetaTester says:

    I love the fact problems are identified but I am looking for a solution. I think the problem I have is the overt contract has never been so bluntly verbalized and no longer registers with my wife. Jump in here guys if this describes anyone.

    Dating: You rescue the princess and she gives sex – probably because she just wants to, not as a reward.
    Engagement: You show competence and gifts and rescue and more sex, but still no more of a “contract”.
    Early Marriage: You are now working your ass off and get daily sex and are in full beta glory. But she is getting tired of this shit.
    Later Marriage: Your ass has fallen off form your job and all the damn housework you are doing and your wife plants her ass in the couch nightly to plug into Facebook, You are pissed because the never discussed overt contract is being broken by her nightly rejections.

    You wake up and start mapping. Job, physical fitness, kids, frame, testing all coming under control. Is now the time to discuss the overt contract? “Hey if you want me to get you a new car I need an bit more attention after the kids are in bed. You can think about it.”

    You’re talking about heading into Phase Four

  3. I think some people are making the classic mistake of confusing “payback that’s not immediate” with “covert contract.”

    Jennifer (or whomever) doesn’t have to bang you the moment you do something nice for her. It’s still an overt contract even if the terms of delivery aren’t clearly specified, so long as the fact that payback is expected is acknowledged by everyone. And in any case, contracts that have trust behind them don’t need to rely on an “I did this so you need to give me that RIGHT NOW!” kind of attitude. When two parties trust each other that they are operating in good faith, they know the reward is coming soon in full and don’t need to assert the contract except in certain cases (like someone becoming entitled, or giving you bullshit like “I have a headache.”)

    I find this to be one of the beauties of good male friendships – I buy my buddy a beer, he’ll buy me one later. Might be next week or next month, but I’m not concerned about getting my payback because I know he’ll find a way to make it count.

  4. When you play your cards right, overt contracts can be the beauty of marriage. I have a friend who said that when his lady goes out with her friends to a bar or wherever for girl’s night, she knows to “pay her taxes” when she comes home. Having little unspoken agreements can be sexy if you’re in control of the way they are instituted. That way, it doesn’t come off as hoping, or worse, begging.

  5. I'm a man says:

    State your needs and expectations clearly. Don’t get lost in “I do X and get Y” contract.

    I prefer the “me Tarzan, you Jane!” approach to sex.

    Its best to avoid overt contracts unless its fun for both parties….like @Rone describes.

  6. I feel like this is a bit off base.
    I don’t think sex should be part of a contract other than the marriage contract. The whole point of running the map and being the best man you can be is so that your lady WANTS to jump your bones, or at least is open to it when you come on to her. If it is part of an overt contract and I do some heavy chores with the idea that I get sex, well then she is doing it as a trade and it is prostitution. Or if she doesn’t want to have sex but hey… “I did XYZ so you owe me” well why couldn’t she say well sure but I did ABC chores so that cancels out your chores. If it is in exchange for doing things then she can just as easily withhold sex for me not doing enough stuff.
    I think everybody should be having sex because they want to not because they HAVE to. It is however, important for the lower sex drive partner to realize how important it is to the other and to step up and try their best to be open to wanting it, and participating.

    I also don’t see anything wrong with a single guy going over and helping out a single girl with the hopes of it becoming something more- the difference is that he need to know that he won’t get sex in return for helping her move or fixing her car. But seriously… What guy would think that anyway? What a slut if she screws every guy that comes over and helps her out!
    I am a shy guy and it is hard to get to know people, so I would have gladly gone and helped a woman with the idea that being in her company gives me the opportunity to dazzle her with my wit and charm – that would not readily come accross in a noisy bar.
    Unless the woman is a real bitch, they would offer something in exchange for the job and service rendered even if it is just a token. It might be stay for dinner, or have a beer, or something. I would go help a guy move – and wouldn’t expect sex. So why wouldn’t I go help a girl move and not expect sex? But if I moved her and she didn’t provide pizza and beer then I would be pissed.
    I was just over at my wife’s single best friends house and helped her with some handyman projects – she made me supper and gave me a beer. Seems fair to me, I feel good helping a friend who needed help and she was appreciative and repaid how she could.
    BTW – Shrek also helped out Donkey, he saved him from the soldiers, and didn’t expect sex in return.

  7. I think the only contract anyone should be thinking about is “breach of contract” If you’ve married someone the contract is certainly not covert, it’s pretty clear as to the expectations, “Yes, you will have sex with me”. If either one fails to live up to the marriage contract, then they need to be called on it early and take ownership of their crap.

  8. @Gumbyman

    I think the art of it is making it into a playful dance, rather than “YOU OWE ME NOW”. Doing something she’d already want, but throwing in some flirtation and anticipation. Two more examples that just popped into my head. When I was home from college one summer, my friends and I played strip Poker with these girls in the neighborhood. I kept going into the bathroom and fixing the deck so that my friends could win. We kept making sneak comments about how dumb they must have been to not realize that we were cheating. They just kept smiling and laughing as a shirt came off, then a bra, etc.

    But now that I’m a little older and wiser, I realized that WE were the dumb ones for even thinking that. OF COURSE they knew that we were cheating. They wanted to lose their clothes, but it’s a lot sexier to have some sort of game involved where we set the tone and they have to hold up their end of the deal.

    Another friend met his wife by playing a little game. They were in college at a bar, and I don’t remember what it is he had to do, but if he did that thing, he would get to kiss her. That was an overt contract. Well, he failed horribly at it and then kissed her anyway. She didn’t say, “No, good sir. You did not complete your task so you’re in breach of this overt contract.” Nah. In this case the little game they played was more important than whatever it was they were talking about, and she GLADLY allowed him to kiss her, so she obviously didn’t care about it. They both got what they wanted, and really, he was more alpha for failing the task on purpose and kissing her anyway.

    I say all that to say that it’s not this ogre like “you owe me” deal when you do it the right way in a relationship. If Jennifer asks Athol to move a box and his face turns red, he gets pissed off and stares in her face while pointing to his dick, that’s more of a HAVE to do thing. But I highly, highly doubt it plays out like that. It has to be a little game or flirtatious agreement, rather than a tit for tat and now you have to do this for me. Comparing it to a “trade” or “prostitution” takes all the fun and sexiness out of it. You gotta frame it the right way.

  9. GumbyMan says:

    I can agree that as a fun flirtatious game then teasing and Overt contracts can be great… It didn’t seem to be originally presented that way in my opinion.
    I think there has to be a partnership and that both parties are doing things to support the other one. If we get to caught up in keeping score it will just take away from the magic of the relationship. whether that is household chores or sex.

  10. Red Pill Saluki says:

    I agree with Rone’s comments. And let me expand on them by suggesting the overt contract approach may not work unless you have a strong healthy marriage. Late last year my wife told me ILYBINILWY. Since then I’ve been developing and running my MAP to try to recover the ILWY. We’re moving in that direction. But I have learned the hard way that overt contracts for sex won’t work unless she’s into me. The bottom line is that if she’s got underlying resentments or other issues, her headache/stomach ache/fatigue/other excuse not to have sex trumps my ‘contract.’ At first I would protest, but then learned that’s like building a brick wall in front of her vagina. Now I just let it slide, continue to refine my MAP, and hope she comes around.

  11. BetaTester says:

    I think we are all a bit frustrated. My issue is after you have cleaned up your game she still treats you like you are the worlds most tolerated annoyance even if you are really not looking for sex. You have not seen her all day and want to have a 10 second kiss and it is treated like “OMG what a pain in the ass”. Athol pointed out I may be at phase 4. I think Gumbyman and Tinker have good points. I am planning how I am going to implement phase 4 without making me look like I treat my wife as a prollstitute. I may plan to not make those little sacrifices or not pick up her clutter as much and see if she gets it. Perhaps even do a playful quid-pro-quo if asked to perform a big task. But I think the first time I say “no” will be a really big deal.

  12. boombacca says:

    The Song sums it up:
    “Self Esteem”

    I wrote her off for the tenth time today
    And practice all the things I would say
    But she came over
    I lost my nerve
    I took her back and made her dessert
    Now I know I’m being used
    That’s okay man cause I like the abuse
    I know she’s playing with me
    That’s okay cause I got no self esteem

    We make plans to go out at night
    I wait till 2 then I turn out the light
    All this rejection’s got me so low
    If she keeps it up I just might tell her so

    When she’s saying that she wants only me
    Then I wonder why she sleeps with my friends
    When she’s saying that I’m like a disease
    Then I wonder how much more I can spend
    Well I guess I should stick up for myself
    But I really think it’s better this way
    The more you suffer
    The more it shows you really care
    Right? Yeah yeah yeah

    Now I’ll relate this little bit
    That happens more than I’d like to admit
    Late at night she knocks on my door
    Drunk again and looking to score
    Now I know I should say no
    But that’s kind of hard when she’s ready to go
    I may be dumb
    But I’m not a dweeb
    I’m just a sucker with no self esteem

  13. The response you get on certain moves is dependent on whether she finds you sexy. Never forget that you can “get away with” a WHOLE lot when she finds you sexy. That’s where the map comes in. If you don’t get the response you want, use mental alchemy to spin it in your favor and never let her see you sweat.

  14. Audrey says:

    I’m new to the board and am just learning about the MAP, etc. I’m totally with the basic premise that women respond to alpha, although in my case there has to be plenty of the beta to make it a marriage and not just a toss.

    Honestly though, this quid pro quo bit squicks me out. If he did some chore for me and then expected me to “pay” for it with sex (and that’s definitely how I’d interpret it), I’d be very turned off. Sex is a mutually pleasurable activity that I enjoy every bit as much as he does. In fact, I have the higher drive and always have. So to suggest that it’s a cookie that I should dole out when he’s a good boy feels offensive to both of us. I don’t have sex with him as a reward; I do because I enjoy it and because I love him and it makes me feel closer to him.

    When he does thoughtful things for me, I notice and appreciate it. Obviously that makes it more likely that I’ll do the same for him and the whole thing feeds off itself. But I don’t and never have withheld sex as a punishment or “granted” it as a reward. That’s not what sex means to me.

    I mean no offense to anyone, but I don’t want to feel played. If my husband wants to jump my bones any given night he has only to say the word. I think i’m pretty much a sure thing. The only reason I’d decline is if I genuinely felt like crap, was completely exhausted or burning the midnight oil on a work deadline. None of those things happen often. I really enjoy our intimacy and if anything I’d like more and not less. I’m not about discouraging him from giving me pleasure. ;)

    If he does something nice for me, I hope it’s because he loves me. Maybe that’s naive of me, but it’s why I do the same for him.

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