When Should You Agree to Sex? Guys Tell It Straight

February 16, 2010

In this era of sexual free-for-all, one of the most difficult things to figure out is the proper timing for having sex. For women, there are usually tradeoffs involved in diving between the sheets. Even if we decide to “have sex like a man,” it’s not possible, because the sexual double standard is alive and well, and pesky hormones wind up holding us hostage to feelings.

Here are a few of the more common cost/benefit analyses, some of which take place in a rather muddy fashion under the influence:

1. He’s hot, I’m horny, what the hell.

Hopping into this guy’s lap, you know that you are probably not going to enjoy a loving relationship complete with mutual respect. Still, you aren’t above hoping for Round 2 if all goes well. In general, though, all thinking here is done with the really little head.

2. He’s hot, I like him, what the hell.

You’re attracted to a guy, and you finally catch his attention, whoo hoo! He finds you sexually attractive, which is a great start, and makes his move. If you turn him down, you probably won’t get another chance. You take the bait in hopes that you can make it memorable, and that he will want to hook up with you again, hopefully regularly.

3. We’re hanging out, it’s a mutual crush, how long should I wait?

You have a nice thing going with a guy. You text back and forth, you meet up on the weekends. He holds your hand in front of his friends. You want to have sex, but you have no idea whether he would want a relationship or isn’t “looking for anything serious.” Asking him straight out would be a weird and awkward buzzkill.

4. We’re good friends, I’m feeling like I kinda want to see his penis, and he’s game. But what would it mean?

He’s a great guy, you get along really well. If you take this step, everything will change. But for better or worse?

5. I know I’m not cut out for casual sex. What are the odds that this particular boy will want to get serious with me, and be willing to wait for a while?

You know that most guys want sex, a lot. You also know that few guys will wait around for long without it, even if they like you. There are just too many women willing to go for the hookup. What do you do to hold onto my guy without compromising your need for a commitment?

There’s no one right answer to any of these dilemmas. Much depends on how you feel about sex, and what kind you like to have.

  • Do you care what other people think?
  • Are you in the same community, or can you avoid seeing him again if you wish to?
  • How has casual worked for you in the past?
  • Do you know that you want a relationship? Is this guy a possibility?

Women have a habit of analyzing (and over-analyzing) all of these questions, on our own and with friends. But we often feel completely baffled about how men feel on this issue. If a guy gets sex too early, will he rule us out as relationship material? If we make a guy wait, will he move on quickly? What is a reasonable waiting period with a guy you like?

I’ve found quite a few interesting opinions from men on this question, including from some of our own guy readers here at HUS. I’m not sure there’s one prevailing view, but think of it as a way of getting a peek into the minds of a bunch of different guys, at a variety of ages. It’s information, and it may just help you make better decisions.

Eric Charles at A New Mode, Does He Just Want Sex?

This in response to a woman who has been having sex and spending time with a guy for two months, but he won’t make it official.

No man is in a relationship “just” for sex. There’s some reason he chose you versus the other billions of women he could have chose on Earth. In other words, there’s at least one reason he chose you other than the fact that he can have sex with you. It’s useful to realize that there’s always more than one reason a man choose a woman, so the more useful question you could ask yourself is, “What are all the reasons he chose me over all the other women on Earth?” This is an empowering question because it puts your mind on all your high-points and what you bring to a relationship. If you ask yourself whether or not you’re being used for sex, it will immediately put you on the defensive and fill you with fears.

You’re choosing to focus on the title. I can tell you this, both from personal experience and from hearing from tons of other men: The best way to determine the woman to be with is to see how she reacts when you don’t give her what she wants. Testing is how we protect ourselves from long-term heartache and eventual heartbreak.

So my advice is to think about this like a test. Focus on having a high-quality relationship. Focus on making sure the relationship as a whole meets all of your expectations. Focus on being really clear on all the reasons he’s chosen you. Focus on bringing your best self to the table. And focus on testing things out as well. It’s important that you are clear on what really, truly matters to you. If this relationship does not deliver that, it’s better you know that now. But I believe that you’ll get this clarity not by sizing up the man, but sizing up the relationship.

John Ortved, blogger at Single-ish, Glamour, He’s Not Ready For A Relationship–Should I Still Sleep With Him?

This in response to a woman who was wondering whether she should ditch a guy who told her he was into her, but not looking for a relationship (post hookup).

The crux of the advice is that we’re almost always ready for a relationship with the right girl, but it can take us boys a little time to figure out that you are indeed that person, and it might be worth hanging around a while to figure out if that’s the case. I’m not saying that she should jump in the sack (again) with this guy, and give him so much milk that he never even has to think about even renting the cow, but at some point sex should come into the picture, because that’s part of getting to know someone with whom you want to build a relationship.

There’s also an argument that says that if the sex is good, and there is suddenly a dearth of that sex, the gears in his head might start moving quicker, and she’ll have her answer even sooner.

All that being said, she definitely should avoid a friends-with-benefits situation, which works for no one (unless the sex is really really good—in which case, God help her).

Ask A Dude, College Candy, Am I Wasting My Time?

This in response to a girl who had a brief convo the morning after with a guy.

He said ” I don’t want to put a title on things yet. I’m going to see hot girls, and you’re going to see hot guys.” I told him that we could just let things figure themselves out.

You are wasting your time. If he wanted you, it wouldn’t matter if there were other hot girls. Hell, it wouldn’t matter if Heidi Klum walked by. But I think deep down you know this. You can and will find someone better.

And another one, from a woman who asks: “How do I straddle this line between, frankly, being horny and still feeling special and not like a hook up?”

There is a big difference between being “too forward” (which men tend to find undeniably sexy) and being “too rushed.” If you’re the former (a confident, outgoing woman who is not afraid to make the first move), and a guy isn’t into you… then there is something wrong with him (not you). If it’s the latter (which it sounds like it might be), there is still time to turn things around.

The real question to ask is… what do you want right now? If you really want immediate sexual relief and the meeting of your needs… than stop psychoanalyzing what this guy thinks of you and get some (safely), with zero mental strings attached. But if you want to evolve into something more, then you might need to pull on the reigns (slightly), and try meeting in environments that won’t equate drunkenness or spooning. If you don’t want to feel like just another horny hook up, then stop being one.

Bobby Rio, at TSB Magazine, tackled a question left by a guy at Leftos:

This in response to a guy who has waited three weeks and is getting very impatient.

How you should handle it:

1. Rinse, Wash, Repeat.

Just keep going for it. Don’t talk about it. Just go for it. If she stops you, then stop. But if you continue fooling around, go for it again a little later on. Avoid talking about it. The more time you talk about it, the more she will mentally commit to holding out.

If you make her state “I’m not ready” then she’ll feel committed to waiting. However, if you just keep going for it without addressing it, you are likely to catch her at a moment of weakness where she is just too horny to resist.

2. Vaguely assure her you’re not sleeping with anyone else.

This is a fine line because part of holding the power in a relationship is letting the woman assume you’re seeing other people, which subconsciously makes her fight for your attention. And I usually advise never revealing too much information early on in a relationship.

But sometimes it is necessary to give a woman some sense of security. This is especially the case if she has reason to believe you’re a player who might be using her for sex. Don’t come right out and say “I’m not sleeping with anyone else.” Let her come to the conclusion through her own wits. This way it is implied and you’re not making her any promises for the future.

3. Freeze out.

A “freeze out” is when you get really cold with a girl. This means you get distant and stop answering her calls so quickly. Maybe you don’t text her back right away. You’re not as available to hang out. This will put the pressure on her to make the decision to sleep with you. If she senses that she may lose you, she will be more willing to use sex to keep you.

(Editor note: Soooooooo douchey!)

Last but not least, some words of wisdom from men who have commented on this issue here at HUS:


On sex with nice guys:

Don’t command a performance that he can’t (yet) deliver.  Suppose you do indulge the urge to grab his crotch and say “All right, big boy, let’s give it a go!”  You might think of this as giving the ultimate compliment, fulfilling every young man’s dream; but the most likely result in your nice guy is panic. You might not realize that you’ve put him in a tough spot: as he sees it, he now has to deliver a performance that he has little or no experience giving. You’ll be better off if you don’t frame the situation in such a way that he’s giving a high-stakes command performance.  Make it absolutely clear that you’re not going to grade and criticize his every move, and that you welcome the spirit of whatever he wants to try. And try some stuff yourself! Nice guys, unlike alpha jocks, are usually very receptive to women taking the initiative.

On virginity and cads:

When you say “Now I’m looking forward to losing my virginity to someone I love,” I think you may be on a good path.  Think of the image of yourself holding a really fine bottle of wine, maybe with a case in reserve.  If you really appreciate wine, then you wouldn’t just serve it alongside a take-out cheeseburger, would you?


The single woman who rocks a man’s world in bed is MORE LIKELY to get into a relationship than the one who just lays there. Women who hook up and perform well are the ones guys go to for repeat performances. Repeat performances are what we call a “casual relationship.” Casual relationships sometimes lead to serious relationships.

Sex is the most effective and valuable currency with which women can buy long term relationships. As you say, there are consequences to both giving freely and holding back constantly. It doesn’t feel romantic to think about sex as currency, but it is, and the women who can get over the loss of magic fairy tale love generally have much more successful relationships.

Sexual compatibility is one of the things a guy is looking for BEFORE he will commit. Yes, it’s true that there’s a small group of guys who will wait several months to have sex, but it’s a small group.

The trick to it is being brave enough to keep things at arms length right now. Once or twice a week is enough, or she won’t be able to keep it “casual” for long. No hanging out everyday. It’s not wrong to give a man sex before getting a commitment. It is a bad idea to give a man *EVERYTHING* he’d get from a committed relationship without a commitment. So… say no to the bootie calls some of the time. Be busy more than you’re available. Don’t answer every time he calls. Meet him on his own ground until he wants to escalate. In the meantime, don’t keep all your eggs in one basket. See if there’s someone better out there, but don’t worry too much that you get to have orgasms while you look. That’s a good thing.

Passer By:

With today’s sexual permissiveness, if you find a woman who was very chaste, you stand a good chance of ending up in a sexless marriage with a woman with a very low sex drive. Sort of damned if you do and damned if you don’t, I guess.

Ex New Yorker:

The problem is working backwards, trying to get the relationship AFTER the hookup. That’s hard to do, particularly if the guy in question has cad-like tendencies. That’s not to say all hookups are bad. Not everyone wants a relationship, I imagine, but to look for a relationship via hookups is a recipe for being strung along by the many cads out there who have no compulsion against being jerks.

“Trust, but verify.” It requires some work and patience, but anything worthwhile takes some work. A guy pretending to offer signals of caring isn’t going to hang around for that long if he can’t get the quick sex. And frankly, shouldn’t the women be taking some time to figure the guy out, to learn about his friends and family, seeing how he acts with other people in his life and work?


Sex is a natural expression of love, and has been since the dawn of time. Denying that essential part of humanity in yourself & others for perhaps decades at a time is bound to yes, warp your perspective of both sex, relationships, and relationships with the opposite sex.

Re meaningless, dead end sex with a cad:

Actions have their consequences. Even for the mindless fun stuff. So ‘keep banging him’ might be the recipe for near term fun, but long term greater disappointment. Bottom line? Is it worth the effort to waste your time like this? Is the sex that good & needed? Are there no vibrators to be had? Batteries?  The mind boggles. So Just Keep on banging the wrong guys. Yeah, that’s the ticket to success!


It doesn’t matter too much who starts the virtuous circle of awesome (and much) sex in exchange for emotional care and tenderness, as long it gets started. Probably it’s best to start with an emotional connection, both because of the greater risk the woman has by having sex and because sex seems to be much better when done with someone you care for.

Omega Man:

If you are a virgin, and insist on staying that way until marriage, a guy may also decide you are a poor risk as a long term relationship partner. Sex is pretty important and he will have no idea what a sexual relationship with you would be like until he is fully committed.


There will always be guys who will tell women what they want to hear and so something else later on (this is not new, really … cads have always existed). The difference today is that sex is front-loaded into relationships. It seems to me that the simple way to change that is for women to be less eager sexually early on in relationships until a relationship has been established which she is comfortable with. That seems like a much less risky approach than expecting men to be forthcoming, if in fact they are seeking sex for its own sake.


From personal experience, if a guy shows interest in a relationship first, her attraction for him falls off a cliff. With the woman that I ended up marrying, I waited six months to call her my girlfriend. Eagerness to settle or commit can be a major turnoff for women. So long as he is honest about things, why complain?


Saying the R-word only after two months makes you appear desperate. Wait four months more without even mentioning the “relationship” word. Take things easy. Have fun and try not to think about the future (or at least, try not to tell him anything about the future). Keep things casual, fun and nice.

There’s lots of excellent food for thought here, though no easy answers. I will say that the old “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” standard is out the window. If you respect yourself enough to make intelligent choices about who you share your body with, you won’t escape mistakes, but you should be OK. There never were any guarantees around sex and relationships, it’s always been high stakes one way or the other.

What do you think? Do you worry that having sex too soon will ruin things? Do you care? Guys, do you respect a woman for waiting? How long are you willing to hang in there?

2 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • Il Capo

    “Guys, do you respect a woman for waiting? How long are you willing to hang in there?”
    I respect congruency.
    How long I am willing to hang in there depends on the woman.

    If I know that a girl is into one night stands with cads (or gives me enough reason to believe she is that type) I won't tolerate waiting. After all, if she's up to it freely with other guys, but not with me, she's telling me that I'm not attractive enough. Most girls do the opposite: sleep around with guys they don't deem relationship material and play games with the guys they really like. I don't think they realize that this attitude is quite disrespectful to the quality guy.

    On the other hand, if she has a consistent image of being cautious about hookups, I will put up with taking things more slowly. I will still try to speed things up as much as I can, but won't give up on her as easily.

    Furthermore, if a girl is fast to hook up with guys and behaves similarly with me I will consider a relationship if other criteria are met. I will monitor for suspicious behavior much more, though. I won't tolerate her keeping up with exes, having male friends, or even engaging in occasional girls nite outs, if we are supposed to be exclusive.

  • GudEnuf

    “I will say that the old “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” standard is out the window.”

    The milk gets cheaper everyday. 15 years ago, if you wanted see a model naked you'd have to shell out 7 bucks at the gas station. Now, men have access to an unlimited supply of online porn for free.

    Prostitution gets cheaper too, correlating with the rise of women embracing casual sex. The times recently ran an article about how the price of prostitute has decreased almost 80%.


    And then of course, there are sex robots. I'll admit they don't look like much now:


    but remember how fast technology improves. Do you remember the cell phone you were using 10 years ago?

    You think it's tough to find a quality man now? It's only going to get worse.

  • verie44

    I SO agree with you, GudEnuf. And I don't think women (my friends included) really are understanding this concept that good men are already hard to find and are going to be increasingly hard to find as they get older, particularly in large cities where selection is large and turnover is high. Not that people should settle, but jesus, why do you need a 6'2 millionaire, tall dark and handsome guy? That is literally what I think some of my girlfriends are looking for without a thought to if they are really on the level of what a guy like that is wanting in a girl. They are going to be screwed in a few years if they don't change.

  • susanawalsh

    Il Capo, welcome! Whoa, this is great stuff!

    FWIW, I really like what you have to say here about the quality guy. One thought I have though: I think sometimes women know cads are only good for one night, but the quality guy is likely to have higher standards wrt sexual experience. So they make that guy wait in hopes of impressing upon him that they are a quality girl, according to his expectations. Of course, if you know what they've been up to with cads, their cover is blown.

    I like your second point – a woman who is not promiscuous has essentially earned the right to take things more slowly. That sounds fair.

    I'm also intrigued that you will have the relationship with the fast girl – you are quite open minded here.

    All in all, I think your standards are consistent and fair, and your strategy is a sound one!

  • susanawalsh

    Gud Enuf, this question of sex technology is very interesting. Japanese men have already embraced Real Dolls and full length body pillow decorated with anime women in lieu of real relationships. (Did anyone catch James Franco in love with a body pillow on 30 Rock?)

    Some men will embrace virtual sex, no doubt, as the technology rapidly improves. Still, it's an Orwellian (or maybe a Woody Allenian) outlook – I have some doubts as to whether we can replace flesh and blood partners.

  • susanawalsh

    Verie, you are so right about this. Lori Gottlieb's new book Marry Him is basically the anthem for the generation of women now in their 40s. Women didn't even pay attention till they were 30, were super picky, and ten or fifteen years later still have no takers. They never settled, but they never found a partner either.

    6'2″? I say any guy your height or over should be a no brainer.
    Millionaire? In this age of women earning like never before, how about you become a millionaire instead of asking to marry one?
    Handsome? This is very subjective for women. Stop looking for George Clooney and start appreciating qualities like humor, brains, curiosity, honor, integrity, honesty, generosity. These are the things that make life with a partner rewarding.

  • Il Capo


    ” I think sometimes women know cads are only good for one night, but the quality guy is likely to have higher standards wrt sexual experience.”

    In theory yes, but…

    “Of course, if you know what they've been up to with cads, their cover is blown.”

    Odds are that even if the guy doesn't know for sure going in, he will know eventually. If the guy gets in a relationship with this girl and pays attention to details, he will know. Facespace, anecdotes, photos of past trips, her attitudes in general and even her friends will usually contribute to outing the girl's promiscuous tendencies. There are several personality markers that can out a girl even if the guy has not witnessed her past adventures.

    If the guy realizes later on that he was played, he is much more likely to downgrade the relationship to FWB or just break it up than if he knew all along and accepted her as such. It's the female equivalent of the guy who pretends to be alpha but reverts to his beta ways when in an LTR and gets dumped for being incongruous.

    “I'm also intrigued that you will have the relationship with the fast girl – you are quite open minded here. ”

    Well, it will take a lot more extra work to be in a relationship with her so she'll better make up for it in other ways (hotter, sweeter, etc.). And to transition from LTR to a ring with such a girl I would be much less flexible on a prenup and other mechanisms.

  • susanawalsh

    You raise a really germane point here – technology, social media, etc. leaves a trail of evidence re past experience. It's all out there online, and Google never forgets. It's very difficult to hide one's past if it has ever been documented with photos. This is a good thing, I think. People would do well do behave today as they wish to be judged 10 years down the road. We all make allowances for youthful indiscretion, but a decade of sleazy behavior? That says a lot about a person.

    Of course, as you say, there are other ways the truth will out eventually. But women and men who believe their past sins will stay hidden? Not likely.

  • verie44

    I was reading an article here: http://alpha-status.blogspot.com/2010/02/women-

    And I wanted to paste some of the comments that a female reader wrote and two men respondents wrote. It might hurt, but I kind of think it's true.

    A sexually experienced woman:
    “I have another blog I keep, one that is not anonymous. I write about my usual: approach to sex, how to select and handle lovers, general escapades, how to deal with different types of men. And I receive so much mail from women trying to get past their sexual humps, trying to learn about themselves, trying to leave behind what pressures they've grown up with. It's fascinating to see how it all links together, where sexuality and socialization collide, and the long-term effects sexual encounters have on women in regards to their partner choices and sexuality.
    One of the things I've learned from it, though, is that women are locked down on a sexual level. I meet no other women like me [sexually promiscuous & not emotionally damaged]. The ones that are as sexually active as I am, as I have been, are usually incredibly emotionally damaged (as you said) and they still are unaware of their sexuality, except for what it can bring them, which is something we are taught to do, when we tumble down from virginal status into whore territory.”

    A man in response:
    You are likely to have yet to experience what I mean by the “emotional damage” of promiscuous girls that destroys their long term potential. Your current sex life has something that will go missing: the excitement, mystery, variety and thrill of experiencing different people. And what the elders understood is that women will never miss what they never had. By tasting the whole sampler platter you managed to sharpen your senses and condition yourself responsive to a small subset of men only. It might not matter yet, but let's talk again in four years when your maternal instincts go bezerk, and you have a hard time finding a match. Most marriage-material guys would freak out realizing your experience is an order of magnitude higher experienced than his.
    For me personally, there is something even more important. Most experienced men can retell stories proving that – despite claims to the contrary – sexually inexperienced women are better lays. Reader z.g. once nailed it by defining these girls as having sex in sync with their feelings. Casual sex teaches women to dissociate sex from their deepest emotions, and a man can feel that. Master Dogen once called it “fucking like a guy with a pussy”. Fun for a night maybe, but given the choice most men would prefer a virgin to a whore. I'd be surprised if that thought hasn't crossed your mind yet.

    Another man’s post in response:
    “sex with jaded, banged out chicks feels clinical. period. it feels like whacking off with another person there, via that person. and yah, that's fine if you're just that hard up in a dry spell to participate in a 2 person bang away pretending that it's fulfilling….for anything other than a cheap thrill break from the monotony of no-sex….meaningful interaction occurs with a person/girl who is not full of vitriol and diamond like emotions hewn to isolated perfection.”

  • Decoybetty

    When I go get ice cream with my friend Phil, he bemoans girls that have sex too soon. He says he wouldn't want a relationship with a girl who gave it up on the first date. But after he had broken up with his girlfriend of four years he went out and slept around a lot – so I am sure he appreciated the girls who did sleep with him then…

    For me, with previous boyfriends it just never felt right. I never felt comfortable enough with them to sleep with them. I just had to wait until it felt right.

  • nullpointer

    Personally, I wouldn't marry a girl over the age of 25… particularly if they have been promiscous. I would rather not get married at all.

    It's my version of being jaded. I was the nice guy in college and got used for homework and as an emotional tampoon while girls were letting themselves be eiffel towered by frat boys.

    I don't care if you've learned from your mistakes and changed your ways. I held myself to a higher standard and I won't tolerate a partner who did not.

    Of course I don't quite fit the bill only 6 ft tall, in my early twenties, only make 90K a year.

    I wouldn't think twice about using a woman for sex if I was single, but if you do put out early on I will not respect you.

  • verie44

    Il Capo, why does it take more work to be in a relationship with the fast girl? Also, why would you be less flexible on a prenup and “other mechanisms” (what does that mean?) with a girl who'd slept around a lot that you eventually chose to marry? That's very interesting — I have never heard that before, and I'm honestly curious. Also, once you explain, I'm also wondering if you think a lot of men feel this way?

  • Il Capo


    The fast girl, fits, in my experience, the “thrillseeker” prototype. She's more likely to break up with a guy because he is “boring” (however she defines that at the time) and is more likely to pursue extra-marital relations and/or a divorce if she faces a down-turn in her long-term relationship. Less promiscuous (let's call them virtuous) girls are usually most likely to put a more honest effort into trying to solve couple problems and will act less impulsively in the face of cheating temptations. Virtuous girls have what promiscuous girls do not: self-discipline.

    I know that many promiscuous girls tell themselves that they have changed for good and that after “experimenting” in their 20s they now want to settle down with a good guy. In my experience (both observations and actual experiences), it is very few who truly change their ways forever. Most may play by the book for a year or five, but their true nature will reveal itself eventually, with bad consequences for the guy.

    To answer your specific questions:
    “why does it take more work to be in a relationship with the fast girl? “

    Because I know that I need to monitor more closely her true feelings. A month of being boring in the face of a fast girl is the kiss of death. A month of being boring with a virtuous girl is a minor infraction, as long as my honesty, integrity and ability to provide are unaffected. Working on keeping up the attraction all the time is what makes being with the fast girl more work.

    “why would you be less flexible on a prenup and “other mechanisms” (what does that mean?)”

    I know myself. I know I could slip into being a boring guy or neglecting to see the signals that something is wrong from time to time. With the fast girl, it takes very little to trigger a “fall out of love” scenario. Because I acknowledge my potential weaknesses, I would need more outside mechanisms to balance the outcome of a potential divorce. “other mechanisms” is a little more far-fetched and obscure. It would involve having kids in another country where parents have better rights under the law, keeping funds out of her reach (by legal means of course), etc.

    Do I think a lot of men feel this way? I have a few single friends who do and have a few married friends who don't (but they married virtuous girls early). I think that the “marriage strike” is somehow related to this kind of thinking, among several other factors.

  • http://FT.com/ VJ

    Q: When Should You Agree to Sex? Guys Tell It Straight?

    1.) More if you're married or in a committed LTR. Please. It's pretty damn essential, and it's often the lighthearted glue that keeps everything together and on an even keel. Also the art of the satisfying but necessary quickie is one that needs to be learned & relearned by everyone. Blocking & tacking people. It always comes down to the basics: Blocking & tacking… Everywhere.

    2.) Less to the Alpha asshats who use & abuse women on many levels (and yes, many women will allow, tolerate and even seemingly enjoy this for many, many years). These interactions are often so distressingly similar as they now can be literally choreographed by others seeking to bask in similar success.

    3.) More to the potential decent & empathetic blokes who seem to be too shy to be making all the 'necessary' & 'right moves'. If they're getting anywhere near close? Try to lead them along gently. Posterity will thank you, if not this particular 'better beta' hopefully being made.

    4.) More for enjoyment, expression, love, even yes, sympathy & comfort. Less for revenge, 'pay back', or to deliberately try to cause harm or hurt, or merely 'just to see', or needless or otherwise harmful 'discovery' at the obvious expense of others. Less because you're got an obvious audience someplace, (strangely enough, we're glutted with porn), and more because you really want to be there with someone. And expressing your care & loving concern for each other. Always.

    [OK Stop. That was the easy bits. Below are the longer more digressive ones. Read only if you want a thumbnail sketch of porn in the last 100+ years… No really.]

    5.) On the issue of Porn. Many people can not get their minds around just how ubiquitous porn is, and what it really means for most relationships today. Simply put, if your man is under 50 and still breathing? He's seen plenty of porn. So have plenty of the women too.

    Statistics might show that perhaps a mere 60 years ago the average adult male had a limited view of porn. They were often Silent Black and White 8MM grainy films that were indeed more ancient looking than the 1950's At the Time. (I know this is hard to believe). Still, the predominant mode of expression & distribution at the time however were not films, which were hard to see, probably a bit harder to film properly, and again, yes soundless. Porno of that era was mostly strictly buried in 'dirty Books' & 'Novels'. Often Unillustrated except for their lurid covers and perhaps a few spare simple line drawings in a few facing pages within. It might have been 1850 but for the style of the art, it had changed literally that little in the 100 years prior. That was it.

    The average hubby would go to his wedding, perhaps knowing a dozen women, some of them intimately, and seeing the rare 'naked bit' on a strange comely lass was the highlight of his day if not his week. In 1950 it was perhaps getting more common, with very revealing & newish swim styles, but for the real show? There were the burlesque shows and 'hoochie shows' in traveling carnival shows. That was it. If you wanted to see a 'live girl' you had to see the 'live girls' 'on the strip' (somewhere in the Big City) or the still more rare 'live show' out in the sticks. [There are very few things we can say are qualitatively & quantitatively getting far 'better' down the years. Porn is perhaps one].

    So again, as was the case almost 100 years prior to his day, a 'naked woman', Doing Anything (fishing, washing the car, simply walking) was always a rare sight. Still, by the early 1900's collections of or single 'dirty postcards' (which happily can be seen on the web still), would easily capture all the main genres of porn by the turn of the last century, and were evidently pretty common among the masses. It would be very hard to amass say 100's of these still expensive 'cuties', and perhaps a few spare dozen were all you would seriously or repeatedly encounter in a lifetime. But by 1953 Playboy would enter into this virtual desert of top notch commercial images of 'naked ladies' and blow the market open.

    Now any kid with access to the net and one working eyebrow can get more porno inside of 10 minutes without leaving his home than granddad might have seen or enjoyed in his entire lifetime. With a little work in a few hours of surfing, more than a village of Great granddads might have encountered in their collective 1000's of years on earth.

    Folks? This means something. It means that access to some of the mysteries of sex are known to most youth today. It means that the need to restrain oneself for fear of simple pregnancy has been 'disappeared' along with not knowing what many women/men look like w/o their clothes on. Which used to be a yes, eternal mystery of the ages, along with just how bodies actually 'worked' & why.

    And all of this new world of images & facts & revealed wisdom creates & feeds into a 'revolution' of 'rising exceptions' for many. We want what we see on TV & Movies & in porn. Those all too perfectly formed bodies always ready, willing & able to perform for hours joyfully (or at least noisily). Or almost as worse, those ever youthful decent 'amateur' performer vids with the happy go lucky couples or 'college' volunteers of one sort or another. Most of us don't look that good. Most of us will never be 18, 19, 21, or 25 again. Not going to happen, even for Billionaire Donald Trump.

    What it should mean is that people slowly wake up & finally realize that this 'disease of images' is something that can easily warp our perceptions. Again, not all the gals need to go for the same 'movie star handsome' Mr. Tall, dark, rich & well connected. Not all the guys need to get with the same type of well endowed statuesque blond. That's a recipe for frustration, and perhaps a long series of short term & 'less meaningful' connections usually to a bunch of overly entitled & spoiled Alpha Asshats & Cads or just mindless hookups.

    But I'm afraid biology also tends to dictate it also, and baring the usual restraints (which were never really very good BTW), many women in their 20's & 30's will as ever go first for the 'tingle', Then for the 'jingle', and only after they're done playing (and clearing the field) will they be willing to try the Tango with a more serious minded mate. I can't tell you how many forlorn middle aged women I know of who go on date after date looking for 'Mr. Right' only to return after 1-2 dates going, 'I wasn't feeling it/any 'chemistry'. Fine & all well & good. In a different age? Perhaps we'd give each other more chances. Now? It's all about the looks baby. Or the certain 'anatomical requirements' of the divorcee set. (Yes, there's a very good reason they're known as Cougars!)

    Bottom line? We're being poisoned in many respects by our culture, and very few really recognize this or know how to cope with it's consequences. And if you really want to find a high value, fully functional long term mate? You'd best be looking more for the Readers vs. the Viewers. The Doers vs. the Consumers. Those who Contemplate over those who 'Veg out' for entertainment. But again, that's now an exotic and deliberate unusual decision, as is virginity I imagine.

    But again, this is far too long! Cheers & Good Luck, 'VJ'

  • susanawalsh

    nullpointer, thanks for your honesty here. Emotional tampon? Ouch. Eiffel Towered? Ouch. Can't say I blame you here.

    I do wonder why you wouldn't marry a girl over 25, that seems awfully young. Many women are still in grad school at that age. Hell, there are quite a few women that age who have NOT been promiscuous, who would make a great partner by your standards.

  • susanawalsh

    D, you make two important points here:

    1. The double standard is indeed alive and well. Men use sex to recover from a breakup, and their friends will give them great encouragement and support for this. If a woman were to start going for random hookups with a broken heart, she'd be the subject of negative gossip, and she'd probably totally mess up her head to boot.

    2. The best advice you can heed is your own instinct. It can be hard to hear that sensible voice inside ourselves sometimes, but if you can, you're smart to trust it.

  • susanawalsh

    Excellent advice in 1-4.

    Re porn:

    This is a great summary of the poison in our culture, and how it is indeed wreaking havoc in relationships. Images are powerful and indelible on our brains.

    I'd have to agree that a Comtemplative, Productive Reader makes a far better mate than a Couch Potato who always knows where the remote is.

  • synthesis

    As for your last point, I've read an anecdote from an age long past about a man who freaked when he saw his newlywed's pubic hair. His concept of the female body was warped from exposure to Greco-Roman style sculptures which depict a smooth patch of skin for the crotch. Porn has been ruining standards for a long time.

  • synthesis

    Have you come across any blog posts with the term, “ambient porn?” They've been popping up some on the manosphere. I think of porn as a symptom of society's malaise. It's just the tip of the iceberg. With ambient porn, guys are constantly exposed to low-grade arousing imagery of tight, youthful bodies and beautiful faces on billboards, in magazines, commercials, tv and movies. People speak openly about their intimate, sexual experiences. When guys need some private time with their hand, what they have to turn to has become increasingly explicit.

  • aldonza

    This is a valid standard, but it can be hard to know these kinds of facts about women you meet unless you only date within your own social group.

  • ericcharles

    Great article. Thank you for the link on my section.

    Let me know if you would like to do a blogroll link exchange with A New Mode.

    I think you have great material here. I'm not used to seeing this level of detail and attention in the blogging community – it is clear you have a lot to offer and you enjoy bringing it to the world.

    Have a great day. :)

  • susanawalsh

    Hey, Eric, thanks so much! I would LOVE to do a blogroll exchange. I read a fair amount of your stuff and really, really liked it. I'm sure I'll link again!

  • aldonza


    There have been studies of people who are shown pictures of attractive people and then have to rate their own significant other. Is it any surprise that the rating of the SO goes down when you've been looking at pictures of very attractive people? Similar results for men who work with women in their “prime years”, such as high school and college. Apparently being exposed to all these women makes some primal part of a man's brain think that he is entitled to those women, even if the images are merely jpegs online!

    I'm not anti-porn, but thoughts like these do roll around in my head. I can't compete with images of women in our society. Heck…due to photoshop, makeup, etc, even *those* women can't compete with those images.

  • susanawalsh

    I haven't heard that term before, but it's a good one. Not all porn is of the same “strength,” though all of it may have some effect.

    Just think, speaking of the old days, in Jane Austen's time a glimpse of an ankle was a powerful stimulus to the male.

  • susanawalsh

    Aldonza, I heard that Jenna Jameson gave an interview in which she said that when she makes porn flicks, the men usually have to get erect by watching porn. Looking at her, touching her is not enough to do the job. So they go off to the side, get themselves aroused, and then return to have sex. Yikes. I can only wonder what their preferred porn is.

  • ExNewYorker

    For a short-term hookup, a guy doesn't need to know all these facts about the woman in question. Same is true for a one night stand.

    For a LTR (marriage and the like), then a serious man will take the time to find out about these facts. Nowadays, there are plenty of ways to go about this, so strictly sticking to one's social group isn't as much of a requirement as it might have been in the past. Though, truth be told, using one's social groups (friends/family,etc) does serve a pre-screening purpose, since sometimes second and third opinions are useful.

  • susanawalsh

    Also, I just read that being introduced to a potential mate by friends or family is still the most common way that people meet to date. I imagine this screening function is a big part of that.

  • Rebekah

    No matter when you agree to do the deed, one guy will see you as giving it up too soon, where another will think you waited too long.

  • susanawalsh

    Rebekah, I cracked up here b/c this is very true. It's hard to know what any particular guy thinks, they're all over the map, and then there's Bobby Rio of TSB, who doesn't care what you think, he just wants to get your pants off!

    In that case, it really comes back to what you want out of it. If it's “one and done,” then who cares what he thinks. If you like the guy, though, and want to see if it could turn into something, I think taking it slower is the way to go. In addition to protecting your own heart, you get to build anticipation, which is pretty powerful.

  • ExNewYorker

    I'd be willing to bet that the guys who don't want to “wait that long” are either cads who stand to benefit immediately, or lower betas thinking maybe they can pick off a quick hookup.

    I think when we say wait a little, it doesn't mean 6 months. It just seems these days people take more time to buy a television than learn about a person they're considering for a LTR.

    The best advice of this kind usually comes from cads you know who have no interest in you romantically (i.e. close relatives like cousins, uncles, brothers). They'll usually tell you that if you don't wait, you're just communicating that you don't think you're worth a long term commitment. My brother (a natural cad alpha) did this for our younger cousin, and surprisingly, she listened.

    Now, if you have no interest in a LTR, then this advice doesn't really matter.

  • Nisie

    I've often thought that an article with tips and such from cads would be very valuable. Not just the douche bag stuff, but the gems of wisdom that they know. For example, my friend who is very much an alpha cad, took an interest in helping me date after I ended a 12 year relationship. First rule- don't wait that long for the question.

    Other things I learned- actively cultivate other dates until the moment that you decide to go exclusive. He had a date on Sunday and decided to go exclusive on Tuesday with a girl.

    Call a guy first for every two calls you get but make him get your number. If a guy wants to meet you, he'll make it happen. I learned the fine art of juggling four dates on one day- 2.5 hours apart, in three different places, keeping my mind on the date and phone on vibrate. I learned I needed 4 places that were within 15 minutes to have coffee with a potential date.

    He has me on an experiment to try and date 50 men before the end of Jan 2011. The reason being that if I do that, I will have learned enough about attracting men, choosing men, and rejecting them that I will be comfortable in my judgment.

  • susanawalsh

    Nisie, welcome, and thanks for commenting! I love this, having a post of tips from cads is a fabulous idea. So for all my readers, if you're a woman with a cad buddy, or a guy who is/was a cad, shoot me an email!

    Love love love the 4 dates on one day. You go!

    One thing: What did you mean by “don't wait that long for the question?” Do you mean if someone doesn't ask you out right away, move on?

  • Nisie

    Don't stay in a relationship for 12 years if you suspect that things aren't going to work out. The guy I was in a relationship was autistic and I knew changes were harder than normal for him. We attempted to work things out and got engaged but… it wasn't meant to be. Would I have done things differently? Parts of it, yes. I had how it ended, but I don't regret the time I spent. I now know that opposite of love is self and that one person isn't enough to fix a broken relationship.

    And also, in a way- don't wait too long for the guy to ask you out. He pointed out that he met me on a Sunday, got my phone number within 30 minutes, texted me before he left so I had his number and had me agree to watch a movie with him on that Friday. That's when we learned we don't sexually belong in each others world- I've slept with 2 men my whole life, he's slept with nearly 100 women. I think he stays around so that I don't fall prey to men like him.

  • susanawalsh

    OK, got it. The question as in proposal. Also, ExNewYorker talks about this – cads looking out for women they care about platonically. It makes total sense that men who get with a lot of women would be the best advisors on what women should not tolerate.

  • ExNewYorker

    Yes, the cads can have good advice, if they have reason to be honest about it (this is key).

    However, I would distinguish between two flavors of cad advice:
    1) The “enjoy hooking up and how to put yourself out there” advice and
    2) The “long term relationship” advice.

    If the cad has no romantic interest in you, but you mean something to him (sister, cousin, niece and the like), you'll likely get the second type. The first type of advice tends to be projection on their part.

    Of course, it does depend on what one is looking for too. If one doesn't want a LTR, the second type of advice is useless.

  • susanawalsh

    Wow, that's a very important distinction! I pity the woman who takes advice from a cad trying to get into her pants!

  • LAC

    One of my bffs was asking me my opinion on this the other day. I struggled with this question myself with the failed Math Teacher experiment. I was holding out for a committed relationship, and consequently it took us like a month to get to 2nd base (and he got no further) which was a pretty big departure for me. Well, turns out he didn't much like me anyway, so I kept my “self-respect” and wasted a bunch of time.

    Fast-forward to the Artist. No chemistry, horrific first date, not my type, failed the flow-chart, etc. etc. Slept with him on the 2nd date (because I planned to–I totally seduced HIM). He's my bf and it's 6 months later: because HE wasn't going anywhere. We're super happy.

    So, I'm really gonna have to go with the He's Just Not That into You philosophy here and say that if he really likes you, you could screw him on the 2nd date or the 30th, and he's probably not going anywhere. And if he doesn't really like you, he's leaving anyway, despite how good you are in bed or what day of the week it was. Pursuing someone is like anything else in life: when you really want something, you do what it takes to get it. If you don't, then you don't put forth any effort.

    So, the moral of the story is, if you want to sleep with him (just not on the 1st date, I'd advise) because YOU want to sleep with him, then do it. I doubt sex would ruin anything for him if he likes you likes you. And you never know what will turn into a relationship and what won't. Mutual “like” is about the only thing we know for sure can lead to a LTR.

  • susanawalsh

    LAC, very, very good real life experience here, thanks for sharing it. It strikes me that the hardest thing, of course, is knowing whether he likes you. Going for the sex when YOU want it makes sense, the risk there is that you really want it because you like him, he really wants it but doesn't like you. I'm glad you didn't have that experience – i.e. didn't sleep with the math teacher. Because that probably would have felt pretty crappy.
    So, logical conclusions:

    IF you think you really like someone, have already caught feelings, then you're better off waiting until you know whether he likes you. You may waste time but you hang onto self-respect and prevent falling further.

    If you go for the hookup, and you're not super invested up front, you never know what will come of it – it could be great and help build chemistry.

    Is that about right?

  • LAC

    Well, I interpret these internal struggles that women have about when to sleep with the guy as basically an effort not to get used or an attempt to prevent scary the guy off. Those are the things (myself included) that we were afraid of.

    So, my point would be then that there is really not much you yourself can do to prevent either of those things from happening in any foolproof way. The longest-lasting relationships in my circle of friends came together in quirky ways.

    So, I told my friend, “Sleep with him when you want to sleep with him. If you really likes you, he's not going anywhere. But if he doesn't, then there was nothing you could have done about it.” This of course assumes that you're okay with just sleeping with someone. If you're too emotionally fragile for all that then no, don't sleep with anyone until you lock it down. However, this might lead to you being a 30-year-old virgin.

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  • susanawalsh

    It's true that there are no hard and fast rules, for sure! I'm not sure whether you've been reading HUS long enough to recall the post “I Married a One-Night Stand” (which I did, 25 years ago). And he said No Thanks to Round 2, ouch! So yeah, our coming together was super quirky, and a bit of a roller coaster. I wouldn't recommend it. Still, I wouldn't change it either.

  • susanawalsh

    LAC! I just realized! This is THE ARTIST! That you wrote about last fall. Yay, I am so happy, haha! I give you so much credit for 1) seducing him 2) giving him time and a real shot and 3) being in a relationship with him.

    Nicely done.

  • LAC

    Thanks! Yup, it's going really well so far, and all my friends really like him which is a pretty good sign.

    I'm hoping I haven't just jinxed it by writing that down.

  • susanawalsh

    Haha, no way! Good news needs to be shared, especially here! You've just done a service to all the women worried that it will never happen.

  • Robin

    I always seem to be stumbling on something new in your blog! This is a wonderful look at it and the comments educational as well.

    I struggled with this when I met my guy recently – I liked him, had been in a sexless relationship for 3 years and was really jonesing for sex. I don't want a relationship now, but if I give it up too early does it kill the chance later?

    I took my honesty policy and went for it. I told him I wasn't looking for a relationship, but found him sexually attractive and made the 1st move for a hook up 1 week after meeting him. Ironically, our friendship has grown more than I would personally like it to have considering I was really just looking for a no strings attached boy toy. But this also gives me hope that I can have fun relationships with out sex messing things up. We talk almost every day, usually him initiating it, hang out in non sexual situations and he's helping me get off my procrastinating ass and get everything in line for school. So there's a great balance between the friendship and the hook up, which IMO bodes well if I decide in the future that I want a relationship out of it or if I decide to pull things back to a friendship.

    I think what it comes down to in the end is making the right choice when it comes to the man :) I think so far mine was a good one – I'll let you know in a few months if it really turns out that way or not! LOL!

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/susanawalsh susanawalsh

      Robin, I think this sounds like a great situation so far! I often hear stories like this one – the woman says up front she is not looking for anything serious, and the relationship grows nicely, including real emotional intimacy. It makes me wonder if saying that up front frees a guy from the pressure that a girl is going to try and get him to commit. Of course, you never know until you try it, and it can obviously go the other way too. It's risky.

  • Nate

    What exactly is a cad/asshat? I have read this word many times on here. Is it a jerk/player?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh


  • http://www.amerika.org/ Brett Stevens

    This for me summarizes all rules of dating:
    Easy come, easy go.
    If you treat yourself like a commodity, or a product on the shelf, expect me to treat you the same way. I will view a dinner date as a transaction.
    If you want a committed loving LTR, then you need to hold back the goods. If you’re a whole package, I’ll assume the sex is good and not really worry if the first instance is not mind-blowing. People learn and sex isn’t rocket science.
    But sluts? Women who spend years getting played by idiots, and then want me to commit because they know a few things in the sack? You’ve got to be kidding: they’re the sexual equivalent of junk bonds.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Women who spend years getting played by idiots, and then want me to commit because they know a few things in the sack? You’ve got to be kidding: they’re the sexual equivalent of junk bonds.

      LOL, great expression!

  • David

    I don’t think I agree with you about the douchey comment re ‘freeze out’.

    Whether you are having sex or not, the idea is to be HAVING FUN and enjoying yourself and each other. So yeah, let the sexual tension build up, while enjoying each other’s good conversation etc, but if you stop having fun, it’s time to start moving on.

    What I suspect might be happening, which I think happens all too often these, is that the guy gives the girl far too much selfless attention (guys typically being a source of boundless energy), and she ends up losing respect for him (as well as him losing respect for himself). The guy needs to direct his attention else where, and allow her to ‘chase him’ for a bit. What’s important to remember here, is that it’s fun and satisfying also for the woman to treat the man.

    So sure, it’s fine to hold out the sex, but you’ve got to pay attention to the guy in other ways, reassure him of your respect for him. (can do things like massages, cooking him a meal, cute kisses on the cheek etc).

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Thanks for leaving a comment, I think that’s actually great advice.

  • Tom

    @ capo

    “Furthermore, if a girl is fast to hook up with guys and behaves similarly with me I will consider a relationship if other criteria are met. I will monitor for suspicious behavior much more, though. I won’t tolerate her keeping up with exes, having male friends, or even engaging in occasional girls nite outs, if we are supposed to be exclusive.”
    I agree to a point. After a while you may sense she REALLY is into you and has changed.. the parinoid behavior of checking up on her will subside with time.

  • Tom

    @ susan
    “Handsome? This is very subjective for women. Stop looking for George Clooney and start appreciating qualities like humor, brains, curiosity, honor, integrity, honesty, generosity. These are the things that make life with a partner rewarding.
    Great advice for both men and women. I have been with more physically attractive women than my SO, but never more attractive inside. I have a great combination in my gf. Pretty enough and full of life, humor intellect, honesty etc. Actually physically she is more attractive to me as time goes by.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Your SO is very lucky to have you. You appreciate her for her full heart and generous spirit. I give you enormous credit for valuing her without judging her, and I wish more men were able to do this. There would be many more happy couples.

  • A

    Why does it have to be the woman who slows things down? Just because I enjoy sex and am happy to have it early on does not mean I would immediately cheat if I enter a commited relationship or wouldnt want one. If men are capable of being promiscuous then settling down when they meet ‘the right girl’ can’t it be the same for woman?

    Argh, the double standards are confusing and make me angry.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      The woman slows things down because she has the precious resource: eggs. This means she is biologically programmed to be very selective about who she has sex with, lest she get impregnated by a loser who will not assist with raising the offspring. The fact that we now have birth control, and are post Sexual Revolution makes absolutely no difference to biology. The male’s sperm is plentiful, and he wants to get it into as many women as he can and impregnate them. In this way, his genes dominate and are reproduced within the population.

      All of this means that men can have sex without bonding, duh. Women are much more likely to desire emotional intimacy with sex, and overwhelming prefer sex with a favored male. Your mileage may vary.

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  • C

    I think there is a huge link missing in this discussion – and that is the chemical and emotional reaction that goes on in a women’s head after sex. It is biologically impossible for us to “be cool” after we do it. If we act like we are, than its either just an act, or we’ve turned that part of ourselves off somewhere along the way – which c’mon boys – you don’t want either!

    Is it really impossible to find a hot, smart, together guy who just likes a hot, smart, together girl enough for them to date , say “lets keep this thing exclusive so that we can do it guilt free”, and THEN rock each other’s worlds with mind blowing sex? I mean, fuck, is this really all that’s left? Is guilt-ridden sex followed by manipulation and falseness really the only route left for women to get a guy?

    I just turned 25 and have found a huge , sudden dearth of suitable men. My whole life I’ve been surrounded by attentive, sexy gentleman – and today the pickings are slim. I think it might be sadly true that good guys settle down early, and the leftovers are scumbags (and walking STDs). I would rather wait for the divorces 10 years from now.

    Just a word for the wise – if you start your relationship off with games, distrust, and self-denial – the likelihood that its going to be the rock-solid, life-altering, mind-blowing, orgasm-inducing relationship that you want and deserve – is pretty damn slim.

  • http://shanewegner.bandcamp.com Shane Wegner

    I tend to agree with the overall “evolutionary picture”, but I think there a few puzzle pieces missing from it that it might be beneficial to add.

    Yes, eggs and pregnancy time are limited while sperm is abundant and fast. And it’s true women like to select men (I didn’t say “a man”) who will bring them deer meet and berries. But, let me ask this- if it is good to have one man who brings you deer and berries… would it not be even better to have… TWO such men?

    Let’s take a cave woman named Lena. She has her “Primary” man, Og. Og is faithful and devoted just to her, exactly as all our scruffy hook-up guys in many of these articles are not. Og brings as much deer and berries as he can and is loyal only to her. But while he’s out hunting, Lena has a second man, Crom. Crom is so dark and handsome and roguish! They have sex on the bearskin rugs while Og is out. Of course Lena uses her whiles on both, and both think they are her favorite. Both bring her deer and berries. She has twice as much food if she’d just relied on one or the other.

    Women have a powerful advantage in our cave society- _they know their children are their children_. If the baby comes out of the woman’s body, genetically, she knows that 50% of that DNA is hers. She doesn’t have to worry about that. Og and Crom, however, have _some_ idea about each other, but what can they do about it? Kill the kids of their rival? Those kids COULD be theirs!

    This gets, deep in the heart of things, at the Cuckolded Man’s worst genetic fears. Lets say Og has blond hair, and Crom has dark hair. As Og grows old on his deathbed, he notices all his sons and daughters have dark black hair, like Crom. Deep in his heart he feels that his rival has bested him-and for the sake of our story, we will know he is right. He will go into the blackness with no heirs, his DNA wiped from the earth. How could he have been such a fool?! How could he have spent all that energy hunting deer and berries when this strumpet was secretly spreading her legs for that dark-haired Crom? And yet, can we objective observers really blame her for her slutty strategy? Her children ate twice as well since she played Og and Crom off each other.

    Maybe men can’t comprehend the desire women have for commitment- but I will come back and say just as much, WOMEN can’t comprehend the deep-seated genetic dread of living your entire life supporting offspring that aren’t even yours and dying with no heirs. Women CAN’T have that experience, so of course they wouldn’t innately relate to it. If children come out of their body, they have heirs.

    So what I am sort of hinting at here is that monogamy is as much a man’s invention as a woman’s, probably more. If Og were to say “Do you promise promise promise never to accept the DNA of one of my rivals?!”, does Lena remotely feel that same desperation? No. Her DNA is secure no matter how many men she sleeps with. She promises she won’t spread her legs for one of his rivals, but honestly all the incentives are there to do it, as long as she can keep it secret, maybe even if the secret comes out. (Twice the meat and berries, more men worrying they MIGHT be the father means more protection and less baby-cide.)

    So monogamy is the only thing even CLOSE to genetic insurance for males, and there’s always the deep-seated dread she’ll cheat and sleep around, because the incentives of doing so if she can get away with it all work in her favor. With the breakdown of monogamy into the hook-up culture, the idea that she will sleep around and there’s nothing we can do about it grows. So what, genetically, becomes the only remaining strategy for men? “Can’t win, don’t try.” SPRAY AND PRAY. “Put your sperm everywhere as fast and hard as you can, because let’s be honest, all the other guys are doing it, and what slut is going to settle down for me and ONLY me?” When the idea of monogamy becomes a joke, men simply can’t afford to buy into it… their DNA tells them they’ll end up spending their lives and fortunes raising the bastard children of the Bad Boys we all “know” women secretly like more.

    Of course as an enlightened society, with birth control and DNA tests, we can outgrow it. But like yous aid, our DNA doesn’t know that. And as we relax our social rules, it seems like we just melt into this lowest common denominator.

  • Jon

    I don’t think less of a woman if she sleeps with me quickly. If she’s known to be a “good girl” I even take it as a huge compliment.

    There is definitely a risk that I’ll loose interest if she waits too long, and I won’t consider a committed relationship unless we’re already having sex on a somewhat regular basis.

    If I get the impression that she wants to but won’t for some reason, then I take that as a warning sign that she has sexual hangups that some other guy can help her work through. Hooray for sexually liberated women! :)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh


      Very interesting comment! So you don’t ever judge women for being slutty? May I ask how old you are? I’m trying to get a sense of the difference between college aged guys and post grad guys.

  • Jon

    I’m 36 years old.

    Judging women because they have sex for no reason other than that they want to seems counterproductive, and restricting sex to the context of a relationship or requiring some arbitrary waiting period takes a lot of the fun out of life.

    If I want to have a rich and fulfilling sex life, which belief is more useful?

    a) A woman who wants to go to bed with me quickly must be damaged, easy or a slut.

    b) A woman who wants to go to be with me quickly must find me attractive, interesting and arousing and clearly has excellent taste in men.

    I vote for b.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh


      If I want to have a rich and fulfilling sex life, which belief is more useful?

      a) A woman who wants to go to bed with me quickly must be damaged, easy or a slut.

      b) A woman who wants to go to be with me quickly must find me attractive, interesting and arousing and clearly has excellent taste in men.

      I vote for b.

      If all men, or even most men felt that way, then the SMP would be very different. I did notice, though, that you set the goal as a rich and fulfilling sex life. What about a rich and fulfilling, emotionally intimate relationship with a partner?

  • Jon

    I’m not sure what “SMP” means, so I hope it being different is a good thing…

    I find that I don’t need to make finding an emotionally intimate relationship a goal since most available women I meet have that as their goal. If we’re both primarily looking for emotional fulfillment then there is a very real danger that we’ll spend all of our time cuddled up on the couch watching The Notebook and eating ice cream and while our need for physical intimacy goes unmet. 😉

    If a relationship is going to be equitable, both parties should be getting their needs met. In the process of meeting a woman’s emotional needs, I can find fulfillment also, and I would hope that meeting my physical needs is enjoyable for the woman too.

    You might be familiar with the phrase “Men look for sex and find love. Women look for love and find sex.” Some people think that sucks, but I don’t see a problem with it. The differing priorities make sure that both needs are addressed, and it implies that both genders have needs that they would tend to neglect without the other.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh


      Thanks for responding. I like that phrase, I think it’s accurate. You sound like a catch!

  • Jon

    Never mind about the “SMP” thing. I just noticed the glossary.

  • casey

    man this is disgusting. maybe i’m old fashioned but i was taught that sex should be an expression of love. you dont love a person after three hours lol. i dont think you have to wait till marriage, but at least wait for an actual relationship! ive had many men try to have sex with me within hours or days of meeting me and its just a turn off. i dont have to have sex with a man to “keep him interested” as some people suggest. if thats all hes interested in, he can gladly gtfo and stop wasting my time.

    women and men are both despicable these days. women complain that men are jerks and a-holes and so on, yet women ALLOW guys to treat them this way. girls are dancing on table tops with their tatas out and wondering why they get no respect. men objectify women on a daily basis, offer them no romance, no chivalry, and they get all shocked when the woman cheats on them, doesn’t respect them, or hold them in high esteem. a guy a went on ONE DATE with (and did not have sex with) actually texted me at 8 am saying “woke up hard. wish u were here to blow me” wtf?!

    seriously a dude complained about not having sex for 3 WEEKS?!? this mentality honestly makes me just wanna curl up in a ball and never date anyone again. I’m 23 and I feel most of the men around my age I meet are filthy and disrespectful.

  • Kelly

    Thanks for that Casey, you are so spot on. I am also 23 and sick of the expectation that I have to put out to keep a guy’s interest. In my opinion I am smart, attractive, successful and fun. I think I’m worth being exclusive with and I want a guy who thinks so too. Nothing to do with trying to trap a guy into a relationship, I just know I’m not cut out for casual sex. I don’t get the whole “we need to be having sex consistently before I’ll commit”. I don’t think we are talking about marriage here so what is the big deal about offering your partner and yourself some respect and security and giving it a chance. Sex is much better under those circumstances anyway.

  • knobetter

    As a 60-yo man who has been married three times, had a dozen relationships and many dozen hookups (I came of age during the Summer of Love), I am both amused and appalled at the double standards. While I am merely disgusted, but unsurprised, at the responses of the men, most of whom intimate that they are getting it a lot but don’t think women should, I am shocked at the women who seem to think these guys’ attitudes are reasonable. Obviously, the need to marry is so important to your construct of self fulfillment that you’ll buy into the double standard for the sake of peace. Neville Chamberlain would be proud of you.

    I’ll merely say that trading your hopes, dreams, and intellectual and ethical integrity to land a man is short sighted. Happiness is not a white picket fence, but the joy of either painting it or watching it rot with someone who fits with who you are. You’re not going to find that if you don’t know who you are, or try to fit someone else’s idea.

  • Smoore

    As a 23-year-old guy in college who is still a virgin by commitment, I can say that if a girl tried to have sex with me I would leave her. There are a few of us guys out there who still want to wait til marriage to come together. Personally, I wish there were a few girls out there like that. I wish women today had the decency and self-respect to turn down a man who wants to sleep with her. I can guarantee that you will never be able to trust a man completely if he has slept with someone other than you. Exceptions being he was married and his wife cheated on him or he was married and his wife died.

    In the process, the waiting isn’t fun. Knowing you’re the odd man out is frustrating because you don’t know. But knowing that you’ll have the best marriage out of all of your friends because you’re the only one who is that committed to his wife makes it all worth it.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I can guarantee that you will never be able to trust a man completely if he has slept with someone other than you.

      You’re wrong in my case. What will you give me?

      But knowing that you’ll have the best marriage out of all of your friends because you’re the only one who is that committed to his wife makes it all worth it.

      Whether you have a better marriage than your friends will have little to do with virginity. Didn’t you see the comment of the man who married a virgin and from the start she wondered what sex with other men would be like? She cheated on him and they divorced.

  • Eden

    Oh god, this article and the comments are unbelievable! While people here are out fucking their 20s (and maybe 30s) away on meaningless, directionless, relationless hook-ups, I’ve been doing the real work of adulthood. Married straight out of college to the only serious boyfriend I ever had (and vice versa), both virgins when we got married (yeah, we’re religious), now have five great kids. We’ve been married eleven years (I’m 33), and guess what? We figured out the sex: oral, anal, bjs, vibrators, orgasms all around. Neither of us have emotional crap from past exes, STDs, regrets, etc. Who the heck says “I need to have sex with you to see if we’re compatible before I commit?” Someone who wants sex and doesn’t want to commit. My husband isn’t perfect, but then neither am I. We work at our relationship, we don’t second-guess or pine about what could have been if we had only fucked around with other people when we could have. We’re busy raising up the next generation to keep our sorry-ass civilization going…and you know how we’re doing that? By not buying into all this crap, by passing down our values to our children (yeah, we homeschool), and by generally calling out our culture’s shit for what it is. So go muck around in the pig-sty some more until you figure out through trial and error what the world’s major religions figured out a long time ago. And incidentally, it’s obvious which gender gets screwed over the most–by far–in our sexual free-for-all culture (talk about a devaluing of “currency”).

  • Eden

    So, I just reread my first post and realized that it was basically a self-righteous rant…so let me say that I stand by everything I just said, but yeah, I could have said it a bit milder.

  • Morgasm

    “When Should You Agree to Sex? Guys Tell It Straight”

    This title makes it sound like its always the guy who initiates or proposes sex first. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

  • Eden

    *more mildly.

  • Man

    Guys, do you respect a woman for waiting?

    I fully endorse comment #1 by “Il Capo” which basically means that the less “virgin” she is, the less I will be willing to wait.

  • Melanie

    At least 20 of my extended relatives and cousins all waited until they were married to have sex…both were virgins on the wedding night. They are all still married 15 years later and very happy and the few I’m close enough to have spoken to, say they have great sex lives. Interesting anyway…(there’s a lot of stereotypes about waiting and sexual compatibility) but I’ve seen first-hand that it works

  • Eve’s child

    I got into a relationship at 17, we were both virgins and had sex after 6months of dating. After a year he cheated and experimented with other girls. I waited and after two years (I had no interest in other guys and was okay for him to experiment because I wanted to be chosen by someone who knows what is “out there” and of course I was helplessly in love with him) we got back together. He treated me like I was worthless and called me a slut etc (I was a virgin when I met him and he was the only guy I have ever been with…at the time). Long story short,after 3years of some happiness and more abuse, I left him and waited 3years to date again. I found that the whole dating world had gone bonkers and sex was on demand. I was naturally scared. I dated quite a lot because I ran from guys who wanted sex till I found a guy who just wanted to know me. After a month, I just wanted to be with him all the way. We had amazing time together and my look on relationships simply changed. I realised that he didn’t meet my needs. I will be left horny every time whiles I did everything he wanted in bed. He also became distant (intimate wise) but we hang out all the time and he even took me to meet his family (they lived in another country). Things just never progressed after and he moved back home and I moved to s different country. We are still close and I visit him.

    Am 26 now, and I have had 3 sexual partners all together. It’s been a while since I had sex and I just want to have sex with a guy who will be exclusive casual with me(I only date during the summer so I can focus on my studies without the drama of relationships). I met this guy (I’ll call him Mr. Right now) who tried to have sex with me on our first date. I turned him down, but not too much because I fancy the pants off him. The problem is, I have never even kissed on a first date prior to this guy and I don’t want him to think I am a slut etc because I kissed him but I want to sleep with him on the second date (the only reason I didn’t on the first was because i was scared and didn’t want him to think I was a slut).

    Is there any advise for someone like me? Like a way forward? I get an awful lot of dates and currently, I have a date with another guy in couple of days because Mr. Right now seemed to have taken a step back and I don’t want to be a girl that waits around for a guy. To what extend is it okay to be honest with yourself and take what you want? If the date with the other guys goes well I may replace Mr. Right now.

    I don’t want to be 30 and sexually frustrated borderline desperate, I also don’t want to be a “hand me down” to my future partner. What do I do? Am currently not interested in LTR because I am inbetween countries (I have been for the past 8years and long distance relationships have not worked out too well). I should be settled in one country (am British, but currently living in a Scandinavian Country. I date when come home for the summer) by 2014/15. Any advice.

    It’s pretty long so thanks for reading and the comments.

  • EM

    Here’s my take on this, and generally this & other similar websites. Its my opinion and I’ll give you my reasons in a moment. In one sense, its good, when it happens, to have serious discussion & sharing on relationship topics & advice, sexuality, intimacy. Having open, and mature discussion is usually beneficial. However, talking hookups, casual sex, humping & dumping, cheapens all of us. Yes, I know it happens. It happens often, and its becoming exponentially more common every few years. But does that make it ‘right’? Just because its happening doesn’t mean we should condone it.

    I sound like the morality police; believe it or not, I do not judge people here. I just express how all of this and what I see & hear & read make me feel. It makes me sad for young people who view relationships like this.

    Why? Perhaps because I’m a hypocrite. I’m 43. When I was growing up in the 80s, a plenty decadent decade, I was promiscous, had lots of casual hookups, jumped around from one woman to another, and so on & so forth. As a decent-looking man who has had his share of sexual experiences & escapades, I can tell you I’m not in the least more happier or content with life because of it. Promiscuity & sexual ‘easiness’ in men & women is not something to be proud of. Its damaging to you emotionally even if you don’t realize it. I see it in many of my friends, peers, and you can see it in the celebrities. Really how many people are genuinely content in their relationships?

    Its not that I want to sit here & shake my finger at everyone or condemn anyone. I cannot, because I have done the same thing. Its precisely because of my experience, though, that I encourage people to remain celibate until they are in a serious, committed relationship that is long term and healthy for them emotionally & psychologically. Most surveys & common sense tell you that people who have had just a few/handful of serious relationships tend be be much happier & content than those who have slept around or been more sexually active/promiscous. They have more self-respect.

    I realize that I may be dismissed here, yet I feel compelled to say something b/c I truly wish I had exercised better self-control & discipline when I was younger. I would have felt better about myself and would have been a person of better charachter. We influence each other and perhaps its a self-fulfilling prophecy how we keep promoting the hookup culture how it propagates itself.