I am writing this from the guy's perspective, but all my romantic tips apply in reverse, too, meaning you girls can dazzle your boys by following my brilliant advice.

Guys, one thing I am with the ladies is slick. Before I ensnared my wife in my viscous love-grip, I could practically charm the pants off of any woman without spending a dime. Now that I am happily married, it's time to open the vaults and reveal the secrets that drove the ladies wild and kept Andrew Jackson and his buddies in my back pocket.

In Las Vegas, you don't need to be a millionaire to show your partner you're got a heart a big as a Buick. Do it on the cheap, all the while making it so romantic that your special someone never even catches on.

A popular fantasy is to cruise slowly down Las Vegas Boulevard at night in a stretch limousine. The twinkling, spinning lights reflect off the car as it effortlessly glides in the traffic stream, and we are tucked away behind the dark windows in our romantic mobile hideaway. Another part of my fantasy is when the driver says, "You guys were such great customers that I'm gonna let you have this ride for free."

In reality, the driver always wants his $35 an hour for the private limo ride. And that doesn't include the tip, which quickly tacks on another 50 cents! To fulfill the fantasy for less, how about a slow ride down the Strip aboard public transit? The Citizen Area Transit Route 301 up the Strip is $2 per person, or $4 if you go the extra mile and pay for your sweetie too. Just like a limo, the buses have big windows, professional drivers, and move very slowly. Climb aboard with your squeeze, fight your way through the mob of other romantic couples to a pair of hard bench seats and get ready for good lovin' action. Sure, you're sharing your limo with 50 other people, it stops at every intersection to load and unload, and the guy next to you is drooling, but these are the sorts of minor points that will only be noticed by a woman not in love.

Be sure to have a six-pack of Schlitz on ice back in the room to seal the deal, because she's gonna be itchin' for kissin' when the ride is over. One word of caution: keep your pants on while riding the bus. We have learned they are very strict about this.

If you want to whack your girl over the head with the fat end of the charm stick, get her a real limo ride right from the airport. For less than $5 each, you can ride Las Vegas Limo like you would a shuttle. The catch is that you won't be alone. The driver packs people in and drops people off at their hotels. Guys, I suggest getting a hotel on the North end of the Strip, so you get a few minutes of private time after he's dropped off all the people staying at nice hotels. Once the last of the other folks gets off, lean over and smack her on the lips!

Very few people come up to me and ask, "Matt, I want to take my gal someplace classy for dinner. Where do you recommend?" But when someone does, I have an answer.

First off, breakfast is not very romantic, so don't think you can cut corners by splitting the $2.49 steak and eggs at Arizona Charlie's, or a 99-cent half-pound hot dog at Slots-a-Fun. On the other hand, if you've found yourself a gal who finds these exciting, run to the nearest pawn shop and buy the cheapest engagement ring they have: she's a keeper!

For the lady of more discriminating taste, I recommend the following sybaritic delights:

The Peppermill Coffee Shop - don't let its humble appearance fool you. This small free-standing coffee shop next door to the Riviera is the sort of place that brought down Gomorrah. Dark velvets, fake, silver plants, dim lighting and plush booths make this the perfect place to act out your role-playing fantasies of being a 70s player, with your lady being a tough-talking hoochie. Want to be a little decadent? Have the waffles with fruit for dinner. If you order carefully, you two lovebirds can get out for less than $20. But, don't leave before going to the swank-uluxe lounge where a bubbling cauldron belches fire and the booths provide more privacy than a modern condominium complex. The drinks are priced right and strong enough to intoxicate even the most hardened lover.

Center Stage - The food ain't so hot, but the view is oo-la-la! Well-hidden on the second floor of the Plaza Hotel downtown, the Center Stage has a domed dining room that looks straight down Fremont Street. If you're smart, you'll have a few strong $1 dollar cocktails downstairs to deaden your tastebuds. A complete meal can be had for about $10 a person, and you get that much value just out of the number of waiters and servers who hover around. After dinner, why not head downstairs and enjoy the awfully good acts in the Omaha Lounge. It'll give you a chance to let your dinner settle and then see how vigilantly they enforce their "No Dancing" policy.

Roberta's - If your honeybun respects food, then why not take the romantically dangerous after-dark stroll to Roberta's at the El Cortez where the savvy man can let his girl stuff her greasy piehole until she can't stuff anymore. Plus, Roberta's respects food. Why else would they call the 18-ounce steak "Mr. Porterhouse?" Other specials include "Mr. Crab" and "Seņor Prime Rib." All can be had well below their fair market value. A word of warning, gents, the task of arriving at Roberta's is not for the squeamish or anyone easily deterred by bums or stench.

With the right presentation, just about any meal can be romantic, but not the buffet. Never the buffet. "Why not?" you might be wondering. You say, "Last time I ate at Circus Circus with my buddies, it seemed like the perfect oasis for a late night rendezvous."

Guys, you're right, the Circus Circus buffet has exactly the sort of ambience to set the mood for amore. But it's not the room that will mess things up; it's us. Just when everything is going so well, and her eyes are glazed over with awe, we always end up talking while our mouth is full of veal, or sucking Jell-o up our nose with a straw, or gulping down some of those desserts that make you gassy. Let's face it: at the buffet, it's better to pig out and get your money's worth than seduce your girls.

THE ROMANTIC VIEW It's easy to take a friend to the top of the Stratosphere or Paris' Eiffel Tower, but those costs $6-$8 per person, and that's money that could be better spent on a delightful bottle of ripple with dinner. Besides, the Eiffel Tower observation deck is covered with chain link and it brings back too many bad memories of my time in the Louisiana Correctional Facilities.

I say, keep the cash and take your lady to the top of the Rio's Masquerade Village. Although it's only half the height of the Strat's observation deck, it's free. You and your lady will step out onto the outdoor deck and scan the entire valley, with a great view of the casinos you will take her to later for some nickel video poker. If your special someone asks why you're not at the Stratosphere, don't admit that you're a cheapskate, just say that it's too crowded and too "bourgeois." That word drives the ladies mad. Or say they had an outbreak of malaria over there and you care too much to let her get deathly ill. Now, if that doesn't make her swoon, she's got a heart made of corn-cobs.

The Rio's elevator is in the Masquerade Village area of the casino. At night there is a dress code, meaning dress pants and collars, and pants and shirts like that cost money. Plus, there might be a minimum number of expensive drinks you have to buy. I suggest you take your girl during the day and wear really dark sunglasses to simulate the evening.

Of course, what I have just revealed aren't all of my secrets. I have to keep some of the mystery, after all. They should be enough to get even the lowliest among us cheapskates to see that romance and pinching pennies aren't always mutually exclusive. Good luck and good loving.

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