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The Gender Price Gap in Casual Sex

I’ve been busy and going easy on you recently, so today I’m giving you some real meat to chew on. Sorry if it reads like a class assignment – but this is the most important kind of academic research we talk about. Once we have scientific, indisputable proof that women are getting screwed by casual sex, the dialogue changes. That is very, very important, because that in turn has the power to change the culture.

We’ve got a great group of regular commenters here, but they constitute a very small percentage of readers. I encourage you to join the discussion and say your piece! Just click on the post-it to the right of the post title, or go to the comment box at the end of the post. All views are welcome.

Steven Rhoads, a professor of politics at the University of Virginia, has an article in the current issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education: The Emotional Costs of Hooking Up. (Hat tip: Teresa) While it doesn’t contain new information per se, it’s a good summary of much of the research that has been done around casual sex. It’s also another article that dares to question the effects of the Sexual Revolution, and drives another nail into the coffin of Gender as a Social Construct.

Those who are threatened by any notion of restricting female sexuality, either voluntarily or involuntarily, often scoff at the notion that hooking up causes depression or constitutes a bad deal for women. This has amounted to willful ignorance, as the research that has come out within the last ten years has shown clear cause for concern.

Rhoads begins by highlighting the change in attitudes toward premarital sex in the last half century. Not surprisingly, the larger shift has been among women:

% Approving of Premarital Sex
1943 1999
Women 12 73
Men 40 79






He notes however, that romance has all but disappeared from the equation, and he sees the effects in his role as a professor:

For the past 12 years, I have taught a course on sex differences to college juniors and seniors. When we talk about relationships and sex itself, most of the men, sometimes sheepishly, indicate that they enjoy hookups—but the vast majority of the women are unhappy with them. Time and again, women see their girlfriends’ post-hookup traumas, even if they themselves manage to avoid such outcomes. If the men call again, it’s often just for another hookup. But as soon as the women push for a real relationship, the men break it off.

Women don’t want sex for long without an emotional connection, a sense of caring, if not real commitment, from their partners. As one student wrote in a paper for my class:

We are told not to be sexual prudes, but to enjoy casual sex, we have to be emotional prudes.

Not every woman “gives it up” to men who offer nothing more than a proposition, but those who don’t accede often spend Saturday nights alone. At most American colleges today, more than 50 percent of the undergraduates are women, and they feel pressured to compete sexually for men. The result is a lot of angry women. As one told my class:

I live with 16 other girls in a big house, and whether we give men what they want or we don’t, we all agree that men suck.

Rhoads’ wife teaches Shakespeare at an all-male college. In a discussion about love, one student declared that he was too young for it:

I haven’t slept with enough women yet.

Another guy said:

Sleeping with a woman who has already submitted is like playing a computer game you have already won.

Rhoads continues:

These differences in motivation lead to a lot of pain for young women. Seventy-one percent of teenage girls report being in love with their last sexual partner but only 45 percent of boys do. And teen girls are far less likely than boys to report being happy with their sexual experiences and far more likely to report that they wished they had waited longer to have sex.

The picture doesn’t get prettier for more mature singles. According to the research of Syracuse University anthropologist John Townsend, the most sexually experienced single women, while still believing that casual sex is fine, find that their feelings will not cooperate. They feel used, hurt and demeaned after sleeping with men uninterested in relationships. Many of the most sexually active men, on the other hand, regularly engage in pleasurable sex with women they barely know and sometimes don’t even like.

Townsend’s studies also indicate that men are predisposed to value casual sex, whereas women cannot easily separate sexual relations from the need for emotional attachment and economic security:

Indeed, wherever men possess sexual alternatives to marriage, and women possess economic alternatives, divorce rates will be high.

However, Townsend’s research indicates that some men prefer an emotional bond. Twelve percent want an emotional involvement before having sex, and 25% get attached after several sexual incidents whether they planned to or not.

Rhoads also cites the work of Herold and Mewhinney, which showed that:

  • Women derive less enjoyment and experience more guilt from casual sex.
  • 63% of males and 28% of females positively anticipate casual sex.
  • 25% of males report enjoying it, while only 2% of females do.

Catherine Grello did a 2005 study of college students and found that:

  • 52% of the males and 36% of the females were having casual sex. All of them knew that the sex was casual.
  • Of those, 18% of the women expected the sex to evolve into a romantic relationship, while only 3% of the men did.
  • Casual sex is highly correlated with alcohol and drug use, so it was not surprising that nearly all casual partners had met in bars or at parties.
  • 20% of the men having casual sex were in a committed relationship with someone else at the time.
  • A majority of the men having casual sex had a Ludic (game playing) approach to relationships, while a smaller number and most of the women had an Eros (passionate) orientation.

The really interesting thing about Grello’s research though, is the correlation she found between depression and casual sex in women. She found that women having the most casual sex report the most symptoms of depression, and that those women have more partners and more regrets than other women. For men, the opposite is true – the men having the most casual sex were the least depressed. The research did not prove a causal relationship, but posed questions for further study.

Are women having casual sex is search of external validation?

Or are they caught in a vicious cycle of engaging in doomed relationships?

Or is the depression a manifestation of the cognitive dissonance a woman experiences when engaging in an activity she disapproves of?

Denise Hallfors also did a study in 2005 which looked at the role of substance abuse and casual sex in predicting depression, or vice versa.

She found that casual sex does predict depression in women, but depression does not predict sex.

From the Rhoads article:

In their book forthcoming early next year from Oxford University Press, Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate, and Think About Marrying, Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker report that having more sexual partners is associated with “poorer emotional states in women, but not in men.” The more partners women have in the course of their lives, the more likely they are to be depressed, to cry almost every day, and to report relatively low satisfaction with their lives.


Following the piece, there were a few comments that I thought raised interesting questions:

1. I do believe that women have to harden their hearts to have casual sex – it becomes an attitude of “I’ll use you before you use me.” But isn’t that what the sexual revolution is all about? The ability to make your own choices and live with the consequences?

Do you think that women are capable of  hardening their hearts in this way? Do you agree that women follow this strategy of being the f*cker instead of the f*cked?

Do you agree that casual sex as experienced today fulfills the goals of the Sexual Revolution?

2. So how do we differentiate “evolutionary psychology” — from side effects like “emotional sickness” that come from people’s unconscious adherences to patriarchal ideology? Where the genome project hasn’t yet ventured, how do we differentiate what is “natural” from the stubborn byproducts of prolonged cultural inequalities?

Is it possible that depression in women, and women’s preference for emotional intimacy during sex, reflects a patriarchal culture, and longstanding inequality of the sexes?

Is the sexual double standard a social construct or a biological reality?

3. ”My female students tell me that the emotional pain caused by casual sex goes largely unreported by women, because they are often ashamed that they care about men WHO TREAT THEM LIKE STRANGERS the next morning.”

Does anyone see anything pathological in a male who can have sex with someone and then treat her like a stranger? A stranger? It seems to me the problem with hook-ups not about the number of partners or about the enjoyment of sex. It’s about the pathological ability of the males involved in hook-ups to shut off basic human empathy completely.A guy who might have an empathic reaction to a buddy in pain can completely turn off an empathic reaction to a girl he has sex with. Sociopaths lack empathy, which is how they can hurt others indiscriminately without any sense of wrongdoing. The behavior of males in hooking up seems exactly sociopathic.

Do you agree that casual sex promotes sociopathic behavior?

Are women engaging in this same lack of empathy?

What is a reasonable expectation for the morning after?

Rhoads concludes:

Feelings don’t change with the times in quite the same way that behaviors and attitudes do. If the evolutionists are right, those feelings are rooted in women’s evolutionary history and will not disappear anytime soon.

That leads me to share one of my favorite maxims about sex and relationships:

If it feels like crap, you should probably stop doing it.

One Pingback/Trackback

  • “Jacqueline”

    Hallelujah, Susan.

    One of my favorite posts to date, and that last line – “if it feels like crap, stop doing it” – is so simple, yet so profound. i think if more people (of both genders) repeated this motto to themselves, it would save at least a little bit of heartache.

    xoxo.

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

      Thank you, that’s high praise coming from you, a writer!

    • http://singlesexatsixty.blogspot.com BobF

      I am reminded of a line I read in the first pornographic literature I ever saw, way back in about 1970 that seems to be the corollary of this statement: “If it feels good, do it!” Of course this refers to the physical feelings, not emotional ones.

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

        Oh, I remember that phrase! It was pretty much the mantra of the Sexual Revolution (that and Make Love Not War!). I guess my maxim is the reality check, the “How’s that workin’ for ya?”

    • Aldonza

      A friend has a related saying.

      “If you’re tired of the bullshit, get out from under the asshole.”

      • Snowdrop111

        hahaha, I like that saying.

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

        A friend said something else to me yesterday re women getting in over their heads wrt casual sex:

        “Don’t write a check with your mouth that you can’t cash with your ass.”

  • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

    Do you agree that casual sex promotes sociopathic behavior?

    No. Sex is like money. You are who you are with it or without.

    Are women engaging in this same lack of empathy?

    Yes. There have been women I’ve slept with who were cold as a boston’s winter night the next morning. Jesus even that night. i;ve been told by chicks “You know your not sleeping here right?”. But I always think that is their “get him” befoer he gets me mentality. Becuase when I return the cold shoulder, they can’t understand, and get mad at me, when months go by and we walk in and out of the same classroom, sit in the same row, and I won’t say a world to her. Shoot, infact I hit on her friend. She gets the cold nature she puts out.

    What is a reasonable expectation for the morning after?

    That’s hard because it is mostly subjective. I’m very joking with girls I’m with after sex because that’s my favorite part. The intimacy. Two adults naked against each other feeling perfectly comfortable to as Style puts it “engage in jokes like 5-year olds”. So for me it is the same way the next morning as long as she wasn’t a cold soul the night before.

    But I think standard is to talk a little bit atleast and if you haven’t yet exchange numbers. When i had the money I would use the let’s go get breakfast move(the little place next to church off of park drive is BANGING for anyone in the NEU, SImmons area) and atleast check the girl out in the daylight and make sure she’s not a banshee and see if we click while sober. But hey that’s just the way I roll.

    I tell my girls who are friends this. If he is an ass clown the morning after he was an ass clown the night before. Don’t buy wholesale and cry when it’s cheap.

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

      Sex is like money. You are who you are with it or without.

      So more is better and less is worse? What about the quality of the sex? I thought it was interesting that only 25% of the men reported enjoying casual sex. I’m not sure if that reflects guys being blackout or just sex being bad with strangers.

      I’ll agree that women harden their hearts and try to preempt rejection. They’ll assume the hardass role when telling their friends as well, but I think it’s rarely a true reflection of how they feel. In fact, I’d go so far as to say a woman with zero empathy is displaying sociopathic behavior, most likely narcissism. For men, I don’t really think it’s sociopathic to treat someone like a stranger WHEN THEY ARE A STRANGER. That’s really the whole point.

      Oh, Escarondito, I’m gonna look for that breakfast place! Do you know the Breakfast Club in Brighton on Western Ave? I know lots of hot girls who go there for their “hangover” breakfasts!

      If he is an ass clown the morning after he was an ass clown the night before. Don’t buy wholesale and cry when it’s cheap.

      That’s absolutely brilliant.

      • http://escarondito.blogspot.com Escarondito

        So more is better and less is worse? What about the quality of the sex? I thought it was interesting that only 25% of the men reported enjoying casual sex. I’m not sure if that reflects guys being blackout or just sex being bad with strangers.

        No Susan. That’s the same mistake most people have in their minds when they think about people gaining money quickly. More is not necessarily better. It’s the quality things you invest in with your money/sex. I think you remember my college hook-up history so I’m not going to re-hash it but when I was having alot of sex I never invested in “Great” sex, like I spent alot of money in college but I never made alot of “quality” purchases. If you understand my drift. Without sex you can be an asshole and with sex you will be one as well. If you spend money on fleeting pursuits (drugs,food, perishables) you waste it but you save it and spend it on quality items to get a great investment. Perhaps the analogy sucks but I hope I helped explain ti better. Didn’t get out to the brighton area much but I should check it out I’ll be up there soon in mid july. Hot girls and breakfast sound good to me.

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

          OK, Escarondito, you sound like you’ve actually come a long way with your thinking on this issue since the early days of my blog! I hope all this means that you will eventually seek a LTR with a quality woman!

        • GudEnuf

          Kind of a patronizing comment, don’t you think?

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

          I don’t mean it to be. When Escarondito first came to HUS, he basically said, “I am tired of being a nice guy. I’m going to run asshole Game and see if it gets me laid.” I urged him to stay a nice guy – not at all incompatible with Game. As you well know, I’m all about the nice guys – I don’t want anyone going over to the Dark side if I can prevent it. So Escarondito disappears for many months, then starts commenting a bit again in 2010. And now he is talking about quality. I suspect he’s been a total asshole with good results in the interim. I’m just making an observation, combined with positive reinforcement.

        • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

          And she hit the nail on the head. But I think there is one part that you miss from my transformation. The4 reason I decided to stop doing asshole game. And there are two actually.

          1) I enjoy rare things in life. I LOVE the hard to find. Which is probably a reason I’m attracted to alt/hipster/”different” girls. But I digress. I always joke with people that animals must look at humans as the wierdest things on the planet. Not because of opposable thumbs, but the fact that you walk past hundreds and thousands of people every single day and don’t acknowledge their existence at all. In fact, I used to mess with people riding on the T (Boston subway) all the time. People in the subway do the “breast” game with eye contact. Glance for a second then look away, at the wall, the floor, the person’s clothes, anything but in their eyes. Cause that would be intimate. And intimacy scares people. Intimacy requires that you acknowledge another person. I have a theory that race-mixing is the next step towards world peace because it will be racial, socio-economic, and class barriers broken down through intimacy. Shit they had to look rosa parks in the face and touch her to throw her off that bus. You have to get intimate in someones face to throw them out of a sit in. That’s why peaceful protests works. Everyday someone politely gets in your face they are silently screaming “acknowledge me”, and it slowly breaks down the fact that this impediment on my day is not a “other” but a person like me. Jesus I’m long winded in the morning. But the reason I stopped doing asshole game was the fact that I love intimacy. The before and after sex are always the greatest part to me. It’s when after a day of not being acknowledged by thousands of others two people share an untold feeling of complete comfort in seeing and being with one another at their most bare, pun not intended but I like it. But because I love the intimacy didn’t mean that I needed it from the same girl, although I’m testing now and am probably sure to find that it only gets better with one person. So those girls I would be with thought that I truly liked them deeply because….I do intimacy very well, and probably thought i was the coldest person in the world moving onto a new girl for a new night. I don’t like hurting people, and I don’t people having that reputation of me because, I kid you not, girls started thinking worse of me than a guy who would just have sex and don’t talk to them because they said I “made them like” me. I think that is also my fault for not letting it be known upfront. Most guys they got with they could reasonably assume enjoyed sex for sex’s sake and they could deal with that cause their gf’s as well have dealt with that and understood it. They couldn’t understand a guy who enjoys sex for the intimate connection aspect because that means a guy is into them. Our wires were crossed and the line was never picked up. I rang and they didn’t answer.

          and 2). This will be shorter I promise. Their is one thing that turned me off SOOOOOO much during asshole game. How absolutely frakkin(BSG lovers unite) well it works sometimes. I couldn’t stand “glistiners”. A glistener is a girl that you spit game to and there always comes a point when you know you have them. They look up to you and their eyes glisten like E.T. phoning home. And it absolutely disgusted me every single time. Not because they liked me, but because of what I DID that made them like me. It always sent me reeling mentally and made me think, “I treated you like this and you go googly eyes for me?”. Especially since I started getting good and tested my game against girls who never went for me before. At first I went for it because it was like a symbol of my change. But after I spent a night with a friend’s sister who never looked at me before it made me vow never ever to go for girls who were never attracted to the before me. It was something about the way I suddenly started treating her like one in a harem and her falling for me that made me lose all respect for her. It’s actually why I defended that guy you ripped up Susan on that obsidian post about white guys stepping up. I completely agreed with him that to a certain point the nice guy just starts losing respect for the woman he once wanted when he sees how they want to be treated to be attracted to him. I’m not sure yet if he understands that brining your past into your present like I did helped push that idea into my head.

          So i couldn’t stand hurting others for their perceived notions and hurting my perceived notions of others. I still hate glisteners though. And I know hot woman must feel the same for guys that fawn over them. It’s like god worship and highly unattractive. But that is my 2 cents. Some guys feel so downtrodden by women that they like that god worship. Not me though. Rather than having wenches crawl up mt.olympus to join my bed, I’d lie naked next to them in a field on an earthly plain.

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

          Escarondito, this made my day. It’s a really, really interesting look into the mind of a guy who totally succeeded with asshole Game (not easy to do by any means) and didn’t like the way it felt. The good news is, you can apply your knowledge to attract and keep a woman in ways that are beneficial to her, when you are ready for that relationship.
          .
          Re the guy I ripped up on Obs’ blog, Greenlander, I have my reasons, including the fact that he called me a c*nt. That guy is all talk and he loathes women.

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

          P.S. That last bit is downright poetic.
          P.P.S. Re your theory of interracial relationships, I agree. Skip Gates recently said that he looks forward to the day when all human beings look like Polynesians, but my favorite is this quote from the movie Bulworth:
          .
          All we need is a voluntary, free-spirited, open-ended program of procreative racial deconstruction. Everybody just gotta keep fuckin’ everybody ’til they’re all the same color.

        • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

          Gracias. My way with words has helped me out in more ways than one. i actually ws going to be an english major if I didn’t end up doing crim justice.

          Re: The c*nt guy. Makes alot of sense now.

          Agree. My motto in life is “taste the rainbow”. Partly because I find woman of all skin colors attractive, but because when I ate skittles as a kid, I loved the juices so much I’d fill my mouth with the candy and mush it all together into one color and take a huge rush of the juice. When my mom asked me what in gods name I was doing I would look at her and say “Taste the rainbow! Just like the bag says”.

  • Passer_By

    One question this raises to me is, what constitutes “casual sex” such that it triggers this type of emotional response. In other words, what level of long term commitment would be required before the regret and depression doesn’t exist? Specifically, what if there was a relatively short term fling (say 3 to 4 weeks) with a lot of sex, some of it very passionate, good and satisfying, but then abruptly ended by him? Are women any less depressed in that scenario? Would her feelings change if it was she who ended it for whatever reason? Are they less depressed if the relationship (such as it is) is sort of ongoing but is really just FWB or f@ck buddies or whatever?

    Also, do some women ending up regretting all or almost all past sexual partners other than whatever partner ended up being a permanent mate (with a possible exception for one time sex with an dream alpha like george clooney)?

    As an aside, if it’s just a one time quick hookup, it’s almost guaranteed to be a bit depressing. I think most guys, especially younger guys, aren’t wired to last very long with a first time new partner – not sure why, perhaps it guarantees getting his soldiers into the battle no matter what. But then he feels awkward about it, and acts withdrawn, she feels awkward and rejected by his subsequent behavior, and so on and so forth. I suspect this is why even the guys only enjoy it at a 25% rate even though over 60% of them look forward to it. I think the guys would generally enjoy the sex much more in the short term fling scenario I described, but I’m wondering if that really solves the problem for women.

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

      Casual sex is generally defined as lacking any expectations or any emotional investment. However, one study did differentiate between sex with strangers and sex with friends. Not surprisingly, sex with friends includes much more demonstration of affection. Those FWB relationships were characterized not by fear of intimacy, but by a decision by both parties that they were not seeking any kind of commitment. (That’s what she said.) The findings re casual sex included both kinds of relationships, but didn’t highlight different results by type.
      .
      I think in a situation where there’s 3-4 weeks of very good sex, a woman is probably going to be very attached. An abrupt ending by him will feel devastating, even if she knows he is not “the one.”
      .
      You ask a really interesting question about whether women regret past partners. I didn’t from an emotional standpoint, only from the standpoint of having wasted my time. Then again, in the 80s we just had occasional one-night stands. F*ckbuddies existed, I’m sure, but were not common. I will say that I never had a single casual sexual experience that was mind-blowing in a good way. Strange penis, strange body, no idea what he’s thinking, no idea what he likes. Not to mention that he doesn’t know what I like – no, that is not an elevator button, why are you pressing like that!!!???? It doesn’t add up to a good experience. No wonder only 2% of women say they enjoy it.
      .
      I do think that the casual sex dilemma is worst in college. Like the kid who said he hadn’t slept with enough women to fall in love, women will hopefully find that men approaching their mid-20s are more commitment-minded. And, as we’ve discussed before, the guys who always were commitment-oriented have come into their own by then much of the time, and have considerably higher mating value than college meatheads.

      • http://omegavirginrevolt.wordpress.com white and nerdy

        And, as we’ve discussed before, the guys who always were commitment-oriented have come into their own by then much of the time, and have considerably higher mating value than college meatheads.

        But then women who for the most part have much more sexual experience think that there’s something wrong with the commitment minded guys because we don’t have the same level of sexual experience that they do.

        That guy who says he hasn’t slept with enough women to fall in love yet may sound like a jerk but he will benefit if he switches to looking for commitment because he won’t look like a sexually inexperienced loser to women.

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

          That’s a good point, W&N. However, did you notice that in one of the studies only 36% of women were having casual sex? That number is far too high for my liking, but it means that a full 2/3 are holding out for something meaningful. They know they can have sex any time they want it, and they’re going without. Those are the women who will appreciate the commitment-minded men. As always, the key question is how do we get the two groups together?

        • http://omegavirginrevolt.wordpress.com white and nerdy

          I’m certain that the percentage of women having casual sex is higher than 36%. There is no way that the same women are getting around that much with a larger percentage of men.

          The problem is that being commitment minded isn’t going to wash away being sexually inexperienced even at 25. And it gets worse as you get older. That’s why I asked a few days ago on my blog if the cougar phenomena was being driven by men who were desperate for sexual experience/relationship experience of some kind with a woman.

          As always, the key question is how do we get the two groups together?

          I have no idea how because entire groups of men are being redlined for their college major/profession or their lack of sexual experience. Women will always be looking at a smaller group of commitment minded men than there actually is.

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

          To be blunt, I think there are fewer women than men who are DTF, and they get around. As for sexual inexperience among males, this is increasingly common. That’s part of the reason I urge women to hold out for relationship sex. If you meet a guy who is a virgin in his 20s, which is not unusual, you’re going to have difficulty if your number is high. Women who want to marry and have children need to keep their number low and evaluate men carefully for relationship/fatherhood potential.
          .
          The research cited in this article shows that women who are indiscriminate in their sexual habits are likely to suffer from depression. It may be depressing to sit home alone on a Saturday night, but in my view it beats feeling depressed because you have been pumped and dumped.

        • http://omegavirginrevolt.wordpress.com white and nerdy

          To be blunt, I think there are fewer women than men who are DTF, and they get around.

          I would agree with that except that with all these women who claim that they are in (emotional) pain due to casual sex I don’t understand why don’t they stop? No one is making women have casual sex.

          As for sexual inexperience among males, this is increasingly common. That’s part of the reason I urge women to hold out for relationship sex. If you meet a guy who is a virgin in his 20s, which is not unusual, you’re going to have difficulty if your number is high.

          Even women who have had only relationship sex will have trouble since it doesn’t take much to have a “high number”.

          For those of us men who are well over 30 and still virgins the problem is much worse. I know from harsh experience.

          The research cited in this article shows that women who are indiscriminate in their sexual habits are likely to suffer from depression. It may be depressing to sit home alone on a Saturday night, but in my view it beats feeling depressed because you have been pumped and dumped.

          The difference is that I don’t any have control over my situation. They do. They can stop anytime so why don’t they?

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

          Touche. Women should act in their own best interests and stop having casual sex. Obviously, some women feel that the short-term gratification is worth it. Silly girls.

        • Nisie

          Something I’ve learned in counseling is that when a woman is basically DTF- there is at least one psychological issue that is not dealt with, be it father issues, substance abuse, mental health, sexual molestation or some other factor.

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

          Hi Nisie, good to see you! This makes sense, and it speaks to the researchers’ question about whether women are seeking external validation, or to fill an unmet need of some kind. Since there’s zero evidence that women enjoy frequent random sex with strangers, she’s obviously in it for something else.

        • PJL

          “But then women who for the most part have much more sexual experience think that there’s something wrong with the commitment minded guys because we don’t have the same level of sexual experience that they do.

          That guy who says he hasn’t slept with enough women to fall in love yet may sound like a jerk but he will benefit if he switches to looking for commitment because he won’t look like a sexually inexperienced loser to women.”

          .
          Forgive the poor coding. I’m not disagreeing with everything you say here, but do you really think that a guy who is living life up, has a fulfilling career, interesting hobbies, is competent, caring but not dependent, exudes well-founded confidence is going to get the strike from girl X because he doesn’t have a storied sexual past, littered with corpses? Most girls, I think, will be feeling more guilty of their own sexual pasts then this guy. Being a 25 year old virgin may be a little strange for this day and age–not as strange as people seem to think–but four points. (A) Sex isn’t all that hard. I mean the basics. My dog can do them pretty good. Not hard; practicing is fun, besides. (B) We can deny it all we want, but the English-speaking world is a Post-Reformation, Post-Puritan culture. Part of the allure of binge drinking is the implied thought that we’re being naughty. It’s one reason why people from post-Catholic cultures are somewhat amused by the level of sacred taboo the English-speaking world puts on booze. Likewise, just as no one praises a drunk, no one praises a slut. I think most women are painfully aware of the fact that their sexual experience isn’t a badge of honor. If they treat it as such, they’re doing so to demonstrate how naughty and unconventional they are. I.e., they realize that most people don’t agree with them. (C) Part of the post’s premise was that women don’t want just sex; they want the emotion commitment that sex signifies or at least signified. They found that courtship did not work backwards–that emotional connection, which they wanted, requires more than fitting body parts. I have a friend, who for religious reasons has stayed a virgin. He was going out with a girl, who had a storied past littered with corpses. He never tried anything with her. She told him, “you know XYZ; of all the men I’ve ever met, I think you’re the only one who has ever loved me.” She was dying for him to propose marriage and would’ve said yes in a heartbeat and counted her lucky stars. He ultimately decided against it–with the counseling and approval of those who he respected–because he realized that he could do better, that he could get a wife without the baggage. Come on, he’s young, getting into his prime, confident and virtuous. His stock is rising as he ages; the stock of women when they age plummets. He’s going to do alright–better than me. He’s what the ladies would call “hot,” although I can’t see it. I’m 75% sure it has to do with his social confidence and savoir-faire, because he looks like a big pumpkin head to me.

          .
          In sum, women probably don’t care that you’re sexually inexperienced. If they do care, they probably won’t know, because sex isn’t that hard. If they do care and they know, they’ll probably be happy to teach you, because sex is fun to practice. You’ve just got to be someone they’d want to have sex with in the first place. That’s the fulfilling part. An admirable man never lacks admirers.

          .
          Don’t take any of this too seriously. It’s just one man’s opinion.
          ~PJL

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

          PJL, you do have a way with words. That pumpkin head remark made me laugh out loud. Also:

          An admirable man never lacks admirers.

          I endorse this 100%. The Game types will cry foul, saying that the good guys never win. If we can stipulate that supplication is not admirable in dealing with women, I think this is right every time.

          There are a couple of other points you made that I want to address. First, it is so very true that men’s stock rises (exponentially!) as they age. Once college is over, the behaviors that led to social dominance are suddenly not only not helpful, but may hinder a man considerably. Because we expect something more from men who have gone out into the world to make their way. This is why at so many high school and college reunions, you see the guys who were super popular looking pathetic – they peaked before they hit 21. On the other hand, men who were hitting the books in college come out with a whole different sense of the future. By their mid-20s, they’re showing up with attractive women, etc. Of course, men who are 18 don’t really want to hear that they’re going to spend 7 years in the sexual desert – I get that.
          Of course, this means that those men who are now a “catch” are bound to be less sexually experienced. They were not the beneficiaries of the college hookup scene. I’m with you on this though – I have always said that all it really takes to get good at sex is a long weekend with a person you’re into. If you’re enthusiastic, focused and bold you can go up the learning curve very rapidly.
          Finally, as much as some men don’t want to hear it, man sluts are not admired by women, at least not by the women the admirable men want to get with.

        • http://omegavirginrevolt.wordpress.com white and nerdy

          Forgive the poor coding. I’m not disagreeing with everything you say here, but do you really think that a guy who is living life up, has a fulfilling career, interesting hobbies, is competent, caring but not dependent, exudes well-founded confidence is going to get the strike from girl X because he doesn’t have a storied sexual past, littered with corpses?

          Yes. This isn’t theoretical. I know examples of this including myself and friends of mine who are exactly in this situation. The issue is “social proof” (a subject I just wrote about at my blog after reading your comment). All of the positive qualities that men such as myself have do not matter to women if other women have black balled us. A woman is not thinking about the positive qualities of guys like myself. She is thinking about what must be wrong with this guys like me that no other woman wants them. She figures that there is something even though she can’t see it and it’s best to avoid us because in her mind we’re probably full time serial killers and part time ax murderers.

          Being a 25 year old virgin may be a little strange for this day and age

          Try being a 30 year old virgin, something I have already experienced or a 35 year old virgin which I’m not that far away from.

          His stock is rising as he ages

          While this is true, it doesn’t matter without social proof.

          In sum, women probably don’t care that you’re sexually inexperienced. If they do care, they probably won’t know, because sex isn’t that hard.

          It’s about social proof not if a man in experienced is various sexual techniques. Also sexual inexperience and relationship inexperience are used as proxies for each other a lot.

          An admirable man never lacks admirers.

          I know plenty of men who are admired by other men, but women want nothing to do with those men.

        • PJL

          But social proof is not intrinsically related to sexual experience. Yeah, you’ve got to have confidence and savoir faire, but that has nothing intrinsically to do with sex. Besides, social proof doesn’t just magically happen: it’s not an arbitrary process, and the fact that people are self-aware of the concept demonstrates that it’s not all-powerful. Jane Austen’s books, on one reading, convey that “social proof”–shall we just call it “popularity”?–is not a good criterion for finding a mate. All of her main heroes are “popular” men, but they are popular on account of their virtue, not necessarily manners/routines.
          .
          In conclusion, it’s not like you have a hymen. ;-). No one needs to know that you lack sexual experience. The solution is either to not tell them, which is easily done, or to tell them in a way that raises your value in their eyes. The easiest question to hit out of the park on a first date is “why are you still single?”
          .
          But I challenge you to ask that question seriously to yourself. If the answer is, “because I’m so awesome and caring and great,” I would charitably suggest you’re deceiving yourself. Make a list of 10 things that you don’t like about yourself unconnected with “game” concepts. Alright–now what are you waiting for. Fix them.
          .
          In this thread, at least, everything is a “but” with you, W&N. Cease that thinking. Replace it with an inveterate optimism: You can! Do whatever you have to do; only this time, don’t do it for the women, do it for yourself. There’s worse things in the world than being 35 and a virgin. Live your life in such a way that it’s not an issue; so that when a girl asks you why you’re still single, you can honestly say “well, it used to bother me, but I live a pretty exciting life. Always running around one place then another. I never felt like sacrificing that for anything long term. Unlike a lot of guys, I’m not scared of sleeping alone. What’s your excuse?”
          .
          This may be complete Bravo Sierra. Don’t take me that seriously. It’s just one man’s opinion. And you know what they say about opinions.

        • vera44

          WHERE does this man live & how old is he? I’m attractive, a virgin for the same reasons he is, and I would love to meet him. I’ve been looking everywhere for a guy like him. Seriously. Not kidding in any way, shape, or form.

        • PJL

          Vera,

          He’d be a catch, I’m sure. But, surely, you can find men like him at Churches and synagogues etc? Here’s a hint: for men, the more traditional the religious form of worship, the better. In some of these places there’s not one good looking girl that attends, or so I hear.
          .
          But, really, do you expect for me to divulge such information to a stranger over the internet? I have too great a respect for my friend’s–not to mention my own– privacy. Besides, this guy’s got a lot of options; girls come to him. Even if you were in geographic proximity to him, I’m sure he’d laugh at me were I to offer to introduce him to an internet friend: I’d never hear the end of it!
          .
          But, if it’s any consolation, I know men like this in excess. They make for very good and loyal friends. I can’t imagine how they’d be difficult to meet. . . (and I currently reside in a place where, statistically, they should be very hard to meet indeed!).
          .
          PS
          A girl who thinks or, even worse, knows she’s attractive is a blight I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy ;-).

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

          A girl who thinks or, even worse, knows she’s attractive is a blight I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.

          In Western society, there are no attractive women who aren’t aware of their assets. Men are so visually oriented that only in a land of the blind could an attractive woman fail to turn heads. What men should be looking for are women who aspire to be something more than attractive – the “whole package.”

        • PJL

          Miss Walsh,

          My father never spoke to me much about women. He did give me one bit of advice: “no matter how beautiful you find a girl, PJL, there’s a man walking around in the world who left her, because he’d had enough of her sh!t.”
          .
          When my old man wants to, he can hit it out of the park. In short, I agree with you. I actually recently got through an infatuation of a girl I thought the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. When I became aware of her true character, it was indeed a sad day. And then, another very pretty girl entered the picture. She was into me, I could tell, but was just too silly to be a real love-interest. Every time I chatted with her, I could see my sister’s censorious eyes looking at me, saying “really, PJL? I mean… really?” Because I don’t string women along, I find the best thing to do in these situations is to act aloof and polite. Unfortunately, this may backfire and instead just drive her crazy with desire for you. Then you can try to drive her away by being mean and dismissive. Unfortunately, this may have the opposite effect with disastrous consequences. As a penultimate measure, you can tell her you’ve devoted your life to celibacy. You could get a one-night stand out of this one, but for moral reasons I advice against it. When all else fails and only when you really want to drive away a girl: the best thing you can do is buy her chocolates & flowers. If you attach a note declaring your undying love, I guarantee you’ll never see her again. (All of these methods have been tested by yours truly).
          .
          You women are pretty; and if it weren’t for the fact that sooner or later you have to converse, you’d have a universal power over men. This must be why Ariel from The Little Mermaid had such a hold over the prince. ;-)

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

          Speaking of women with poor character, I just put up a post on Female Narcissism. It’s a fairly quick read, even though it took me about six hours to write :-/
          .
          Personally, I can relate to the celibacy ploy. I once set my sights on the priest who officiated at a friend’s wedding. Alas, I danced with him all night but was unable to close the deal. At the time I considered it a terrible personal failure, but in retrospect I console myself with the thought that he probably preferred small boys.
          .
          As for the magic going out of the moment when someone opens their mouth, that cuts both ways. How many handsome and debonair men have said, “She is tolerable I suppose, but she is not handsome enought to tempt me.” Or even worse: “It’s been many years since I had such an exemplary vegetable.”
          .
          Baaaaahhhhaaaa, Jane has an answer for every question!

        • Snowdrop111

          Good point…what could that something else be? I wish you both would elaborate on this.

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

          My own sense is that women who suffer the lowest self-esteem are the first to have casual sex against their own best interests. They welcome attention from men in whatever form it comes, in the belief that they are validated by it. They don’t have enough sense of self-worth to discriminate between short-term sexual affirmation and a man’s desire to know them intimately. The fear they will never have the latter, so they settle for the former, trying to “win” men over with their sexual appeal or expertise. Even if they succeed, they’re still left with their demons.

        • vera44

          PJL: that’s a good idea, churches and synogogues. I haven’t tried it, so maybe I will.

          “But, really, do you expect for me to divulge such information to a stranger over the internet?”
          Well, it’s a bit unorthodox but I myself am a bit unorthodox. Susan knows who I am — she’s connected me with one woman before when I asked her politely on this blog if she’d mind meeting up and given her my contact information. I made a good friend this way. Also, I know if you don’t ask, you don’t receive. You could have just as well said yes. I respect your decision to decline, you don’t know me after all.

          “Besides, this guy’s got a lot of options; girls come to him.”
          That’s very good for him. I do as well. However, who really wants quantity over quality? I’m looking for specific things that not a lot of guys have — who cares how many people hit on me if they’re not what I’m looking for? It sounds like your friend is this way as well — looking for a special person, not hooking up with every pretty face that presents itself. As the PUAs say, beauty (handsomeness) is common.

          “A girl who thinks or, even worse, knows she’s attractive is a blight I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy”
          What Susan said above. Sorry, when you get stared at in the street & hit on in Starbucks, you know you’re hot. It’s a fact, not an opinion, which is why I stated it as such. It doesn’t mean I’m stuck up about it — I work very hard at maintaining my body to have the most options among guys (to increase my chances of finding that one I’m looking for) & I realize I got lucky genetically in some ways. I’m definitely more proud of my other accomplishments i had to really work for than beauty. Which is why attractive women who have other things going for them don’t particularly put that much weight on guys’ compliments about their appearance. It’s more of an “oh, that’s nice, thank you.” We didn’t do anything to get it, so it’s automatically less valuable to us. It’s clearly very important to men though.

        • Aldonza

          I think there is a difference between “casual sex” as in one-night stands at clubs, or hook-ups at parties, and having sex outside of a committed relationship. Both are “casual” but I think the true one-night stands are actually not as common as people would think. Most of the women I know have sex with guys they’ve seen/dated multiple times, but sometime before any discussion of a relationship. It would seem the safer option, but I think more of those women are hoping for something more than just casual sex while the one-night stand people are at least in sync with their expectations of nothing but sex.

        • Snowdrop111

          I agree, but in my view, it’s still easy to rack up a lot of numbers by having sex on the third date and no relationship develops. I don’t think three dates are long enough to weed out the people who are only after one thing. If that sounds old-fashioned to put it that way, then I’m old-fashioned! STD germs don’t care if you met the guy at a party or club or held out till the third date. Also, my heart is not steeled enough for too much of that three-dates-sex-oops the chemistry isn’t there. That sounds like someone decides the chemistry isn’t there based on the sex. I call bullshit. I think it’s too easy for people to hold out for three dates with people they know they are not attracted to, to get to the sex…my heart can’t handle too much of that because I would feel used.

        • Aldonza

          Oh, I agree. A woman could definitely rack up some big numbers by doing the “3 date” rule just in college alone! That wasn’t my point. My point was, the definition of “casual sex” is pretty fluid. Most people assume it means a constant string of one-night stands. But actually, I don’t know any women who do that.

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

          I thought it was interesting that at least one study divided casual sex into two categories: strangers/acquaintances and friends. In addition, as you and Snowdrop say, there’s the sex that comes when you’re dating. The problem is, if one person hopes for more, by definition it’s not casual. So it often winds up being casual for one party and not the other. The “don’t ask, don’t tell” norm for the first weeks of dating is really problematic for women, because they don’t know if the sex they’re having is casual or not. The only answer is defining it before you have it, which means waiting long enough to feel comfortable defining it.

        • http://omegavirginrevolt.wordpress.com white and nerdy

          Due to my perspective as an inexperienced men all casual sex is the same to me regardless of context.

        • Aldonza

          Why are you certain that the percentage of women having casual sex is higher than 36%? Is it distressing to think that it’s actually a minority of women being passed around among the alphas rather than the 80% of women casually quoted in the blogosphere?

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

          I find real resistance from men on this question. They’re so wedded to the 80/20 concept. The real truth of the female college population is that a significant percentage graduate college virgins, well under half engage in casual sex regularly, and about a third have one partner during their college years. Yes, the frat stars have a string of girls in rotation, but it’s not the whole campus!

        • Passer_By

          I think the 80/20 concept is probably overstated, but even if it were accurate, it wouldn’t necessarily preclude the numbers in the survey. I think the 80/20 rule is really more a statement of raw attraction than it is about actual sex, since even in a hookup culture, women have an emotional filter that tempers this behavior. But even if it were a rule about the quantity of sex, you could still explain those numbers easily by pointing out that its not a rule about “casual sex” where both parties have that same expectation. It’s very likely that, in many instances, the guy viewed the sex as casual and the girl did not.

          Also, as others have pointed out, the 52% number for the guys could be explained if the substantial majority of that 52% only got it on rare occasion.

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

          Yes, I agree with all of this! One of the points I often labor to make is that raw attraction is tempered by an emotional filter in many women. This is anathema to guys running Game, but it need not be a hindrance. For guys who want to pump and dump, they know just where to find women who don’t filter out cads. For men who want to use Game to get a relationship, they can apply the principles in such a way that they make it throught that filter. It’s not black and white, as Athol Kay’s blog proves.
          .
          I hadn’t thought about how the sexes consider sex differently, but that makes total sense, especially since often there is no conversation about “what it is we’re doing.” That talk is usually reserved for a point where the two have hooked up numerous times.
          .
          And yes, the frequency is an unknown. For every question a study answers, it seems to raise ten more.

        • http://omegavirginrevolt.wordpress.com white and nerdy

          On surveys when it comes to sex they all come with a disclaimer that men are likely to overrerport number of partners and sexual frequency and women are likely to underreport number of partners and sexual frequency. This is nothing new.

      • Chili

        “You ask a really interesting question about whether women regret past partners. I didn’t from an emotional standpoint, only from the standpoint of having wasted my time.”

        When I think about it, I realize it’s not just as simple as “wasted time,” it is the idea of wasting a part of myself, bringing myself that much closer to “damaged goods” if you will. Which raises more questions: at what point does a woman become damaged goods? and does defining her as such have more to do with a man’s perception of her as such, her own perception of herself as such, or something else?

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

          Great question, Chili. I think the research shows that women get depressed when they have casual relationships. I’m not sure what comes first – low self-esteem, or the behavior that leads to depression. Or maybe depression causes both. Either way, I think it’s about how a woman feels about herself. Casual relationships that cause heartbreak or a sense of rejection will of course take a toll on a woman. The more of those a woman has, the more rejected she will feel. When someone feels consistently rejected, I think it’s hard to hang on to a sense of personal worth. And of course, one then expects more rejection, communicates that, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
          .
          I really like your observation about wasting a part of yourself. When we give something in a sexual relationship, and are not loved, have we given something that we can never get back? Is it like a series of withdrawals that leads to bankrkuptcy?

        • Chili

          Not literally, but like you said I think it certainly takes a toll on a person. And it’s bigger than just casual sex! PasserBy asked whether women regret all sexual encounters prior to finding a permanent mate (I assume he meant marriage by that), and that applies to long term boyfriends too. I haven’t had enough experience to answer, but in a way, it seems like a long term boyfriend might be something one looks back on with even more regret than a casual encounter, after all, you actually invested so much more time and energy into this guy this guy than the one night stand. If we’re talking about purely wasting time, this is the epitome.

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

          I don’t agree with that. If we assume that we learn from our relationships, especially LTRs, then I don’t think it’s a waste of time. I don’t know what the mean number of relationships before marriage currently is in the U.S., but I’m willing to bet that very few women marry their first love. However, your first love can teach you a great deal.

        • Snowdrop111

          No I don’t regret the ones who really liked and loved me. There were relationships where I knew I was loved for who I am, and the relationship didn’t work out for other reasons. I will always love them but not for a permanent relationship because of the problems that came along in the relationship.

          The ones I regret are the ones who I know didn’t care about me.

        • Passer_By

          “PasserBy asked whether women regret all sexual encounters prior to finding a permanent mate (I assume he meant marriage by that), and that applies to long term boyfriends too. ”

          Well, to be fair, I think I asked whether SOME women regret NEARLY all such encounters. I realize that not all women would regret all encounters. But I was wondering if some significant minority (say, greater than 5 or 10%) have almost no positive feelings about past encounters outside of very long term relationships (and, even then, for the reasons you note, many women seem to regret having given themselves in long term relationships as well). I wasn’t neccesarily limiting it to marriage, since people can have very long term relationships absent that.

          I ask only because, so far as I can tell, outside of the one night stand context, almost all guys have very good feelings about the time spent in bed with prior girlfriends or even short term flings if there was any decent emotional connection at the time (and some even absent a decent emotional connection), regardless of how the relationship ended. They may think she’s a horrible person, and certainly not like the time spent in divorce court or family court. But they feel good about the intimate time spent in bed. They would never think of it as “wasting their time.” But I get the sense that a lot women (not sure how many) don’t generally retain those positive feelings about the sex after the end of the relationship and sort of regret giving themselves to either (i) a guy who she later decided was no longer desirable (and therefore a waste of her time and, for lack of a better description, a waste of her sexual resources) or (ii) a guy who later broke up with her and, possibly, hurt her in the process (again, a waste of her time, sexual resources and now emotional investment as well).

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

          I think it depends on the nature of the relationship. For women, the answer will be very different for a ONS, bf of six months, bf of three years, etc. When I spoke of wasted time I was really talking about those experiences where I had zero interest in the guy, sex was just something to do (I realize this would make me damaged goods for many of my male commenters – but I have been a stable marital partner). I only had a few casual encounters, and they were all terrible (except the one that began my relationship with my husband, but I had been crushing on him for months). Most women can’t orgasm during casual sex (80%), so it’s not surprising we’d not look back fondly on those drunken hookups.
          Wrt relationships, it’s a different story, at least for me. If a guy hurts a woman, she may romanticize the sex, or demonize it, especially in the beginning. Over time rationality prevails. If she breaks up with him, she may shudder at sexual memories initially, but again, time has a way of evening that out. When I look back on my relationships before my husband, I can remember the men and the sex very clearly, and I feel very fond of both.

        • Aldonza

          I don’t regret any of my past either. Even the situations I wouldn’t voluntarily repeat, I took something away from the experiences. I am who I am because of those experiences and I think I’m pretty nifty as is.

  • Juan Carlos Perez

    a) At most American colleges today, more than 50 percent of the undergraduates are women, and they feel pressured to compete sexually for men. The result is a lot of angry women.”

    Competition for sexual partners is much, much older than mankind and will probably be always us. What culture does i just change the format of this universal race so it changes from a culture to another and evolves in time.

    b)Is the sexual double standard a social construct or a biological reality?

    Double standards are based in biology. Society just reinforces and sets limits to our basic inclinations, but as we are different and because of this we have very different standard for both sexes. Is more or less like language, we are born with ability to speak but society determines whether we are going to speak English, Italian or Chinese. In this case standards for men and women are almost the same because our differences in this regard are much smaller. As for men behaving like sociopaths, they are not. They are only responding to biology and education.

    c)Do you agree that casual sex as experienced today fulfills the goals of the Sexual Revolution?

    I thought that sexual revolution was about allowing more choices and not about accepting whatever strict pattern society presents us such as “you must not have sex until you marry” or “you must get drunk an laid every Saturday night” This type of standards should not be followed blindly because if we do the morning after cannot be expected to feel good

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

      Hi JCP!
      .
      a) Intrasexual competition depends a lot on who’s in the majority. With a shortage of male college students, women are vying for a smaller pool. Also, the majority gets to call the shots – you want me to by your boyfriend? How will you make that worth my while? It’s standard market dynamics.
      b) I agree that the double standard is rooted in biology, and for that reason will never go away. Women who think they can sleep around like crazy and not be judged by men for it are deluding themselves in the worst way. Research has shown that for all of the changes wrought by the Sexual Revolution, men still want a woman for a LTR who has very limited sexual experience, and it must be less than his. Women can complain that this isn’t fair, but it doesn’t matter. It’s biology.
      c) The Sexual Revolution certainly gave men and women more choices, and more access to no-strings sex. However, we are just now, 40+ years later, measuring the effects of that on women and men. Many of the consequences were unintended, and I don’t believe that hookup culture can be sustained. If it makes women miserable, that will show up somewhere down the line. It has to.

  • Kat

    Where do men like me fall in :|

    I have no interest in hooking up or wasting time on relationships that lead no where. I just want a woman who I can share the rest of my life with. I don’t care much for sex other than the supposed emotional aspect. I guess I can credit this to my low sex drive, at least that’s what I think or I have it under control, I’m not sure, I rarely/never masturbate. But I still have a strong drive to have children. I’d like to find a girl like myself if possible but it’s so hard to find a woman who shares my same values, or as strictly as me in the “open market”. If worst comes to worst I can probably get an arranged marriage assuming I go through college and can get a good job without screwing up. But I’d really like to find a girl myself..

    Blah I don’t even know where I’m going with this, sorry for incoherent ramble writing isn’t my strong point >_>.

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

      Hi Kat, first-time commenter? First, I commend you on wanting a meaningful relationship, but I think it’s problematic that you don’t care about sex. Without that drive, it’s going to be hard to get a woman all hot and bothered! If you rarely masturbate it sounds like you do have a low sex drive, assuming you’re a young man. This is definitely something you should raise with your doctor. As for arranged marriage, I think it definitely is a system that works well for many. Still, even there your wife will appreciate you and grow to love you more if you are sexually motivated. You can have children without that, but your life will be less fulfilling, unless of course you find a woman who doesn’t care that much about sex either, which is possible.

      • Kat

        I’ve commented a once or twice, but nothing really that big, all under this name.

        I don’t know how to exactly explain my situation, but it’s not that bad. I mean I don’t personally care for sex all that much, but I understand that my wife probably would, and that’s the only reason I’d have sex, to make her happy. I have no issue with arousal or anything, I just never feel the need to induce it.

        My real worry is that I don’t want to go around philandering just to even get a woman to be interested in me.

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

          You don’t need to be a philanderer to attract a woman. You just need to be a man who believes he could be a philanderer if he wanted to.

        • http://omegavirginrevolt.wordpress.com white and nerdy

          You just need to be a man who believes he could be a philanderer if he wanted to.

          For a lot of us men there is no way we could be a philanderer. There is no way we can believe something that is obviously not true due to all of the counter-evidence we experience every day.

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

          W&N, in my post yesterday, I quoted Samuel Halpern, the dad in Sh*t My Dad Says. He is not an attractive man, at all, but he has done OK b/c of his attitude toward life and women. Anyway, he says, no woman wants to lay a man who wouldn’t lay himself. That’s the crux of the matter. You must generate that to induce sexual attraction, there’s just no shortcut or detour.

        • http://omegavirginrevolt.wordpress.com white and nerdy

          I have spent a lot of time with different attitudes than the one I have now. It didn’t make a difference. I got the same reaction from women no matter what my attitude was.

        • Aldonza

          It would make me sad to be with a man who only had sex with me because he thought it would make me happy. Most women have a need to feel desired and it sounds like you would have trouble fulfilling that need.

        • Kat

          I have a lower sex drive, not a non existent one.

          Trust me I can desire women, it’s just that I have absolutely no issue controlling it. And besides, if I found a women that I can be with I will desire her, just not over sexually.

        • Aldonza

          Well, of course most sane women want to be valued for more than their sexuality. But I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t need to know that I turned my man on. Call it feminine ego, sexual entitlement, or whatever, but it’s the truth. If a man seemed like he didn’t desire me, I say I was OK with it, but over time I would begin to question my own sexuality and I would probably start fixating on it.

          That said, there are women who share your low sex drive. They’d probably be thrilled not to have someone pawing on them all the time.

  • alexamenos

    Is it possible that depression in women, and women’s preference for emotional intimacy during sex, reflects a patriarchal culture, and longstanding inequality of the sexes?
    =======================================================
    That’s a fair question, but I think an equally fair question is:
    .
    “Is it possible that a patriarchal, monogamous culture with relatively strict sexual mores reflected women’s innate preference for emotional intimacy during sex?”

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

      Oooohhhh, I really, really like that! Yeah, it’s definitely possible. The question is, can we ultimately sponsor a culture that reflects biological realities and political/social realities? Can we make biology king, both sexually and wrt opportunity? This would require a pure meritocracy I think, which I would support. If there are fewer women in math and science, perhaps that reflects the different distribution of IQ by sex. Let’s get rid of the politics, and let each achieve according to his/her abilities. Hmmm, I think I’m starting to sound like Ayn Rand now.

      • alexamenos

        Hmmm, I think I’m starting to sound like Ayn Rand now.
        ===============================================
        You’d sound more like Ayn Rand if you’d said the same thing in 800 pages and bored me to death in the process!

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

          Hahaha! I LOVED The Fountainhead when I was 21 – it was the perfect complement to the Reagan years. I am quite certain that if I read it now I would hate it. Therefore, I will not read it!

        • Aldonza

          Ayn Rand makes me itch. She was an egocentric, cultural despot and I can’t read her stuff without wanting to hit things with blunt objects.

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

          Yeah, she has that effect on people, being the fairy godmother of the neocons and all. What I liked about The Fountainhead was:
          1. Howard Roark – wish there were more men like him
          2. Ellsworth Toohey – the best characterization of the emperor having no clothes I’ve ever seen.

        • GudEnuf

          Randian philosophy is more paleocon than a neocon. I don’t think Ayn Rand would support “compassionate conservatism” or “pre-emptive strikes.”

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

          True. But I think you’d find that William Kristol et al are big fans. She’s probably spinning in her grave.

        • Passer_By

          Man, sometimes these comment threads go somewhat astray from the original topic, but going from casual sex to the Iraq War has got to be a record.

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

          Haha true! I was also just wondering how I once again fell into the quicksand of the divorce laws….

  • http://ft.com VJ

    Lots to unpack here unfortunately. And incoherent ramblings? Pretty common we bet from Poly Sci people looking into or teaching ‘sex roles in culture’ or whatever Rhodes was doing.

    First the simple questions:

    Do you agree that casual sex promotes sociopathic behavior?
    How so? Not likely just with the sociopaths, (budding, mature or otherwise) that some choose to be down with! So No, casual sex’s been with us since the dawn of time. And it behooves us to try and understand it’s particular social & biological roles it has and continues to have in ‘pair bounding’ and in possibly engendering or maintaining friendships or relationships. Which again, it’s done for a very long time.

    Are women engaging in this same lack of empathy?
    Apparently some are. But let’s not confuse cause & effect here. Simple survey data will not quite do here. What todays’ college female frosh think ‘love’ is may be an awfully bit different than the standards of what their profs might think of when they hear the term. Much more field research needed. Volunteers???

    What is a reasonable expectation for the morning after?

    Some modicum, of friendship extended & accepted or at the very least some comity, levity, gratitude or the mutual surprise of discovery or even the sharing of regrets & gracelessness. Why this is not the case I posit just as much to a dramatic decline in manners much as anything else. Few are grateful for what they’re given, and fewer still have actually earned this ‘bounty’. And still rarer are those that can recognize this in real time, and not at some great remove of years or distance for their memoirs or 20-30th year reunions! I’ve got more to say, but I’m afraid of being cut off here too! Cheers, ‘VJ’

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

      VJ, why unfortunately? OK, it’s time I took you on here for something you often say. Yes, I get it that casual sex is nothing new. Recall the UVA study that showed approx. half of Pilgrim births were conceived before the wedding! However, the culture as we experience is today is surely different in quality, and yes, quantity than anything we have seen before.
      .
      As for bad manners, I’ll agree that’s an epidemic, and it’s my generation that’s to blame. We’ve coddled this generation to the point of utter absurdity, and they’re entitled. Narcissism spreads like wildfire through the Milennials.
      .
      I do like your morning after prescription. Laughter is the best cure for awkwardness, in my experience. It’s very important not to take oneself seriously upon waking up in a strange bed with a pounding head. You’ve already proved you’re an idiot, so just go with it!

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

        P.S. Not you, VJ, but you as in the general pop.

  • pops3284

    What about the different hits socially that young men and young women take when it comes to casual sex. A man who has lots of casual sex in still seen socially by their gender than a woman who has it. Also there is the relationship possibilities. Women would much more likely be into taming the cad than a man in turning the old adage a ho into a housewife,. Add those social factors to all of the factors youve listed and casual saw can be a raw deal for women

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

      No question! Women want to turn a cad into a devoted husband, for sure. Men do not want to marry a ho. This puts the sexes at cross purposes. The bottom line is that a woman needs to be selective. She is the gatekeeper, and she should guard her reputation carefully.

  • typhonblue

    Reading this made me wonder.

    Why is it that society always has to be changed to benefit women more then men?

    Incidentally, all this may just be the result of two phenomena:

    1) Men tend not to see themselves as victims so even if they were being bothered by casual sex, it’s entirely possible they don’t want to confess to it.

    2) The usual casual sex pairing involves a man of significantly higher status(looks) then the woman. Of course the woman’s going to think she lost a catch. A catch that she would never have an opportunity to keep anyway. But women are more likely to count what was lost(a non-existent relationship with a better looking mate) then what was gained(sex with a better looking partner.)

    • http://omegavirginrevolt.wordpress.com white and nerdy

      Lets add that up to 80% of men have no access to the casual sex marketplace. Casual sex can’t bother me because I have no way of having it. (And in my case I’m redlined for the relationship marketplace too.)

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

        W&N, I thought it was interesting that one study found that about half the men were having casual sex. I have no data on the 80/20 rule, but I’ve always bought into it b/c I accept the concept of female hypergamy. We need to see more research, but one thing is clear: most study subjects overestimate the amount of sex other people are having. It may be that far fewer than 20% of men are having casual sex. It may be 5-10%, which is the estimate for guys having intercourse on any given weekend on a college campus.

        • http://omegavirginrevolt.wordpress.com white and nerdy

          I have the same opinion on the 80/20 rule.

          When it comes to surveys like this we know that men overreport and women underreport. By how much we don’t know.

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

      Hey, typhonblue, welcome! You raise a good point – one of the commenters on the original article pointed out that men are much less likely to report symptoms of depression. These studies are designed carefully, but if they don’t account for the differences between men and women, the results will obviously be flawed.
      .
      Do you really think the typical casual sex pairing is a better looking male with a less attractive female? It definitely happens – the big losers in hookup culture are female 9s and 10s. But I wouldn’t have thought it was the norm, more of a closing-time strategy.

      • typhonblue

        From my own experience, yes.

        Also, I wanted to say something in response to your gatekeeping statement.

        IMHO, I wouldn’t want a man who is controlled sexually by me(gatekeeping). Why? Several reasons.

        1) If I control him sexually, then other women can too. If he’s in control of his sexuality he’s far less likely to cheat.
        2) He’s more likely to be with me for something other then sex.
        3) I won’t get bored of him or start to feel contemptuous after a few months/years. The Game community is right; women are hypergamous. We don’t like men who are inferior, and this includes men we can control via any means.

        So far these rules have worked well for me.

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

          Yes, I’m with you 100% re female hypergamy. That’s a good point – women respect men they don’t (and can’t) control. However, I do think woman as gatekeeper is an essential part of female identity. Women control access to sex, everywhere, throughout time. That’s the reality. From my perspective, this is most relevant in the early phase of a relationship – the question of when to have sex.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    As a recent college grad, I can think of 2 reasons why girls are in this position….

    1) Most girls vastly overrate their own value.

    2) Girls have failed miserably at selling the idea of relationships to their male peers.

    I wouldn’t be opposed to having a relationship per se… but from my perspective, 90% of girls my age simply aren’t relationship material. And I think most guys my age share that sentiment.

    So in the meantime, I’m happy to take part in “hooking up” with hot girls when the opportunity presents itself. If that makes them unhappy… well, I wish them the best in dealing with it. But it’s not my problem.

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

      Jimmy Hendricks, I really appreciate your honesty! I’m interested to hear more from you – what makes you say that most girls overrate their own value? Do you mean that they deem themselves relationship material when they are not? Or that they think they are hotter than they really are?
      .
      I’m also interested to hear what you think makes a woman relationship material. Does a history of hooking up count against them? What are you looking for in a relationship?
      .
      As for your strategy, I endorse it. It is most certainly not your problem.

      • Jimmy Hendricks

        I haven’t written or discussed this topic in a very intellectual manner until now, so this will probably be all over the place…

        In my eyes, there’s a difference between a girl’s sexual attractiveness, and her”relationship attractiveness,” if that makes sense. They’re completely independent of each other. If a girl’s hot enough for me to want to sleep with her, it doesn’t necessarily mean she’s good enough for me to want to make the investment to have a relationship with her.

        I think that a lot of girls fail to realize that these are two separate things. They see that guys want to sleep with them, and assume that they’re worthy of a relationship. As a result, they don’t work on their relationship skills. Either that, or they’re just bad at showing the relationship skills they possess.

        If a girl doesn’t clearly show me why it would be worth my time to make an investment in her, then I’m not going see her as anything more than a hookup. I need a clear indication that my life with her as my gf will be better, not just more headaches.

        I have a lot of patience. I’m perfectly content to be single, go through dry spells, and hookup when it’s convenient. If other guys think the same way I do (and I think most do) then I guess the best description is that demand is very low in the relationship market right now. Girls need to figure out a way to make guys like me actually want to date them.

        • Meg

          I think the problem that a lot of girls have is figuring out how to show off the relationship skills they have without coming across like they are clingy or taking the relationship too seriously too soon. Why would a girl demonstrate girlfriend-type qualities like loyalty and kindness if a guy distances himself at the first sign of the girl becoming emotionally attached? I think sometimes guys read girls as being snobby or entitled when the girls are really just trying not to be needy or too easy.

        • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

          Meg I’m sorry but your way off. Maybe it’s the words you’ve chosen. Snobby is always, to me and I think a lot of people, thinking you are better than someone else. Ditto for entitled. The hottest girl I’ve had as a girlfriend before I left boston did it so simply. We were making out and I wanted to take her back to my room. She said, “No. You can take my number,” then gave a sexy wink”But I’m not fucking you tonight”. That did three things to me. It let me know, hey you gotta invest time with me buddy, but don’t worry I’m interested, and you aren’t going to want anyone else cause I am SSAAASSYYYY!!!! You better believe I called her during the week, texted her jokes during class, and made plans to hang out with her the next weekend. Shit, she was the first girl I took out in boston to dinner rather than breakfast, and I was there for 4 1/2 years. Not every girl might have that sass to pull that off, but if your making out stop yourself before it goes further(another SEXY tip) take out his phone put your number in it and say call me and walk away. He will think of no one else for the next 3 nights.

          You can make out with a boy the first night and he could become your bf but never after sex. And you say how do you show relationship skills like loyalty and kindness? Answer your phone when he calls. So many girls only respond by text these days, I’m a call type of guy. If he calls you and you don’t respond and your text doesn’t say something like “in class ttyl”, what’s the point in talking to you. And if he calls you, call him back. When a girl text me her response instead of calling me back after I called her, she is officially deleted from my contact list. I think girls get hung up on the guy that they are currently seeing and try to make it work. Guys know that if she doesn’t hit the standards I’m looking for someone else will. And we, as my jamaican family says, “cut our eyes and pass it”.

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

          Gaaaaah, I love it! That is one smart girl! In fact, I think we might have to call that Girl Game, something I’ve always claimed doesn’t exist.

        • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

          Susan you are way wrong on this. My friend Veronica and I were going to write a whole book on College game of both sexes call “The hunt is on”, but she graduated and moved back to San Francisco and I’m over in New Jersey and we haven’t made plans to restart it up. Now that you said it doesn’t exist I think I’m going to get back on writing it with her and send each other chapters each week. Actually I just ocnvinced myself. It is a plan. Girl’s have game but it’s almost too easy because they are already wanted. Guys have to build value, with girl’s it is apparent. So for guy game is seduction building while for girls its seduction tools.

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

          True, but you must keep the end goal in mind. Girls want relationships, not sex. How does a woman get that?

        • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

          Sorry I should’ve continued my story to help explain. That next weekend we did more than make out but still didn’t have sex. Then I took her out to longhorn steakhouse at the AMC Fenway complex, she loved steak and so do I, and again she was a flat-out person. She asked me “do you just hook up with girls or do you actually hang out with them more than a couple nights”. She never explicitly said let’s be exclusive but she let me know flat out that she wasn’t going to be just another girl. She wasn’t snobby or a bitch aout it, she was honest with herself, and what the situation was regarding her and me. And most importantly she was honest with me. Alot of girls know what the situation is, and know what they want, but if she never told me what she wanted out of the whole thing I still had the opportunity to get some and dump her. But she let me know that to get some is to stay with her, on a FWB level atleast. If a guy is truly an asshole he could here all that and still try to pump and dump her but she was a smart girl to realize actions matter more than words, plus I’m not an asshole so i saw what standard she wanted, and to be honest, I WANTED to live up to her standard. 1) She was never a glistiner with me and when she did catch herself doing it the first time I met her she made sure to cut her eyeys quick or change the subject, so I respected her from that moment till the make-out push back, to the dinner standard setting.

          And this is where I think Meg and girls don’t understand the difference between snobby and self-respect. A snobby girl has an aura about her “telling” guys you better start jumping obstacles to ever get to me. A girl like her with self-respect meets me on even grounds and when she spotted an area of my game where my action might show an idea that I had of her being a depreciated value she put up an obstacle letting me know “hey I am a value, remember”.

          I know it sounds like training a dog but I was only a dog because I was trained to be. That whole courtship with her, and although I am not from that time I consider it a courtship, was eye-opening to me. It’s like this. The current college hook-up scene reminded me of the truman show. We are all actors playing out a script for each other. My favorite part of the truman show was when he met the girl who broke the spell for him. He is in high school and a cheerleader is doing everything according to script for them to be together and so is he but this other girl just keeps looking at him and it breaks the whole spell of the scene they are trying to make. In that makeout the next scene cut was supposed to be me and her in the room, but she changed the script. While it was sexy and seductive it was also like a ringer going off in my head like it was for truman getting a look at that girl. BRING! BRING! “Something is different with you”. Same thing at that dinner I thought she was cool and would’ve hooked up with her more than once but probably wouldn’t have gotten in a relationship with her until she called my bullshit and again another BRING! BRING! moment. And then once we started going out it was like I was no longer in the show anymore. In fact, I never even told my boys this, but I called all the other girls I was thinking about getting with or could still get with and told them, that I got a girl I’m rolling with and i’m not gonna be around them the same way i was before. She was the one that pulled me away from that TV show and helped me break out the dome into the real world.

          So in short. How does a woman get that? Create walls to jump over that are see through. Don’t block yourself off from the get go because I never did and I highly doubt most men will want to talk to you unless for the challenge of the conquest of the unapproachable woman. And never do more than make out on the first meeting if you want something more. EVER.

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

          Great, great story. Good luck with that book – it sounds like you have some great ideas. Man, I think there’s a post in this. Women need to know this, and they need to hear it coming from a guy, especially one with tight Game.

        • Meg

          I see what you’re saying. But from what you said, the only factor that made this girl worth dating was the fact that she wouldn’t have sex with you right away. Obviously you liked her personality, but what else on the first few meetings made you think she’d be a good girlfriend?

        • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

          Oh kk. She was honest as hell. I loved her self-respect. She had a unwillingness to play games. She was loyal to herself and her friends, even when she made plans with her friends she would still call me back and let me know she couldn’t hang out. She was cute as well but didn’t need me to tell it to her. But I could tell she liked the compliment,a nd that’s a hard line to walk no matter who you are. But the big thing that first hooked me was that she showed she was interested in me. And she was willing to give compliments as well as recieve. There was a pervasive feeling that we are equals in seeing how far and how serious we each wanted to take it. And as something I learned from her, she was funny. in just making a joke to even criticizing something I did, she was funny. That’s a big list of all the things I looked at but if I had to pick a main three it would be she showed me she was interested, was upfront on anything from situations to her feelings, and was easygoing enough to give compliments as well as recieve them.

        • Anon

          There is much to take from this comment. As I’ve mentioned here before, many guys (particularly the nicer guys who aren’t looking for the thrill of conquest and challenge) will take a sexual rejection as an indicator of non-interest generally, and understandably so given that everyone seems to feel everyone else is hooking up all the time. The women who want to hold out for something more need to make it very clear that they are nontheless very interested. If you expect guys to keep chasing you despite initial rejection, without other strong indications of interest, you will be essentially screening for the most over confident challenge seeking guys – not a good strategy.

          One problem though for women who have been hooking up in college but are dissatisfied and now want to suddenly change behavior and cultivate longer term relationships by holding out. I’m sure the guys know you have been DTF in the past, and if you are telling some guy “no, it’s too soon”, he is probably going to have a hard time getting past the fact that you found Boy X and Boy Y sufficiently hot to put out on day 1 but are now effectively telling him he is not. I know some women actually try to claim it’s a complement (“No, really, it’s because I see you as worthy of a long term relationship, blah blah”), but no guy will feel that way. Maybe this is due to some wired in aversion to being cuckholded, but when your actions demonstrate to a guy that you greatly prefer the cock (and therefore the seed) of other guys over his, he is unlikely to invest in a relationship at that point.

        • Passer_By

          Oops, the above is from me. Not sure why it said “anon”

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

          Well, that goes to what Vincent said – there is no such thing as a reformed slut. However, I don’t see why a woman can’t reinvent herself when she moves to the big city after college. Yes, there will always be a danger of the truth coming out, but I can tell you that if I made some poor choices in college, and then wanted to date after, I would keep my secrets. This assumes that I didn’t have so much casual sex that I’m depressed, like the women in the study. If a woman has really been around the block a few times, that will probably come to light in any number of ways.
          I think your advice to women about persistently showing interest is excellent. Dilithium as also said this in the past. Women worry about being too assertive, but they need to do a better job of stepping up. Subtle hints won’t get the job done with most guys.

        • Snowdrop111

          “I’m sure the guys know you have been DTF in the past,”

          Great. I was a virgin till I was 32. How was I supposed to be believed?

          Women are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

        • Passer_By

          I’m sorry, I think perhaps I was unclear. I’m not talking about your situation where no guy would have a basis to reach any conclusion either way. I’m talking about the situation on a college campus where guys often know, with near certainty, about the prior activities of certain women. Obviously, those women can choose to stop whenever they want, but the next guy is unlikely to want to invest time cultivating a relationship with her if she is saying “no” to sex with him, when he knows full well that she said “yes” to immediate sex with no compunction whatsoever with two of his acquaintances. Her saying “I think I want to wait this time” is not going to make him feel better about her withholding from him what she gave wantonly to other guys he knows.

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

          Not to mention how he’ll be cursing his bad luck! He’s only in it for the “one and done,” now he’s got a girl with New Year’s resolutions on his hands. Bummer.

      • Jimmy Hendricks

        And to answer your question… yes, if a girl has a history of hooking up then it definitely lowers her chances of being relationship material in my eyes.

        That’s not to say she’s completely ruled out, but the odds are against her.

    • Aldonza

      1) Most HOT girls vastly overrate their own value.

      Of course, like women not seeing beta guys, most men don’t even seem to see anything but the hot and borderline hot girls, so I can see how you’d feel that way.

      • Jimmy Hendricks

        That may be true, but I think most guys find a good percentage of college aged girls to be hot. In my case, I’d probably put that number at about 60% when I was a student, but maybe I was just fortunate enough to attend a “hot” university.

        For girls, on the other hand, it seems like only the top level of guys are seen as attractive. I keep seeing this 20% thrown out there, and that seems like a good marker.

        • Höllenhund

          Exactly. It is an obvious truth most people prefer to ignore and deny. It also explains why many men believe that women don’t want causal sex as much as men do. Wrong! They are just choosier about who they want to have casual sex with. Small wonder it is usually beta males who buy into this pretty lie. “Women just don’t want casual sex that much”. They do – just not with you!

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

          How can you read this article and make this claim? Do you not understand that women are wired differently than men? We do not like sex without intimacy! We don’t get off, and it gives us a low self-esteem hangover. This is ESPECIALLY true with the cads. Ugh, just your use of the phrase “pretty lie” tells me where you spend your time. You’ll never square my blog with his.

        • Jimmy Hendricks

          Susan, I didn’t see this comment by you until I left one at the bottom of the page. There I gave my theory why I think casual sex might make girls depressed.

          But to add on to that… Like I said earlier, I don’t like to see anybody suffering, but I really have a hard time feeling sorry for the girls in this situation. They know what they’re getting themselves into when they go after guys who have no intention of commitment, and have proven it with their track record of pump & dumps over the years…

          It would be like me going from Burger King to Burger King around the city and continually being depressed that nobody would serve me a Big Mac.

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

          I’m not suggesting that women making poor choices are victims of anything but their own bad judgment. I don’t expect you or anyone else to pity them. We are all responsible for our own behavior – that’s way I ended the post by saying that if it feels like crap, stop doing it. To be honest, the women I sympathize with are the ones who are not allowing themselves to be pumped and dumped, and like the article says, wind up spending most Saturday nights without any male attention.

        • Höllenhund

          So what is your point, Ms. Walsh? That women have NO desire for casual sex with anyone but many of them repeatedly engage in it anyway? That they are sexually attracted to more than 20% of all men?

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

          More or less. I have two points:
          1. Women, for the most part, do not have casual sex for the orgasm, which is unlikely in any case. They have casual sex for the validation that they are desirable. They also have casual sex in the misguided belief that everyone else is doing so. They also perceive, accurately, that relationships that have taken hold started out with hooking up. On college campuses, hooking up is the primary pathway to commitment, though it happens in only 12% of cases. Research shows that the percentage of women willing to hook up plummets between freshman and junior year. After getting pumped and dumped once or twice, many women retreat to the sidelines, waiting out college and hoping that post-college life will include more traditional dating.
          2. I think any given woman may be attracted to 20% of the men she comes into contact with. But I don’t believe it’s the same 20% for all women. Some women can’t resist the bad boys, and love that dopamine high they get from them. Others are risk-averse and attracted to stable men. There’s a wide spectrum of what women find attractive. It’s true that a man has to generate sexual attraction, and the best way he can do that is by displaying his sense of self-worth. Assholes are good at that, but again, not all women respond well to arrogance. I know for a fact that it’s not about looks – there are many hideously ugly high T types who do well with women, and many handsome beta guys who don’t.

  • DJB

    Sorry, I never had a problem with casual sex. I once told a friend that having sex was like any other biological function. What turned me on and made it exciting was the conquest. When I was young, I resented having to get into relationships to have sex, so on the few occasions I could get it casually, it really turned me on. I don’t even remember the actual act as much as the feeling of excitement when she first took off her clothes. I felt somewhat disgusted afterwards, not by my actions, but by the woman who gave in so easily. Yet, I still pursued the conquest, until I got old enough to think about marriage and children. At that point, I wanted nothing to do with casual sex. I still took a laissez-faire attitude to casual sex in the abstract and when I would first begin dating a woman I would not be judgmental, but if I became serious, then I would be bothered by my girlfriend’s past. It felt like the more I contemplated serious emotional and physical investment, the more I felt outraged that the woman I contemplated investing in gave it away essentially for free. In time I learned that a woman’s past is indeed an important factor in determining marital risk. I think it was at this point that I began to believe that marriage (patriarchy, patrilocality, etc.) was created by women, probably post-menopausal, to ensure male investment in reproduction. Thus, when society gave men sexual options outside marriage, the institution itself was bound to decline.

    • Chili

      As I asked in a previous comment, at what point is a woman “damaged goods” to you? What is the magic number at which her past is a-ok?

      • Mike

        As I asked in a previous comment, at what point is a woman “damaged goods” to you? What is the magic number at which her past is a-ok?

        There isn’t a magic number that transforms a women from “quality” for a LTR to “damaged goods”. It is context dependent. I’m not really going to sweat say a 35-year old who has had 6 partners all in LTRs. On the other hand, the 23-year old who has had 5 hookup partners in college is definitely “damaged goods” in the sense that I would probably just want to be hookup #6.

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

      I suspect that your own experience with casual sex is quite common for males. Of course they’re not going to turn it down, but there’s an accompanying sense of repulsion, however slight toward the female. It is extremely important for women to understand that this is how men think! It adds to the “price” of casual sex for them. When you tally up all the costs and benefits, it is a very poor strategy.

      • DJB

        Have followed the blog and believe you are making a valiant effort to bridge the “gender divide” on sex. I was raised in a feminist household, but I really believe the whole narrative of feminism was erroneous. The idea that patriarchal marriage was an institution designed to oppress women gets it bass-ackwards. It is designed to guide men into investing in child-raising. In my travels throughout traditional societies, it appears that the “moral police” are the older women. The goal is to eradicate, to the greatest extent possible, single motherhood, as it presents a direct challenge to male parental investment. Older women in these societies are threatened by this prospect because most have had enough children to have one son. Because patrilocality is an essential aspect of most of these cultures, this gives the son’s mother, or the “mother-in-law,” enormous power and a role to play in the extended family. Single motherhood follows from a society that condones casual sex, and female sexual autonomy naturally leads to casual sex. Men love this system to a point, but it does not engender understanding between the sexes as the sexual psychology of men and women are vastly different. In contrast to the feminist narrative, marriage was meant to “oppress” men to a certain extent, though male parental investment is beneficial to society as a whole. The only solution is to cut out the root of the casual sex weed that has grown, namely female sexual autonomy. I doubt this is acceptable to women given the feminist narrative, thus our system is destined to continue its decline into dystopic proportions.

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

          Yes, this is it in a nutshell. I don’t believe that female sexual autonomy will ever disappear, but it may change its form, either through the influence of external factors, e.g. culture, disease, or self-policing on the part of women. That seems unlikely I know, in aggregate, but it could be a reasonable strategy for individual women, in my view, if they are sensible about the men they target. Holding out on cads is a losing proposition, lol.

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

          P.S. Thanks so much for the kind words.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    If we’re talking “price”, then here’s a way of looking at it….

    Girls have priced themselves out of the market so much, that guys find it to be a better financial decision to get a short-term lease (hookup) instead of buy (relationship).

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

      Exactly. Relationships are a very tough sell right now. So what are the things that would convince you to be in one? What are the relationship skills that would influence a guy to commit? Will you commit before having sex? You mentioned not wanting headaches, so I’ll assume psycho and spoiled girls are out, haha, though sometimes I feel like those are the ones who do get what they want from guys.

  • http://ft.com VJ

    Well ‘unfortunately’ because I’m not quite sure what they’re measuring or why. Or how & when actually. I get that some women are disappointed by casual sex. Especially when done by inexperienced younger partners who do not have the couth to buy them as much as a soda before or after. But survey data can only tell us so much. And as AlexM notes above, there are certain normative ‘cultural expectations’ that men & women carry with them that still basically circumscribe the ‘scripts’ here. But over all? It’s a hugely complex issue. Meaty & juicy & interesting to be certain, but what we’re left with at the moment is the barest of brief descriptions of the phenomenon we observe.

    Many women are depressed by casual sex. Sure. But So Are Many of the Good Guys! And always have been! Should we also consider that there are yes, plenty of ‘commitment minded’ guys out there? Stable, sane, steadily employed and decent & respectable to one & all. For the most part? They’re sometimes seen just not exciting enough for many of the college women. Not ‘ready for prime time’. A bit quiet & even ‘boringly’ conventional. They want & demand more somehow! And we’ve seen & heard of that script here over & over too.

    So we’ve got a ‘problem’. Poor choices are making some people feel poorly. Which in & of itself is a complex problem of many origins, and many pathways to either glory, penury or destruction & yes even death. Worse? Those that are qualified as ‘a half a bubble off the beam’ or otherwise indeed depressed or suffering from various serious psychological issues or genuine psychiatric illnesses? Are not only more likely to desire to ‘act out’ to fulfill their various needs, they’re More likely to be successful in their single minded monomania at this! Hence the ‘crazy sex’ of legend & lore. So as they say, some depression/afflictions can be a 2 way street, constantly feeding upon itself & reinforcing the worst instincts of the sufferers & their partners alike. And yes, never mind college kids, that alone can amount to decades of lost time & much, much worse far into ‘adulthood’. So cause and effect seriously commingled there too.

    So to short circuit all this mystery & yes madness? Pretend that you’re sane. Get much smarter about your choices, both in & out of bed, but especially about substances & ‘boys’. And once you’ve got that hypergamous Alpha sex hunting deal done After your 20′s say? Come back and start more seriously looking for & then introducing yourself to more of the guys who clearly are ready for a serious & committed relationship. They’re out there. I know them, some more successful than others. And this yes, can even be done w/o regrets in your (gasp!) later 20′s too! (And whenever needed). I’ve seen it working! Cheers & Good Luck! ‘VJ’

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

      Of course this is all true and reasonable. My only quibble would be to say that women should not “get it out of their system” in their 20s. Years of casual sex take their toll, and change a woman in ways that will make it much harder to pull off a successful monogamous relationship. Also, many good guys understandably resent being appreciated for their good qualities only after a woman has spent years making poor choices. At that point, she undoubtedly has much more sexual experience than the average beta male, which is a non-starter.

  • Höllenhund

    “At most American colleges today, more than 50 percent of the undergraduates are women, and they feel pressured to compete sexually for men.”

    A correction is in order:

    “At most American colleges today, more than 50 percent of the undergraduates are women, and they feel pressured to compete sexually for alphas.”

    “I live with 16 other girls in a big house, and whether we give men what they want or we don’t, we all agree that men suck.”

    I guess she should have said: “We cannot snag the alphas into committed relationships, and for that reason we are angry.”

    I find it funny, Ms. Walsh, that we are still ignoring the 800 pound gorilla in the room: women are sexually attracted to roughly 15-20% of all men.

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

      Hollenhund, I was aware of this as I was writing, and I have a few thoughts on it. Let me start by saying that I accept that women are hypergamous.
      .
      1. It strikes me that academics at the finest universities are not studying this phenomenon, or even considering it in their research. Frankly, I wonder why that is. One study here found that 56% of college males were having casual sex, not the 15-20% you would expect.
      .
      2. Furthermore, only about a third of the women were, so we have a smaller number of women than men, presumably being shared among males.
      .
      3. If 2/3 of female students are abstaining from casual sex, then by definition we have a large population of women who are either not attracted to the alphas, or recognize them as bad news, in much the same way they might view hard drugs as bad news. Not all women are equally risk/dopamine seeking.
      .
      4. I believe that many beta males also are reluctant to commit. There are various reasons for this, including men marrying later, but they also observe that it’s not the brass ring in our culture. If they want to be alpha, if they want to be successful in the ways that socially dominant males are, then they need to hook up, not get a girlfriend.
      .
      As I said, I have no argument with the concept of hypergamy, and the 80/20 rule makes intuitive sense. But I haven’t seen it studied, or quantified for that matter, outside Game circles. For that reason, I haven’t introduced it here, a post about peer-reviewed academic research.

      • Höllenhund

        “One study here found that 56% of college males were having casual sex, not the 15-20% you would expect.
        .
        2. Furthermore, only about a third of the women were, so we have a smaller number of women than men, presumably being shared among males.”

        I think the explanation is simple: men grossly overreport and women grossly underreport this stuff all the time. An involuntarily celibate male college student will simply never admit that he isn’t getting regular sex, not even for an anonymous survey, because that would cement his status as a social pariah. I find it highly unlikely that an X number of alphas are sharing a less than X number of sluts. In all likelihood it is the other way around. There is an illusion of sexual abundance in the US.

        And such statistics rarely tell the whole story anyway. Maybe 56% of college guys actually had casual sex but 40% had it three times in a year whereas 16% had it 100 times. Who knows?

        What I would really like to see are reliable figures about STD rates among men and women in college. That would pretty much indicate the real situation about casual sex. I’m willing to bet money that STD rates are considerably lower among men. That is certainly the state of affairs in the American black community – proof that a few alphas are sharing most of the women. Obsidian had a post about this.

        “As I said, I have no argument with the concept of hypergamy, and the 80/20 rule makes intuitive sense. But I haven’t seen it studied, or quantified for that matter, outside Game circles.”

        Maybe nobody bothered to study it. Or nobody did it because it would reveal politically incorrect truths. It would kind of question the whole rationale for the sexual revolution.

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

          STD rates by sex don’t prove that a few alphas are sharing the most women, because women are much more prone to the microscopic tears that allow entry of the STD into the bloodstream. And it’s also thought that the mucosa of the vagina is more susceptible to disease in general than the relatively tougher skin of the penis. I do know there have been studies that looked at why African American women have much higher rates than other women, and they determined it was not related to behavior, but did not determine the reason. Women do report more genital herpes, but again, it’s not clear why – a large number of men appear to be carriers without breakouts.
          .
          As for self-reporting, that is a real problem, and has plagued sex researchers going back to Kinsey.
          .
          It’s very possible that academics have overlooked hypergamy for some reason. In general, academics are extremely liberal, so it’s somewhat surprising that they’re studying casual sex and its potentially harmful effects on young people. They certainly have been shot down in the feminist media in recent years. If PC is the reason, then I suspect we’ll see this addressed in the not-too-distant future, as those walls are coming down.

  • Vincent Ignatius

    This is more of the women as victims bs. You’ve made your bed, now lie in it. ALL of this can be traced back to feminism. These “tank grrrls” came out thinking they could be just like men and now want to be pitied because it turned out they couldn’t. I laugh in their faces. Look at it this way, if I started talking sh!t to heavyweight boxers, claiming I was just as quick and strong as them and challenged one to a fight, no one should feel pity for me when David Haye knocks me out.

    It’s going to take more than prudishness to fix things. Several decades of misandry need to be reversed, then maybe we can get back to stable relationships that are healthy for both partners. The men of my generation have seen the terrible things that women have done to our fathers, our uncles, our brothers, the people we love. For us, the monogamy ship has sailed. It will take at least two more generations to fix things.

    A reformed slut is an oxymoron. Once a slut, forever ruined. These girls will never find a good man. If they can’t bear to settle for a lesser beta, I recommend they learn to love cats.

    Do you agree that casual sex promotes sociopathic behavior?
    It has little effect on men compared to women. It eventually hardens women’s emotions and makes them more sociopathic.

    Are women engaging in this same lack of empathy?
    I’m not even sure if women are capable of feeling empathy with men.

    What is a reasonable expectation for the morning after?
    Breakfast and maybe a ride home if he drove you to this place. Beyond that, nothing that wasn’t already discussed.

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

      VI, I have no problem with laying the sociosexual environmental disaster at the feet of feminism. However, that goes back two generations, and I distinguish between the girls coming of age today and the mess their grandmothers have wrought. They are not the victims of men, but they are victims of circumstance and bad timing. I agree that there is no quick fix, certainly not prudishness. Though I think being a prude is probably a young woman’s best strategy.
      .
      I also think it’s inaccurate to imply that there are no stable relationships today. In fact, the divorce rate has been falling steadily since 1980, and only 17% of college educated couples who married in the 90s divorced in the first ten years.
      http://www.virginia.edu/marriageproject/pdfs/Wilcox_Fall09.pdf
      .
      I find your comment about sociopathic behavior interesting. I hadn’t meant to ask whether having a lot of casual sex will make you sociopathic over time, but rather whether having sex with a stranger, someone you may not even like or respect, will leave you indifferent to their feelings at that moment. Have we taken all human emotion out of sex, including empathy?
      .
      Why do you doubt whether women are capable of feeling empathy with men?

      .

      • Vincent Ignatius

        Isn’t (divorce rate)/(marriage rate) a better proxy for the state of marriage?

        I don’t believe having sex with a stranger will make you any more indifferent to their emotions than you were before you had sex. But what happens is that if the man doesn’t care to have sex with the girl again, he won’t make the effort to be as nice. It’s not that he cares less, but just that he doesn’t need to pretend to care as much as he did.

        Why do you doubt whether women are capable of feeling empathy with men?

        Experience.

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

          Yes, that ratio probably would be a good metric. Not perfect, obvs – most people would say divorce is bad, but views on marriage vary considerably.
          .
          I will agree with you re empathy. When we choose to have sex with zero expectations for further contact, it seems to me that any obligation ends once both people have climaxed. Sleep over, don’t sleep over, it doesn’t matter. You have no right to get your feelings hurt either way. Same with the morning after. Why pretend? And why is empathy necessary? Empathy supposes an ability to feel what the other person is feeling, but the whole point is that feelings are imadmissible.
          .
          Re your experience with women, you might want to start selecting women with a more nurturing bent, unless you prefer them cold.

    • Chili

      “Several decades of misandry need to be reversed, then maybe we can get back to stable relationships that are healthy for both partners. ”

      I understand where you are coming from, but let’s not be too nostalgic. Before the sexual revolution, “stability” often involved women being seen as inherently subordinate to men. I would rather have my heart broken by 20 assholes than have to bow down and fetch the slippers of my “devoted” husband. I think you know what I mean.

      • Vincent Ignatius

        Since the sexual revolution, women with authority have been foisted on us and have proven that in most things, they should be subordinate to men.

        If you want assholes, that’s fine.

    • Meg

      “The men of my generation have seen the terrible things that women have done to our fathers, our uncles, our brothers, the people we love.”

      I’m sure men of your generation have seen women hurt other men, but I think that’s a pretty convenient excuse to forgo monogamy. What about every generation before you when women watched the terrible things men did to their women and sisters? You know, like rape and wife beating. Women didn’t stop sleeping with or marrying men because some of them were bad. Women shouldn’t be careless with men’s feelings, but to blame men’s disinterest in relationships on the “terrible things women have done to our fathers” is just a way to justify being emotionally closed-off and acting like a dickhead.

      • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

        I’m sorry meg but there is some truth to Susan’s statement. I’ve always looked at it this way. Men are more logice-oriented in their ations, women are more emotion-oriented. That’s actually a big part of game. Most betas who have been studying all their life fail with women cause they think logic will get them the girl. I have great grades, I’ll get out with a 6 figure job, I’ll always treat you right. Why wouldn’t you want me? Gamers are taught to appeal to women emotionally. Social proof is all about making you the fun guy, the secure guy. I have never EVER had a man in the generation before me tell me that marriage is a great thing. And I think that’s a travesty on one hand, but I understand where they are coming from on the other.

        Their friends and maybe themselves have been ripped apart by womens power in the judicial system. So, seeing an institution of laws we cannot beat, men decided to de-emphasize marriage for their sons. We see a problem we can’t solve, so dodging it is our best solution. Before men haven’t had true commitment phobia we have just been making sure we had the right girl we wanted to spend the rest of our life with. Now I think you are going to start seeing guys with true commitment phobia. Like I make 150,000 a year and you want to get married? Pre-nups will start going through the roof.

        I’ll be real with you. I think part of the reason I haven’t had too many LTR relationships is because of how I was brought up and what I’ve seen. I’m from a generation that is taught that what we want to do is the best thing to do. I don’t want my freedom curtailed. I don’t want to be held to anothers expectations. And if I fails yours I’ll move on to someone else. Anyone in my age groups will agree that’s how we think. Plus I still remember this father who came in with his sons to gamestop when I still worked there. From the moment he stepped into the store I could tell something was wrong. The hollow-eyed look, the slow tired walk, the void of passion was in stark contrast to his joyous kids, running around him and trying to show them the games they wanted. All he could muster was a weak smile. He comes up to me at the counter and asks if he could buy a Xbox360. I move towards grabbing the new ones but he informs me he needs it used. Most people are sheepish when they ask for a used one cause they don’t want the percieved shame of buying old product. America is all about the new. This guy had no shame. He said it in such a defeated way. I NEED the used. Not can I have the new one, “need” the used. I grab it for him and show him he can get it with or without the hard drive and he picks up the phone to make a call. And thats when it all came clear. Apparently his wife, through a very loud convo, wanted him to get a xbox cause the kids wanted to play their games when they went over his house. Oh they already had an xbox at home but it took up too much space in their bags when she packed them to stay over at his place so it would be better if he gets one as well. And he better get one with a hard drive cause thats what they need to play their saves(you actually don’t at all and it’s another $100). Oh and btw she and paul are going to mardi gras so he’ll need to take the kids during that time. He got them the system and I did my best to keep the price low for him with the other games his kids had to have him buy. I even used my employee discount for him so he got an extra percent off. As he walked out the door my manager who was behind the counter with me the whole time just said “omg”. He has a girlfriend of 2 years and she is now talking marriage.

        I can never forget that day in my head. The entitled children. The alimony and child support he pays for superflous items and vacations for his ex’s man. The utter UTTER defeat in his every step and stride coupled with the dead eyed knowledge that he is in this situation for the forseeable and unforseeable future killed me. Absolutley shook me to. the. core. And all employess in that store, mostly guys but even our resident gamer girl, didn’t talk for atleast 10 minutes afterwards. We knew what happened, we just didnt want to voice it. I know that somehow I’ll need to excercise that image out of my head if I ever want to have a sucesful marriage, but my god. How can I even look commitment the same way after seeing something like that? And that’s not even taking into account my own parents divorce.

        What can that man or any man do to not be left so brutalized in divorce?
        Is a pre-nup enough?
        What the hell can be done about those entitled children sapping money from every one around them?
        Those qustions scare me about relationships in this day and age.

        • Snowdrop111

          For one thing he could take them camping and fishing instead of Xbox, and be the fun dad even if he keeps saying “No I’m not buying an Xbox. Let’s go play baseball.”

        • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

          You fail to respond to the key issue here. It’s not the activity that the father chooses to engage in. It;s the fact that the wife is sapping his money when she is already sapping his money. His once great life is now left with him shuffling towards death with a constant burdening on his back. His existence is SHIT because he got divorced. SHIT. And you can’t tell me I’m wrong for that. Snowdrop, I’ll tell you some more honest shit too. If I was this guy I would feel like shit going over to that wife’s house as well. No matter how much of a “fun dad” you want me to be, I go over for a family dinner or something and see paul living in my house, with my kids, with my wife, because of my money. I have fucking pride. A man has to feel like a man. And that man I saw did not feel like a man. I doubt he felt like much of anything. I mean I don’t want to think for him but if you could’ve seen his body language it was so disheartnening. So pitiful.

          Tell me, seeing that, why should I want to get married? Why? Life is full of challenges and we all must overcome then but I need some safety nets sometime. I know I hate to study but if I work hard I’ll get good grades. I hate to go and work out but I know If I do I’ll have a healthly body. If I miss a day I can still get back on the horse and be ok. One mistake will not ruin the rest of my life with ym grades. You make a mistake and ruin your marriage and your life is fucking over. Done. Alimony, child support, the knowledge that visiting your kids is going to the house that houses the man who fucks your wife on your marital bed. OMG just thinking about makes me shit bricks man or woman, or who ever you are snowdrop. Only take fights you know you can win. I think marriage is a fight that is becoming increasingly difficult for men in the modern generation. You better not let a single blow or two hit you cause everything being thrown is a haymaker. And the taller we are the longer the fall till we’re napping on the mat.

        • Aldonza

          I have a good friend who married a “nice guy”. They had equivalent careers, but she had to give hers up when their second child was special needs because he “couldn’t handle it”. She remained faithful and did the traditional housewife role better than most women I’ve seen. He shielded most of his business assets, manipulated his income low and left her for a younger woman. He sees his kids less than once a month, complains about the absurdly low child support order (which doesn’t even cover her childcare expenses since she had to go back to work), while he jets around with his girlfriend to Aruba and Hawaii.
          .
          That man’s existence was probably shit before he got married, shit while married, and now shit while divorced. He could change his life by saying the word “No.” and meaning it.

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

          Well, obviously, he wasn’t really nice. How did she not figure that out before agreeing to marry him?

        • PJay

          N = 1

        • Aldonza

          That was my point too. Anecdotes are effective for swaying people’s emotions because we’re all wired to respond to the human story. But they do little to paint a picture of what situations might be average or common. And they certainly shouldn’t be given any weight as “proof” or “evidence” of anything but one person’s misery.

        • Single Man

          That story is bs and you know it. Your friend is just angry because she doesn’t get a life a leisure marrying her “nice” guy (i.e. sucker). Courts never award pitiful amounts of child support. The business assets he “hid” were probably from before the marriage, that’s why they were shielded. Poor golddigger.

          There’s no reason a guy should be a slave just because he was married for a few years (probably of misery or he wouldn’t have left) Men don’t just leave for younger women. They leave because they are mistreated and then if they are attractive, younger women go after them.

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

          Jeez, that story sent a chill up my spine. The fact that you saw it first hand and that it’s not propaganda on some MRA site tells the true story.
          Also, there is absolutely no doubt that your generation views commitment through the lens of their own experiences. Vincent, who made the statement Meg objected to, has shared that his mother treated his father terribly in a divorce. How could a young man NOT be affected by that?

      • Höllenhund

        There is a big difference, Meg.

        Women HAD to get married in the patriarchy whether they liked it or not because their family and society expected them to do so and there was no other way for them to secure financial security through extracting resources from a man. Let’s not pretend that women in those times were willing to get married (even though they saw repulsive male behaviour around themselves) because they were morally robust, had empathy with the male sex and all-around good people.

        However, neither men nor women are in the same way expected to get married these days. Which is why fewer and fewer people are signing up for it.

      • Vincent Ignatius

        Convenient excuse? Try damn good reason. If we’ve seen that monogamous marriage leads to ruined lives, why wouldn’t we avoid it?

        • Anonymous

          I’m not objecting to the fact that if you saw a bad outcome from marriage, that you would avoid it. I’m simply trying to point out the fact that women aren’t the only ones who treat people badly. Yes, in recent years things have swung in their favor, sometimes to the detriment of men’s wellbeing. But to just forget the years and years before when things went the opposite way, when there were no alternatives for women, leaves out a pretty important piece of the puzzle. People, even women, aren’t born to be cruel opportunists. I can see why watching a bad divorce would make a person think that, but to say you doubt whether some women are even capable of empathy towards men is really extreme and, dare I say it, playing the victim card.

          And Escarondito, it is sad to see situations that started out with some kind of love end up that badly. But you’re assuming a lot here. That she doesn’t make more money than the husband, that he wasn’t at fault for the divorce, that she and her new boyfriend live in the ex’s house, that the kids aren’t spoiled brats because of him… You’re creating emotional details so that using a piece of anecdotal evidence carries more weight.

          Hollenhund, you have a point. Women had to marry. I should have said that women didn’t stop participating in loving relationships with men because they knew what the possible bad outcomes were. And that may be biology, but it’s at least an argument against the notion that women have no empathy and are to blame for every terrible thing that has ever happened to a man ever.

        • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

          I’m guessing this si snow but for some reason it says anonymous. True. Those details reflect what scares me about marriage. And that’s why i should probably marry some Beta female and live on easy street. Naw fuck that I’ll go for the challenege of taming the alpha chick.

        • Meg

          Sorry, that was me. I don’t know what happened there.

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

          Haha, glad to hear it. I have no doubt that you can try and succeed.

        • Snowdrop111

          No, I do not post anonymously on a board where I already have an identity. I know Susan wouldn’t think much of a person who did that on her blog, and I stand by what I say on this blog.

    • Aldonza

      A reformed slut is an oxymoron. Once a slut, forever ruined. These girls will never find a good man. If they can’t bear to settle for a lesser beta, I recommend they learn to love cats.
      .
      LMAO! I have among my friends a few, as you would call them, “reformed sluts”. Two are happily married for more than a decade with children, the third is in a long-term relationship with a good man and engaged. The trick was none of those women were at all bitter about their experiences.
      .
      The women I know who had to learn to love cats were the ones who weren’t even able to attract men for hookups. And even most of them eventually married, including the overweight girl with the walleye.

      • Vincent Ignatius

        I’ll bet every single one of those men is a beta. It’s impossible to be a good man and support a woman who doesn’t deserve it.

        • Aldonza

          You don’t know those men, but I know you *want* them to be beta. One is a fairly traditional Italian male who owns his own successful construction company. Another is a tall, attractive, former Marine who is a police officer. The third is a litigation attorney. All of these men are very confident and have always had women chasing them. Beta? If so, I’ll take it.

        • Vincent Ignatius

          I know you want these men to be alpha, but unless they’re the exception to the rule, I doubt it. I have never seen an alpha male married to a former slut. A girl that got pumped and dumped once or twice in college is still okay, but a true slut, nope, never.

        • Passer_By

          “I have never seen an alpha male married to a former slut. ”

          These kind of statements are silly – you will simply define the guy as not alpha by virtue of his being in that situation, and then, walla, you are proven correct.

          People do all sorts of things, and sometimes people are just compatible regardless of their past. You must be very young.

          Also, given the mixed messages sent to women over the last 30 to 40 years, often women who were “sluts” were simply women with higher sex drives but found out that exercising that sex drive indiscrimately was not fulfilling (despite what all media was telling them). Conversely, many women who were very chaste were simply women who had very low sex drives and weren’t giving up anything by being chaste. They didn’t have sex because they simply didn’t get aroused. I can tell you from personal experience, you are FAR better off being married to a woman with a very high sex drive than one with a very low sex drive. You just have to be sure going in that the former is really into having sex with YOU.

        • Vincent Ignatius

          Alpha is what it is. Stop trying to force a beta into an alpha hole. I’m not saying that an alpha can’t get attached to a slut, just that he won’t commit to her. I find short term relationships with crazy sluts more fulfilling than with more chaste girls.

          You’re assuming the marriage is monogamous. I get bored of having sex with the same girl very quickly so I actually prefer a girl with a lower sex drive so she won’t be as disappointed when I start having sex with her less often.

        • Aldonza

          One of them was a former exotic dancer who, and I quote her exactly, “tried men on like pants.” This was not a college oats sowing. She did date a rank beta once and she chewed him up alive. It was kind of pathetic. She definitely needs a strong hand from her partner in a relationship.
          .
          And how would you be able to tell the “true sluts” from the “occasional pump and dumps in college”? Are they labeled in some helpful way?

        • Vincent Ignatius

          Feminine girls who go through a slut stage are noticeably damaged by it. Masculine girls are not, but their masculine personalities make them unattractive for long-term relationships anyway. In my experience, strippers have very masculine personalities.

        • Aldonza

          I’d be interested in knowing what your definition of “feminine” and “masculine” is, other than “strippers are masculine.”

        • Snowdrop111

          That is absolutely untrue! I’ve posted before about the preacher I knew who met and married a French Canadian woman who had gotten around before she converted to his religious sect. She was so grateful to finally have found a man who treated her in a loving way, and she converted and never ran around again, and from everything I could see they loved each other and it was a wonderful marriage.

          This reminds me of another preacher in the same sect when I was young. The preacher’s wife was a former “firecracker” as they said, and she wore RED LIPSTICK!!!! Both of them told about how she had been a “firecracker” before they got married. In this sect, becoming converted meant you changed your life, and they really believed it…no one held these women’s pasts against them.

          Whether or not a visible religious conversion should be necessary to be believed is another story…but I have seen happy marriages where the wife was a former “firecracker” and openly expressed how thankful she was to have met a loving man and how she didn’t run around any more.

  • http://www.queenofrelationships.com Queenie

    I think we (women) all think we are strong enough to go into a ‘friends with benefits’ or ‘casual sex’ situation, but somewhere in the back of our mind- I think we are all secretly hoping that it will evolve into something more. I’ve been in situations where the sex was casual, I knew it was casual and was okay with it and really was not interested in the dude in a romantic way. Here’s what happened: the more sex we had, the more I got attached…yes, to someone I was not even attracted to emotionally. It’s like the forces of nature pushed me into his direction, regardless of my feelings in the beginning. Are we just wired this way? I mean, there I was…crushing on a dude I thought I would never ever crush on. It blew my mind. I’ve learned that casual sex is hardly casual, it might start out as casual but someone almost always gets burned in the end and it’s usually the woman.

    I love the “16 girls all agreed that “men suck”! lol

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

      Hey Queenie, nice to see you again! Your story is a common one, I think. Blame it on the oxytocin! The truth is, we’re all just a mix of chemicals, and the chemicals in the female brain make sure that we bond with sexual partners. It’s biology, and there’s really no way around it. You can get away with it for a while, but in the end you can’t hide.

    • Aldonza

      I tried FWB just once with a man who I’d dated previously, but decided I liked as more of a friend. Neither one of us were dating other people, both had too much going on to even think about it, it seemed to make sense at the time. Only, instead of me getting attached, he got more attached and I broke off the “benefits” to keep the friend.

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

        Yes, I do hear these stories sometimes. You are one strong woman, Aldonza, and I can imagine a man becoming putty in your hands, lol. That guy probably had more oxytocin flooding his brain than you did!

        • Aldonza

          Who knows about the oxytocin, but he’s still a good friend. FWIW, this guy was alpha all around who dated lots of much younger, very attractive women. Tall, smart, good-looking, made great money…but I broke up with him because he was a little bit too old for me and I couldn’t see him fitting in my life with children. For his part, he loved having an attractive blond in the front-seat of his Mercedes who could also discuss the relative merits of a SAN vs NAS for network storage and was amused when I dared call him “ADD Boy” to his face.

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

          Haha, you sound like the sassy girl that flipped Escarondito into a relationship, even if that’s not what you were going for.

        • Aldonza

          Being sassy (but not crass) is probably as good of a definition of “girl game” as any. I’ve found I’m naturally that way with some men and find it very difficult to be that way with others. And, of course, the ones I’m that way with are much more attracted to me.

  • Anonymous

    I enjoyed your article. You note how men are able to maintain detachment with women while having sex with them. While I think that guys who “treat women as strangers” the next morning is probably on the harsher end of the spectrum, it is nonetheless telling and true.

    My question would be: is that male behavior warranted?

    I am inclined to say yes in many cases it probably is.

    Women are the great discriminators of our species. When the genetic history of humans is examined we find something striking about our lineage. If all men were considered equal we’d expect to see subsequent offspring emerging from nearly 100% of eligible adult males who have ever lived. That is, on average we’d expect to see nearly every male who attained adulthood procreating. Instead what we know is that only 40% of our forefathers had the privilege continuing their lineage with the remaining 60% experienced a genetic dead end. While there are likely many factors that help explain this phenomenon, we cannot rule out that most women are hard wired to prefer and actively seek out a few men. Women have a say in the selection process. Those men who rise to the top, lead, achieve status and enjoy adulation and sexual rewards from women. And I too agree that Women are generally hypergamous irrespective their relationship status. That trait appears to have served our species well.

    Regarding detachment, I have experienced both approaches to women and life: a sincere nice guy and a self serving alpha/player type. Judging from the rewards and indirect encouragement I have received from women (and society) it’s clear that, of the two, the later is preferred. I believe this fosters some detachment.

    Some observations from my experience:

    Ask any guy when he has received more “hits” from women; when he is alone, accompanied by male friends, or with a stunning beauty on his arm. The answer is number three. Conclusion: Women thrive on competition.

    The aloof, indifferent male with competing options will draw more interest and effort from desirable women than the sincere, monogamous, attentive, caring male who will eventually find himself confused and rejected. Conclusion: Women desire the hard-to obtain and are repulsed by an eager, compliant man.

    Former president Clinton is almost universally attractive to women due to his status and social acumen. His appeal lost no luster due to his infamous exploits with women. It’s a non issue, if not adding to his allure. Conclusion: Male promiscuity is not a detraction, often it adds to his appeal.

    Bedding multiple attractive women seems to go hand in hand with men of status. The behavior is rewarded and indirectly encouraged by women and to a slightly lesser degree society. It appears to be one of the many rewards bestowed upon dominant men now and in our past. Conclusion: Promiscuity is the reward of status and a sign of success. It is also a biological imperative hard wired into men. Through most of history the odds have been against us. Therefore we are inclined to act on opportunity when presented with it.

    Despite what they say, women do not seem to want a man who sweeps them off their feet and attends dutifully to their emotional needs. They want a man who leads, protects, achieves and prospers. Men who buy into the Cinderella story regularly have their asses handed to them via divorce, rejection, abandonment or betrayal. Therefore many men will not rest their happiness with any one woman and are therefore marrying at record low rates.

    So back to my original assertion, is the behavior of men who treat women as strangers the next morning warranted? I agree it is cruel.

    If we contend that women have been one of the great discriminators of the furtherance of our species then when she fails to use such discretion she is going against her biological imperative, namely to select only the fittest males. If she’s just giving it out to any schmuck who comes along she is weakening our species. Mistreatment by men and depression may be natures way of reinforcing the standard. I believe men also have a role in selection.

    I will offer you these antidotes which may be supportive of mans role in selection:

    I do not feel disgust for a woman who I pursue, seduce and bed as a result of my bold, confident behavior and who finds my secular and sexual success a worthy challenge. It is often the result of powerful mutual chemistry. The experience is electric…for both of us. One exception to this is found below.

    If I can get her to give it up on a one night stand I will try. I will in all cases lose respect for her is she succumbs. If she is very physically attractive (which is to say reproductively attractive) I may postpone rejection for a short while. This is not the result of a logical conclusion. It’s an involuntary response. And while you may be tempted to shout this revelation from the rooftops as a warning to all women, perhaps it’s best left as it is. I’m likely doing natures bidding. A woman who has a flawed sense of selection does the human race no favors.

    If she holds out too long i will resent her and look for an opportunity to reject her. She’s using sex to manipulate and control thus requiring me to comply. I am weak if I succumb to her ploy.

    I have found peace, satisfaction and contentment in my relationships. That peace comes from understanding that intimate relationships are temporary. Statistics as well as numerous studies of the brain chemistry (male and female)responsible for love, lust and attachment confirm this. I find when I approach it from this view I often retain a lifelong friendship with them. These almost never cross back into the intimate category.

    I recall the way I used to approach relationships – the happily ever after model. It’s no comparison. Neither of us are happy once after it’s shelf life expires. And while all this flies in the face of Victorian era morals it does appear to have merit. I’ve stopped beating myself up over it.

    I suspect a distinction can be made between casual sex and indiscriminate sex. I would like to see women respondents who had casual sex comment on their feelings when the partner was one she desired and found attraction with, vice an unworthy partner who merely scratched a drunken itch. My suspicion is that feelings of regret and depression are less likely, if present at all, in the case where she beds a worthy, desirable man of her choosing.

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

      Hi Anon, lots of good stuff here. Some thoughts:
      1. Is it really true that only 40% of our male ancestors reproduced? I thought it was in the 60-80% range. Do you think the unlucky men 5,000 years ago were bitter and angry about that as men are today? (OK, I know that’s a stupid question, how could you know.) I just wonder whether our society/culture leads us all to expect that we deserve to reproduce.
      2. Escarondito above makes the same point you do about getting positive reinforcement when he acts like a player/jerk instead of a nice guy. He enjoys the success, but is disgusted by the women’s response.
      3. I will agree that women want to earn a man’s affection, and are repulsed by an eager and compliant man. They also respond well to the social proof of seeing a man with other women, as you say. However, I have written about the backlash against male promiscuity. Women are truly disgusted by “man whores” and many will avoid them (though not all, obvs). My own theory is that this reflects our era of rampant STDs.
      4. Based on your obvious understanding of female hypergamy, I wonder why you state that women are not discriminating and put out for any old schmuck. Most male readers would claim that all the women are putting out for the lucky few alphas. I would certainly not call them fit in any real sense, but their social dominance by signal “good genes” to females.
      5. Are you saying that you are a serial monogamist? And I’m wondering your age. If intimate relationships are temporary, aren’t you losing something by anticipating an end? I can’t imagine letting go and fostering real intimacy if I knew I had a certain shelf life. And do you never find that women don’t feel exactly the same way you do when you decide to end it?

    • Aldonza

      If I can get her to give it up on a one night stand I will try. I will in all cases lose respect for her is she succumbs….If she holds out too long i will resent her and look for an opportunity to reject her.
      .
      So, a woman needs to time her sexual submission to your “sweet spot” in order to not be tossed into the “fuck ‘em and chuck ‘em” pile or dismissed as a “cold prude” and left for better sexual prospects?

      • Höllenhund

        I would say this: IF a man is looking for LTR he will put up with a high-value woman holding out IF he believes she is withholding sex from ALL men, EVEN the alphas, NOT just him.

        • Aldonza

          I’d love for someone to explain how the expectation of a sexually-attractive women holding out sex from *all* men but the chosen “one” is different than a woman expecting a high-value man to refrain from sleeping with other women except her as “the one”?

        • Höllenhund

          I would say there isn’t much of a difference.

        • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

          Because biologically the higher value a women the more we expect her to be pure and the higher value the man the more we expect him to spread his seed. No?

        • Höllenhund

          That’s true. However, it is also true that most women fantasize about snagging the alpha, i.e. it is his alphaness (ability to sleep with many women) that secures her attraction but she would prefer his exclusive attention and desire after that attraction has been secured.

        • Anon

          “I’d love for someone to explain how the expectation of a sexually-attractive women holding out sex from *all* men but the chosen “one” . . .”

          I don’t think that’s what he said. I think he said that he could tolerate her holding out from him for a while so long as she hadn’t been taking the opposite approach with other (i.e., more “alpha”) guys (either concurrently or in prior situations). That’s not the same as him expecting to be the miraculous “one” that suddenly unlocked her vault unlike no other, that’s just him not wanting to be a total chump (and, consequently, be the guy she is settling for and likely to cheat on).

        • Höllenhund

          Yup, that’s exactly what I meant.

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

          I find this very reasonable. It stands to reason that men don’t want to be cuckolded, and this is sort of a reverse cuckolding. Denying me while you’re giving it away to everyone else makes me a fool. From everything I’ve read, it seems that men need and want to know they are special – valued and appreciated. They want to be “your man” not part of some stable of ponies.

        • Aldonza

          I would argue that everything you’ve said here applies to women as well.

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

          Yes, but women fear betrayal through emotional intimacy more than physical intimacy, and for men the reverse is true. Obviously, both sexes dread betrayal of either variety, but for men the sexual fidelity is paramount.

        • Jimmy Hendricks

          Hollenhund hit the nail on the head when he said: “I would say this: IF a man is looking for LTR he will put up with a high-value woman holding out IF he believes she is withholding sex from ALL men, EVEN the alphas, NOT just him.”

          I agree 100%.

  • http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/ Hambydammit

    2. So how do we differentiate “evolutionary psychology” — from side effects like “emotional sickness” that come from people’s unconscious adherences to patriarchal ideology? Where the genome project hasn’t yet ventured, how do we differentiate what is “natural” from the stubborn byproducts of prolonged cultural inequalities?

    That’s the $64,000 question, isn’t it? The methodological answer is simpler than its execution.

    Step 1. Discover a scale. Social scientists love scales. If you can invent a scale, your career as a lecturer is set. We need a scale to measure patriarchal underpinnings in a society. I imagine it will look something like Altmeyer’s RWA scale, and will attempt to discover how strongly both men and women in a society feel about “traditional gender roles” and the role of sex in social interaction as well as marriage. It wouldn’t hurt to get objective measures of how important marriage is as a comparison to what people say about it…

    Step 2. Sample at least twenty cultures and rank them on “inherent patriarchy.”

    Step 3. Compare depression rates, number of partners, circumstances of “hooking up,” etc, etc, etc.

    If we see a positive correlation between depression and patriarchy when women hook up frequently, then we’ve discovered a societal construct. If depression rates remain roughly similar from egalitarian to patriarchal, then it’s highly innate.

    Personally, I think in all cultures, males will be less upset about casual sex than females, but I also think there will be a marked decrease in guilt and depression in women as egalitarianism increases. The thing is, it’s never in the “absolute best interest” of a female to have lots of casual sex, but there’s plenty of evidence that limited casual sex is hardwired into the female brain as part of an adaptive strategy when it’s a seller’s market.

    Anecdotally, I’ve known several women from Scandinavian countries, and… well… damn. They were certainly much more aware of their own sexual desires, and more willing to engage in them without social lubricant, than most of the American women I’ve known.

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

      It’s funny you should mention Scandinavian countries, as those have some of the highest rates of depression, alcoholism and suicide in the world. This is often attributed to the long, dark winter – but perhaps casual sex plays a role!

      • http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/ Hambydammit

        HA! Ok… so my tongue is obviously firmly in my cheek, but how about this? It really is due to the long dark winter, and whenever a Scandinavian woman comes to the U.S., all the bright sun brings out the slumbering sexual dynamo that was suffering from vitamin D deficiency.

        Seriously, you bring up a good point. We’d have to find some way to control for the fact that Scandinavian countries do have a lot of depression. And it’s not speculation that the long dark winters are a causal agent. That’s as much medical fact as something could be. After all, men are equally more depressed, too. And it happens in Alaska, which is a very conservative and Christian state.

        So, I guess your next task is to sponsor a year long vacation for a couple hundred Scandinavian single women in the Caribbean. I’ll be happy to accompany them to … ahem… observe and monitor their depression levels. Yeah. That’s what I’ll be doing.

        Yeah.

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

          Oh, I know you could put a smile on 200 faces, assuming you had a couple of months. ;-)

        • http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/ Hambydammit

          Sixty days… Two hundred…
          Yeah. I could do that. Honestly, that would be tough. I’d probably be doing real work by the sixth week. But I’m willing to do it for science. You just let me know when you’re ready to set it up.

    • Aldonza

      Very astute observation. I’d love to see if this “casual sex = depression for women” correlation holds true in, say, Sweden.

  • reformed_tomboy

    “If it feels like crap, you should probably stop doing it.” – I agree with this 100%. If it’s not making you feel good about yourself, why are you doing it?

    As to your questions…

    “Do you think that women are capable of hardening their hearts in this way? Do you agree that women follow this strategy of being the f*cker instead of the f*cked? Do you agree that casual sex as experienced today fulfills the goals of the Sexual Revolution?”

    I think women try to follow the strategy of being the fucker instead of the fucked. Being the fucked hurts more. If you turn it around and say it’s your choice then you’re giving yourself the illusion of power, but is it really a choice you’re making freely or are you doing it because you think you have to? I’ve commented before saying I’ve met all of two women who were capable of a proper no-strings attached thing and both happen to be swedish and bisexual. They know their limits and bail when it gets to be too much. Overall though? No – i don’t think women are capable of walling off their emotions so they can engage in no strings hook-ups.

    I do not think casual sex fulfills the goals of the sexual revolution per say either. Unless the goals were to take all the emotions and love out of it.

    Moving on though…

    “Is it possible that depression in women, and women’s preference for emotional intimacy during sex, reflects a patriarchal culture, and longstanding inequality of the sexes? Is the sexual double standard a social construct or a biological reality?”

    Maybe. It could be a conditioning thing but I also think it’s at least somewhat biological. Women are programmed to be more nuturing it seems so it would make sense if that leads to more of a need biologically for emotional intimacy. I feel the sexual double standard is a bit of both. I don’t think it’s overly one or the other per say – it would be hard to determine exactly, but I feel both are contributing factors. Biologically a man increases his chances by having sex with more women in an attempt to produce off-spring after all.

    “Do you agree that casual sex promotes sociopathic behavior? Are women engaging in this same lack of empathy? What is a reasonable expectation for the morning after?”

    I think the idea that it promotes sociopathic behavior may be a bit of an extreme description, but it could be headed that way. however, in the circumstances where both parties have agreed to no-strings, why would he have to car? He figures it’s all good in the hood as it were.

    I think women may try to engage in the same lack of empathy, but I don’t think they succeed very often. But to be honest – I don’t think men always succeed either. I just think men are more likely to be able to hide it and they’ve been more conditioned not to show that weakness of empathy for longer than women have.

    As for morning after…I dunno, it depends. But common courtesy at the least. However, if you are basically strangers you can’t really ask for more than that I don’t think. Different if you know each other a bit more, but I don’t think you’re relationship dynamic should completely shift when you’ve had a one night stand. (Provided both parties are on the same page.)

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

      Ha, that’s two mentions of Scandinavians! Those Swedish women must be wild! The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo certainly is…
      I really like your observation about the illusion of power. That’s it exactly – women maintaining an illusion that this is just great, when it’s actually more like “Are we having fun yet?”
      You also make a good point about the display of empathy, or any emotion. Of course men are better at controlling their emotional display. Based on what some of the guys are saying about the discomfort or even disgust they feel during casual sex, that’s clear, because women usually assume the guy is indifferent or an asshole. In reality, he may be experiencing the same raft of emotions the woman is.

      • reformed_tomboy

        Oh they are…and so are the guys. But oddly enough if it was the one place I’ve lived where there wasn’t this obvious double standard for girls who slept around and guys who slept around.

        I think women really do spend a lot of time trying to convince themselves they have the upper hand in a relationship and in that situation you’ve already lost. If you trying to fight for power/control of a relationship – you don’t have it. Also – it’s a sign that that particular relationship is not headed anywhere positive anytime fast.

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

          The Principle of Least Interest makes that clear. The person who cares less in a relationship has the most power to control it. If women are rationalizing they not only care more, they know they care more. They have no power at all.
          .
          OK, I can’t resist one comment about Swedish men. The character Eric on True Blood – Alexander Skarsgard? Soooooo hot. In a recent episode, he’s shown naked from just above his genitals. OMG, those inguinal creases! And of course he’s the ultimate bad boy vampire who’s starting to feel human emotion for a woman….if the sexual energy produced at that moment across the U.S. could have been harnessed, it could have powered NYC for at least ten minutes, haha.

  • Snowdrop111

    “If I can get her to give it up on a one night stand I will try. I will in all cases lose respect for her is she succumbs…If she holds out too long i will resent her and look for an opportunity to reject her. She’s using sex to manipulate and control”

    See? Damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

    • Passer_By

      I actually agree with you here. Some men are asking you to thread a needle on this issue that is nearly impossible to thread. There’s seemingly nothing that’s going to make them happy.

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

        Agreed. It’s very, very hard to determine the “sweet spot.” It also varies a lot by guy, so in the end I think a woman has to hold off until she feels comfortable and knows what she wants. If that doesn’t fit his timetable, so be it. F*ck It Drive On.

        • Snowdrop111

          I agree.

    • R.B.

      I had a boyfriend that was the exact embodiment of this problem. He would CONSTANTLY pressure me to do things sexually, telling me if I loved him I’d do it for him, and he’d accuse me of wanting to do these things with other men and not him. When I finally gave in, he’d get mad, and say “Why’d you let me go that far on date number whatever? You’re easy. I wish you could be more like female friend so-and-so, who has only gone to 2nd base” (this relationship was in high school). While he was obviously abusive, I’ve encountered this problem elsewhere too. If you have sex right away, you lose respect. If you make him wait, he either loses interest, or resents you for making him wait when you’ve already had sex before. What on earth are you supposed to do?

      As for the article as a whole, I agree that casual sex is not in a woman’s best interest. But while I am only starting out college, I am supposedly already “ruined,” right? I recognize and realize that sex with people that don’t care about me makes me upset, is an indicator of my low self-esteem, and I STOPPED. It made me feel like crap, so I stopped.

      I refuse to believe that I have to “settle” for a lesser man because of this. I think the so-called Alpha man is a bit of a myth. I don’t want an “Alpha” player that gets lots of women, but also basically hates women and calls them “sluts” for hooking up with him. All of these bloggers that consider themselves “Alphas” are the true losers to me. Sure, there’s a stereotype that all women want to “tame that cad,” but my dream man is respectful and kind, is not extremely paranoid and distrustful based on the fact that I have had sex before, and would not judge me for my past (but I don’t deserve that, do I?).

      I consider any man that thinks of women as “damaged goods” after some magical number of sexual partners is lesser than a so-called “Beta,” and I would run far, far away. That is sick to me. Reminds me of my abusive ex-boyfriend, that was one of his favorite expressions.

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

        Hi R.B., welcome, and thanks for leaving a comment. I just want to assure you that you are in no way damaged goods, and don’t need to feel the least bit defensive about that. (Tho I understand why you find the concept objectionable). No one expects you to make zero mistakes. You were with someone you cared for and he took advantage of you. You learned something very important from that – at 18/19 you’re way ahead of the game. You’ve been with a cad, and now you want a kind and loving guy. They’re out there, and you don’t owe anyone an explanation if you don’t want to give one. Honestly, the women I worry about are the ones figuring this out in their mid-30s.

      • Snowdrop111

        Oh I so agree with you R.B. An abusive guy is going to be abusive no matter what. Here’s what happened to me (I’ll try to be brief) I was raised in an extremely strict sect. I was a virgin till I was 32. I left that sect and was in graduate school with so-called “normal” guys I thought. I decided it was high time I was “normal” and had had a decent number of dates with this guy and was prepared with birth control. Because I was prepared with birth control, the guy, who I didn’t think was religious, went nuts and immediately turned into a jealous maniac. He had been raised Catholic and had that virgin/whore thing in the back of his mind. Sorry, it’s not only Catholics who have that. Some Catholics do, and some other guys do too. He became jealous and abusive, accusing me of looking at other guys when I absolutely was not. Before long he was demanding to listen to my answering machine and getting upset if a classmate (female even) called for the homework assignment. My conclusion: if a guy has a screw loose around this stuff, even being a virgin isn’t good enough for them.

    • Anon

      Sounds about right. You’re either an easy slut and therefore not relationship material…or a withholding bitch and therefore not relationship material.

      • Anon

        It’s a completely messed up way of thinking. Total damned-if-you-do-and-damned-if-you-don’t scenario.

        • PJay

          I love hot, sexual women. I was in a few relationships in the past that lasted for many years that sprung out of first dates where we ended up sleeping together.

          One of those girls was far warmer and sweeter than many of the girls I dated subsequently who themselves “held out” for sex.

          I think a lot of this back and forth is cultural, and frankly, very gynocentric. If women want to go back to the way things were, you’re going to have to unring a lot of bells, and that ain’t gonna happen.

          If women want the freedom to do whatever they want without legal or cultural restraints (welcome to American feminism), they’ll have to take the good with the bad.

        • vera44

          I just want to know why I have to play by rules that weren’t decided by myself? I didn’t choose the sexual revolution, feminism, or to be born in this fucked-up time. I don’t want to take “the good with the bad.” Fuck that. The good isn’t that great, and the bad is terrible. It’s not my problem there’s a bunch of girls out there ruining things for me (and themselves) by having sex with everything that moves. Therefore, I make my own rules. If someone doesn’t want to play by my rules, they can take their toys and go home.

          No one would believe me, but no guys that I liked enough to tell that I’m remaining a virgin until marriage has left me in disgust. Most were intrigued that I had enough self-esteem to value myself enough to be firm in that stance. All respected my beliefs. One may have stuck around to game me into bed, but he had other problems that ended things before we were intimate (it wasn’t about the lack of sex). He still calls/texts/emails once a week trying to be friends with me although we didn’t work out. Unfortunately, I have enough friends and I definitely don’t need to be friends with someone like him.

          Girls, I’m telling you, it is possible that YOU ARE ENOUGH to keep a guy around. Work on your personality instead of your p*ssy. You don’t have to have sex with them when you don’t want to as a kind of exchange to keep their interest. This is coming from someone in NYC as well — it’s not like I’m in some small town in the midwest.

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

          It’s not my problem there’s a bunch of girls out there ruining things for me (and themselves) by having sex with everything that moves. Therefore, I make my own rules. If someone doesn’t want to play by my rules, they can take their toys and go home.

          This is what a woman as gatekeeper looks like. I love this “field report” because you’re objective about the sexual marketplace, and you’ve crafted a strategy that is keeping you sane and is effective. No self-esteem or depression issue here!

        • Aldonza

          Girls, I’m telling you, it is possible that YOU ARE ENOUGH to keep a guy around.

          Well, I know from discussions with my male friends that a lot of young women really *aren’t* much fun to be around out of bed. Their discussion capabilities seem limited to this weeks’ People magazine articles on Brad/Angeline/Jen and/or their latest trip to the outlet stores. If all you’ve got going on is a fake tan, french manicure and some really nice highlights, that isn’t going to make up for not being interested in anything outside of pop culture. Even the sweet girls like this can make me want to dig my eyes out with a spork after spending an evening chatting with them. And I *like* shoe shopping!

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

          Haha, I didn’t know sporks were still in use! I think not very bright guys like not very bright women. You do see some smart men with bimbos, in which case that takes two idiots off the market – everyone benefits.

        • vera44

          :) sporks. Always makes me think of taco bell, i think they’re the only ones that still consistently use them.

          Yes, a lot of girls are boring. Which is why I said to work on your personality, not your p*ssy.
          But to be fair, a lot of guys are boring too. I’ve heard really dumb convos about Kobe’s ball playing stats vs. LeBron’s or which girl they’re sleeping with & whether she’s hot or what the latest nike shoe release is. Sorry, that is exactly the same as celebrity gossip & shopping trips.

        • vera44

          But I agree with you — because girls want more of a long-term thing with the kind of high-quality guy who will stick around, they have to bring more to the table than just good looks. Boring guys don’t necessarily have this burden because if they’re only after sex, girls won’t find out how dumb/boring they are (or maybe even care) with a one-night stand.

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

          Personally, I think the key question is whether these convos are had in mixed company. Guys are going to talk sports, and that’s great – it’s the way they bond. My daughter and I will dish over celebrity gossip sometimes – it’s harmless. Heck, the only thing I like about going to the dentist is reading People in the waiting room. However, thinking a man cares about Lindsay Lohan’s love life, or your thing for RPatz is selfish. Ditto for a guy who talks to his guys at length when you’re present without any thought of including you.

  • Anonymous

    “If you have sex right away, you lose respect. If you make him wait, he either loses interest, or resents you for making him wait when you’ve already had sex before. What on earth are you supposed to do? ”

    It’s really not hard. Only do a O.N.S. if you don’t care about seeing him again. He will think you are too easy and thereby less valuable. As far as my comment about waiting, I was referring to a woman who will impose an artificial ceiling on intimacy – as in many months. That is when sex becomes a tool. A device for extracting something you want. i.e manipulation.

    As far as “damaged goods” bit, if you are giving it out indiscriminately then yes you are. You will likely cheat sometime down the road in the relationship so best not invest too much. Otherwise chill out. Stop playing the victim card.

    “I think the so-called Alpha man is a bit of a myth. I don’t want an “Alpha” player that gets lots of women, but also basically hates women and calls them “sluts” for hooking up with him. All of these bloggers that consider themselves “Alphas” are the true losers to me.”

    I have to agree. It seems many bloggers think status and achievement can be mimicked with essentially a bad attitude and call it “Alpha”. The thing about leadership, success assertiveness and confidence is that it comes naturally to only a few. And it is those few, essentially the top 10-25% who can pull it off. If someone becomes real good at emulating it to others they will probably experience greater power and influence in other areas of their life. They may just find themselves in the upper, rewarded tier. That said, most women are not put off by a man successful with women. More so the prettier.

    Look, statistically there is an ~80% chance that infidelity will occur with at least one of the partners in marriage. (The Monogamy Myth). It is only slightly more prevalent with men. Whoever causes it, if the marriage ends the guy is screwed screwed screwed. The consequences for a woman, should she decide to run off with the pool boy are a steady income, custody of the kids, a cut of his retirement and probably the house.

    If I could say anything to the ladies here… respectfully. Women are the best and harshest players of the game. You ladies have the capacity to rationalize a lot of scandalous behavior in your own right. If you sense a shift in how men treat you consider maybe some of that has been brought about in response to this. I know many many men whose good fortune enabled their woman to enjoy their dream of raising kids, entertaining and homemaking. When the relationship grew stale these men have found themselves removed from their house, restraining order (which has become standard procedure in the divorce industry), loss or limited access to their children, financially raped with excessive alimony and child support, paying for the house, the car loans etc. They have gone from being successful to essentially living like a college kid again – no money, crappy car, and alienated. The justifications are endless: “he stopped being romantic, he doesn’t meet me on an emotional level, blah blah blah”.

    Even when dating, girls frequently keep a few irons in the fire. I’d be so bold as to say, for the most part, you ladies are only able to consistently commit to you emotions. Should he satiate them things may go well. Should he fall into disfavor hell breaketh loose. Again, not to be too disrespectful here, but honestly you have to be an insecure chump to marry a girl these days. You’d be asking to see your head on a platter some day.

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

      As much as I hate to agree with this, I currently have two close male friends whose wives have left them without warning, apparently because they got bored. Both have some tawdry thing going on the side. These women are being harshly criticized by everyone – friends and family, and they don’t care. They are determined to take their “chance to be happy.” Part of this is undoubtedly female nature, but part of it is also cultural conditioning, I think. We just don’t want to settle for less than perfect. A 45 year-old woman will cheat on her devoted, loving partner because he doesn’t make her tingle any more. It’s pure narcissism, especially when there are kids.

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

        P.S. I am still a big believer in marriage, though I do think men need to choose carefully and wisely. The benefits of marriage are considerable, when it works.

        • PJay

          The benefits of marriage to women are considerable.

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

          Marriage benefits men in the following ways:

          Increased financial resources (now more than ever)
          Increased longevity
          Increased sense of purpose in life, promoting healthy behaviors over risky ones
          Increased sense of obligation to others, healthier relationships
          More (twice as much) and better sex than single or divorced men

          http://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/10/us/studies-find-big-benefits-in-marriage.html

          http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/benefits_of_marriage_and_commitment/index.php

          If your point is that the benefits to women during divorce are considerable, that’s another question.

        • Höllenhund

          “Increased longevity”

          An MRA – I forgot if it was Novaseeker or TFH or whoever – once posted a counter-argument to this that I find compelling: divorced men are counted as single men in these statistics and their very high rate of suicide and illness decreases the average life expectancy of “single men”. It is basically a clever statistical distortion designed to promote marriage.

          We should also look at cohabiting men. Do they have a shorter life expectancy than married men?

          “Increased financial resources (now more than ever)”

          I’m sure this only works in so-called “consumption marriages” (that Novaseeker has written about before) where neither spouse has an incentive to divorce. More than 40% of all marriages end in divorce, more than 70% are initiated by wives, and the husbands are routinely ass-raped in divorce court afterwards. I don’t see how marriage would provide “increased financial resources” to the average man.

          “Increased sense of purpose in life, promoting healthy behaviors over risky ones”

          Slaving away for your family essentially as a “beast of burden” hardly constitutes a healthy lifestyle, Ms. Walsh. We all know many dutiful beta provider husbands overwork themselves.

          “Increased sense of obligation to others”

          What is so great about that? It just makes one ripe for exploitation.

          “More (twice as much) and better sex than single or divorced men”

          You forgot to mention that the present-day American wife is in no way required to consider his husband’s sexual needs.

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

          From Rand: http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB5018/index1.html

          In addition, the evidence indicates that although marital status has an effect on mortality, the determining factors underlying this effect are not always clear. In the case of older divorced men, being outside of marriage leads to poorer health and also to shorter life. Other unmarried men, however, have higher mortality rates despite the fact that their general health levels are no worse than those of married men. Therefore, while the relatively good health of married men offers a partial explanation for their increased longevity, additional determining factors have yet to be found.

          So the finding is clear, but the reasons are not.

          From the Times link:

          In terms of money, Waite’s research found that married couples were generally more financially well off than couples who simply lived together, because they were much more likely to pool money and invest in the future than were couples who merely cohabitated.
          .
          Increased material well being, she argued, trickles down into investments in better medical care, safer surroundings, better food and other things that raise the standard of living and reduce stress.
          .
          Throughout three days of paper presentations, at least a half dozen demographers of family structure made strong arguments against cohabitation, offering research showing that those who live together before marriage have higher divorce rates, are more likely to be incompatible and sexually disloyal and are generally less happy than married couples. People who live together without marriage focus too much on their individual careers to care about another very much, said onedemographer; others argued that such people are not necessarily committed to a relationship for the long haul.

          .
          With 22% of wives now earning more than their husbands in the U.S, there is real financial benefit to husbands throughout socioeconomic strata. One breadwinner marriages are no longer the norm. Most marriages have two beasts of burden, with the women assuming a disproportionate share of housework and child care in addition. Both parties work very hard, and this is stressful, no question.
          .
          Studies show that married men earn 22% more than their single colleagues, and are promoted more quickly (2005, U.S. Navy study).
          .
          It’s true that the divorce rate is 40%, but as I said above, the divorce rate for college educated couples married ten years is only 17% – those are the consumption marriages, and there’s no question they are more likely to survive.
          .
          I agree that the divorce laws in the U.S. are often financially ruinous for men, and I support overhaul of that legislation, though that is very unlikely. Obviously, marriage is beneficial only if it lasts, and divorce is harmful. I don’t dispute that.
          .
          When I spoke of an increased sense of obligation to others leading to healthy behaviors, I was thinking of the following:
          Care in times of illness
          Better nutrition
          Home environment with a partner reduces stress
          Moderate consumption of alcohol
          A Norwegian study showed that men who have never been married have a 16% higher mortality rates from assorted cancers.
          .
          It’s true that American women are not forced to satisfy their husband’s sexual needs, but the largest study demonstrated that in all 38 countries surveyed married men have more sex than single men. So the numbers for the U.S. must factor in the unwilling wives. Of course, the George Clooneys of the world have no worries regardless of marital status.
          .
          In short, marriage confers significant advantages when it works. It can be highly detrimental when it doesn’t. It seems to me that those willing to risk it must be extremely careful in their choice of a mate. Remember, I was responding to PJ, who implied that there are no benefits to marriage for men. That statement is proved false.

        • PJay

          These are all studies that point to “benefits” (and given this is social science, I use that word loosely), while completely ignoring the risks.

          Divorced men have more physical health problems, more severe financial problems, and a greatly elevated risk for suicide, depression and mental illness than married, single or divorced women or married or single men.

          Men in bad marriages also have a heightened risk of mental and physical health problems.

          Currently about 52% of marriages end in divorce or separation.

          By ignoring the downside risk to men of bad marriages and divorce overall, you paint a false picture of “benefits” to men.

          There’s no net information in those studies that captures the risk + benefit equation of marriage to men.

          I could probably write a scientific paper about the benefits of motorcycle riding, but if I ignored the risk of paralysis, head trauma, spinal cord injury and death in my paper, I’d be painting an unrealistically positive picture of a behavior by utterly ignoring the downside.

          That is exactly what is going on in the studies you cited above.

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

          PJay, the current divorce rate is 40%, having been steadily declining since 1980. For college educated couples in the U.S., it’s 17%. Since virtually my entire readership is in that group, I have a more positive view of the odds than you do. Please reference my reply to Hollenhund for more detail. The studies in question are not funded by pro-marriage organizations. Several do try to determine cause among various factors for men who are married, divorced and never-married, as well as men cohabitating. With the marriage rate declining rapidly in the U.S., it will take some time before all of the data is known.
          .
          What is beneficial and healthy is a successful marriage. I do not dispute that failed marriages are disastrous, especially for men who are guilty of nothing more than having become “boring.” As for the percentage of divorces initiated by women (70%), even that is a complicated statistic. It ignores why people initiate divorce. The wife who gets cheated on or abused is more likely to initiate divorce than her husband, obviously. Also, studies show that divorce is primarily instigated by the party that has the least to lose financially. With that being men nearly always, in marriages where both parties are unhappy, the woman is more likely to want to dissolve the marriage, as there is often a smaller financial disincentive to her. If the laws were more equitable, we would undoubtedly see a shift in who initiates divorce. This is not an argument in favor of marriage, just trying to clarify that point.

        • PJay

          From http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/divorce.htm

          * Number of marriages: 2,162,000
          * Marriage rate: 7.1 per 1,000 total population
          * Divorce rate: 3.5 per 1,000 population (44 reporting States and D.C.)

          3.5/7.1 = 0.49 . This does not include separation incidence/prevalence.

          For a real, data-supported analysis of divorce and it’s drivers (especially among women) see ‘These Boots are Made for Walking’: Why Most Divorce Filers are Women

          http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=713110

          Most women initiate divorce because they know they will get the kids, house, child support, etc.. There is no data to support that women initiate divorce because of abuse by men. The proof of the former is the reality that divorce rates plummet in states when joint custody legislation is enacted, all other factors being equal.

          Women do not have a “smaller financial disincentive” they have a larger financial incentive.

          At least as of 2002, 7.8 million Americans paid about $40 billion in child and/or spousal support. 84% of the payers were male, so women received about $40 billion from men in that year. By law, child support is tax free to the recipient, with the taxes being paid on that money by the obligor, so in a very real sense, the true value of that support paid is likely in excess of $40 billion.

          Certainly sounds different than a “small financial disincentive”! ;)

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

          OK PJay I don’t want to get into a pissing match here – we’re not going to agree on whether marriage is a good or bad thing. My marriage is a good thing. The 17% rate I cited applies specifically to college educated couples at the 10 year mark, as I said.
          .
          I did try to read the paper you mentioned but it seems from a Google search (your link is just the abstract) that it’s not universally accepted. In any case, it makes no sense to speak of all women with a broad brush. Some women will stay for the long haul, with or without children, some will bail. Again, this varies a lot according to education level and socioeconomic factors.
          .
          I agree that child support laws are discriminatory toward men. I would like to see a system where women are held accountable for spending the money on the children, for starters. I hope it’s true that some women, perhaps even the majority, do spend the money on their children, and not on themselves or their new boyfriends. But nothing would surprise me.
          .
          Re the financial disincentive, I was referring to the fact that child support aside, divorce makes both parties poorer. Indeed, one of the reasons that marriage is considered beneficial for men is the pooling of resources improves quality of life. One house instead of two, for example.

        • PJay

          OK – truce.

          Let me just say someone who’s been riding their motorcycle for 10 years may also have a 17% injury rate.

          And that rate has absolutely nothing at all to do with the injury rate of motorcycle riders in general.

          Women’s groups have fought hard and succeeded to prevent any accountability regarding how child support is spent.

          And progress? At least in some states, divorcing wives will no longer be able to claim pension benefits from the ex-spouse they tried murdering (or succeeded in murdering) using contract killers:

          http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jn-IllEbR8XZuF3efEm1jqokuvmQD9GB2TIG0

          I think we both agree that we still have a long way to go in educating young men about the realities of marriage….it’s the content of that lesson that is in dispute.

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

          I do agree with that. I have seen men I care for treated abominably by women, and I hope that my son will be exceedingly careful in this regard. He’s a sweet, sensitive, thoughtful kid – yeah, pure beta. I worry about him winning over some woman with his smarts and good looks, only to discover in time that she’s bored or tempted by some hooligan.

        • Höllenhund

          “I do agree with that. I have seen men I care for treated abominably by women, and I hope that my son will be exceedingly careful in this regard. He’s a sweet, sensitive, thoughtful kid – yeah, pure beta. I worry about him winning over some woman with his smarts and good looks, only to discover in time that she’s bored or tempted by some hooligan.”

          Just make sure he learns Game, Ms. Walsh. Shouldn’t be too difficult if he is indeed thoughtful.

      • Snowdrop111

        Are either of them bipolar? This is one way that condition can manifest.

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

          Really? I didn’t know that. I’m not aware that either of them are, but I’m sure there are probably plenty of undiagnosed people walking around, if there symptoms are not too bad.

        • Passer_By

          Would you ask that question if they were men? Is it that hard to believe that, given the right incentives, some women simply do selfish or rash things?

  • R.B.

    Okay Anonymous, I read over my comment and it does come across as playing the victim card. I’ll “chill out,” it’s just the abusive ex makes me a little defensive. Sorry for blaming him too, but otherwise I wouldn’t have been as worked up as I was. I do think you had a well-crafted response and it was not offensive at all, and thanks for being respectful (but not sure if that was a hint of sarcasm).

    You say it’s simple, I just shouldn’t have one night stands. I guess I should’ve also clarified that I’m really not “handing sex out indiscriminately” and I don’t have one night stands. I’m not saying that’s a hard thing to do. I meant that it was just hard to figure out what the magic number of weeks, months, years I’m supposed to wait. It varies by man, I suppose.

    I also realize no one is forcing me to go after the guys I talked about in my comment (the ones that feel entitled to something other than “damaged goods”) and that I can’t force anyone to be attracted to me.

  • laura

    R.B we have a lot in common – around the same age, both in college, abusive ex bf (first and only).

    You said it’s “hard to figure out what the magic number of weeks, months, years I’m supposed to wait”. There obviously is no magic number and i like what Susan said, that it is ultimately up to you, when you’ve figured out what you want and when you feel comfortable…

    I haven’t slept with any guys since my ex and i broke up, about a year ago (although i did hookup with a few guys right after the breakup ie. makeout with them, i quickly stopped that behavior after stumbling across HUS- thanks susan!) but something that i read in Steve Harvey’s book (“Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”) really made sense to me and might help you as well.

    I lent the book to a friend, so i can’t remember exactly how he phrased it but basically he said that with jobs, employee’s don’t get a benefits package right away, there’s usually a trial period where employees have to show that they deserve access to the benefits. He applied this same theory to relationships as well, that a guy needs to prove to you that he has the characteristics you are looking for that would earn him rights to sexual benefits from you. I wish i could remember the exact timeline he gave, but i believe it was either 60 or 90 days (he was just strictly just talking about PIV sex here).

    I’m not trying to say that relationships are a job and that men need to work to gain access to sex – but IMO you need to get to know a guy first, to see if he demonstrates qualities that you would like in a partner, and to find out if he is willing to invest in you so that you in turn invest yourself as well.

    R.B I know you wanted a magic number, so maybe you can use Harvey’s analogy as a rough guideline to maybe help you decide when you feel is the right time…

    Guys: when dating a girl, are you willing to wait 2-3 months for sex, or is that too long?

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

      Hey Laura, welcome back! Feminists really hated that Steve Harvey book but I loved it. He said “you gotta make them work for the cookie” haha. I saw him on a talk show and he was asked why a comedian would write this book. He said that one day his daughter was getting ready to go out, and her boyfriend was waiting in the living room. SH asked him what his intentions were, basically. The guy said, “For now, we’re just kickin’ it.” This really upset SH, and when his daughter learned this, she dumped the guy. SH decided that women really needed to hear it straight re what men are after.
      .
      A commenter once made a suggestion that stayed with me:
      He said instead of saying, it’s 60 days or 90 days, decide and communicate that you are going to have sex with him when you feel like you know him well. Most men understand that women prefer sex with intimacy, so they’ll accept this. It’s then up to them to become a man you feel like you know well. It motivates them. If they won’t do the work, then you know what they were after all along. I really like this advice.

    • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

      I did with one girl but never again. Not because I don’t respect her wait time. But I like sex. I enjoy sex. i want to have sex. If your going to make me wait that long, and we are clearly cool with each other, I don’t know what you’re trying to get out of me but I can tell it’s not an equal understanding relationship. 2-3 ,onths is a long time to not persue another person when sexual needs aren’t met.

      And I say that because of this. If you like to stay in alot of fridays and watch a movie, I’ll watch a movie with you. If I like to wake up saturday morning and have sex, you won’t because your making me wait two months? We were just intimate as shit canoodling on the couch last night to “Valentine’s day”, which was terrible but I beared it, but we aren’t intimate enough for sex yet after a month? Naw son. We’re just not working out. i feel used fo rmy intimacy. Peace.

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

        Oh, that’s hilarious. A guy being used for his intimacy! How many rom coms have guys had to sit through, only to learn that it’s going no further than spooning?

    • Aldonza

      I think a good guy will tip his hand before 90 days and so will a guy who is playing you.
      .
      Simple rules: If you have sex too soon and he judges you a slut…to hell with him. If you wait to have sex and he walks…to hell with him.

      • Snowdrop111

        100 percent agreed.

      • Anon

        Agreed.

  • Aldonza

    I agree that the double standard is rooted in biology, and for that reason will never go away.
    .
    We’ve done away with other double-standards that were rooted in biology. Why is this one sacred?

    • Snowdrop111

      I think, if I may venture a guess, because many women’s hearts are still getting hurt by casual sex.

      Things will be equal when women really truly stop getting emotionally hurt and/or the emotionally steeling themselves that they are trying to do now, actually works.

      The gist of the article seemed to be that steeling themselves isn’t really working.

      As much cheerleading as Jezebel did back in the day, and as much as shaming is against the rules there, they do post quite a bit individually “Casual sex isn’t for me…I can’t handle it emotionally.”

      • Aldonza

        I think that’s the “sweet spot” for women today. I don’t believe casual sex is really the enemy. Using sex to try to get relationships from men who just want sex is the problem. That’s why I made the point about one-night stands. A girl who goes to a club looking for sex and not expecting anything more is probably a lot better off emotionally than one who waits X number of dates with a guy she really likes and then is devastated when he forgets her name the next day. Strangely enough, we judge club girl a lot more harshly than we do relationship girl.

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

      When I say rooted in biology, I mean that we don’t really have much of a choice in the matter. That’s what we’ve learned in the last 40 years. No matter how good women feel about having sex with a variety of men, the truth is that men consistently state their preference for a mate less sexually experienced than themselves. Men are hard-wired to guard carefully against raising another man’s child – jealousy as an emotion is thought to have evolved from this need. And studies show that men experience jealousy more quickly and intensely than women do. In the year and a half that I’ve been blogging, I have never heard a single man say he doesn’t care whether a woman has had sex with many different men. In fact, many have cited a maximum number of previous partners that would take me right out of the running. That surprised me, but I don’t doubt that is a real and strong feeling for most men.

  • Höllenhund

    “We’ve done away with other double-standards that were rooted in biology.”

    Which ones?

    • Aldonza

      How about the one that says that only women can be primary caregivers of children? That is clearly rooted in biology. Or that women are not suited to certain professions. Or even that they can be educated at all, as some cultures have believed.
      .
      A lot of cultural habits have been ascribed to “biology”. I don’t deny a lot of evo-psych makes sense, but humans are pesky animals when it comes to purely instinctive behavior, what with higher brain functions and all.

      • PJay

        “How about the one that says that only women can be primary caregivers of children? ”

        Custody awards in divorce have not changed in about 4 decades. This is not at all a double standard which has been discarded, in fact feminist groups continue to fight to aggressively maintain legal and financial barriers to allowing divorced or never married fathers to be primary caregivers of their children.

      • Höllenhund

        Call me a patriarchal asshole if you want, but I agree with the idea that women are, on average, better at nurturing children than men, and for that reason they should be the primary caregivers of children. That doesn’t mean ONLY women can fill that role though. And this is rooted in biology.

        And women, on average, certainly can’t fill certain professions as well as men, on average, can (mining, soldiering, firefighting etc.). This is also rooted in biology.

        • PJay

          Let’s just hope you never get married, have children, then get divorced. Your kids will grow up without a father, which other folks think is just fine and “rooted in biology”, as well, whatever that means.

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

          I hope that folks don’t think it is just fine for a child to grow up without a father. That is certainly not rooted in biology, as women select based in part on whether a man is likely to stick around and co-parent.

        • PJay

          Apparently a good number of folks do believe fathers are unnecessary…

          http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/are-fathers-necessary/8136/

          Bear witness to the new Lesbian World Order!!! ;)

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

          What a horrible article! I am thoroughly disgusted. Way to drum up support for female gay marriage at the expense of men just after Father’s Day. How ironic that this should follow their End of Men piece. The commenters know what’s up.

        • Höllenhund

          What is your point? That the gynocentric feminist system basically attacks the few sexual double standards that benefit men while protecting the more numerous double standards that benefit women? Color me shocked.

          BTW I hate the phrase “double standards”. There are no such standards in sex relations. Men and women will always be held to DIFFERENT standards because they are DIFFERENT.

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

        I think the double standard that women make better caregivers for children is very much alive and well. That is not to say that men cannot do it well, but very few men choose to do so. Walk into any preschool or elementary school in America for proof of that. In addition, I have never witnessed a family, with both parents working full-time, where the children did not gravitate naturally to the mother to have their immediate needs met. This would obviously be different in Mr. Mom situations, but I’ve only ever met one of those.
        .
        Biology does indeed dictate that women are not suited to certain professions, in part because they aren’t interested, as in the example above. There’s also the real difference in physical strength. You don’t see women working in the mines, as was said on another thread, or getting blown up on oil rigs, for example.
        .
        It’s true that many cultural norms are ascribed to biology, but that’s just error. Those are the double standards that will not stand the test of time, i.e. educating women. The ones that are rooted in biology may change over time, but we’ll all be long gone by then.

  • Anonymous

    Back to your questions Susan:

    1) Regarding only the 40% of our male ancestors accessing women and reproducing:

    ” Citing recent DNA research, Dr. Baumeister explained that today’s human population is descended from twice as many women as men. Maybe 80 percent of women reproduced, whereas only 40 percent of men did. http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/08/20/is-there-anything-good-about-men-and-other-tricky-questions/

    In former times civilization was much less democratic. Societies often had a upper ruling class that hoarded females and an underling class that provided menial work. Conquerors enjoyed reproductive privileges, the conquered died unfulfilled. That’s a very rough overview but imagine for a moment the natural screening process. The successful, risk taking, promiscuous males hoarded all the females. Unsuccessful, compliant, ***monogamous*** submissive males were bred out. Fascinating implications.

    The female influence to selection is less clear but it is certain females are inclined to reward the successful male, likely stemming from the chances of her offspring succeeding to adulthood without an untimely end from falling into the “conquered” category.

    2. Based on your obvious understanding of female hypergamy, I wonder why you state that women are not discriminating and put out for any old schmuck.

    Actually I don’t think this is the case at all. Most females exercise discretion and a selection sense. When they DO NOT , i.e. acting the slut, they are typically punished for dereliction of duty. This punishment, BTW comes from females just as readily, if not more so than from males. In fact females feel much more threatened by the indiscriminate slut than a man does. A slut reduces the value of a high value female by offering a similar product at a much cheaper price. ( hate reducing it to those terms but you get what i mean)

    3. Are you saying that you are a serial monogamist? And I’m wondering your age. If intimate relationships are temporary, aren’t you losing something by anticipating an end?…….And do you never find that women don’t feel exactly the same way you do when you decide to end it?

    I believe humans are inherently serial monogamists based on research , statistics and my own observations. I don’t have time to supply the link to the research right now so I will paraphrase from memory. The brain chemistry of couple has been studied in depth. Relationships tend to progress along this path: Lust to love to like to friends to roommates. There is unmistakable chemical markers associated with each phase. Our physiology supplies powerful mutual chemical enhancers during the initial phases of a relationship. These are chemicals such as various pheromones, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin? and others. Chemically speaking our physiology stops rewarding our relationship after approximately 3-4 years. We stop/reduce emitting these and likewise our brains response to our partners chemicals are dulled. This is when partners often notice and emphasize flaws and begin taking each other for granted. The further down the road we go the more the arrangement becomes practical cohabitation, further and further removed from the passion that started it all. If we subscribe to evolutionary biology then many will note that the period from 0-2 years old is when a child (and mother) is most vulnerable and in need of a provider/protector. Add in the gestation period and we come up with ~3 years. After that we males appear to be optional.

    Regarding you list of rewards for men in marriage, I agree with them. However, they are all dependent on the marriage working out. If the couple divorces these benefits not only flee but the ramifications create larger persistent negatives. So what we are really talking about is the risk versus the reward.

    The risks of divorce for women are in many cases nill, at least from a familial and financial perspective. Going one step further, there are numerous incentives for a women to terminate the marriage. The thrill of a new lover, a new life, income, freedom versus the same old same old that grew stale after the first 5 years. Men are getting gutted in marriage/divorce. They never get the kids, they take a powerful financial hit, and they are often ostracized by the empowered ex wife who has dramatic influence on his children. This is not to start a finger pointing session. I am well aware of the dastardly deeds of men and the female exceptions to the above.

    The point is, all this indicates relationships are temporary and marriage is a reward incommensurate with the risk involved – by a large margin.

    I am not particularly happy about it. In fact it goes contrary to everything we are taught. But I do believe I personally found peace with it. The biggest challenge is the preconceptions of my partners.

    • Aldonza

      The risks of divorce for women are in many cases nill, at least from a familial and financial perspective.
      .
      Bullshit. I don’t know any woman who’s standard of living didn’t take a serious hit when she divorced. I’m aware that the original book that was oft-quoted about this has been debunked, but even more recent estimates have a woman’s standard of living dropping 27% and a man’s rising by 10%.

      • Höllenhund

        Even with all alimony and child support payments factored in?

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

          Hollenhund, this is not my area of expertise, obviously but I’m curious. What is the current state of alimony? Why would anyone get it? And aren’t there some men who have been awarded alimony too? I think alimony should be grandfathered out if it hasn’t been already. Fine, if Jack Welch dumps his wife of 40 years, she should get alimony. But there’s no reason in the dissolution of a contemporary egalitarian marriage for either party to get alimony, as far as I can tell.

        • PJay

          In MA, as in a few other states, about 96% of alimony payers are men, and alimony is often for life.

          Men should really be wary of marriage in this day and age.

          http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/06/13/the_chilling_effect_of_states_divorce_laws/

          “Alimony law is largely case law, not statute. Many legislators are shocked to hear the feudal details, unique to Massachusetts. But not shocked enough to reform the law.

          The laws are gender neutral, but the facts are not: 96 percent of alimony payers are men, who often must give 30 to 40 percent of gross earnings to educated and sometimes employed women. Alimony does not automatically end or decline at retirement, even after an ex-wife has gotten an equitable share of marital assets. This applies in no-fault divorces, to the middle-class, and to millionaires.

          Alimony is usually ordered until the recipient dies or remarries, even for couples in their 30s and 40s. Judges who set time limits may be overruled on appeal. When children are involved, the court usually awards only child support, about 30 percent of a father’s income, which ends when children turn 23. Then mothers frequently receive alimony at the same or higher levels, for life.

          Many highly skilled workers who took time off to raise children – nurses, paralegals, financial analysts – are often not expected to work again, even if they divorce at 40. Some judges push them to work again; many don’t.

          Instead of remarrying, which would end their alimony, many women live with boyfriends and become the lifelong charges of their ex-husbands – and, only in Massachusetts, of their ex-husbands’ new wives, whose resources are routinely and circuitously considered in determining alimony awards.”

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

          I just spent about half an hour researching alimony. What a mess. And my own state of MA is among the worst. Oddly, I couldn’t find a statistic on what percentage of divorces include alimony in the U.S. One Phila. lawyer said 15%, but I have no idea if that’s accurate, and I don’t know how it varies by state.

        • Aldonza

          Wow, with that financial incentive, women should be flocking to divorce courts. And yet, MA has the lowest divorce rate in the nation. Go figure.
          .
          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-wilson/divorce-rate-in-gay-marri_b_267259.html

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

          Really?!! I had no idea – do you care to speculate on why that is? Is it because we are a very homogeneous state politically? Is it because the divorce rate for educated couples is so low, and there are so many universities here?

        • Höllenhund

          “Is it because the divorce rate for educated couples is so low, and there are so many universities here?”

          I guess that pretty much explains it. Many of consumption marriages.

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

      1) Wow, that is very interesting. I really didn’t know twice as many women had reproduced. It’s good to know that women aren’t drawn to those dominant men for no good reason ;-)
      2) I agree that females don’t tolerate promiscuous females, historically. Today they do so much more readily, as the promiscuous women appear to have social status by virtue of their constant short-term validation from men. I recently wrote an article where I suggested that we need to bring back slut-shaming between women.
      3) I understand the chemistry of relationships, and am aware of the phases. However, serial monogamy would mean a veritable free-for-all of passion. A dopamine carnival. This would not be conducive to successfully raising young or even having them, for that matter. Maybe what we’re designed for is to cool our jets and maintain a cooperative and prosperous society, rather than build our lives around the maximum number of orgasms.
      As for the benefits of marriage, I agree that they only apply if the marriage is a successful one, and that the risks are high for men. The question, it seems to me is one of opportunity cost – when men forego marriage, they are not risking divorce, but they are risking health benefits. Clearly the happiness ladder will look something like this:
      Happily married men====>Unmarried men====>unhappily married men====>divorced men.
      .
      In any case, it’s good that you are comfortable with your own decision. I can imagine your partners would indeed have some reservations about it. Obviously, a woman who wants to marry and/or reproduce would be making a terrible mistake to sign up for your short-term leasing plan. However, that’s on her. Caveat Emptor.

      • Höllenhund

        “Wow, that is very interesting. I really didn’t know twice as many women had reproduced. It’s good to know that women aren’t drawn to those dominant men for no good reason”

        Exactly. It explains many things. We should keep in mind that alphas and betas complement each other and a healthy society creates a balance between them because there is a need for both. Alphas can do stuff that betas cannot, and betas can do stuff that alphas cannot. One of the things that kept women’s alpha chasing in check in the past was that there weren’t many alphas around to begin with. Historically, the life of the average alpha guy was rather dangerous – I’m sure alphas on average had a higher mortality rate than betas. He had a good chance of dying in war, a (workplace) accident, duel, bar fight or getting killed by angry husbands, fathers and brothers before he had the chance of having sex with many women. Alphas were scarce and I guess women’s desire for alphas is Mother Nature’s way of balancing this out to make sure enough alphas reproduce.

        Current society hugely upsets this balance in two ways:

        1) Life is more secure. Excess men are no longer culled in bloody conventional wars and angry fathers, husbands and their pals no longer hunt down womanizing and cuckolding alphas because it is illegal.

        2) Boys who would otherwise grow up to be higher betas or alphas are cut down with sexual harassment laws, anti-male indoctrination in schools and the media etc. and therefore turn into artificially betatized working drones having zero confidence when approaching women.

        The result is that we have an unhealthy surplus of natural alphas AND artificial betas. No wonder the sexual marketplace is messed up completely!

        (Lawrence Auster has written about these things before:

        http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/014003.html

        http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/014005.html)

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

          Interesting. I would agree that the feminization of schools has taken the masculinity right out of many boys. I hadn’t thought before of men being turned into betas artificially, but that makes total sense.
          .
          I do think that betas are well-positioned today in one sense – they are much more likely to possess the skills that lead to success in our economy. They can certainly derive social status from this, while their high testosterone counterparts struggle in the information economy.

  • http://thegatewayboyfriend.blogspot.com dan_brodribb

    Jimmy Hendricks said “In my eyes, there’s a difference between a girl’s sexual attractiveness, and her”relationship attractiveness,” if that makes sense. They’re completely independent of each other.”

    That’s a great point, and I hope it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

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

      Dan, I’m assuming you mean here that a promiscuous woman isn’t relationship material? Or that a man’s standards will be different for each? Obviously, character would be important for an LTR. I’ve never known a man to operate on anything other than sexual attractiveness for a short-term fling, and the more sexual experience the better.

      • Jimmy Hendricks

        A lot of times guys will slum it and have sex with a girl below their attractiveness level if it’s a sure thing. Doesn’t mean they would ever consider dating them. As I said earlier, I think this contributes to girls overvaluing their own status because they seem to have a hard time mentally separating the two. They think that if a high status guy will pump & dump them then they must be high status too… not so.
        ————-
        I understand the whole social proof thing, and that being a guy with option makes you more attractive. I think it’s definitely contributed to my successes over the years when I’ve played it right… but I was thinking, maybe the girls’ depression lies with their failure to rope in a guy with high status and lots of options. The “relationship rejection” causes her whole “special snowflake” fantasy to come crashing down. Maybe this has more to do with her depression than the actual casual sex? It just seems to me like a lot of girls are shooting too high and attempting to date guys that have zero intent to be in a committed relationship.

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

          I agree that this is a problem – women fail to understand that they can snag the hot guy for a night, but no way will he commit to them. In fact, the hot guy will probably not be interested in committing to a 9 or 10 in this market.
          .
          One of the things I spend a lot of time trying to understand and then writing about is how men think, how their brains work, and what they look for in a woman. Women find it extremely difficult to understand the differences, and we often project our hopes and dreams onto some guy that just doesn’t care. We may not like the truth, but we need it know it or we’re just sitting ducks.

        • Lisette

          That’s all true, but at the risk of sounding naive and/or whiny, I just wish men wouldn’t do this. It’s mean. If you think a girl is beneath you, why can’t you just leave her alone?

          I’m not talking about men having sex with women who are actively pursuing them – I think the woman more or less signed up for that. But I’ve had experiences with men who approached me, seemingly on their own initiative, only to find that they were probably just looking to play me. And then I read the comments here and find that that’s apparently because these men (a) magically read my mind and sensed some interest on my part that may or may not have been there and (b) decided they would try to get laid *even though* I clearly must not have been hot enough for them and obviously, had I known my proper value and place in the world, I would have already known that. They didn’t succeed on their terms and I didn’t succeed on mine, so I guess that’s a small consolation, but still.

          Does that make sense?

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

          Lisette, I fully understand your frustration and your taking offense. Getting attention from a handsome guy, only to see him disappear if you’re not DTF, is very demoralizing. Of course, you’re not alone. I think it’s important to understand the nature of men without judgment. They are highly motivated to have sex, to the point that they are willing to have sex with most women who would give the OK. If they have options, they’ll go with women they are most attracted to, but at closing time many good-looking guys will happily leave a bar with a woman that they would not date. Honestly, I think it’s very, very rare for an exceptionally hot guy to make a good long-term partner. In my own circle, there is one – he’s a vet, used to be a model, and his wife is far less attractive than he is. They have three grown sons and a very stable marriage. But this sort of thing is quite rare.
          .
          Women are fortunate in that we feel attracted to men on a wide variety of levels – it is not all about looks. As always, I say look for a man of good character who makes you think and challenges you.

  • http://thegatewayboyfriend.blogspot.com dan_brodribb

    “Dan, I’m assuming you mean here that a promiscuous woman isn’t relationship material? ”

    Absolutely not. Aldonza provided some counter-examples upthread, and I’ve seen a few of my own.

    I’m saying I can be sexually attracted to a woman regardless of her whether or not I see her as relationship material. I think some women make the mistake of thinking that if a guy has sex with her, he must like her. Others think that if they are sexually irresistible enough, a guy will want a relationship with her.

    The guy at the now-defunct manslations website explains it better than I can. I don’t have time to go through his archives right now, but I’d encourage you to check him out. his stuff is entertaining and on point.

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

      That website is defunct! That’s a shame – it was not that long ago his book came out! I’ll visit, though.
      .
      You sound busy, but if I’d love to know what you look for in a woman for a relationship. If being sexually irresistible doesn’t do it (though I know it can’t hurt!), what else do you require?

  • Mostly a lurker

    Hmm…Susan, I really think it depends on the woman. For women, if they feel pressured into having sex when they’d rather not–not just casual sex, but being pressured by boyfriends to have sex before they’re ready, or feeling pressured by society to be porn queens for partners when they’re not into, I dunno, bondage or something–then I can absolutely believe it would lead to depression. If you’re having sex when you’d rather not, or if you’re having a kind of sex that you’d rather not have because of your boyfriend or because your friends tell you that you should like it, then it’s really depressing.

    For the casual sex example, if a woman has it because she feels like she has to have it or else she’ll be labeled a prude/frigid bitch/whatever, then yeah, that would be depressing. And if she has casual sex and the guy treats her like a prostitute, then yeah, also depressing. But I think it’s always depressing to have sex and feel used; it can happen within a relationship as easily as within a one-night-stand. If your boyfriend of five years is a selfish asshole in bed and makes you feel like a masturbatory aid, you’d probably /prefer/ a one-night-stand that you knew would be a one-night-stand where your partner treated you respectfully (those happen, too).

    As for the sociopath question, I don’t think it’s guys pursuing hookups that makes it sociopathic, I think it’s treating the girl in question like a…masturbatory aid, as I said before. You can go for a ONS and be respectful, as long as you’re open about your intentions and you’re not a total jerk about it. There are always going to be mixed signals, on /both/ sides: guys who want a relationship and are thrilled to get with their crush, only to find out that the girl was scratching an itch. Still, if you’re open and sweet about it, you can minimize hurt feelings. If, on the other hand, you can’t find any girls who are interested in casual sex only (doubtful), so you trick someone into thinking you want something more serious so you can get sex, well, I wouldn’t call it sociopathic, but it’s not nice at all. Women have feelings, too, no matter how badly you want to get some.

    • Mostly a lurker

      To follow up on my “depends on the woman” point–which I didn’t in the previous post–I’d argue that there are women who want just casual sex. Not because it’s all they can get, and not because they’ve been told that’s what they should want, but because they actually prefer it for whatever reason. I’m not saying they’re the majority, but they’re definitely out there. I’d doubt that they’d be scarred by lots of casual sex, because that’s how they roll.

      I have no doubt that there are women out there who are having casual sex that they’d rather not have, maybe because it’s all they think they can get, maybe because they’re in love with some guy and they’re doing some FWB thing to try to get him to agree to a relationship, maybe because they’ve been pressured into it by whomever, maybe because they think it’s the thing to do before they settle down later on, and so on. And if that’s the case, yes, I think it would be difficult emotionally after a while. I don’t know that it would be any more difficult emotionally than having a series of romantic relationships that went sour, though.

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

      Hi Mostly, thanks for de-lurking! I agree that what’s bound to be depressing for women is disappointed hopes, or being treated as a dumpster. And there’s a lot of that going on. I am sure there are women that say straight up, “I’m looking for casual sex, definitely don’t want a relationship.” Some of them mean it, some are being defensive/self-protective. I don’t tend to get the ones who mean it as readers, obviously, and to be honest I haven’t ever had a young woman even tell me that’s what she wanted.
      .
      What the research shows is that the culture, with its low expectations for intimacy and commitment, is very difficult, even damaging, for many women. Women who want casual sex will always be able to get it, regardless of society’s mores. But we can’t have our cake and eat it too. Either female sexuality is restrained, either through behavior or a decreased supply of women, or male commitment is restrained, as there is no incentive.

      • Mostly a lurker

        Hi back! It’s hard to sympathize, to be honest, with women who say they’re fine with a casual relationship but actually aren’t and then who get mad when their partners take them at their word.

        That goes for guys, too, though. A lot of guys got really upset at “500 Days of Summer,” a movie where the girl says she wants a casual relationship, the guy says fine, and then gets mad later when she tries to keep things light. When the relationship falls apart, he is devastated, but other characters are all “Um, she told you she wanted to keep it casual, what did you expect?” And yet I see so many online discussions of the film where the male posters are raging over what a bitch the girl was in this movie, how she toyed with his emotions and crushed his heart, how she led him on with the promise of intimacy and a deeper relationship but wound up using him. Sounds a little familiar, no?

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

          Good point about 500 Days of Summer! One of the reasons I think it has generated so much controversy, though, is that those circumstances are rare. We don’t expect women to call the shots in that way, or to keep it casual. Of course, Zoe D did want a serious relationship – once she fell in love with someone else. The male character failed to understand that she just didn’t love him.
          .
          People should be judged by their actions. If a woman or man goes into something casual, the other person may assume they’re willing to have sex without strings. (Obviously, this assumes everyone is being honest about what they want.)
          .
          In my experience, men who say they don’t want a relationship nearly always mean it and stick to it. Women are more likely to pretend not to want one, which is hardly surprising, if they think that will get them in the door. The problem is that it’s just not an effective strategy.

        • Mostly a lurker

          Yes, I think trying to use sex as a way to get your, uh, foot in the door with a partner and try for a relationship down the road is ineffective. I think that if someone doesn’t want a relationship with you, no amount of sex–no matter how amazing–is going to convince them otherwise.

          Of course, if you wait to have sex with a person as a way to see if that person’s going to stick around, that person could just as easily dump you the moment you do have sex. In fact, the problem with doing that is that while waiting might weed out those people who aren’t serious about a relationship, it could just as easily ensure that a person sticks around for the challenge of getting you to give in and who doesn’t actually care about you at all.

          I think, ultimately, that any “strategy” is going to be ineffective in these scenarios. There are at least three potential outcomes here, and they all depend on the intentions/character of the guy. It’s a factor over which the girl exercises no control:

          1. If the guy’s an asshole, he’ll judge you for whenever it is you have sex with him (whether it’s after the first date or after three months), he’ll dump you as soon as you do have sex with him, and he’ll treat you like a whore for having “submitted” to the sex.

          2. If the guy isn’t an asshole, but doesn’t want a relationship with you, you’ll never be able to get a relationship with him. There is no tactic you could use to get him to want a relationship with you, even hot sex. He’ll hopefully be nice and respectful about the sex you have, but there’s nothing you could do to make it something other than it is. Take it or leave it. The problem here is if the guy isn’t clear about his intentions upfront, which can obviously result in hurt feelings and worse if it’s believed there’s more to the relationship than there is.

          3. If the guy is a good person who wants a relationship with you, he won’t care when you have sex with him (whether it’s after the first date or after three months), he’ll be willing to wait until you’re comfortable to have sex (again, whenever that is) without threatening to bolt, and he’ll be respectful of you because he actually cares about your feelings.

          So if you have the bad luck to choose I guess the only control in this situation is a girl judging the character of her partners before she starts going out with them. Sadly, jerks and users don’t walk around with convenient labeling.

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

          Sadly, jerks and users don’t walk around with convenient labeling.

          Isn’t that the truth. I’ll say again that I think women should have sex when they want to have sex. If a woman is concerned about being played, she would do well to wait until she feels that she has a sense of the guy’s character.
          .
          I agree with your potential outcomes, except that I would observe that many of the men who comment – on this thread and others – do not want a LTR with a very experienced woman. You can say, “well, then, he’s an asshole,” and that’s fine. But the truth is that the academic research clearly shows that men want promiscuity and sexual experience for short-term mating, and the opposite for long-term mating. Obviously, there are exceptions, but men state that they view a woman’s sexual history as an indicator of how selective she is, her own level of self-esteem, as a predictor of her ability to be monogamous in the future, and as a reflection of her ability to sustain an emotional connection. I think this is understandable, if not politically correct, but it doesn’t matter what I think – that’s the reality for many, though not all, men.

        • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

          The reason I had issue with that movie is not that she said let’s keep it simple and he deeply wanted more but lied about so “felt played”. I thought he was an idiot for that and didn’t feel the sympathy. I didn’t like how the moment they were done she was fucking getting married. I was like woah really. She didn’t lead him on with a promise of intimacy but, and this parrallel might be strong, it was almost like she was testing whether she could have a relationship with a beta(he was a beta let’s be honest) and decided that’s not for her, as say a lesbian would try out a man and then say, naw I really do like chicks, ok bye now. It just felt odd to me, and while I thought the movie was going to be different, she turned into typical manic pixie dream girl at that moment.

          Yeah maybe indie romance movies aren’t for me. I sit through the whole movie thinking “man the fuck up son!”. Sigh.

  • I Had Casual Sex

    Someone asked for feedback from women who’ve had casual sex vs indiscriminant sex.

    I’ve NEVER had indiscriminant sex OR drunken sex, however, if by “casual sex” you mean sex without wanting a commitment, yes. Personally, I’d only want a commitment from someone I loved, and I never “fell in love” with anyone I had casual sex with. They were mutually beneficial short-term flings. I think they fell harder for me than I for them.

    And I love the phrases:

    “don’t like the bullshit? get out from under the a-hole” and
    “don’t buy wholesale then complain that it’s cheap”

    But I don’t get, “Don’t write a check with your mouth that you can’t cash with your ass.”

    Anyone care to translate?

    • Mostly a lurker

      Well, I’ve heard it as “Don’t write checks your ass can’t cash.” I think it basically means “Don’t promise things that you can’t deliver.”

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

      Thanks for sharing, IHCS! It’s interesting that you say you never fell in love with someone you had casual sex with. Did you experience the bonding or attachment that women often feel after sex? Or were you able to remain emotionally uninvested?
      .
      Have you had the experience of falling in love, and if so, how did the sex differ?
      .
      Don’t write a check with your mouth that you can’t cash with your ass:

      Don’t tell yourself or anyone else that you’re DTF if you don’t really want to follow through. If you talk the talk, you’d better be ready to walk the walk. And if that doesn’t work, stop.

  • http://escarondito.blogspot.com escarondito

    Im just dropping in for a quic convo cause I had to jump from the conversation yesterday. I was not being productive at work at all. Too many interesting posts to add into. But i wanted to say Susan remember when you first started and you would have maybe 15-25 comments on a post. 250 and counting. 3 days straight of discussion. And you have a bunch of other posts now that are 100+. You’re not hitting chords, you’re jamming “sweet child of mine” on ‘em.

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

      Thank you so much for the kind words! Yeah, I am really loving this whole blog scene. I find it incredibly gratifying to have the discussion going on, especially between the sexes. I am learning a ton from both men and women! And I especially appreciate the time people take to share their thoughts. On this thread, for example, you’ve had a ton of great input – and I fully understand how time consuming that is. I love it, even if your employer doesn’t :-/

  • I Had Casual Sex

    To answer your question Susan, yes, we both felt attachment and bonding (oxytocin at work) but we genuinely LIKED each other. These were not one-nighters but STRs. However, we were not in love and making love did not make us “fall in love”. I never understood people who became suddenly attached to someone just after having sex. Does that really happen? Oxytocin wears off after a while (quite soon in fact) so I don’t get this. Maybe it’s just an urban myth?

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

      The effect of oxytocin on attachment is definitely not an urban myth. Oxytocin for women, and vasopressin for men, are the chemicals that trigger the “falling in love” switch. So while the chemicals do of course dissipate in the system, the brain has entered a new mode. It is preoccupied with thoughts of the other. Helen Fisher talks about this process in exactly that way – a switch is flipped, and everything changes. I don’t think this happens in a one-night stand. I do think it’s a real risk for women in FWBs, though of course it depends on the woman. Some people are more impulsive and therefore more likely to fall in love. Of course, one’s susceptibility to dopamine – the feel good chemical – also plays an important role.

  • Heather J. Lilac

    Escarondito, the man you saw and sympathized with in your Gaming Store – well, you don’t know the whole story. How do you know he wasn’t a total asshole when he was married and cheated on his wife and then absconded from Child Support Payments and now she’s “getting back at him” by making him buy a game for HIS children (afterall)?

    You also don’t know that he’s paying for his wife’s boyfriend’s vacation.

    You saw this dude for 5 minutes and only saw what you saw. You don’t KNOW the history.

    Personally, I think marriage and family is a raw deal for BOTH men and women currently and I think really smart people will avoid all of it.

    But just because some came strolling into your store looking like something the cat dragged in and you heard “loud talking” comeing from his ex-wife’s side on the phone does not mean he is neccessarily “the victim” in this case.

    How many frazzled and broke single moms do you see?

    I know several who are struggling financially. This myth that they are living “high on the hog” off their ex-husband’s payments are just that – MYTH. Unless their ex is Donald Trump or comparable.

    In fact, my neighbor’s ex husband has quit his job, concealed from her his new job and what he gets paid, and has stopped paying child support – but HAS bought a brand new house for his girlfriend.

    His new girlfriend is more important to him than his 2 small children!

    And this single mom is struggling like anything financially and NOT dating anyone. She has NO TIME and NO ENERGY. She is completely frazzled.

    Regarding pre-nups: one of my ex-bf’s asked me if we got married would I sing a pre-nup. The dude had $400 in the bank! And he’s currently jobless and shacked up with a Sugar Momma who goes to work every day while he stays home chatting on the net and telling people he’s an “entrepreneur”.

    Really, forget marriage – I don’t know why people even bother “dating” anymore or establishing relationships of ANY kind.

    Just keep a tight circle of a few good friends and masterbate!

    • Höllenhund

      “Really, forget marriage – I don’t know why people even bother “dating” anymore or establishing relationships of ANY kind. Just keep a tight circle of a few good friends and masterbate!”

      Which is exactly what millions of slacking young men are doing in the U.S.

    • Höllenhund

      And BTW, would you care to explain how exactly marriage today is a raw deal for women? Is it more of a raw deal than it was 20, 50 or 100 years ago.

  • Heather J. Lilac

    Hollenhund, can you explain what you mean by this and give some examples?

    “Boys who would otherwise grow up to be higher betas or alphas are cut down with sexual harassment laws”

    ?????????????????????????????

    • Höllenhund

      That is fairly simple. Such laws criminalize all sexual advances by unattractive men – notice how they refer to ‘unwanted’ attention – thereby making it very easy for women to weed out beta males. (Whether they were designed to accomplish this in the first place is anyone’s guess…). They are one of the things that massively rig the entire mating game in women’s favor.

      Your average beta guy has a good chance of getting slapped with such an accusation or at least hearing about a guy he knows who suffered the same fate. This will greatly reduce his ability to approach women with a sense of dominance and confidence.

      Feminist indoctrination and anti-male mandatory medication in elementary and high school have exactly the same effect. The average white beta boy learns that his forefathers engaged in a massive genocidal conspiracy called ‘white patriarchy’ with the ultimate goal of enslaving women and colored people for all eternity and consigning them to servitude. He also learns that the testosterone running through his veins is a toxic pollutant responsible for all the evil that ever took place in the world (violence, aggression, wars, economic bubbles etc.) and therefore he must strip himself of all assertive, dominant impulses in order to become a good little beta working drone. He will also be forced to take all sorts of medication to achieve this. And, of course, he must suck up to girls because if women ruled the world there would be no violence, no wars and we would all be living in perfect harmony.

      The end result is that you have masses of clueless beta drones who were taught to display exactly the type of behavior women find repulsive i.e. supplicating and pedestalizing women with zero confidence and self-assertion.

  • Heather J. Lilac

    Vincent Ignatius: “I’ll bet every single one of those men is a beta. It’s impossible to be a good man and support a woman who doesn’t deserve it.”

    Hold on a minute! Beta men are not “good” men?!?!?!

    Like you, I also get bored with a man very quickly and must move on or get my poly on. HOWEVER, the men I date KNOW this about me BEFOREHAND, I don’t mislead them. I only date men who are NOT looking for an exclusive long-term committment but rather just a mutally beneficial STR.

    However, if either of us ever want to settle down and have a family (I don’t, but you might), we will have to give up our dualistic concepts of “excitement and boredom” and base our relationships on something more substantial like “duty” and “honor” perhaps.

    Not an attractive proposal for me, but MOST people seem to buy into it by the age of 40 or so.

    Perhaps you and I should “do coffee” sometime? LOL. I keed. I keed.

    • Höllenhund

      “Hold on a minute! Beta men are not “good” men?!?!?!”

      Well, let’s be realistic – many of them aren’t. They fail to attract women, plus they suck up to and support women who don’t deserve it.

      • Aldonza

        You forget, around these parts, “beta” is synonymous with “loser”.

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

          Well, it’s not on HUS, but yes, in the Gamesphere, that is true.

  • http://singleagainonlinediary.blogspot.com Yvette Francino

    Wow! You have quite the following! I blogged about this post yesterday. Another relationship coach blog post was promoting casual sex following a divorce for both men and women. I happen to disagree. Like this research states, as a woman, I want more than “just sex” and I think it’s a little sad that post-divorce women are looking at sex as a way to validate how attractive or desirable they are.

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

      Hi, Yvette, welcome and thanks for leaving a comment! I appreciate your referencing my post on your own blog. The problems with getting validated thru sex, as you know, are:
      1. the boon is very temporary
      2. women know that men are not selective about sexual partners, which greatly reduces the “honor” of being singled out
      3. it makes women dependent on feedback from others for self-esteem, rather than from her own personal development

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  • Aldonza

    I’ve had non-committed/casual sex as well (and I also have never had drunken or indiscriminate sex). I don’t feel particularly damaged by it. I also wasn’t going into it with the expectation that it would convince someone to want a relationship with me.

  • Heather J. Lilac

    “That is fairly simple. Such laws criminalize all sexual advances by unattractive men – notice how they refer to ‘unwanted’ attention – thereby making it very easy for women to weed out beta males.”

    So, are women supposed to “want” attention from men they don’t want attention from?

    It’s almost as if we are expected to be attracted to men who don’t attract us, and that’s impossible. Will I smile back at a handsome man that smiles and me? Enthusiastically!!! Will I smile back at an un-handsome man? Sure, politely.

  • Robert

    “Does anyone see anything pathological in a male who can have sex with someone and then treat her like a stranger?”

    Pardon me but I think i am gagging on my laughter. Being a woman you obviously have no idea what women want. Or you are not willing to admit it. Big surprise. Women hold the key to casual sex. And they all know it. They dress seductively and they act seductively, often beginning at ridiculously early ages. I am probably one of the men you are aiming your barbs at, but here goes. I have had sex with a number of women. No, I didn’t count them or notch my bedpost. But once I found out how easy it was, I couldn’t pull myself away from the candy. I never propositioned a woman nor asked for sex. But I got sex when I wanted it from one night encounters and from relationships. One of the most beautiful women I had sex with repeatedly was actually engaged with another man who was stationed out of town. I never called her, but she called every other week or so for causal sex.Three times naked women have come into my apartment and crawled into bed naked while I slept. One time a model sat on my bedroom floor after waking me and begged me to come back to her apartment and have sex with her. Other times I found out after the fact that the lady was married. Once when her children came sleepily into the bedroom rubbing their eyes. I have had numerous one night stands. In by far the majority of cases, I don’t even remember exchanging names, let alone numbers. I remember once watching after a tryst from my bedroom window as a lady pulled her Corvette away from the curb, thinking “This is weird.” Furthermore, as a lifelong student of women, it is my opinion that most women are bored to tears with their husbands and will jump into bed with a willing rake as soon as she knows he is willing. I am an outgoing opinionated kind of guy (some would say attention whore) and I flirt with all women. But, I have found it judicious to make sure they understand my intentions less things get out of hand. So perhaps men deserve more credit than you are willing to give them. Men have always wanted sex. Read the Bible for God’s sake. But when women got the pill and started happily complying that is when society collapsed. Read the stats. Look out the window. I am not proud of my part in this whole boondoogle, but i like the candy too much. I have read that women live in the moment and don’t have guilt or remorse. I suspect that is true.

  • Robert

    Oddly enough, Vox Populi has a post today that is right on target. Check it out.

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

      Robert, is that the post by Fred? Someone linked to that in the narcissist thread. While I find him more than a bit crass, I think he’s basically got it right. Quelle disaster.

  • rick

    I love it.

    These whorish girls are beginning to pay a very steep price for their role in turning dating and marriage into nothing more than a sexual popularity contest.

    I’d rather auto-eroticate with a handful of gravel to a picture of Rosie O’Donnel than marry one of these banged-out women.

    Game. Over.

    Fini.

    Susan:
    I am late getting started on my goal of making five women cry this year. I better get going.

    -rick

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

      Hey, Rick, I’m always happy when HUS puts a spring in your step. Re your New Year’s resolution, dude, the year is half over! You might want to target slightly mentally unstable women – if you can find a pocket of women suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder you can probably still get it done.

  • Höllenhund

    My point – which you obviously either overlooked or chose to ignore – is that merely approaching a woman can easily have serious legal consequences for the average beta male. This will encourage such betas to ‘go ghost’ and avoid women in general.

  • Boxer

    100 percent agreed.

  • El tourista

    Susan, here’s the “trap” in the hook-up culture.

    It’s resiliency is rooted in the stability of the status quo, economically. This whole culture has arisen on the unquestioned assumption the financial situation will continue or at least not worsen.
    Female independence is dependent on the job market ; typically certain sectors of it.

    These sectors are vulnerable .. eg. government jobs at state and city levels.

    I’m sorry if this makes some people “feel” bad having to contemplate it.

    This era may very well be ending. I prefer to think of it as Economic Cycles.
    What can’t continue , won’t.

    And that’s why I perceive it as a Trap. Those ladies who have cast their lot with career climbing independence, or leveraging debt in their peak years, or playing the sexual field while paying scant attention to their longer term requirements; they will be caught out.

    So again, for clarity my assumption is : Economics trumps cultural fads. Nature is about to put a whooping on the ass of those who mistakenly think .. This time it is different.

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

      @El tourista
      Welcome, thanks for your comment. That’s a valid point, but the truth is that with college enrollment in the U.S. at 60%F, 40%M, there are many women entering careers traditionally pursued by men. Government jobs may be disproportionately held by women, but women are getting many other kinds of jobs as well.
      I agree with your characterization of hookup culture as a trap, and that many women will be caught out. But I think it will be difficult to eradicate a promiscuous culture as long as women perceive a benefit (snagging alpha for a night) in hooking up.

  • Badger Nation

    “I live with 16 other girls in a big house, and whether we give men what they want or we don’t, we all agree that men suck.”
    .
    I think one key here is to stop putting your emotional life in the hands of someone else. These women are so angry that men aren’t giving them the life they wanted. It’s easy to get pissed off at people because they didn’t do things the way you wanted, whether it’s your parents, housemates, boyfriends or whatever; resilient people don’t allow their worth and joy to be wrapped up in other people. Trouble is when you DO allow that to happen, you stop respecting the other person as an independent being – they have become a means to your end.

  • http://www.mind-manual.com RT Wolf

    “Not every woman “gives it up” to men who offer nothing more than a proposition, but those who don’t accede often spend Saturday nights alone. At most American colleges today, more than 50 percent of the undergraduates are women, and they feel pressured to compete sexually for men. The result is a lot of angry women. As one told my class:

    I live with 16 other girls in a big house, and whether we give men what they want or we don’t, we all agree that men suck.”

    I don’t particularly disagree with the rest of your post, but I thought I’d offer a counter point to this point about competing and say:

    Tough. Welcome to understanding men a little better. Men have had to compete for women forever. Not just with each other but with women’s (often insanely high) expectations. Seems like its been the nature of the evolutionary game. Almost all women are reproductively successful but not all men are. Almost twice as many of our ancestors are women than men, meaning fewer men (or their genes) were judged worthy and allowed to go on to the next level. That stings. And leads to lots of lonely nights for a lot of decent guys.

    Women having to compete for the attentions of men is a nice change of pace, from the perspective of men. Men have to deal with frequent rejection. We’re expected to not only be the tall, muscled jock, but also the extremely intelligent, learned, cultured, sauve man with a ready wit. But that’s not enough! Being rich would also be nice.

    We’re constantly given mixed signals from women (just like they’re claiming they’re getting from men), who say one thing but actually want something else. “I just want a good guy who’s caring and sweet and sensitive.” Then why do you end up with jerks?

    I’ve talked to a number of women who complain about being hit on by guys. This sends the message to some well-meaning guys to not be aggressive, and they do that and they end up in the friend zone. But it turns out that each of the girls I’ve talked to is not pissed by being hit on by guys, but by being hit on by unworthy guys. Soon as an attractive guy hits on them, their attitude changes completely and become flirty. One of the girls I talked to summed it up beautifully: “who are you to think you have a chance with me?” Perhaps that’s why it pisses off some women so much when they get hit on by unattractive guys: it’s also a reflection of their worth what caliber of guy hits on them.

    Point is this: is this much different from what you’ve been talking about in your blog about how women are feeling? If girls are getting resentful about the state of affairs then welcome to the party. Join the club.

    Maybe the name of the club could be, “let’s work together to find a solution instead of blaming (or worse, dismissing as being simply driven by their uncontrollable, unchangeable urges) one sex or the other”. Patriarchy hurts men, too. Feminism is starting to hurt both men and women (like you’ve pointed out).

    Also, remember: not all men “win”. A few men account for most of the sexual successes. The men who aren’t “winning” whether sexually or by finding relationships are resentful, too, just like the women feel. But instead of blaming the system or simply fixing the situation on a personal level, they often blame women which is just unhealthy…just like the women who say men suck.

  • RT Wolf

    Whoops, sorry about the double post. Also wanted to point out that extra spaces (new lines) between paragraphs aren’t rendering properly, but that might be cause I’m on Internet Explorer 6 (I know, I know).

  • Höllenhund

    “I’m sure men of your generation have seen women hurt other men, but I think that’s a pretty convenient excuse to forgo monogamy. What about every generation before you when women watched the terrible things men did to their women and sisters? You know, like rape and wife beating. Women didn’t stop sleeping with or marrying men because some of them were bad.”

    I’d like to make another point, Meg. (Better late then never.) Your comparison implies that women had no legal protection from men, who were encouraged to rape and abuse them in the bygone patriarchy. The fact is that rape was considered a very serious crime back then (much more so, in fact, than today, due to feminists widening the legal definition of “rape” to a point when it has practically become meaningless, hence Whoopi Goldberg’s use of the phrase “rape-rape”, for example). It was, obviously, persecuted and punished accordingly. I concede, though, that this was due to the wholly patriarchal concept of women’s social status and value depending on their chastity and “good behavior”, and the violation of a woman’s honor being a transgression against her husband or father. But the fact is that it was considered a serious crime. Yes, the concept of “marital rape” didn’t yet exist, but that is to be expected in a society where people had to uphold their marriage vows.

    The social attitude towards wife beating was admittedly less clear-cut, as the male head of family was entrusted to police his wife’s behavior. But the notion that he could freely abuse her in any way he liked is false. He was responsible for providing for her and treating her decently, and men policed each other’s behavior accordingly. Even before no-fault divorce, women COULD get out of abusive marriages by accusing their husbands with cruelty because it WAS a crime.

    Compare all this with the current legal situation where women are legally empowered and encouraged to obliterate their husbands in divorce court, are never prosecuted for false rape charges and domestic violence committed against men. Men have zero legal protection from such behavior. Therefore your comparison is completely false.

  • terre

    “So, are women supposed to “want” attention from men they don’t want attention from?”
    .
    No, but it certainly shouldn’t be a prosecutable offence to express reasonable interest in a woman. No one is entitled to a people-free environment, after all.

  • Liz

    “Women don’t want sex for long without an emotional connection, a sense of caring, if not real commitment, from their partners.”

    I agree that’s generally true of women, and also true of me in particular. The caring and emotional connection part, anyway. I wouldn’t want to sleep with anyone who doesn’t care about me as a human being.

    “Does anyone see anything pathological in a male who can have sex with someone and then treat her like a stranger?”

    Yes, very much so. I also think it’s pathological for a man to disapprove of a woman’s number of sexual partners, yet still be willing to have sex with her whilst withholding emotional involvement. Likewise, if a man propositions a woman for sex, he shouldn’t be viewing it as a negative if she says yes.

    Of course some men are assholes and do these things regardless, so women need to get better at identifying poor types of men and not getting involved with them. Granted, if you sleep with someone you don’t know very well, you’re taking a gamble.

    I’m all for individual women making an individual choice to not have casual sex, if it’s not what they want. What I don’t accept, however, is the idea that women who have casual sex are making life difficult for other women. There are plenty of men out there who want relationships, and will still want relationships regardless of how easily available sex is.

    It’s only the poor quality men who don’t innately want a relationship, but would enter a relationship just to get sex if they couldn’t get it elsewhere. Ugh! Who’d want to marry a man like that? Not me, that’s for sure.

  • LaToya

    @Susan Walsh
    What I don’t understand is, why is it that men who engage in casual sex not questioned? Why do we assume that it is normal for them and not women? Sure, we are diferent, but I have reason to thnk that that is unfair. A study I read once said that kids, regardless of gender, who are raised in a more loving home, are more likely to wait to have sex with somone they care about. The notion that all males like and participate in casual sex is not true, and I would have to ask how many people, and who, were surveyed in these studies. I have read studies, at NYU for example, that actually said the males were more expecting of a relatonship after ONS than the women were.
    That being said, it is also unfair saying that women are trying to be “hardasses” when participating in casual sex, and that the men aren’t. This is 2012! No, there does not have to be anything psychologically wrong with a woman for her to enjoy casual sex. We have primal urges just like men. Please help me understand why this is so one-sided? I have such a problem with blogs like this, because they lump every person together. Everyone is truly different, regardless of who we may be “programmed,” people do what they want. I think psychology of the individual, as well as societal pressures play a bigger role than biology, really.
    Plus, on the other hand, I don’t see why men engaging in cold, no-strings sex couldn’t be an indicator of them wanting intimacy on a deep level (they may just be trying to be hardasses/macho, for respect). People want love. That is not a feminine thing, it is a human thing, regardless of if women were built to be more nuturing or not. There are, of course guys who prefer to be intimate, and know the woman before sleeping with her. I value those guys, and will even go out on a limb to say they are *not* the minority!

  • LaToya

    Not to mention, this study goes on what was “reported.” These guys are just trying to be macho, which is obvious from the one that said he was not interested in love because he hasn’t slept around enough. Of course they are not going report their true feelings! Evidence of societal pressure to be a hardass/overtly masculine right there. I truly don’t believe men are naturally meant to be cavalier about sex. People are meant to bond and be close to one another.
    I have no interest in “alphas.” I desire a man that is sexually conservative and actually cares about his partners. One that I know is not soulless (sorry if I offend, but that is just my personal belief).

  • Jenna

    @Susan Walsh
    I saw in a previous post that you find it not sociopathic for a man to treat a woman as a stranger in the morning, but for the woman it is sociopathic? That they’re *trying* to be “hardasses?” I disagree. If a woman chooses to fulfill her sexual needs and then leave, then that is just fine. It’s not about competing with men, it is about satisfying primal urges that run through all of us. I don’t believe men and women are *that* different honestly. (No, I’m no feminist!).
    Not to mention that studies have come out disproving the link between depression and casual sex in college (for men and women).
    I think there is a better social explanation for why men prefer casual sex– all about respect, and the machismo “if I have a different girl on my am every night, I’m king of the world!” Those guys are not being honest with themselves, and will surely grow out of it (unless they have some sort of pathological problem eg; sociopathy, etc.), since we are people and need love. The Evolutionary theory is incorrect in that if men really were meant to sleep around and detach from sex the way they do, they could do it until the end of their lives, with no love or attachment to anyone–like animals. However, they all want something meaningful in the end. Everyone is different, but that is always true accept of course in the cases of cold men. Think about it.

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

      @Jenna

      Not to mention that studies have come out disproving the link between depression and casual sex in college (for men and women).

      That is not my understanding. Do you have any links?

      The Evolutionary theory is incorrect in that if men really were meant to sleep around and detach from sex the way they do, they could do it until the end of their lives, with no love or attachment to anyone–like animals. However, they all want something meaningful in the end.

      It’s very clear that some people are wired for attachment, and others are not. Promiscuity corresponds to certain genetic personality traits for both sexes, as well as some environmental factors, e.g. parents are divorced.

      In any case, the percentage of men who will care about a woman’s sexual history is extremely high, so if you rack up a big body count, you’re decreasing the size of the pool of men you can have something meaningful with.