Fuck First, Names Later. Is Icelandic Casual Sex Better Than American Dating Culture?

Ah, casual sex…

Back when I was depressed, unemployed, and poor, it was the greatest source of joy in my life. Now, it’s the bane of my existence. Not because I miss it, but because half of all questions I get come from women who are sleeping with men without commitment and wondering why they’re so unhappy.

Not because I miss it, but because half of my reader questions come from women who are sleeping with men without commitment and wondering why they’re so unhappy.

Instead of offering my opinion as I’ve done so many times before, I’m going to turn to Iceland, as I’ve never ever done before.

This article talks about the casual sex culture of the tiny island country, and why it may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Namely, Iceland “has created a unique microcosm of sexuality in which the country’s more liberal “fuck first, names later” dictum sets it apart from the rest of the developed world…A much more normal order of operations in Iceland is to meet a stranger while you’re out drinking, take them back to your place, have sex, and then decide whether you want to see them socially again.”

At first glance, I LOVE the fuck first ideology.

I also love that it parallels with Iceland’s strong gender equality. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Global Gender Gap Report, Iceland tops the ranking of the world’s nations with the smallest gender gap for the eighth year in a row.

As a result, “Icelanders are far less likely to pathologize women who have taken an interest in sex as much as men are expected to. In that sort of permissive atmosphere, casual sex becomes easier because women are seen as equals to men. They’re allowed to express their sexuality to the degree their biology drives them to without the fear of social shame or stigma.”

All healthy, right? Isn’t this the way things SHOULD be? Yes. But “fuck first” becomes a little bit like Communism or libertarianism – great in theory, a bit flawed in practice.

But “fuck first” becomes a little bit like Communism or libertarianism – great in theory, a bit flawed in practice.

“Because Icelandic women are so sexually and financially liberated — and because, by some scientific accounts, women are biologically less programmed toward monogamy than men — marriage is not the idealized fantasy it is here. In fact, it’s customary to date someone, have a child with them and then raise it for years before marriage is ever on the table.”

If that works for you, great. For some men and women, having kids out of wedlock is not the ideal situation – even if the “fuck first” thing sounds fun for awhile.

Concludes the article: “While Iceland’s sex-forward society might sound bloody fantastic to a blue-blooded American, extreme sexual liberation is not a perfect model for everyone. However, what everyone can learn from Iceland is that female empowerment, and the recognition of women as equals, seems to benefit all people.”

Your thoughts, about Iceland, super-casual sex, and American values and expectations, are all greatly appreciated.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Jeremy

    Happiness is the intersection of expectation and perception.  How many people are unhappy because their expectations were not met?  It seems that Iceland has succeeded in altering expectations.  Will that make people happier in the long-term?  I don’t know.  But I DO know that having meaningful long-term relationships is one of the keys to happiness (see results of Harvard study that Evan posted on another thread).  So if this “fuck first” mentality results in fewer committed relationships, my guess would be less long-term happiness.

    1. 1.1
      Sylvana

      I don’t see how the “fuck first” mentality would make any difference to meaningful long-term relationships we have with intimate partners.

      Marrying for love is a relatively new idea. And – judging by divorce rates – we are obviously not very good at it, even in cultures that don’t adhere to the “fuck first” mentality.

      In general, meaningful long-term relationships (whether with intimate partners or just family members and friends) are on the decline. Severe loneliness is on a horrible rise. The “fuck first” mentality has nothing to do with the fact that we no longer even form meaningful non-sexual bonds.

      Fact is, sex is a huge part of relationships, and sex related issues are one of the leading causes for divorce. Combined with a deep emotional bond, a great sex life will bond a couple so much closer together. Relying on the emotional bond alone will likely not be enough to see a couple through rougher times.

      So IF the “fuck first” mentality results in fewer committed relationships, I would say it is because people weeded out those potential partners who are not sexually all that compatible with them right away. And are starting less relationships that wouldn’t have lasted anyway.

      Even in cultures with less open attitudes toward sex, cheating is rather common. I don’t know how the numbers of cheaters in Iceland relate to other countries, but fact remains that our “date first” approach produces a staggering amount of people who don’t consider faithfulness as part of their commitment to their partner.

      I fully agree with you that meaningful long-term relationships are one of the biggest keys to happiness. For those of us lucky enough to be with a partner who makes us happy, doesn’t cheat, and is willing to make the relationship last, long-term happiness greatly increases. Sadly, the percentage of those kind of committed relationships are rather low.

      And I don’t think whether you “date first” or “fuck first” will change those numbers.

       

       

      1. 1.1.1
        Jeremy

        Hi again Sylvana.  “Marrying for love is a relatively new idea.” Yes, I also ready Stefanie Coontz’s “A History of Marriage.”

        In general, meaningful relationships are on the decline.” Yes, I also read “Sapiens” by Yuval Harari.

         

        I think we both agree that meaningful relationships are important, but the question is whether having a diverse pre-marital sex life and very liberal attitudes toward sex influence the chances of finding long-term relationship happiness.  Given the other books we’ve both seem to have read, have you read “The Paradox of Choice”?  Barry Schwartz doesn’t specifically apply his theories to human sexuality, but I believe they do apply.  Choice addiction is a factor in marital stability – I have seen this in action.  It isn’t the only factor by any means, but it is a factor.

         

        You keep returning to the issue of sexual compatibility as a factor in divorce and I’ve addressed this in my comment to you below.  It isn’t so much that the couple is unable to give each other pleasure, it’s that they are unable to fulfil each other’s meta-goals.  And in a short-term fuck-first scenario, a couple might believe they are sexually compatible yet have absolutely no idea what each other’s (or their own) meta-goals actually are.  Those come out with maturity and time.

         

        John Gottman discusses the key to marital success based on his decades of research (yes Marika, I went there).  Friendship.  Not sex, not communication, but friendship.  If a couple is genuinely FRIENDS with each other, all the arguments, all the problems they will eventually experience will be dealt with in a positive context and will have the best chance of resolution.  And so it follows that a search for friendship, compatibility, should be the primary concern when dating if a long-term relationship is the goal.

         

        1. Marika

          I’m in Jeremy’s head..hehe!! 😉

          I think the wisest thing Evan ever write was ‘It’s not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that ruins marriages’. For me, anyway, that was spot on.

        2. Sylvana

          Hi Jeremy,

          I do agree that “having too many options/choices” could be a problem for some people, and therefore lead to less long-term relationships. Decisions, decisions…lol

          Honestly, though, most men pretty much already have a”fuck first” mentality (and always have had it). So I’m not sure if giving women the freedom to have the same would change much when it comes to long-term relationships.

          The only change I might see is that men who previously might have ruled out sexually more experienced partners, now might include them in their options, therefore expanding their choices. For women, the choices would likely be even less if they put more emphasis to sex.

          Speaking of emphasis for sex. I did not mean that sex should be the main factor in choosing a partner. I even pointed out that sex, combined with a deep emotional bond can make a couple that much stronger. Not sex alone. Friendship and compatibility are definitely the most important factors.

          But I do see a problem with sex being considered relatively unimportant when it comes to partner selection. This is particularly being pushed for women, but also for men. It needs to be elevated to an equal status with friendship and communication.

          As much as people try to tell themselves it shouldn’t matter as much as other things, fact remains that someone unsatisfied with their sex life will either go somewhere else (cheat), lose interest in having sex with their partner (causing the other to cheat or making the other feel bad about themselves), or end the relationship due to wanting to cheat.

          The stress relieve and intense feeling of physical and mental well-being one gets from orgasm can absolutely make a relationship stronger, and help carry it through harder times.

          I also didn’t state that sex is THE top cause for divorce. Financial reasons, growing apart, goals (meta-goals) are all in the top. But so is sex – or better: sex related issues.

          What I was pointing out is that while all the others are always being addressed, sex is generally left out. It seems as if no one wants to touch the subject. And it is so much more than just a physical problem. Frustration, feeling unwanted, undesired, even unloved. It causes fighting and insecurity in relationships. And while men tend to be more outspoken about having to have their needs met, most women are still operating under the “the topic can’t be brought up” approach.

          Friendship and love are wonderful. But they alone are not enough to carry a couple through (with the exception of medical problems preventing sex, maybe).  A lot of cheaters will even tell you that they are very much in love with their partners, and very much enjoy the friendship they have with them. That’s why they won’t end the relationship instead of cheating.

          And if you observe couples that have been together a long time, you will almost always observe that they still have that “spark” – that sexy bond, the flirtatious attitude, etc. Whether they are still capable of having sex or not. The sexual attraction is still obvious.

          Is it the biggest part that keeps them together? No. But it still is a very strong part.

          And so it follows that a search for friendship, compatibility, should be the primary concern when dating if a long-term relationship is the goal.

          So, yes. I fully agree with you that sex should not be the top reason to establish a long-term relationship. But sex is a huge part of compatibility.

          And since compatibility plays such a large role in whether a couple has a chance to stay together long-term, it is a rather important aspect to consider.

          But the “fuck first” mentality does not use sex as the main deciding factor for a long-term relationship. They are merely using it to see if it is worth getting to know the other person better, to see if they would date them.  It does not mean that no matter how horrible a match otherwise, they’d marry the person just because of sex.

          I cannot disagree with that. After all, there is one big difference between your best friends and your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse – Sex (romantic intimacy).

          If all a person wanted was friendship and compatibility, non-romantic friends would be enough.

           

           

        3. Jeremy

          Sylvana, you wrote, “Most men have a fuck-first mentality (and always had it), so I’m not sure if giving women the freedom to choose the same would change much in terms of long-term relationships.”

           

          You might be surprised.  Read the book “Cheap Sex” by Mark Regnerus.  It deals specifically with this topic – how lowering of sexual standards by women affect not only women but men and the marriage market.  He writes with some obvious bias, but his arguments are very cogent.

        4. CaliforniaGirl

          @Sylvana,

          when I married my husband I thought that sex is not that important because we were highly compatible in many other things and the sex was just ok. I was 25. Biggest mistake of my life. When I hit 30, I was ready to jump any man walking on a street and I am not kidding. My ex-husband had sex with me maybe 10 times in a 9 year period we were married. And I still stayed, because everything else was good and it’s not easy to find a good man, you know. My mom would say it’s not that important, look how much money he makes! (My dad was unemployed and depressed most of his life), my single girlfriends would say that I am just too spoiled, want everything and a good sex? But somehow I just wanted to die.

          I am so much happier now after I realized that a man can actually desire me and want to have sex with me and attracted to me and, actually, care if I had an orgasm. All the guys I dated after my divorce couldn’t believe that I was in sexless marriage because I just wanted sex all the time :).

        5. Sylvana

          @ California Girl,

          hugs! Honey, I don’t know how you lasted that long with that little sex. I’m glad to hear you’re finally in a better place.

          There definitely comes a time where all the good qualities in the world won’t be enough anymore to warrant staying in a relationship. Sadly, too many women will stay, even if such a large part of their lives is unfulfilled.

          I don’t think it’s greedy to want it all. Otherwise, you can simply get a roommate to help with the finances, and best friends for companionship.

          I wish you the best, and hope you’ll have much better luck in the future.

        6. CaliforniaGirl

          @Sylvana,

          thank you, I am in better place 🙂

        7. Clare

          @California Girl,

           

          I so hear you! I was married very young, and sex with my ex-husband was not good. He was extremely sexually aggressive, and since for me, sex needs to be a lot more sensual and connected, I didn’t enjoy it. I avoided having sex with him whenever I could, and although we would only go weeks and sometimes a month or two without having sex (not like you where it was many months) when I did cave in to having sex with him, I was doing it out of a feeling of obligation and not enjoyment.

          In the end, it was a major factor that pulled us apart. A lot of people thought I was crazy to leave him – he really had the full package. Successful, good looking, adored me, and he was a good husband in the traditional sense – good provider and he was very romantic. But one of the thoughts I had was that I didn’t want to be someone that cheated, and I felt like I was in danger of that. And even though we were only married for five and a half years, I feel like I’ve been playing catch up ever since – once I start dating a guy, I cannot get enough sex.

          Like you, it’s also convinced me that having good sex should be a major consideration when choosing a partner. If you don’t enjoy sex with your partner, you are asking for trouble. Good and regular sex in a relationship tends to make me much more contented in it.

  2. 2
    Kath

    Agree with Jeremy’s post. As a woman, I’ve never been able to be happy with the “fuck first” mentality, though I never actively sought those opportunities. It all depends on the individual and their beliefs; you should know your own boundaries and what is and isn’t acceptable to you. Ultimately, we all need affection in the form of compansionship or love—from friends, family, and if you are fortunate, from a special someone. Love/belonging is a basic need in Maslow’s hierarchy. The lonely and isolated ones tend to be more chronically ill and die sooner than those who have meaningful relationships in their lives.

  3. 3
    Stacy

    I am very ANTI ‘fuck first’ and believe that it doesn’t work for most women. However, if it works in Iceland for the culture, then fuck away.

    For me,  I don’t get turned on by a man unless he reaches my mind first. Plus, after doing a cost benefit analysis, the cost is way too high for the benefit (possibility of pregnancy, feeling empty after if I don’t hear from him again, pregnancy, STDs, etc). What could it possibly benefit me beside an orgasm (which I can give myself, and a damn good one at that)?

    So for me, no thank you. I feel like, over centuries, people have been trying to go against ‘nature’ and it’s just not working. Men and women are made differently and no amount of equality will change those foundations.

    1. 3.1
      Sylvana

      I’m not quite understanding what you consider “nature”.

      Women being loyal to and sexually active with only the strongest, healthiest male currently in their vicinity? So the only men who appeal to your mind are the ones who have the best possible physical attributes to pass on to your offspring to ensure your offspring’s survival. Along with a healthy protective streak, and the physical ability to protect.

      Or are you referring to the thousands of years in which women had no choice as to their sexual partners at all?

      As to the cost/benefit analysis, I have to agree with you. Except for the emotional aspects. The physical risks are rather great.

    2. 3.2
      Pistola

      Stacy,

      For a long time, research on women’s sexuality was either not funded or repressed. Research that’s starting to come out now shows that when women are not subject to shaming or moralistic pressures, they’re interested in casual sex and novelty seeking at about the same rate as men. This is consistent with my experience working with women as a therapist, as well.

      1. 3.2.1
        Stacy

        @Pistola

        Interesting indeed. I would speculate (since I am no professional) that it would be extremely difficult to quantify such a study, since in most cultures (unfortunately), women have been shamed about sexuality in one form or another. So, for me to take such research seriously, I would have to know many more details as well as how the researchers measured this and who were the participants.

        In my experience (of course this is as limiting as anyone else’s individual experience), I have yet to meet ONE woman who feels fulfilled after casual sex when she never hears from ‘him’ again. The only exceptions I have ever come across are women who were abused and have issues with men (I used to volunteer at an abused women shelter), women who just went through something traumatic like a divorce and intentionally wanted to have casual sex for a while, etc. But in all instances, the women preferred that because of a ‘situation’ and the situation never seems to come from a positive experience.

        1. Vanessa

          I am one of those women who really enjoys casual sex, can feel fulfilled by it, and is not upset when I don’t hear from him again. Casual sex usually happens while I am out on the town with my girlfriends or while traveling; I have had many vacation romances. I go home with a spring in my step, feeling very good about myself, feeling very desirable, like I’ve “still got it”. I only sleep with men that are very attractive and funny and ask intelligent questions and give me lots of compliments; basically what appears to be my dream guy. But they are not boyfriend material; usually we don’t have enough in common or they are in the middle of a bitter divorce or we do not live in the same city and have no intention of moving. So we have an incredible night or few nights together and then we return to our real lives. Sometimes we keep in touch and see each other when we are in the same city. I’ve had two long term long distance relationships start this way. And sometimes we don’t keep in touch; it really depends on the person. The only time I have regretted it is when the sex is really bad, just like I do when I start dating someone only to find out he’s selfish or lazy in bed. Not all men are good in bed (duh), so I am picky and only choose those who tick all my boxes so chances are higher we will have good chemistry in bed. My favorite scenario is to not have sex till the 2nd or 3rd time we see each other on that trip, so the chemistry can build. But I’ve definitely had amazing experiences with men after only meeting them that night. I remember every detail of those experiences and I love thinking about them when I’m feeling down or lonely. They remind me that there are amazing men out in the world and that there must be one like that in my huge city; I just haven’t met him yet. And they validate how much I have to offer the right man when I find him: I’m sexy, fun, spontaneous, outgoing, friendly, etc.

          My close girlfriends feel the same way I do. When we go on trips together or out on the town at home, casual sex is always a possibility. We are all in our 30’s and 40’s, no children, never married. We would definitely love to find the right guy and fall in love, but we’re not going to pass up great experiences with great men while we wait for the right man to show up.

        2. Pistola

          Stacy,

          Well, I will say this–the women I know and see who enjoy casual/multiple connections–and there are quite a few–are all, without exception, women who really don’t want kids. So that may have something to do with feeling more relaxed and being open to different situations, that lack of a sense of needing to find “the one”.

        3. Sylvana

          Pistola,

          very interesting you say that about those women not wanting sex. I am one who’s all for casual sex. And I am also one of those who does NOT want children.

           

        4. Sylvana

          I’m a woman. And I better not hear from him again, considering I will neither let him know where I live and work, nor will he have my phone number. Heck, we’ll be lucky if we know each others’ first names. And I likely won’t remember his name a few days later (unless he was exceptionally good in bed). I’m not in a habit of carrying on conversations with men I have casual sex with.

          And I happen to know quite a number of women who are the same. We simply do not need any sort of emotional connection in order to have sex, tend to keep sex and emotions very separate.

          Emotional connections are reserved for special partners only – those who we are dating/married to, etc.

          No abuse or trauma in my past, either. And I don’t dislike men. Quite the opposite. I rather much love and adore men.

          Not saying either is wrong or right, but we do exist

           

           

        5. AllHeart81

          Stacy, it’s possible that some women don’t feel fulfilled by casual sex because of general society pressures that teach women, since the time they are little girls, that they should look for marriage and the fairy tale. The same society that calls us names for liking sex. Men have been trying to control women and sex since the dawn of time. I think given more freedom, women will want to experience variety and diversity in experiences, just like men do. I think what you are referencing is social constructs, not always biological ones.

      2. 3.2.2
        Jeremy

        I think that caution must be exercised when interpreting a lot of these findings, because of the fallacy in people’s ability to predict what they want in the future and inability to remember what they wanted in the past once their priorities have changed.  See Dan Gilbert’s research on this.

         

        It would not surprise me at all to learn that novelty-seeking is about as prevalent in the minds of women as men – which is to say that about equal proportions of both genders need more novelty for stimulation.  BUT…IME, most women also prioritize lifestyle and having children in a stable environment.  Perhaps not always in their lives, but at certain ages.  Which is why the social exchange model of sexuality still largely holds.  And those priorities often conflict with a desire for novelty and subsume them for a while or forever.  How many of the women who seek novelty do so either before or after their child-bearing years?  It is one thing to say that many women would prefer more novelty….but how many women having casual sex in their 30s secretly long for marriage and children?  How many women’s desire for novelty conflicts with their other desires?  One can not take a single desire out of context and draw global conclusions – instead of asking people what they prefer, we need to watch what they DO.

        1. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          How many women’s desire for novelty conflicts with their other desires? 

          It depends on which desire is stronger.  At the end of the day, if a woman wants to be married and have children, the only thing that matters is which guy is showing up, consistently, and wants those things with her. No other factor is as important. Compatibility, second. Sex, attraction, etc. is number 3. If that comes with the other two factors, she’s lucky. So the desire for novelty, for that woman, is not a high priority. If novelty or hot sex is the number one priority for her, she’ll probably be sacrificing one or two of the other factors.

        2. Jeremy

          Sure Emily, but let’s not forget the fourth dimension, time. Priorities change over time. Once a person irrevocably gets the thing they prioritized, they may then begin to prioritize something else completely.

        3. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          Sure Emily, but let’s not forget the fourth dimension, time. 

          Yes, time can be a factor. I suppose a woman who wanted the family could, ostensibly, after the children were raised, want novelty.

          But all anyone can do is pick the best option that is in front of him/her. I never could figure out why my stepmother married my father … until I met the family friend who was her other option. It’s all relative.

           

        4. Pistola

          Jeremy

          I do think that’s the dividing line so to speak–whether or not a woman wants to get married and have kids. That said, I see many polyamorous clients who are married, have kids, and also have anywhere from one to three other lovers. Their situations are as happy and stable as the monogamous marriages I’ve seen thus far, though such pairings are more rare overall.

          It’s interesting to me that often when a long term relationship opens up, it’s the woman who wants to open it up. What I often see is a long period of monogamy followed by various forms of non monogamous experimentation. Not infrequently, it’s actually the man in the couple who’s lost interest in sex (testosterone drop I guess) and the couple wants to stay married; it’s the woman who still wants and needs more sexually.

        5. Sylvana

          Jeremy,

          I’m beginning to wonder. It seems the freer women become, the more career oriented they become.

          The current trend of alarmingly dropping birth rates in nations where women are strong in the workforce shows a telling trend. And the birthrates are dropping the strongest in career women.

          Might that be because they wait too long to have a husband and kids? Maybe. But most of those women will still return to their careers as soon as possible after giving birth. Showing a clear trend that they are no longer prioritizing family and children, but careers and independence.

          It seems the more options a woman has, the less she sticks to her”traditional” role, in all regards.

           

           

        6. Jeremy

          Sylvana – I disagree with this.  If you look at trends in Scandinavian countries (where gender equality is the most equal of anywhere on Earth), women with freedom to choose anything they wish often choose to work less than men.  It’s not that they don’t pursue careers (they do), but that they choose careers with more flexibility and fewer hours.  Further, if you look at the results of the Pew study (I think it was 2012, but might be off on the year) showing that the majority of women with children under age 18 prefer to work part-time, while the majority of men preferred to work full-time.

           

          In other words, it’s not that women are not prioritizing families – they are.  It’s that they have more trouble doing so because finding a quality partner is more difficult and the expectation to work full-time differs from what their preference might be.

           

          Finally, you’ve written that the odds of finding enduring love are 50/50 – this might be true statistically, but does not have to be true individually.  Evan’s many posts encourage women to choose better partners to improve on this average.  My many posts here have offered many strategies on understanding the self and understanding the other to vastly improve on this average.  One need not be agnostic about love – rather, one should be smart about it.

        7. Sylvana

          Jeremy,

          That’s an interesting observation. Economic security and security in general seem to have a great influence on women’s behavior. In Scandinavian countries, security for single women is obviously much greater than in the US, allowing them different choices. Even for families, security is much better.

          In the US, unless a women is financially secure, she somewhat still needs a man for added security (when it comes to having children). And there, I have to agree, finding a man still willing to provide the security is not all that easy.

          It would be interesting to compare career drive and having children, (possibly even marriages) to the social and economic securities each country offers in the more “developed” nations, to see if there are any influences. (securities like health insurance, maternity leave, job security, pro-employee attitude, etc.)

          We know the happiness and standard of living in Scandinavian countries is rated some of the highest in the world.

          Do you know if birth rates are on the same decline there as in other nations? (Germany, France, UK, China/Japan, US, etc.)

           

           

  4. 4
    S.

    “The cultural acceptance of sex stems back to a contagious disease [smallpox], which ravaged Iceland in 1707, seriously depopulating the island,” Fulbright explains. “In an effort to repopulate the country, the King of Denmark declared it lawful for every young Icelandic woman to give birth to six children, regardless of her marital status. This act was not seen as one of shame, or involving degradation or loss of reputation, rather it showed status as something to be praised in the name of patriotism.”

    When you make unwed motherhood a source of pride it does turn things around. I am glad to know the origin of this.

    We live in such a small and secure environment, and the women have so much freedom. So you can choose your life.”

    I think that’s key.  When it’s such a small and secure environment with no stigma against the consequences of sex (chlamydia there is so prevalent they call it the “Reykjavik handshake.”), then people can feel secure to make what choices they feel are right for them.  It seems like children are taken care of too and they don’t mention incidents of HIV.

    There are definitely cultures here where people have children and raise them first before getting married. Or raise them and never get married.  But there is still a lingering stigma against that.  I’m not sure why if the couple stays together and raises the kids.  Live and let live.

    This couple warms my heart. 🙂

    Couple in their 80s get married after FORTY FOUR years of dating

    1. 4.1
      Marika

      Thanks for sharing that S. Loving those grannies!

      Also puts it all into perspective. I knew a girl from Iceland once. When she told me the population , my jaw dropped. It’s tiny! I jokingly told her she’d better go back!

      Who are we to judge? If you have a tiny population, with people leaving for more opportunities, go ahead and re-populate however you see fit!

      1. 4.1.1
        S.

        I love that couple and had to share the link.  There are so many ways to have  successful relationship.  🙂

  5. 5
    Michelle

    This sounds like what people do in their early 20’s- hook up, then see what happens. I don’t have a problem with it, as long as the guy is on the same page.

  6. 6
    Tron Swanson

    This will initially sound unrelated to the topic, so please bear with me. In my ideal world, there wouldn’t be any sex-related social pressure or moral judgment at all. (Crime notwithstanding.) People are just too different for there to be some “one size fits all” approach. “This is the One Good Thing, and everyone has to do it, or else you’re bad and immature, and you’ll end up miserable!” Sure, some people will try to justify it by playing the nature card and saying that we’re “supposed” to act a certain way, but there are enough atypical men and women (whether gay or straight) that the nature card doesn’t mean a whole lot.

    I tried monogamous relationships, and they made me absolutely miserable. But I’d never go around proclaiming that my approach is good for everyone. Some people will be happier in committed relationships. Some people will be happier with no-strings sex. Some people will be happier with semi-committed relationships–say, not married or living together, and maintaining a sense of independence.

    My personal experience with this is that not all women are the same. Some women can’t do casual sex, and some women are so good at it that it’s actually a little scary. (Once, a FWB of mine thanked me for our time together, telling me that she needed to move on, and she promptly got engaged to a guy, and was a married and pregnant housewife within two years. I was simply a way to pass the time until she found an acceptable long-term man, which is just the way I like it.)

    Also, Iceland sounds fun. Maybe I should visit…

    1. 6.1
      Sylvana

      Tron,

      sounds to me like you have the right attitude. Not judging people for what they want or desire.

      I tend to get annoyed with the obvious influences of religious believes, because they tend to push discrimination. And they really, really suppress women (and others, obviously).

      I do think that nature does have a great influence on the MAJORITY of people. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t think those who do not fit into the majority are weird. Nature itself allows for a huge variety of personalities and attitudes.

      Plenty of animals practice gay sex, for example…lol. So pulling the nature card by calling being gay “unnatural” is out.

      1. 6.1.1
        Tron Swanson

        I don’t think that it has to be an either/or thing. In a few ways, my traits and behavior are straight out of the Stereotypical Guy playbook…but, in most other ways, I’m pretty different. The thing is, women only see my more stereotypical traits, because the others don’t involve being social.

        Maybe this will sound contradictory to what I just said, but, I personally think it’s possible to view people as unique individuals, but still make decisions based on a collective view of a gender. Someone can say “Not all men/women are the same” and yet also believe general truths about a gender, whether it’s due to the odds, or the culture, or the legal system, or whatever. Or, even if you don’t believe the general truths, you at least believe the probability of those truths being applicable, and act accordingly.

        1. Sylvana

          That’s pretty much exactly what I believe. Seems like we both agree.

           

           

  7. 7
    Pistola

    As someone who sees clients from (at last count) a dozen different countries and a wide variety of sexual styles (asexual all the way to hard kink and polyamory) I sometimes wonder if we just put too much pressure on sex in this culture. Of course, the charge sex has here is very related to the shaming of sex in the Christian roots of this country.

    I do notice that my European clients have a much more relaxed attitude about sex overall–you want to do it, go ahead and do it, but liking the person and exploring getting to know them is more important. My Asian and Middle Eastern clients are much more conservative about sex; to them it’s part of life, but they’re really focused on family as their big thing. It’s really Americans who are obsessed about, and neurotic about, sex as a whole. I never hear my clients from other cultures discussing this and that “kind” of sex–casual, committed, whatever. Those discussions only seem to happen with American born clients who have no connection to another culture.

    It does seem that puritanism is a huge part of the angel/devil split around sexuality in American culture. I’ve certainly noticed that people who free themselves of that seem a lot happier, even if they still choose to pursue traditional monogamous relationships and families. Personally I think both monogamy and polyamory are pretty ingrained orientations rather than preferences. Some people just aren’t monogamous; it seems like about 80% are, regardless of gender preference or expression, and about 20% are not. I also think that kinky/vanilla are orientations.

    People who find the right mix of their orientations and relationship style are pretty happy. To some people a kinky polycule could look like people having a lot of casual sex, but since I work with those clients I know they take those relationships quite seriously and are quite happy.

    Seems like the big thing is to find out what really is YOU and be true to that.

    1. 7.1
      Sylvana

      I’m so glad you said that.

      I’m from Europe, raised in various European countries. I was positively shocked by how “weird” Americans are when it comes to sex. Lived here longer than in Europe by now, and I still can’t wrap my mind around it. Even something as harmless as nudity is such a big deal over here. True, there are some seriously dangerous sickos here. But before I was aware of that, I often joked that it seemed like this nation was trying to create them on purpose.

      Fully agree with you on everything else as well.

      While men and women are certainly very different in many regards, when it comes to sex, the biggest different is what we were taught to believe.

      The whole “as a woman” reference when it comes to sex needs to be replaced by “as a person who was raised to believe” …

      Since it is rather obvious that women who weren’t raised to feel/think/act a certain way about sex do not share the same feelings.

       

      1. 7.1.1
        henriette

        There are no “dangerous sickos” in Europe?  How wonderful!

        1. Sylvana

          Where exactly did I say there were no dangerous sickos in Europe?

          Read the statement again and you might understand the context in which the term was used.

           

        2. Henriette

          @Sylvana: I understood perfectly well the context in which you wrote, but thank you for demanding ~ not even politely suggesting ~ that I re-read your comment so that I “might” comprehend it. Trust me: nothing you wrote was so esoteric or profound that I might have missed your meaning.

          “Sickos” exist in every country and culture.  When I was younger, a series of hideous paedophilia rings were exposed in Belgium. I remember thinking, of course this happened over there; a place where sex is treated like it’s nothing special is ripe for all kinds of perversions.  We can always find “proof” to support our own biases.

          The fact of the matter is that a country like Iceland can more easily indulge in a “f*ck first” culture because it is tiny and extremely homogeneous (genetically, socio-economically, culturally).  And, in spite of high gun ownership, the violent crime rate is extremely low.  As a result, there is no need to take multiple dates to try to figure out a partner’s context; it’s close to certain that any random guy an Icelandic woman meets at the bar is totally safe and has the same expectations and understandings around sex/ relationships as she.

           

        3. Sylvana

          Once more, I ask: Where did I state there are no dangerous sickos in Europe?

          If you understood the context, it should be clear that I never claimed there weren’t.

          Or are you just offended for the sake of being offended? And hurtling around insults, but not able to take them in return?

           

           

           

           

           

        4. Henriette

          Gosh, Sylvana.  I find no insults in your comments, nor am I the least bit offended.  How odd that you, then, accuse me of “hurtling around” (the correct English is, in fact, “hurling”) insults, myself.  It seems you are the only person “offended for the sake of being offended.”

          I am too busy and happy to continue this conversation, so this will be my last comment in this thread.  I stand by my assertion that Iceland’s “F*ck first” culture is a natural outcropping of an unusually small, safe, homogeneous society.  And I respectfully suggest that you pay greater heed to both your manners and your reading comprehension.

  8. 8
    Sylvana

    To me, this perfectly proves just how much cultural “opinion” influences the way men and women think and feel about sex.

    Things like “most women form attachments once they have sex” or “most women need to feel some sort of connection before they have sex” obviously do not apply to most women in Iceland. Which makes you wonder how much of this is actually a woman’s nature, and how much is simple subconscious programming.

    I was raised with a very open attitude toward sex, and can honestly say I never understood why women would feel that way (needing connection, forming attachments, etc.). It is very strange to me that most women cannot separate sex from emotional aspects.  One has nothing to do with the other. And it makes absolutely not sense from a survival of the species aspect.

    I also fully agree that women are biologically not programmed toward monogamy any more than men (although I wouldn’t go as far as saying we are less so inclined). Considering the extremely high likelihood of death and serious, permanent bodily injury a woman endures during pregnancy and childbirth, she better make sure her offspring has the best chance of survival. Meaning: Her offspring needs to have the best chance of being healthy and being kept safe to survive to adulthood. The only way to do that is to mate with the strongest, healthiest, most protective male. Whoever that might be at the time. Therefore she is loyal to a male only as long as he is the top male.

    If it was natural for us as a species to be monogamous, there would be no break-ups, no divorces, no cheating. Animals who pair for life do just that: Pair up and are monogamous for life. I’m not saying there aren’t many wonderful, monogamous leaning people in the world. But the fact remains that it isn’t, and never has been a natural state for us as a species.

    The other thing that baffles me is that men not only get to choose their partners, but actually get to be picky about who they choose (although the fact that they can and will have sex with partners they are not attracted to makes perfect sense). In most (if not all) animals species, a male gets to reproduce only with whatever female he is lucky enough to manage to impress. If he beats out the top male of a herd/pack/etc., he will try to reproduce with EVERY female in that herd/pack/etc., no matter how weak, ugly, old she is. As long as she is in heat/cycling, etc.

    Since, sadly, nature has also designed women to have a much harder time reaching orgasm, the “fuck first” culture of Iceland actually makes the most sense to women. Like it or not, sex does play a  huge role in relationships. Maybe if more women remembered this when selecting their partners, we wouldn’t have so many men complaining about their women having lost interest in sex.

    Yes – an emotional connection can make sex better. But, despite what so many women have been programmed to belief – it does NOT make sex more fulfilling in the physical and metal way. Only in the emotional way. So if the physical and mental needs are continuously not being met, having emotional fulfillment will not keep a woman interested in sex all that long. Especially not since she can get her emotional needs filled in other ways just as well.

    Let a man go one week having sex without being able to orgasm (unless he finishes himself off masturbating whenever he might get the chance), and see how long he’ll keep wanting to have sex with that woman.

    So, from a woman’s view, testing your partner’s sexual attitude/ability/skills before you allow any emotional connection makes absolute sense. If he’s the last person she’ll have sex with, he better be able to keep her satisfied.

    For a man it’s more a matter of if he’s just gonna have an orgasm (physical fulfillment), or have an orgasm AND mental (and possibly also emotional) fulfillment. But the physical fulfillment part is pretty much a guarantee.

    As to the marriage part … Marriage was intended as legal protection for offspring and the woman bearing said offspring. Since children are starting to have legal protection outside of marriage, the contract is becoming more or less unnecessary from a legal point of view. Much to most men’s dismay, it still protects the woman (especially if she bore him children). With women becoming more financially independent, the need for marriage lowers in that regard as well.

    Although I still firmly believe that there is not enough money in the world to compensate a woman for what her body endures during pregnancy and childbirth, and the often lifelong health consequences afterwards. If she sustained even a fraction of those injuries and health issues in an accident, she could sue the crap out of somebody.

    Still, I do not see why the fuck first culture automatically has to equate to having children out of wedlock. We don’t seem to  be talking about accidental pregnancies here, but rather about women choosing to have and raise children with partners who they are not married to – which is likely more related to women’s financial independence than sexual attitude. There are plenty of unwanted pregnancies and unwed mothers in countries with less open attitudes. It doesn’t stop anyone from having sex outside of marriage, it just shames them for doing so. Well – women anyway. One would think that not shaming unwed mothers would not only benefit women, but their children as well. I don’t see the downside.

    The only difference between unwed couples and married couples raising children together is a legal contract. Wedlock does not provide extra love or nurturing for children. It does not make a couple a better or stronger couple, or better parents. Marriage also does not guarantee parents will stay together.

    As long as children have the same protection under law whether parents are married or not, the contract really does not make a difference.

    Having been raised sexually very open, I fully agree with the fuck first policy. I would never allow myself to get emotionally attached to a man before I knew what he is like in bed. There’s only so much you can teach. You cannot change general attitude or personality. And sex is way too important for me to sacrifice for emotional connection (unless it’s for a wonderful partner who I’ve been with for years, who could no longer have sex).

    Even coming to the US was a total culture shock to me. Although I was somewhat extra open-minded even by European standards (were I was raised), I was shocked to find how prude Americans were – including men! Compared to people in the European countries I lived in.

    So I’ve always thought a lot of it is cultural or, more likely, religion related.

    I would go as far as to say there is not enough emphasis put on sex when it comes to choosing a partner. Otherwise sex related issues wouldn’t be one of the leading causes for divorce. I also firmly believe that if all the stigmas around sex were removed (this goes for both women and men), and we taught our children to safely and responsibly enjoy their sexuality to the max, we’d see a lot more couples bond for life. If you combine a strong emotional connection with an incredibly good sex-life that fulfills both partners physical, mental, and emotional needs, that bond will be darn near impossible to break.

     

     

     

     

     

    1. 8.1
      Jeremy

      Sylvana, I read your post and am sure that it applies to you and to many other women.  But there’s something that I think is missing, that Ive tried to express to you before.  Each of us gets something different from sex, seeks sex for different reasons.  And because most of us don’t really think too much about that fact, we assume that other people share our reasons.  The person who seeks sex for pleasure believes that the most important thing is pleasure.  The person who sees sex as a sacred mating act believes that others should also see it so.

       

      A person whose sexual goal is pleasure would absolutely behave as you wrote, and benefit from the things you wrote.  But my experience is that only a minority of people (and especially women) have a goal of pleasure, believe it or not.  That doesn’t mean they don’t want pleasure or orgasms, but rather it means that those things are secondary to what they really want, and if they aren’t getting what they really want, no amount of pleasure/orgasms will make them want the sex from that person.  You wrote, “if only more people took this into account, we’d hear less about women losing interest in sex.”  No, we wouldn’t.  Because the overwhelming majority of reasons for a loss of interest in sex have nothing to do with how much or how little pleasure it causes.  See Esther Perel for more on this.

      1. 8.1.1
        Sylvana

        Hi Jeremy,

        As I mentioned above. There are three parts to sex:

        Physical, Mental, and Emotional. (although the physical – orgasm – will give you a mental high as well, and as such, could be counted as mental or emotional).

        I think that if all you want from sex is physical pleasure, it would become more secondary in relationships. Physical pleasure I can give myself just fine.

        Actually – this is coming from a women with a high, high drive toward the physical  – a single partner (yes, a romantic one) will absolutely not be able to give me as much pleasure as casual sex with, well … I’m gonna leave the rest to your imagination. Don’t want to get too graphic here.

        One fact is that ALL women are mentally driven during sex. Appeal to a woman’s mind, you’ll be her hero for life. Sadly, a lot of women aren’t even aware of this.

        A lot of women are also emotionally driven during sex. (I’m definitely not one of them). This, I found, has a lot to do with cultural influences.

        But no matter how you lean, the emotional bond during sex with a partner you love is something that is near indescribable. Nothing can replicate that. But that requires both partners to actually be open emotionally during sex.

        Most men are not. They simply are not emotional creatures naturally. At best, they are playful/creative. And you’d be surprised how many are not playful/creative either.

        For those women who need the emotional aspect, they need to feel wanted and desired during sex. The orgasm is secondary. Sadly, after the initial “honeymoon phase” how they call it, most women end up feeling like nothing but an outlet for him to get off.

        Maybe it is that initial “high” they talk about that allows men to be more open, more connected to women in the beginning of relationships. Who knows? But most men will revert back to the more physical after a few years at the latest. The playful/creative ones will continue to try and make their partners feel good about themselves (see — emotional and mental pleasure, NOT physical). But the majority of men will not.

        I’m not saying men are closing off or holding back on purpose, mind you. I’m sure most of them aren’t even aware of it.

        This might be related to orgasms. Since men usually still have them, they still get that high, that feeling of euphoria, on top of the physical release. So they still get that “feel good” feeling. The woman is left with nothing.

        So if a woman no longer feels she is getting that emotional validation, she will no longer feel good about herself in that regard. She will no longer feel as connected to her partner, no longer feel as desirable, as loved, as beautiful, etc. etc. Outside of just the physical, you just opened a huge can of worms. Here comes a slew of issues in a relationship that might never even be attributed to sex.

        Feeling desired, wanted, and beautiful in general is the most important thing for a woman. And sex plays a huge role in how she feels in that regard.

        Even men (whether they value the emotional connection or not) will feel the mental effects of their partner no longer desiring sex. They might not admit it as readily, but the underlying concern that they are no longer desired takes a chunk out of self-confidence. The loss of intimacy and connection is felt as well. This, is on top of the loss of the mental high they receive from orgasm (the physical).

        Each of us gets something different from sex, seeks sex for different reasons.

        Very true. The problem starts when one person no longer gets what he/she needs from sex, whatever that may be (physical, emotional, mental). Reality is, the initial honeymoon phase wears off. After that, you have to put an effort into keeping sex rewarding. Most men with women who need the emotional part of sex will not.

        The problem is actually much greater in those women who do not rely on the physical part alone.

        I’ll not even begin to lament about the mental aspect all women need, which is ignored by 80% of men at least.

        The person who sees sex as a sacred mating act believes that others should also see it so.

        I don’t think anyone should see anything in any certain way when it comes to sex. That’s what being sexually open-minded involves. To each their own, without judgment.

        I can fully understand that fulfillment can mean different things for each person. Once more – lacking emotional fulfillment during sex is lacking fulfillment as well. It has nothing to do with physical pleasure alone.

        I would go so far as to say that sex between two loving partners absolutely should be a sacred mating act (despite me being mostly physical). And therein lies the problem. The sacred mating act has a habit of turning into plain old sex after so long. For women left without the physical reward, and more than likely not getting the mental part, there is nothing enjoyable left to sex after that.

        Unless you’re referring to the sacred mating act as having sex ONLY whenever you want to produce children. In that case, sexual compatibility becomes a hugely important aspect of looking for a potential partner, as most of the population will not share the same view.

        So, in short:

        ALL women need mental stimulation during sex. This can be achieved through emotional aspects with those women who need emotional aspects, and through playfulness/creativeness or plain up kinkiness for the rest. Sadly, there are only very few men who actually know how to stimulate a women mentally during sex.

        A lot of women need emotional stimulation. Connection, love, safety, feeling beautiful, wanted, desired, etc. The emotional also fulfills a woman’s mental aspect if she is emotionally driven during sex. (I consider it nice, but it won’t help much if other mental aspects are lacking). Once more, very few men actually know how to do this during sex.

        Quite a few women also need the physical part. But most women will be all right with handling that themselves, as long as the mental stimulation is present. Same goes for as long as the emotional stimulation is fine.

        Either way – lose the mental, you lose the woman’s interest in sex with you.

        Because the overwhelming majority of reasons for a loss of interest in sex have nothing to do with how much or how little pleasure it causes.

        PHYSCIAL pleasure, maybe. But if you think emotional pleasure isn’t pleasure, I’d have to say you’re dead wrong. Technically, the physical pleasure received during orgasm is emotional as well. It releases feel good hormones. I don’t know about men, but a woman gets a flood of feel good hormones just from arousal and stimulation. No orgasm needed.

        Whether emotionally, mentally, or physically, sex makes you feel good. That is the reason it can become addictive. I, for one, am actually addicted to the stimulation, not the orgasm.

        Either way, as long as a woman is used to receiving a flood of good feeling during sex (whether through orgasm or not), she will want to feel that way again.

        True, there actually are those few, weird humans who actually do not like sugar (who would have thunk?) But in truth, most of us have to resist it. Sex is somewhat the same. So is anything else that makes us feel extremely good.

        While there are physical issues that can cause a woman to not enjoy sex (leading to not desiring it), and hormone changes due to motherhood/raising children can temporarily stop the need, a woman should still want to have sex as long as there are no underlying mental issues preventing her from wanting it.

        I have helped countless women to want sex again in my life. Turns out, most of them had some sort of mental hang up, even if it was only lack of enjoyment, feeling desired, etc. etc.

        So while I agree physical pleasure has little to do with a woman no longer wanting sex, Mental and Emotional pleasure, however, are absolutely the cause.

        Hope that cleared things up a bit.

         

         

         

        1. Jeremy

          So this was a long post, and I agree with much of it (though disagree with some).  But the topic at hand was the sex-first mentality, and the notion of establishing sexual compatibility prior to bothering with dating.  My point was that no such compatibility is established – that even if a new couple enjoys the sex they’ve just had, there’s no indication whether it will remain enjoyable over time, as their goals diverge.  My point was that it would be better to establish compatibility before the sex.  Because (as you wrote) sex can be addictive.  People can get into relationships with the wrong partner strictly because they crave the sex – whether the pleasure, the closeness, the intimacy, whatever.  Sex can hook us onto the wrong person.  It can also addict us to novelty, making committed relationships more difficult and increasing the temptation to end things when they become difficult.

           

          BTW, you wrote that women often lose interest in sex because men stop putting in the effort to meet their mental/emotional needs.  This can be true, but is often a chicken-and-egg argument. Both men and women are guilty of failing to meet each other’s needs, leading to a cycle of not being willing to meet the needs of the other because their own needs were not met.  And this is because both men and women are often clueless about what each other’s needs actually are.  Women believe that if they show up for sex, they are meeting the needs of the man…..whereas his needs are more often for a “girlfriend experience”.  Men believe that if they go to work and support a woman, that’s more romantic than taking her out on a date…..whereas women need to be made to feel special (see meta-goals).  It isn’t that men are in-emotional or simply creative/curious – it’s that their emotional expression is often very different than a woman’s and she may not understand/appreciate it – and when she pulls back, so does he.

        2. Pistola

          Sylvana

          It’s interesting to me that you think it’s about a lack of emotional connection when a woman loses interest. In my experience working with women, that’s part of it, but quite frankly, a lot of the time, the woman is just bored.

          Women are a lot more driven by sexual pleasure and seeking novelty than people think. They just don’t talk about it other than to people like me because they know it’ll be shamed and judged in a society with a dominating Christian mentality. But when women have a safe space to talk freely about sex, their feelings and views are quite different than what most people realize. That’s been my experience.

        3. Emily, the original

          Pistola,

          In my experience working with women, that’s part of it, but quite frankly, a lot of the time, the woman is just bored.

          Or, as author Toni Bentley puts it:
          “There is virtually no female sexual problem—hormonal, menopausal, orgasmic, or just plain old lack of interest—that will not be solved by—ta-da!—a new lover.”

        4. Sylvana

          Jeremy,

          Definitely did not say the man is at fault for losing the emotional connection. Men certainly express emotions differently. In the initial phase, they just tend to show it more obviously, and then “close back down” to normal. Most women most likely do interpret that wrong.

          And yes – both partners are at fault when things get boring. The problem is, a lot of women do tend to be less comfortable with their sexuality, due to their cultural programming. And oftentimes, men expect them to suddenly overcome that just because they are now in a relationship.

          A woman who is way more open with her sexuality will likely make a much better effort to keep things interesting later as well.

          I can see your side of it – the fuck first mentality possibly leading to choosing partner only by sex.

          I think you have a 50/50 chance either way. If the sex is good and the rest sucks, you’re screwed in a relationship. If everything else is great and the sex sucks, you’re screwed in the relationship…lol

          And even if everything is great, things can still go wrong.

          I guess that’s why I admire people brave enough to still try dating.

        5. Sylvana

          Pistola,

          exactly my point.

          EVERY woman needs mental stimulation during sex. Very few men know how to provide it.

          Unless a man is good at giving her physical pleasure at least, the end soon nears.

          Therefore, I fully agree. Women tend to plain up get bored with sex.

          I was just trying to explain to Jeremy why even women who do value the emotional connection can end up getting bored.

           

    2. 8.2
      Pistola

      Sylvana

      I believe it’s COMPLETELY related to religion, especially Christianity, which has a long history of repressing women’s sexuality and physical freedom in this country. (I’m Buddhist so even though I grew up in a red/very Christian environment, I never went to church or learned that stuff. I talk to people of all nationalities 6 days a week and what you say is completely true. The women who are the most neurotic about sex are the ones who were brought up in religions that taught them it was bad and animalistic and they needed to “control” themselves. Or that women who are highly sexual or free with their sexuality need to be “controlled” and shamed.

      I spent a year researching what the “Devil” is since a lot of my clients associate that with sexuality. It’s very interesting how most of the stuff people say about the Devil are the exact same things they say about female sexuality.

      Even within oppressive Christianity, women are a lot more varied with their sexuality and relationship style than people think. They just don’t talk about it. I personally have a theory that the general shaming and containing of women’s sexuality has everything to do with controlling women in general–creating a belief system where people believe that the woman NEEDS monogamy and marriage, NEEDS this and that, to make her feel whole and human and like she’s chasing some kind of scarce resource that she has to do anything and everything to hold onto if she finds it. This agenda plays well into the desires of chauvinistic men who want to control everything.

      Women who are more sexually open and empowered have no problem leaving men when it’s not working out or he’s being an ass. She knows she can find another guy who is a good fuck and also a nice person. Women who are shamed and fearful about sex will cling to him because they believe they need all the things he’s telling her she needs and that she’s a slut or mentally broken for wanting more. It’s not a coincidence IMO.

      1. 8.2.1
        KK

        In the same way some people view marriage as oppressive, some people view Christianity as oppressive. Neither is true. If understood correctly, practicing one’s faith is supposed to lead to the ultimate in freedom.

        “I spent a year researching what the “Devil” is since a lot of my clients associate that with sexuality. It’s very interesting how most of the stuff people say about the Devil are the exact same things they say about female sexuality”.

        Never heard that one before and I’ve spent many years when I was younger learning about different religions. I’ve also studied the bible in depth, read many books on both main stream & Christian psychology, theology, and apologetics and have never read anything comparing female sexuality to Satan. Would you mind sharing your resources?

        1. Pistola

          I talked to many different people; so many that I can’t even recall who some of them were now. I began by asking my clients what THEY thought the Devil was, since I am not Christian and this is a foreign concept to me as a whole. The things they said about the Devil, and evil, were pretty consistent: the Devil is a force (not a person) that tempts you, entices you, seduces you, gets you to do things you don’t want to do. The Devil is attractive and lures you in. The Devil tricks you and makes you think you want things you don’t want. There was a direct link to Eve, woman, as the original seductress that makes the guy do things he really shouldn’t do.

          Then I spent a lot of time talking to people I know who are well versed in Christian topics, since I am not Christian and wouldn’t even know where to begin. They’re counselors, scholars, professionals. But what was interesting was that none of them believed in the Devil in that way and didn’t seem to have the same concept of evil as being seductive and tempting, and weren’t that invested in the Eve story. So in many ways although they were Christian, it seemed they did not come from the same schools of thought as these clients, many of whom I suspect probably grew up in more fundamentalist systems and then maybe transitioned to something more moderate later.

          THEN I went and talked to Catholic folk (I was running out of ideas at this point) and they said that yes, they were taught that sexuality was something to be controlled, that it could be a negative force and that sexual urges and desires that were outside of marriage were a sin. However, there were also progressive Catholics who did not necessarily agree with this but felt that these were normal human failings that were to be dealt with as part of the spiritual path.

          So it was a really interesting journey involving a lot of interviewing of different people that considered themselves Christian in different ways. It’s not a finished project by any means; I came to a stopping point because those clients had come to some kind of resolution with the sexual issues they came in with, at least for now, and I didn’t have any new clients that needed more help. I guess we’ll see what happens if I get another wave or the solutions we came up with didn’t work.

        2. KK

          Thanks for replying, Pistola. I misunderstood what you meant by research.

        3. Sylvana

          Lust and sexuality are absolutely associated with the devil. Lead me not into temptation, anyone?

          Basically anything pleasurable is “sinful”. Heck, we still use the term sinful for something extremely pleasurable to this day!

          What I see in you KK, is someone who considers religion as what it was meant to be, rather than this warped from of mass control it has turned into.

          As to Christianity being oppressive? It stirs more discrimination than I can count. Once more, maybe because people have perverted it for their own gain.

          A Christian baker can’t serve a gay couple. Hmmm.. why not? Being gay is wrong. Having sex outside of marriage is wrong. Heck, sex for pleasure is wrong. The list goes on an on. If you don’t believe that’s oppressive, you’ve been thoroughly brain washed.

          Now the original do not kill, cheat, steal, or lie part I am fully behind. Those dictate you to be a good human being.

          But to say someone is evil because they are gay is ridiculous. Now, your and my ideas about what is good or bad might differ, but I prefer to stick to things that actually make a difference.

          Like how you treat others.

          In the US, in particular, Christianity is out of control. Coming from Europe, we only had the main branches, for example. Here, you have 1000 different versions of protestant alone. It seems every time someone likes one part, but not another, they make their own branch. And use it all to oppress people in this way or that.

          Was it intended that way? I’m sure not. But people will use whatever to gain power and control.

        4. KK

          Sylvana,

          “Lust and sexuality are absolutely associated with the devil. Lead me not into temptation, anyone?”

          Lust, yes. Sexuality, in and of itself, no. Marital sex is regarded as holy.

          Anyway, I was specifically referring to what Pistola said about the devil and her comparison to female sexuality. That’s certainly not biblical. So the only conclusion I can come to is that whatever people she’s referring to have a very flawed interpretation of what scripture actually says.

          “Basically anything pleasurable is “sinful”.

          Not unless the only things you find pleasure in are also sinful.

          You and Pistola are blaming Christianity for people feeling sexually oppressed. All the major religions, including the Abrahamic religions, Buddhism, the New Age movement, and many others have strong teachings / beliefs about sex. So if an individual doesn’t ascribe to those beliefs, why would they feel oppressed by someone who believes differently than they do? That doesn’t make sense to me. Another person can’t make you feel bad about something unless you feel bad about it yourself.

           

        5. Pistola

          KK,

          I don’t feel oppressed by Christianity because I’m not Christian, obviously. But many or most of my clients grew up in Christian/Catholic backgrounds and tell me themselves that what they were taught about their sexuality in those contexts is directly responsible for the shame, guilt, and struggles they have around sexuality. Sorry I didn’t clarify.

          I’ve been a vajrayana Buddhist for many years. I don’t recall one single instance of particular taboos regarding sexuality beyond not breaking someone’s trust, hurting another person’s relationship or hurting another. But that may have a lot to do with my own teacher, who is very pro-woman and has done a lot to advance womens’ education and empowerment in Nepal.

        6. Sylvana

          Pistola,

          good luck with your clients. I think you’ll do great.

          I’m Atheist. My parents believe, but aren’t overly religious, and never pushed religion on us. So I didn’t grow up with that type of mindset either.

          Even as a kid, I drove everyone crazy with my “that doesn’t make any sense” statements whenever anything came up in a religious context. I always wanted to know WHY there were certain rules. And then I made up my mind based on the answers.

           

      2. 8.2.2
        Sylvana

        Pistola,

        absolutely, 100% agree with everything you said.

        1. Pistola

          Sylvana,

          Well, I’m still learning about it. We don’t have anything like sin or the Devil in Buddhism, nor God, so I didn’t grow up with these concepts and they’re not a core part of my spiritual path. It’s hard to grasp this stuff when you don’t grow up in it, and what I learned from my journey is that there are so many different flavors of thought about it that I can easily see how someone could be completely confused and get lost and not know which direction to turn in.

          I’m guessing these clients came to me because they had already been to numerous Christian counselors or pastors and hadn’t gotten anywhere. They needed a new framework and it seemed like they got that–hopefully it leads to more happiness for them–we shall see.

      3. 8.2.3
        Theodora

        All religions are patriarchal, because all of them were invented and enforced by men. When it comes to the oppresssion of women, I think Christianity is definitely not in top 5 the worst, probably not even in top 10. It is by far beaten in misogyny by Islam, orthodox Judaism, and most polytheistic religions, either still surviving like Hinduism and Shintoism or dead (from Romans and Vikings to Egyptians and Aztecs).

        It is just politically correct to bash Christianity and to ignore the obvious flaws, cruelty and human rights violations of other religions, probably because Christianity is perceived as the religion spread by the white man through colonialism.

        Though I am now an agnostic, I was born and raised in what is probably the most conservative, reactionary and patriarchal form of Christianity (Eastern Orthodox Church). However, weighing the pros and cons, if I had no other option, I would choose my old religion over the ones I mentioned before any day of the week.  I think if I have to live a week as a traditional Muslim or Hindu woman, I would commit suicide.

        1. Sylvana

          My Grandmother was Russian orthodox.

          I can only speak for myself, but I think both Pistola and I are definitely not saying Christianity is the MOST oppressive toward women. But – being a religion – it still is very oppression toward a lot of people and behaviors in general.

          And we most likely deal with mostly Christians when it comes to religious people.

          I’m with you on the committing suicide part if I had to live in those cultures. Then again, I’d die before I’d submit to any religious power (or any power that took away certain freedoms)

  9. 9
    Theodora

    Personally, I would find life in Iceland sexually boring. I think what makes sex exciting is a reasonable dose of taboo and mystery and a little bit of tension between desire and guilt. A reasonable dose, not the other extreme like Saudi Arabia. A middle ground between “sex is sinful and dirty” and “you and me baby ain’t nothing but mammals, so let’s do it like they do on the Discovery channel”.

    But to each his/her own, etc.

    1. 9.1
      Sylvana

      … nothing but mammals…. LOL

      you just proved my point perfectly, though. It’s the mental stimulation that counts for women. You get it from the play of taboo and guilt (yes, reasonable dose).

      But there are so many other ways you can get that stimulation even without.

      As you said – to each his/her own. That’s what makes it so interesting.

       

    2. 9.2
      Emily, the original

      Theodora,

      I think what makes sex exciting is a reasonable dose of taboo and mystery and a little bit of tension between desire and guilt. 

      If that’s what you need to make sex exciting, just pick the most inappropriate person you can find.

      1. 9.2.1
        Sylvana

        And the laughs keep coming… awesome! 🙂

  10. 10
    Gala

    Now I finally understand why Iceland has become such a popular bachelor party destination in the Northeast of the U.S….

    1. 10.1
      Theodora

      I guess “I go to Iceland for the geysers” is the new “I buy Playboy for the articles”.

  11. 11
    Marissa Chaseau

    Fuck first. Happiness is everything xx

    1. 11.1
      Sylvana

      This!

      Why wait years for love that may or may not show up, and may or may not last (and devastate you in the process).

      When you can go to sleep with a smile on your face every night

      1. 11.1.1
        Jeremy

        Umm, this question has an answer.  It is not rhetorical.  See the works of Martin Seligman (on happiness), Daniel Kahneman (on the happiness of the experiencing self versus the remembering self), and Daniel Gilbert (on affective forecasting).

        1. Sylvana

          Jeremy,

          I love discussing things with you because you are like a living, breathing library. And – despite the fact that we think very differently – I value your opinion.

          I haven’t read the works, but I do believe that love brings the kind of happiness that nothing else can bring. That being said, I also have to admit that I have completely given up on it.

          The things required of me in order to be in a relationship simply do not make me happy. (In case you’re wondering why I’m here, this blog confirms this. And sometimes I do need the confirmation to make sure I’m still making the right choice). To me, when it comes to relationships and seeking love, the negatives outweigh the positives so far, that I will come closer to any sort of happy if stay single.

          Some of us simply don’t have what it takes. Even back when I was still trying, I spent 4 and 10 years between boyfriends. 10 years is a long time to go without any sort of intimate human touch. Going on another 7 now (although no longer willing to try).

          At this rate, my privates are gonna shrivel up before I get laid again if I keep waiting for love. And I’d likely end up getting arrested, since there is only so much one can do to keep masturbation interesting for so many years.

          So yes, in theory waiting for love might be worth it. In reality, I’ve already wasted 15 years of my life trying to be good (completely against my nature). I’m not about to waste 15 more.

           

           

           

        2. Jeremy

          I appreciate your post, Sylvana.  I wasn’t trying to say that love is necessarily the key ingredient to long-term happiness (though the longitudinal Harvard study does tend to indicate that, at least for men).  Rather, there are certain differences in what triggers happiness in the short-term (positive affect) versus what triggers it in the long-term (engagement, relationships, meaning and achievement).

          Rather than reading all kinds of books, I’d recommend watching the 15 minute TED talk by Martin Seligman on happiness – it is very eye-opening.  And then the TED talk by Dan Gilbert.  30 minutes very well-spent IMHO.

  12. 12
    Clare

    Iceland is also famously a very introverted nation. I wonder if the two have anything to do with each other?

     

    As far as having casual sex goes… I certainly know of women who can do it and not be hurt by it. The hookup and casual sex culture is not very big here in South Africa – by FAR the most common relationship type here is the traditional monogamous one, where you get into a relationship after a few dates, date seriously and then get married if it all works out. We don’t even really have casual dating here. Here, if you go on a date and don’t want to be in a relationship with that person, you just stop seeing them.

     

    Casual sex happens, but it’s just taken for granted that you keep it quiet if you’re doing it. From what I’ve experienced here, men don’t feel great about asking for it, and women don’t feel great about accepting it or asking for it. But it happens. I personally don’t have a problem with it, and I think it can work fine, as long as the emotional side of it is not messy. I think the painful part of casual sex comes in when people are too casual going into it – the sex itself is casual, but your attitude towards it should not be, in my opinion. I think the person wanting to engage in it is best served by having done some self-reflection and thinking beforehand and playing out the different scenarios in their head. If they’ve given due consideration to their physical and emotional safety and still decide to go ahead, then I don’t see why not. I’ve engaged in casual sex at certain sporadic times in my life, and it usually had to do with needing intimate human connection but being unable or unwilling to have a relationship.

     

    As far as actually fucking first and asking a person’s name later, it is extraordinary to me how this can be satisfying. For me, sex is certainly partly cerebral, and I need to at least be able to entertain a certain fantasy about the guy in my head. If I don’t even know his name, that becomes difficult. I thought the whole upside to the “friends with benefits” deal was that you were friends. In other words, you knew each other, could have conversations, and cared at least to some degree. I have no doubt that women can do casual sex, but I have always been used to thinking of women’s sexuality as existing at least partly in their minds and their emotions. It’s a complex thing. So I have to wonder how satisfying this encounter is for a woman if she doesn’t even know the guy at all. But Iceland is a high gender equality country, so I assume the women engaging in these encounters must be getting something out of it, or they wouldn’t be doing it.

    1. 12.1
      Pistola

      I think what Sylvana is saying (correct me if I’m wrong Sylvana) is that the entire way we think about female sexuality in the US has been conditioned through a lens that already creates a lot of screwed-up ideas, so we actually don’t have a good idea of what women would REALLY do if they weren’t exposed to all this conditioning that makes them believe myths like needing to be in a relationship to enjoy sex. The new research coming out appears to support this theory.

      However, given that most people in the US do live within and believe that conditioning, functionally speaking, it would be true that most women in that society would probably believe that their sexuality is complex and messy and that they are at risk of either creating a problem or getting hurt if they express it freely. Since the US is not a society that actually allows for much freedom of sexuality or expression from women without punishing it, this makes sense.

      1. 12.1.1
        Jeremy

        This is an interesting comment, Pistola, because sexuality is always realized through a contextual lens.  Just as it is viewed one way in a Christian society, it is viewed through another lens in a society that encourages casual sex.  In other words, the situation in Iceland is not necessarily any more “natural” than the situation in America.  We engineer societies based on the outcome we want – Iceland wanted more babies.  America….doesn’t really know what it wants, it’s goals are terribly fractured.  However, if the country ever gets its shit together and realizes that long-term happiness is the goal, then it can tweak its messages according to the research that is most likely to maximize long-term (not short-term!) happiness.

        1. Sylvana

          Jeremy,

          I think the reason we would consider the reaction of women in Iceland more “normal” is because women there are operating without the shame and preconceptions imposed on them here. Basically, they are acting based on natural instincts, rather than on what society told them they should feel.

          And I don’t think they’re pushing casual sex. It’s simply the end result of shame being removed from women. Now both sexes want it. Not just men.

          Whether it is better or not is a whole different argument.

          I am fully behind you that long-term happiness should be what’s being pushed. And, as such, happy, long-term relationships. How in the world we’d achieve that, however, I don’t know. As we discussed before, the concept of marrying for love is a relatively new one. And it’s not working out too well.

          The other problem I see with pushing long-term relationships is that the search for them can lead to long-term misery. There are already way too many women and men who feel like a failure for not having achieved it by their 40s or 50s.

          Once you reached 45-50, you will most likely live a longer part of your life without a happy relationship than with one. So maybe we need to find things other than long-term relationships that will bring us long-term happiness.

          And the current trend is to push people to be perfectly happy on their own. While I somewhat agree with that, I also think it only serves to separate people even further. You’re supposed to want a partner, not need him/her. Well – I will compromise and fight hard to keep something (anything) I need in my life. Something I want, however, I will do without if it causes too much inconvenience. That includes a partner.

          If I’m perfectly happy on my own and don’t need a partner, than the effort of having a relationship outweighs the reward.

           

        2. Pistola

          Jeremy

          I suppose it’s a matter of what one considers “natural.” If you look at indigenous tribal societies, you see casual sex, abortion used as birth control, and a mix of monogamy and multi partner systems. It’s not really that different than what we have now in certain ways.

        3. Jeremy

          Pistola – sure, but even in those societies, people are doing what society allows/encourages.  There’s no such thing as “natural” in human society because what characterizes human societies is the fact that our behavior is molded by the stories we tell ourselves.

           

          Sylvana – acting on natural instincts rarely makes people happy in the long-term because our primitive brains mis-perceive what we need at any given time.  How often will I be feeling blue and have my brain tell me that what I need is food?  And then I eat the food, still feel blue, but now feel blue and gross.  Yet my brain doesn’t learn for next time that food (or drink or sex) isn’t what I need.  You ask how we can engineer a society that encourages long-term happiness.  My answer would be using an understanding of behavioral economics.  Have you ever read the book “Nudge”?  It is a beginning.

        4. Sylvana

          Jeremy,

          I actually think the fact that we’re trying to suppress our natural instincts is what’s making us so unhappy. There’s a reason so many self-help people are so successful telling people to learn to trust their intuition and listen to their “souls”. Just a fancy way of saying to listen to your natural instincts.

          Your brain wanting food when you’re blue is not a natural instinct (wanting food when you need food is). That’s actually your brain’s way of applying a coping mechanism.

          Since you’re not listening to your natural instinct (which would clearly tell you why you’re blue), your brain can’t directly fix the problem. So it uses the next thing it can come up with to make you feel better: food, sugar, sex, drugs – whatever will give you a temporarily sense of pleasure.

           

            

        5. Jeremy

          Sylvana, there’s lots of research to show that what you wrote here isn’t the case.  Our brains are fragmented – different parts tell us different things.  Our primitive brains do, indeed, give us the message that food and sex and immediate rewards are what we want.  These are, indeed, our instincts and listening to them will not yield good results.

           

          Any advice, whether from a guru or adviser of any kind, to follow one’s dream or to follow one’s inner voice….is TERRIBLE advice if not tempered by the caution to think rationally about it first.  My mother has a friend who followed his dream of being a piano player.  He is 75 years old, occasionally plays piano at restaurants for tips, and has led a poor and deprived life.  My father, on the other hand, loves photography.  He became a dentist and with his spare money he set up a darkroom and studio in his basement.  He maximized his “dream” in an intelligent way, by not just listening to his instincts/following his dream.

           

          So much of current advice – “if it feels good, do it,”. “Follow your dream,” “Listen to your heart,” etc, is just terrible advice because it fails to acknowledge that our feelings, our dreams and our hearts don’t always know what’s best for us in the long-term.

        6. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,
          Any advice, whether from a guru or adviser of any kind, to follow one’s dream or to follow one’s inner voice….is TERRIBLE advice if not tempered by the caution to think rationally about it first.  My mother has a friend who followed his dream of being a piano player.  He is 75 years old, occasionally plays piano at restaurants for tips, and has led a poor and deprived life.  My father, on the other hand, loves photography.  He became a dentist and with his spare money he set up a darkroom and studio in his basement.  He maximized his “dream” in an intelligent way, by not just listening to his instincts/following his dream.
           There ARE people in the arts who are successful, and by that I mean people who can support themselves on their artistic endeavors. I used to work backstage at a professional playhouse. All the actors there were professional, Equity and making a living. It may not be the way you would want to live because they have to audition frequently and there is always uncertainty in their financial future, but you can’t assume they are unhappy because they aren’t pulling in $100k and living in the suburbs. I went to college with a guy who I have seen in several movies. His level of success is rare, but it does happen. Just because you would always take the most logical, reasoned path doesn’t mean that works for other people.

      2. 12.1.2
        Sylvana

        I completely agree, Pistola.

        I actually think that casual sex gives a women the freedom to express her sexuality completely. You don’t have to worry if your partner might think that you’re too wild, too dominant, too submissive, too kinky, etc. Who cares? You’ll never see him again…lol (unless he is really good).

        Personally, I’m a lot more likely to ease into things with someone who actually matters.

    2. 12.2
      Sylvana

      I’m very, very fond of your culture’s idea of dating. While I have no problem with casual sex, I absolutely do not see any point at all to casual dating. Less yet to dating multiple people at a time. If you don’t want a relationship with that person, why date them?

      And how nice to hear from South Africa 🙂 The different cultures/attitudes are so interesting to learn about.

      1. 12.2.1
        Clare

        Sylvana,

         

        Yeah, I’m widely read on the internet, especially on the subject of relationships, and so I get to hear a lot about what dating is like in other places, particularly the States and other more advanced countries. But I also far prefer the dating culture here in my own country – it’s one of the reasons why, despite the problems, I’m reluctant to move.

         

        It’s really not difficult to find a monogamous, marriage-minded guy here. Culture is a bit more old-fashioned here, and we stick to that rather doggedly. You can pretty much take it to the bank that if you were caught dating multiple people at the same time, you would lose the person you were most interested in (and pretty much all of them) as well as their respect. And I find that does bring quite a lot of security with it. You have the confidence of knowing that if someone is consistently spending time with you, that they want a relationship with you. There’s none of this “having the ‘define the relationship’ talk” nonsense.

         

        Many, many guys here are raised to be gentlemen and to want marriage, which is really lovely. I’ve been on so many dates with guys where they are the ones who make it clear that they want marriage and a long-term commitment early on. A lot of guys here just instinctively seem to know about being good providers too. They just know how to be men, they were raised that way. And that’s a wonderful thing if you’re someone like me who really appreciates that and finds it sexy. It’s great to just know that if someone is making an effort to spend time with you, it means they want to be with you, and not have all these multiple grey areas.

         

        Sorry for rambling on – this is something I’m passionate about. We’ve got our problems here, but I do think resisting the whole casual dating thing is something we’ve got right.

        1. Sylvana

          Clare,

          I might just consider a move to South Africa. Sounds so much more appealing. I might even consider dating again under those circumstances 🙂

          I can’t blame you for being reluctant to move. The honesty and respect factors here are certainly lacking.

           

  13. 13
    Sylvana

    You guys crack me up!

  14. 14
    Yet Another Guy

    I have refrained from commenting on this blog entry because I cannot wrap my head around the concept of “fuck first,” and I am a guy who was guilty of being a man-slut when I was younger.  A huge part of the joy of sex for me is the conquest.  Take that part away, and sex becomes infinitely less enjoyable.  That is probably why I do not enjoy sex as much today as I did when I was younger.  Getting laid today is trivial compared to how difficult it was in my twenties and thirties.  It took being on top of one’s game to get laid during those years.  I encounter so many women who are DTF on the first date today that a huge part of the joy of being with a woman is gone.  I miss the anticipation and build up to the moment where I was given the green light to remove her clothes.  It used to be like unwrapping a much desired Christmas present.

    1. 14.1
      Sylvana

      A predator complaining that his pray is no longer afraid. Kind of ironic. So is the fact that a man-slut is complaining about women being too easy.

      I understand conquest is part of the fun. But for it to be such a huge part of your enjoyment of sex clearly shows that the woman, herself, doesn’t matter at all. Sorry we no longer cooperate in letting you make us feel like a piece of meat.

      True conquest that proves you are better than your competition still excites women. It shows you’re willing to earn your breeding rights. If we saw more of that, we might start being more selective, and as such, would give you something to conquer again. Anything else is just a childish head game meant to feed a man’s ego. And we’re rather much tired of playing it.

      1. 14.1.1
        Marika

        I personally think that’s a bit harsh, Sylvana.

        I know you feel strongly on this topic, but I think YAG was just being honest about how he (and a lot of men) approach sex. It would be great if men didn’t have that “I want to be able to chase you, I’ll pressure you for sex but hope you make me wait a bit” attitude, but the reality is, it exists. Clearly not in Iceland, or maybe your neck of the woods, but elsewhere, yes (and it’s not just America, I’m not American). If he was just some fringe guy with some far-out views, it would be easy to dismiss them, but I think that isn’t the case. I also think it’s useful that we hear the male perspective, so we can be aware of how they approach dating.

        This is probably one of the most moderate, honest and least nasty posts about dating & women YAG has ever written. Give him a break!

        Also, I get it. I don’t like slut-shaming, but I do get off on anticipation. I think there are two kinds of people: people who like surprises (e.g. surprise parties) and those who don’t. I’m definitely in the first camp. Maybe you’re in the second?

        That being said, if you’ve given up on love and just want casual sex, how (some) men (like YAG) view women who have casual sex shouldn’t really affect you too much as you’re not seeking a relationship or anyone’s approval. Enjoy all the casual sex you can get, sista. More power to you if you can handle that!

      2. 14.1.2
        Yet Another Guy

        @Sylvana

        If that is the way that you see it, so be it.  However, that is not the way I see it.  I see it as a loss of something special.  Something that is not earned is seen as having less value.  Yes, I was a bit of a man-slut when I was younger.  I was stupid and reckless when it came to sex.  However, that is not how I live my life today.   I say “no” more frequently than I say “yes” to an invitation to sex, and it is not a performance or sex drive-related issue.   Casual sex to me has taken on the value of masturbation, and one does not have to worry about contracting an STD via masturbation.

        1. Emily, the original

          Hi YAG,

          Something that is not earned is seen as having less value

          I feel the same way when a man acts overly eager. When he’s texting a million times a day after one date, it lowers his value and creeps me out. It’s like he’s just handed over the whole package (pun intended) after knowing very little about the buyer.

      3. 14.1.3
        Sylvana

        I understand appreciating something more if you have to work for it. YAG might have not meant it that way, but it certainly sounded as if the thing he appreciated was the conquest. NOT the woman. Basically – once the woman gives it up (the present is unwrapped), it loses it’s appeal. On to the next.

        That’s your textbook player.

        He also made is sound as if the only reason he no longer is a man-slut is because the game is no longer fun. The conquest part is gone. Not exactly a mature reason to stop sleeping around.

        But if it stops the game, that’s fine by me. One (or a bunch more) less woman who did everything right, behaved the way men wanted her to, then got all upset because she never heard from him again after she finally gave it up anyway.

        I have no problem with anyone’s view of casual sex. To each their own. What I do, however, feel very strongly about is being respectful of other people. Judging others for behavior you find perfectly all right in yourself is not acceptable. Double standards are not acceptable (in everything, not just sex).

        Just because judgment and double standards are common does not mean we need to submit to them. Not so long ago, women weren’t allowed to vote. Black people weren’t allowed to ride on the same bus, eat in the same sections of restaurants, etc. If we all just accepted that because we were told to, things would have never changed.

        I honestly have no problem with people calling me a slut. I openly admit to enjoying casual sex. I can even respect it coming from a person who displays restraint. But I do find a slut (male or female) calling another a slut rather ironic, yes. I will never insult men for their attitude toward casual sex, since I obviously do the same.

        If a woman is all right with submitting to a bunch of double standards for the sake of being in a relationship, more power to her.  I, personally, would prefer a relationship based on mutual respect.

         

         

  15. 15
    Adrian

    Hi Everyone! (^_^)

     

    I have a before and after sex question for anyone who wants to answer it.

     

     

    Before Sex:

     

    In your past or current relationships how have you brought up the subject of you both getting tested for STD’s before become intimate sexually?… This includes just orally as well.

    I have noticed that in theory everyone thinks it’s a good idea but in practice (at least from my experience) even if you say “WE” should get tested all the other person hears is you think “THEY” need to be tested!

    I have noticed people become very offended when asked this because they think I am calling them sexually unclean, or accusing them or being a whore and sleeping around.

    So I would love to hear from others who have found ways to ask a partner without offending them….

     

    After Sex:

     

    How do break up with someone when you have a new partner that is not good or even okay in bed?

    What do you say to not offend them?

    Is it best to just lie?… If so what do you say?

     

    Okay to be fair I have never experienced this but I hear so many older men-and read comments from so many older  women- that are talking about it that I am afraid of not knowing what to do if it happens.

    Some people say teach the person but what if you don’t want to or can’t teach them; how do you break it off?

    My main concern is that with a new relationship the woman may think my only goal was sex and therefore will get the misconception that if I break up with her after we finally have sex that it was my goal but I think it’s more about just wanting someone whom I’ll be sexually compatible with.

    Most men and women think they are good in bed!

    Most men and women think they are giving sexually!

    …From everything I hear that is not the case…

    I guess it also just feel unpleasant  because I see so many women following Evan’s (along with many others) dating advice about making a man wait for sex; but as a man, after waiting for what could be months for something only to be disappointed in it AND you can’t just walk way afterwards feels unpleasant . Yet you did all the pursuing, courting, following up, and being patient that got her to trust you/be comfortable enough to share her body with you.

    It just seems like you can’t be painted in any other light than a villain if you fade away, break up, or disappear on a new relationship because the sex is bad.

    But doesn’t leaving a woman because of sex defeat the whole purpose of them having us wait so long for it?

    So what do others recommend doing in that type of situation?

     

     

    1. 15.1
      Emily, the original

      Hi there Adrian,
      Btw … I remember on a previous post you wrote about besting me …. I already have a master’s degree. I am just taking class for one semester to make myself more marketable. Now … when you get that double bachelors/masters … you will indeed have won.  🙂

      My main concern is that with a new relationship the woman may think my only goal was sex and therefore will get the misconception that if I break up with her after we finally have sex that it was my goal but I think it’s more about just wanting someone whom I’ll be sexually compatible with.
      I don’t mean this in a mean way, but you worry too much about what other people think. If you are dating a woman and like her but the sex is bad — and remember: there is no good and bad, only personal preference — you either work with her to improve it, accept it or walk. If you honestly don’t think you’re compatible and you don’t want to work on it, I don’t think you have to go into great detail, but you can tell her you ‘re not sexually compatible.

      I guess it also just feel unpleasant  because I see so many women following Evan’s (along with many others) dating advice about making a man wait for sex; but as a man, after waiting for what could be months for something only to be disappointed in it AND you can’t just walk way afterwards feels unpleasant .
      I don’t think he instructs to wait for months. Just until she knows he wants a relationship and isn’t dating/having sex with other women. I’m going to agree with Chance on something he wrote on a previous post … If a woman makes you want for monthS, she’s not that into you.
      It just seems like you can’t be painted in any other light than a villain if you fade away, break up, or disappear on a new relationship because the sex is bad.
      You’re not obligated to be with someone and you have no control over how they interpret your behavior. Don’t fade or ghost. Have some backbone and some compassion for someone you have spent time with. Call her and tell her you don’t want to see her anymore.

      1. 15.1.1
        Adrian

        Hi Emily!

        It feels as if you and I have not talked in awhile. Yes I would love for us to have the freedom to chat about our different experiences with college now that we are mature compared to our experiences as undergraduates.

        I think my problem was the fact that I was basically all alone (new job, new executive position, new state, new social climate) so being a widower who was a newly minted 30 year old surrounded by newly minted 18 year old’s at school, while all my co-workers were married and in their 50’s and 60’s  only exacerbated my loneliness…

        I also think loneliness is why I clung to this sites comments section so strongly-I enjoyed the human contact.

        With one group I feel too old and with one group I feel too young. Another thing about being the old guy on campus that I realize is that “looking young SUCKS!!!”

        I didn’t want to mention it before because I know everyone on the internet swears to looking 100 years younger than they really are and so I would sound like another self-deceiving braggart. But honestly depending on your environment looking young is a disadvantage… at least for me.

        At school classmates constantly try to flirt with me (unlike in porn I don’t think any mentally healthy man would want a real relationship with a kid fresh out of high school; maybe for sex if he lacked morals but not a relationship) but when they find out how old I am they looks of shock and how they back off makes me feel like some kind of old creep. The mental, emotional, and life experience gap is just too wide so conversations with them are limited.

        At work it’s the opposite, they constantly treat me like I am a kid and they always look over my shoulder to “guide” me. Honestly they constantly pat me on the head or give me candy, bake me cookies, like I am a toddler. They constantly walk up to me hugging me, rubbing my back from behind… and I’ve had to tell so many of them to NOT pinch, stroke, or rub my cheeks. One woman actually freakin kissed me on the cheek!!!

        … My point is that I think all the people who brag about looking young are full of crap because if they knew how horrible it was they wouldn’t be saying that!!!!

        Oh and get this Emily… just this weekend I had a date with a woman who actually had to nerve to ask me (in a very serious tone) for my ID to prove I wasn’t lying about being 31 because she (33) doesn’t date kids… WTF!!!!

        And a few weeks ago I FINALLY got a date with this very attractive 38 year old woman who was very hesitant on giving me a chance because I look so young, then we go to this event that serves wine and of all the people the waiter actually had the gall to ask me ONLY for my ID because they didn’t serve drinks to minors (we were at a table surrounded by other couples and she knew several of them); her look of embarrassment… I wasn’t surprised when she never returned my call after that.

         

        Sorry about going off on a tangent; anyway I would love to hear some of your school stories. (^_^)

        …   …   …

         

        Oh also Emily I am curious about your opinion on something: Would you ever date the twin of a subordinate that you respected?

        Long story short she is one of my junior managers in our logistics department. She is 36 so even though I am her boss’s boss we talk a lot because we are the two closest in age in our office. She is without question the most attractive women there but she has a boyfriend who also works at our company as a maintenance guy. She and I talk a lot and have been for months but because she has a boyfriend I made myself only see her as a co-worker.

        So of course I was honestly surprised when she told me a few days ago that she had a twin sister and that she wanted to set us up on a date. I have a few reservations about this but I will refrain from saying what they are until I hear your opinion.

        1. Emily, the original

          Hi Adrian,
          I think my problem was the fact that I was basically all alone (new job, new executive position, new state, new social climate) so being a widower who was a newly minted 30 year old surrounded by newly minted 18 year old’s at school, while all my co-workers were married and in their 50’s and 60’s  only exacerbated my loneliness…
          I know that feeling well. Whole new town, new school where I know no one. People are friendly and polite but I have only made one new friend. Of course, I’m done with school in 5 weeks and then I want to go someplace warm and dry climate-wise for a job. I haven’t made much effort socially because I’m only going to be here for a total of 6 months. Have you though about meet-up groups? I joined a few in the city I lived in before I moved for school. Friendly acquaintances, not real friends, but I’m not sure one makes real friends later in life.
          31 is not old but, I guess to a 19-year-old college student it would seem old. But the women in their 30s probably want to sop you up like a biscuit! 🙂 Attractive man, not married, no kids, not living with his mother, no extreme social problems …. Adrian, my friend, the world is at your feet!
          Would you ever date the twin of a subordinate that you respected?
          Tbh, twins creep me out. You won’t be able to compete with their level of intimacy.
          Do you like this woman? If I were in your shoes, I might be a bit hurt. I had a huge crush on this unavailable guy where I used to work and he actually suggested I date his brother. “We’ve been thinking about you for my brother,” he said to me. Who is “we”? I was so shocked, I didn’t ask. Plus, if you date this twin and things don’t go well (let’s say you don’t want to see her again), will the lady you work with hold it against you? Will it be awkward? Is there a way to get her to ditch the maintenance boyfriend?  🙂

    2. 15.2
      Adrian

      Hi Emily

      I got so caught up with the school comment that I forgot to address your sexual comment.

      So how would you broach the subject about getting tested?

      As far as caring too much about others feelings… I know I have that flaw. As Jeremy would say I am a validation person; I need to be liked and hurting others even with the truth makes me feel guilty.

       

       

      With all that said, from what I gather most American women fear  being used for sex (from ready Sylvana comments it seems only American women worry about this) and the higher the guy’s SMV is compared to hers the more insecure and ambivalent she will be about his true intentions and desires for her.

      Take all that and them add that he decides to stop seeing her after they finally have sex and it does appear that he (I) just wanted to use her for sex.

      … Plus Emily you have often said you hate when a guy ask you about what you like and how you like it sexually; if he doesn’t know what to do it’s a waste of  your time (I’m paraphrasing). So if a guy broke up with you after weeks or months of dating because of the first few times having sex were bad it wouldn’t phase you but I’m talking about other women.

      So is there something better to say after weeks or months of courting than “I just don’t think we are sexually compatible”

      …   …   …

      I think you and Chance were speaking about waiting 4 or more months for sex but I am not talking about that long, however remember Steve Harvey’s 90 day rule is very popular with many women. 90 days = 13 weeks = 3 months.

      So when I say months this is the standard I am going by; I know it doesn’t apply to all women.

      …   …   …

      Stacy2 use to say that all men are terrible at pleasing women in the bedroom and that 90% of women enjoying sex to make the man happy. Some male commentors have said that most women don’t make a man feel desired or sexy in the bedroom.

      I don’t know about that but what I do know is that many people just assume that they are naturally good at sex or that sex is simple so no need to study on bettering your skills.

      Emily did I ever tell you that my friends once found a book I bought on how to have sex when I was a freshmen undergraduate in college? They laughed at me for days!  (^_^)

      I think we men focus more on penis size than on actually skill with pleasing a woman and from what I hear women just assume that the man will be so happy that she allowed him to have sex with her that she won’t have to bring any skills to the bedroom; especially since a large number of women refuse to give oral sex.

      So yeah… couples not being sexually satisfied with their partners in the bedroom may be more common than is talked about.

       

      1. 15.2.1
        Emily, the original

        Hi Adrian,
        … Plus Emily you have often said you hate when a guy ask you about what you like and how you like it sexually; if he doesn’t know what to do it’s a waste of  your time (I’m paraphrasing).
        Asking one or two times is fine but not before EVERY sexual interaction (and definitely not before the first time). It’s not that it’s wasting my time. It just turns me off because it comes off as insecure. But I’m one person. I also don’t like men who announce what they are about to do, but … that’s my preference. Other women may like it.
        So is there something better to say after weeks or months of courting than “I just don’t think we are sexually compatible”
        “I don’t think we like the same things sexually. I don’t think we’re a match.” Or just tell her you don’t want to pursue a romantic relationship.
        Harvey’s 90 day rule is very popular with many women. 90 days = 13 weeks = 3 months.
        90 days is way too long. I’ve been thinking a lot about people lately, friendships I’ve had, and I’ve realized that people show you who they are pretty quickly … if you pay attention. If the communication and the amount of time a couple spends together isn’t escalating, if you two aren’t talking about being exclusive and not dating others, the situation is not going anywhere serious. We as women know this. We are just hoping things will pick up and change with a guy we really like … but they rarely do.
        Some male commentors have said that most women don’t make a man feel desired or sexy in the bedroom.
        What did they need that they weren’t getting? I don’t remember the post?
        I don’t know about that but what I do know is that many people just assume that they are naturally good at sex or that sex is simple so no need to study on bettering your skills.
        Again, it’s all personal preference. One person may say you are terrible. Others may dig what you do. I wouldn’t worry so much about it. You will find the woman who enjoys … what you have to offer.  🙂

    3. 15.3
      Adrian

      Hi Emily,

      You asked, “What did they need that they weren’t getting? I don’t remember the post?”

      These statements were made by Jeremy, YAG and two other male posters whose names I can’t remember because they are not regulars… at least they weren’t when I was more active on this site. And it seems that as of late YAG has downgraded from a smart but emotionally hurt divorcee to a troll so I am not sure about how much credit would be given to his arguments but Jeremy’s seems to say a reworded version of the same thing in every post so just look up any random one of his comments on any post about the subject.

      Funny because I also remember you asking him the same thing “What specifically was his wife and the women he observed not doing to show that they did not make their men feel desired and sexy in the bedroom…

      I remember him talking around it but I don’t remember him giving specific examples… the fact that you the asker of the original question also can’t remember his answer means that it wasn’t just me who didn’t understand his answer. (^_^)

       

      … As a side note I don’t want it to seem that I am making light of Jeremy’s situation with his wife. Feeling undesired or unsexy is something many women seem to not believe men feel…

      You stated, “I’ve been thinking a lot about people lately, friendships I’ve had, and I’ve realized that people show you who they are pretty quickly … if you pay attention.

      I honestly hope to get to your level some day. Because as far as I can tell most people show you who they want to be seen as quickly but their truer selves take time to see. Though the higher your value is to the person the longer they will try to hide their flaws.

      I have been reading a lot of Simon Sinek lately and he speaks a lot about facebook, cellphones, and texting… This is kind of weird since I don’t text, I don’t have facebook or any form of social media and I only use my mobile phone to listen to my audio book while at the gym (^_^).

      Anyway Mr. Sinek says that many people use photo social media like facebook to project the image of a idealized version of themselves. I think people do the same thing in real life and only time shows you the inconsistencies between who they are and who they say they are.

       

      You stated, ” know that feeling well. Whole new town, new school where I know no one. People are friendly and polite but I have only made one new friend.

      Emily how do you deal with the loneliness?

      To be honest with you I am invited out all the time. I don’t even consider the invitations from classmates (even if I look like them I am not one of them, plus who wants to be the old guy that hangs with a bunch of kids) so I will not mention thoses.

      Most of my co-workers invite me out to hang with them and their husbands but again I don’t like feeling like a third wheel; especially a single third wheel in a group of ALL pairs!

      And Yes I am looking into meetups, singles events, speed dating and online dating.

       

      You stated, “I’m not sure one makes real friends later in life” 

      Why do you think that?

      If you and I were both in the same job and around the same age what type of courting could I do to become a real friend of yours?… assuming we were the same sex and therefore no chance of mutual or one sided attraction.

       

      Emily said, “31 is not old but, I guess to a 19-year-old college student it would seem old. 

      True 31 is old to a 18-25 year old and to be fair it should be. I would have doubts about the emotional well being of a 18 year old that wanted to date a guy my age or older.

      Then you said, “But the women in their 30s probably want to sop you up like a biscuit!

      I guess it’s time I finally reveal a big part of why I am still single (-_-).  So… Emily as you know I am not attracted to women with children and I am finding it is really hard to find a woman without any or who doesn’t want any at my age.

      I actually have thought long and hard about this. I have only stopped wanting children and have therefore actively stopped seeking women with children or who want children within the past 3 years; but I really love kids. My ex died three and a half years ago. So my theory is that I am just terrified of getting attached and then experiencing lose again and small children are easy to get attached to.

      So yes I get more than enough attention from women my age but 99% of them want kids or have kids and no I don’t want to date women with grown children either.

       

      And finally you said, “Plus, if you date this twin and things don’t go well (let’s say you don’t want to see her again), will the lady you work with hold it against you? Will it be awkward?

      Those are actually some of my reasons for not giving her an answer. 1). I am afraid of what I may feel for her if I date the sister and they have the same face because I like her personality better than her sisters 2). I know that at 35 most women are looking to settle down and I am still trying to find what I want, not sure if it is smart to just jump back into something long-term so fast 3).  If it doesn’t work out as you say I may lose my only friend at work 4). I honestly think she is setting me up with her sister because she secretly wants me. I am everything she wants in a guy 5). I fear she may have built me up too high in the eyes of her sister; it’s too much pressure to live up to her views of me.

      1. 15.3.1
        Emily, the original

        Adrian,

        I remember him talking around it but I don’t remember him giving specific examples…

        It probably was a very intellectual answer, when what I wanted was a physical, step-by-step …. 🙂

        I think women can’t understand men not feeling desired because … there seem to be so many women who could fill that need. Women are attracted to fewer people.

        If you want to go out with our classmates or co-workers, you should. They must like you and why not? You might have fun.

        I don’t want kids, either.

        I think people show you who they are. Nothing reveals more about who your friends are than when you move. All these people who were so sad to see me go … it’s shocking how quickly they fell off the planet. I meant real friends you can count on in a crisis. Those are hard to find as an adult. It’s easy to make a ton of acquaintances.

        Yes, I think Miss Twin wants you. Forget the sister. I’m going to get slammed for saying this, but I think you should go for it. You like her. She’s not married.  Why not? Go after who you want.

         

         

         

        1. Adrian

          Hi Emily,

          Since you quit your job I am curious… How do you deal with the boredom when you have finished all your assignments?

          I find myself in the boat many times. Some weeks I’m so overwhelmed with both work and school that I can barely keep afloat but most days I am just bored once all my homework assignments done and I have nothing to do at work all day except attend a few meetings.

          …   …   …

          You said,
          I think women can’t understand men not feeling desired because … there seem to be so many women who could fill that need. Women are attracted to fewer people. 

          Yes and no. We don’t want another woman to make us feel desired we want the woman that we are dating to make us feel that she wants us.
          Not that this is true but from what I have read and observed it seems that most women attractive don’t posses the skill of making a man feel sex and desired; and they have no desire to learn.
          As they say if they are saying yes to dates or not saying no to sex that should be enough. I also think it is the fault of the men for not having boundaries with these women just because they are beautiful.

          If you want to go out with our classmates or co-workers, you should. They must like you and why not? You might have fun.

          I hate feeling like a third wheel; especially when they start kissing, hugging, or dancing with each other and I am just sitting there alone.

          I don’t want kids, either.

          As a woman have you ran into the same problem I have as a man? That most people don’t want to date you because you don’t want to have children?

          I think people show you who they are. Nothing reveals more about who your friends are than when you move. All these people who were so sad to see me go … it’s shocking how quickly they fell off the planet. I meant real friends you can count on in a crisis. Those are hard to find as an adult. It’s easy to make a ton of acquaintances.

          I agree with this all completely. I think everyone wants that real friend they just don’t want to put in the work. They think it should be natural like it was in grade school the thought of actually working to make a real friend seems like blasphemy to most adults.
          Though I have to be pretty honest with you Emily; I am actually pretty popular at both work and school, it’s usually me and not them who doesn’t want to make the effort and it’s me who turns down their invites.
          Both groups just don’t have what I am looking for in a friends. Look at it like this; there are certain people you can and can not see yourself being associated with.

          Yes, I think Miss Twin wants you. Forget the sister. I’m going to get slammed for saying this, but I think you should go for it. You like her. She’s not married.  Why not? Go after who you want. 

          You are right but it comes down to personality. You know that I am not the type to try to steal another’s girl; I would just feel to dirty and too guilty about it.
          The guy is a good guy, did a few years in prison, barely graduated high school, but he is built like a tank (think a smaller version of the Rock).
          I sometimes get the impression that she feels that she has settled by choosing him.

        2. Emily, the original

          Hi there Adrian,

           How do you deal with the boredom when you have finished all your assignments?

          I’m never done! Plus, I’m looking for a job. I’m done if 5 weeks so I need to make that a priority.

          We don’t want another woman to make us feel desired we want the woman that we are dating to make us feel that she wants us.

          Yes, but the idea is that there would be plenty of other options if you walked because you find a greater number of people appealing.

          Not that this is true but from what I have read and observed it seems that most women attractive don’t posses the skill of making a man feel sex and desired; and they have no desire to learn.

          You still haven’t answered my question. WHAT do you need to feel desire? I stress that some women CAN date like men … and hang out and hook up with someone they see as short term. Maybe he’s doing all the work, so why not ?A woman agreeing to have sex does not necessarily (although it could) mean she really wants the guy.

          Both groups just don’t have what I am looking for in a friends. 

          I feel that way, too. I’m simply not interested in investing in any more casual acquaintances.  If I feel the friendship is stuck at that level, I walk. I’d rather hang out by myself than make bullshit conversation with people who don’t value me.

          You know that I am not the type to try to steal another’s girl; I would just feel to dirty and too guilty about it.

          You can’t steal someone. They leave on their on volition. I sometimes get the impression that she feels that she has settled by choosing him.

          Then provide her with another option.   🙂   I’m kidding.

      2. 15.3.2
        Sylvana

        You two seem to have this pretty much covered.

        Just wanted to chime in real quick and say that I’m sorry for your loss, Adrian. And I can understand your situation and the loneliness. I had the same problem when I first moved to Florida from another state years ago. People were either much younger or much holder. Hard to form solid friendships that way.

        I wish you the best on your journey. Just remember – you’ve already done this once, so you can do it again! Don’t overthink it 🙂

        1. Adrian

          Hi Sylvana,

          You said, “I had the same problem when I first moved to Florida from another state years ago. People were either much younger or much holder. Hard to form solid friendships that way.

           

          If I remember correctly you said that you are European so how did you finally make real friends once you began living in the U.S?

          Emily made a great point about moving being a way to gauge true friends; I too have noticed that a of of people are only your friends as long as you are easy to access.

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