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The Two Questions You Should Ask Before Sex

Defining the Relationship Talk

Isabel thought she’d found the real thing, then he disappeared after sex. There are two questions that could have reduced the risk of this significantly.

Hi Susan, 

I recently read your article about how to not fall for the player and I have to say it described the same scenario I just went through. This guy was perfect when we were together…every date he was a total gentleman (didn’t even try to kiss me the first date), and I thought everything was going fine.

I mean, he works in Private Equity and works alot so he would cancel sometimes, but he always made up our dates later and apologized for how busy he was. Anyway, we finally hooked up after the sixth date and the next morning was perfect. We cuddled and he even offered to let me stay in and sleep in.

[Read more...]

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Tinder: Online Dating or Hooking Up?

Tinder Love Match

Tinder Love Match

Good news! Anna Gensler, the artist who has so amusingly ridiculed sexist creeps on Tinder, has gotten a book deal. She’s also created the hashtag #sexytillirejectyou. Well done!

The male response to Gensler’s Insta Grannie Pants campaign has been interesting, and also puzzling. Lots of guys have suggested that explicit sexual come-ons are perfectly appropriate because Tinder was designed to facilitate casual sex. It’s essentially supposed to be the online equivalent of solicitation, but free. And because women, you know, “want the pipe.”

Huh. Because I personally know three serious couples in their 20s who met on Tinder within the last year, I was surprised to learn that people viewed the app exclusively in sexual terms. To be fair, though, each of the couples is a bit sheepish about how they met, implying that they’re afraid others will think they went on Tinder to troll for sex.

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Hooking You Up With the Web’s Best Links

The week’s best articles, from around the web.

For your convenience, all articles busting red pill myths have been designated.

Don’t forget to sign up for email updates before I move the weekly links post to an email newsletter!

red pill tongue1. The More You Idealize Your Partner, the More Distant They Will Become

The costs of being put on a pedestal: Effects of feeling over-idealized

” A pedestal is as much a prison as any other small space.”

Gloria Steinem

“There was a negative association with satisfaction when husbands felt that either their abilities or traits were being over-idealized at relatively high levels. These results suggest that it is beneficial to feel somewhat idealized by a partner, but that idealization becomes detrimental beyond a point.

…The curvilinear effects were especially strong for husbands, while the actor effect for perceived idealization of traits was only marginally significant and for abilities was not close to significant for wives.

…In both dating and married samples (for husbands), results indicate that feeling one’s abilities were over-idealized by a partner was associated with lower relationship satisfaction.”

Why do both men and women (but especially men) feel this way?

  1. Their autonomy is threatened (see Gloria Steinem quote).
  2. Pedestalization implies a lesser willingness to accommodate partner’s needs, because needs are minimized.
  3. People want to feel understood and appreciated for who they are. Being put on a pedestal makes both sexes feel as if they are not loved for their true selves.

 

red pill tongue2.  ‘Red’ States Have Higher Divorce Rates Than ‘Blue’ States, And Here’s Why

New research by a University of Texas professor determines that conservative Protestantism carries a high risk of divorce. Well, that explains a lot.

It was previously thought that socioeconomic hardships in the South were largely to blame for high divorce rates, however Glass and her fellow researchers concluded that the conservative religious culture is in fact a major contributing factor thanks to “the social institutions they create” that “decrease marital stability.”

Specifically, putting pressure on young people to marry sooner, frowning upon cohabitation before marriage, teaching abstinence-only sex education and making access to resources like emergency contraception more difficult all result in earlier childbearing ages and less-solid marriages from the get-go, Glass writes in the paper.

“It’s surprising,” W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project, told The Los Angeles Times. “In some contexts in America today, religion is a buffer against divorce. But in the conservative Protestant context, this paper is showing us that it’s not.”

 

red pill tongue3. Study: Musical Skills Could Help You Get Laid

A study of women in their fertile phase found that women preferred musicians who composed complex musical pieces over those playing simple rhythmic cords.

“The findings of this study provide the first support for Darwin’s original contention that music evolved via sexual selection,” said Dr. Benjamin Charlton, who led the study. ”The ability to create complex music could be indicative of advanced cognitive abilities. Consequently, women may acquire genetic benefits for offspring by selecting musicians able to create more complex music as sexual partners.”

Classical virtuoso 1, Mediocre guitar player 0

 

red pill tongue4. Girls More Likely Than Boys to Suffer From Mental Health Issues After Breakup

Researchers looked at data from more than 5,300 high school students gathered for the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Specifically they examined the mental health consequences when teens find their relationship doesn’t match with what they had hoped it to be.

“I found that girls’ risk of severe depression, thoughts of suicide and suicide attempt increase the more their relationships diverge from what they imagined,” said Brian Soller, who led the research.

He goes on to say “romantic relationship inauthenticity,” or the collapse of what the teen had hoped would occur in the relationship, did not seriously impact the mental health of adolescent boys.”

The study, which is titled “Caught in a Bad Romance: Adolescent Romantic Relationships and Mental Health,” was published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

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Hookup Culture: Real or Myth?

A new study was released last month in the Journal of Sex Research, which has once again spurred a flurry of headlines declaring that hookup culture is a myth. At the same time, I have yet to meet a college student who can’t describe it in great detail from personal experience. Is hookup culture real, or is it a myth trumped up by conservative old scolds?

The answer depends on what you mean by “culture.” Generally, the word culture in this context refers to the attitudes and behavior of a specific group. What’s confusing about hookup culture is that the “scripts” for behavior are not consistent with actual student behavior. Don’t forget that the term “hook up” can mean everything from one kiss to a one-night stand. I have most frequently heard it used to refer to a makeout session.

Prepare to be astounded by the results of the study!

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How Young Women Who Want Love Settle for Casual Sex Instead

Below is a recent correspondence I’ve had with a new reader. I think it’s a good illustration of what a lot of young women experience when they get to college and attempt to conform to the prevailing hookup culture there.

I want to clarify one thing. You will see from my response to her that I do not advocate chastity or refraining from sex. Neither do I promote hooking up. I am interested in supporting young people who want relationships, who must run the obstacle course that is hookup culture in order to get them. I do not concern myself with those who want casual sex, except to help my readers identify and filter them. In other words, no judgment.

Sometimes the process begins with breaking through the misconceptions and self-defeating strategies that so often lead to heartbreak.

F-buddy Expectations

F-buddy Expectations

April 29

Dear Susan, 

I’m at the end of my freshman year in college and I’ve reached a point in my life where I am highly considering starting a F-Buddy set-up. At first, I was opposed to this and considering I’m still a virgin, I thought I’d wait til I was in some form of a committed relationship. However, after this year of flirting and going on a few dates with guys and just having a lot of time for self introspection, I learned a lot more about myself.

For one: I’m actually more horny than I am lonely. Even though flirting is fun, I don’t have the drive or energy to be emotionally invested in anyone and I get really bored in set-ups where we text everyday and spend time together nearly all the time.

[Read more...]