Hooking Up With A One-Night Stand

I’ve done no shortage of posts on sex and hook-up culture.

Since I am not only a dating coach, but a long-time participant in the hook-up culture (1991-2008), I’d like to think I’ve got a pretty good grasp of what it entails.

And while I will defend anyone’s right to participate in one-night-stands and random drunken hookups, I will only point out the same thing that I’ve pointed out for years:

Men, in general, can handle the emotional consequences better than women.

Before you write to me and tell me that you’ve fucked 100 guys in the past two years and haven’t felt a shred of regret, sadness or emotion, allow me to point out to you that every rule has its exceptions. I’m not shaming you. I’m only pointing out that men, on the whole, handle NSA sex better than women. Per a recent YourTango article:

Psychologist Anne Campbell from the Durham University in England surveyed more than 3,300 people between the ages of 17 and 40. Half of them — men and women equally included — reported having experienced a one-night stand. She asked them to describe their experiences and, more importantly, the emotions they experienced the morning after. Her research on casual sex found that despite women’s claims that they can have carefree sex unattached: 80 percent of men had overall positive feelings; meanwhile, only 54 percent of women had positive feelings.”

I’m not shaming you. I’m only pointing out that men, on the whole, handle NSA sex better than women.

Other salient points about hooking up which shouldn’t surprise anyone with a working set of eyes:

There’s A Connection Between Poor Mental State & Casual Sex 

“So why do we do it? Over and over again? In surveying the sexual behaviors and mental health of 10,000 people, those who reported serious thoughts of suicide or more depressive symptoms as teens were more likely to engage in casual sex as young adults. In other words, poor mental state and casual sex do reinforce each other — in both men and women.”

In other words, we’re sad. We’re lonely. We’re horny. We yearn for human touch, release, connection. We sleep with whoever will have us, regardless of whether that person is a good fit. Again, this doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with depressed people or that only depressed people have casual sex. It only suggests that when we’re in a bad emotional state, we’re more likely to pursue short-term instant gratification which may not feel good in the long-term.

Men Drop Their Standards, While Women Raise Them

“A study conducted by Dr. Achim Schützwohl and his team from Brunel University in the UK…examined how a hookup’s hypothetical physical attractiveness (slightly unattractive, moderately attractive and exceptionally attractive) would determine a person’s willingness to accept one of three hookup requests (go out, come to apartment, go to bed).

Don’t overestimate your ability to have a one-night-stand without feeling some pangs of remorse.

For all three requests, men were more likely to accept a hookup regardless of her attractiveness. On the other side of the equation, women placed more importance on a man’s looks. They were more likely to accept the “apartment” and “bed” requests from an “exceptionally” attractive man than from either a “moderately” attractive or “slightly” unattractive man.”

Men will hook up with a woman who is breathing and showing interest. Women place more importance on a man’s looks, even while they swear men are more looks-driven. (Actually, we are – just not for one-night stands.)

As usual, studies tend to exonerate what we observe anecdotally in real life. What does this mean for you, as a woman reader?

a) Don’t overestimate your ability to have a one-night-stand without feeling some pangs of remorse.

b) Don’t be too surprised if a guy sleeps with you even if he’s not attracted to you and has no intentions of dating you seriously – and has no regrets about it whatsoever.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Julia

    So putting out there:
    I am an exception. I didn’t want to talk about one thing though.
    80 percent of men had overall positive feelings; meanwhile, only 54 percent of women had positive feelings.”

     My one night stands I tend to have a less positive experience in. Though that can be said of nearly all my early sexual encounters with men who were boyfriends too. I never really regretted any of them. I just tended to find them pretty forgettable. And I know that personally, most of my ONS’s have been in times of celebration rather than times of loneliness. I was feeling extra happy so I let down my guard a bit (one Obama was nominated, the Phillies won the world series, etc.) It was more like casual sex was an extension of the party, not something that was helping me fill some kind of void. 

    1. 1.1
      John

      And I know that personally, most of my ONS’s have been in times of celebration rather than times of loneliness. I was feeling extra happy so I let down my guard a bit (one Obama was nominated, the Phillies won the world series, etc.) It was more like casual sex was an extension of the party, not something that was helping me fill some kind of void. 
      A one night stand just because the Phillies won the World Series? A one night stand just because Obama won?   And it is rationalized as “just an extension of the celebration” ?
       
      Ladies, this is why guys don’t need to wine and dine these days. Women who give it up THAT easily and who have that thought process to explain it away are everywhere.  Especially POF.
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

      1. 1.1.1
        Lau_ra

        John,
        do you actually think these were the reasons? She just felt happy and relaxed. When a woman feels happy and relaxed, she also feels sexier. Simple as that. So keep your “thats why men don’t have to wine and dine you” for yourself – a woman doesn’t have to want a relationship with every man she sleeps with, just like men don’t want a relationship each time they decide to sleep with a woman.

        1. Julia

          Indeed Laura, sometimes you just want to have fun. Women actually want to have sex sometimes, its not just something men “take” from us.  And I’ve been wined and dined by many a suitor including my current boyfriend.

      2. 1.1.2
        Victoria

        “Give it up” ?   

        We’re not talking about donating our kidneys to some random, here.  We’re talking about having a romp in the hay.  If you view women’s sexuality as some oh-so-precious commodity that she must cling to, you may want to check your head.

        To the point of the article:  I’ve tried one-off one-nighters in the past.  They usually left me feeling a bit hollow.   There was no shame attached to it; it just felt too disconnected.   Sex is a bonding activity for me, and as much as sometimes I wish I could just go out and screw willy-nilly, it doesn’t suit me.   I like the depth of feeling and trust that comes with a committed, monogamous relationship.  It is sexy.

  2. 2
    Paula

    I can honestly say that relationships have caused me more pain and grief than friends with benefits. I’ve had 1 one night stand and a couple of FWB and it has always been the relationships that hurt me more.

    1. 2.1
      starthrower68

      Best quote I’ve seen today: Don’t give up your cookie to keep them, the get mad when you realize all they wanted was your cookie.

      1. 2.1.1
        NASHWC

        “Cookie”? Really? Still? It’s precisely this childish entitlement mentality that keeps (mostly Westernized) women from snagging good men. The more I observe, the more I’m convinced that the vast majority of dating issues and frustrations women encounter are actually rooted in their own rotten attitude. A good man will never invest himself in someone with this thought process.

        1. Jenn

          Down, Nash, down. I believe the term “cookie” has been perpetuated by Steve Harvey, the comedian who wrote the book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”. I don’t know who came up with it originally, but it was worth pointing out that he, as a man, has referred to sex in such a fashion. What’s the matter? Don’t you like cookies? LOL

        2. starthrower68

          Wow. A woman decides that part of her value system is to, at the very least, just not give up for any guy that appears and that is some how a sense of entitlement.  It’s fascinating that the automatic reaction is well, she’s just being manipulative and trying to get one over on men.  The fact that is the first conclusion you draw instead thinking, hmm, maybe this is just part of her character and her code of conduct is very telling.  And to you ladies who have more liberal views on sex than I do, I mean no disrespect.  I’m not here to tell you what to do or anything of the sort. I have another view and everyone’s mileage may very. But I don’t have much patience for someone who assumes that not giving up the cookie before anyone is ready is automatically some sort of war against men.  

    2. 2.2
      Michelle

      I feel the same way, but it’s also worth noting that my successful FWB relationships were with men who I had minimal and basic physical attraction for, it was their personalities and kindness I was more in to. Since the physical attraction wasn’t strong enough to develop feelings, I never felt any disappointment that our relationship wasn’t romantic.  I think what Evan’s interpretation of the study vaguely alluded to but didn’t spell out explicitly is that the real reason women can’t F*ck like men is because we f*ck people we actually LIKE, and generally don’t take any and all sexual opportunities just for the sake of having somewhere to put our genitals. Men generally don’t feel disappointment after a ONS because they’re often choosing women who they don’t find attractive enough to develop feelings for, her willingness is the only criteria; while women , even for a ONS, are choosing partners who meet all of their criteria for ideal attractiveness; therefore they’re going in to and leaving the experience with the perception of the other person as a real potential partner, increasing the likelihood of disappointment. This is why slut shaming is so off, even the slut isn’t having truly indiscriminate sex, she’s only having sex with the men she’s very attracted to, that may be a high number, but it’s not as high as it could be and rarely comprises men who she wouldn’t also have a relationship with. 

  3. 3
    Henriette

    Interesting findings.   I remember Dan Savage quoted some study (granted, the respondents were college students) in which almost all men reported achieving orgasms in their ONSs and very few women did.  Combine that with the study you quote and I can see why many men enjoy ONSs: near-guaranteed climax as well as high likelihood that his partner wouldn’t have joined him unless she found him attractive.  
     
    For the average woman, even a decade or more out of college, I suspect orgasm is significantly less likely in a ONS than in a relationship.  Add to that the fact that these hookups don’t even affirm her attractiveness ~ guys will clearly have a ONS with even the least appealing of females ~ and you can see why ONSs tend to leave women feeling unsatisfied.
     

    1. 3.1
      Kiki

      Absolutely spot on.
      Also, for a woman, having sex with a stranger is inherently riskier than for a man, because she is the physically weaker partner and also, in case of accidental pregnancy, she would carry the consequences.
      At the same time, I think women CAN enjoy ONS, if they have a clear mind that this is what they intend to do. In my opinion, women are only regretful when they were either 1) unintentionally drawn to a ONS as a result of alchohol, or 2) had a very bad sexual experience in the ONS/did not get satisfied, or 3)had misjudged the status of the relationship with the man/imagined they were in a relationship, while he did not think so.

      1. 3.1.1
        Julia

        A couple things: unwanted pregnancy is not a risk if you practice safe sex. I would never, ever, ever have unprotected sex with a stranger. That’s foolish. Additionally sexually active women in their fertile years widely use hormonal birth control.

        I think 3 is the biggest risk. If you believe that a one night stand will lead to a relationship you might be sorely disappointed. Know what you want and what you can handle. As for orgasms, sometimes I have them, sometimes I don’t regardless of my relationship status with my partner. 

        1. Jenn

          Julia, even “protected” sex is never 1oo% safe so it is extremely irresponsible to espouse the notion that pregnancy wouldn’t be a risk. Condoms do break and leak, or slip off. The Pill is a good way to prevent accidental pregnancy, but you do realize that it is only 97% effective, right? As with most forms of birth control, the only 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy (and STIs) is to not have sex.

        2. Julia

          Jenn for as much sex as I’ve had in the past 15 years (wow, that made me feel old) I’ve never been pregnant. I understand how birth control works. For truly casual partners using both methods is pretty darn effective. I am no in a monogamous relationship and only use one. I don’t think I am going to start being abstinent because a stranger on the internet told me its the best way to not get pregnant.

          And for many women, abortion is also an option when other methods fail. 

        3. Jenn

          Killing babies is NEVER a good option for birth control! Seriously, I can’t believe you would even say, much less believe such a thing. And just because you’ve been lucky enough to not have gotten pregnant or sick, does not make it a good idea to assert that “protected” sex is 100% safe, which is essentially what you said. The reality is, it isn’t. The fact is, it is true that not having sex outside of marriage IS the only 100% effective way to protect against STIs or unwanted pregnancy. Just because you don’t believe it’s a viable option doesn’t make that fact untrue.

        4. Julia

          @Jenn
          Are you trying to save me? Because I don’t believe in God so you might want to start there before pushing more advanced stuff like abstinence until marriage. I mean, if it didn’t work for my 11th grade religion in Catholic School, it might be an uphill battle for you…. 

        5. Kiki

          Julia,
          I get the impression from my female friends, that taking the pill is the preferred contraception method when they are in a relationship, i.e., they are pretty certain that they will be having sex regularly in the next few weeks. I do not know any woman who does not have a steady bofriend or a well established FWB who would regularly take the pill. For a ONS the likely method of contaception is the condom, and for certain, incidents can happend there.  I do undersand your point though, and you might be 100% correct for your own demographic.
          As for having orgasms, and that I think is the better part of this topic :-) I think for me the big separation line between a real relationship and a casual/uncertain is whether the man makes sure that the woman has an orgasm EVERY TIME they have sex. In a casual relationship, sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. In a committed relationship, the man cares enough about you, to make sure your are satisfied. I would accept nothing short of that :-).

        6. Karmic Equation

          Off-topic…
           
          Hey Julia, there was an interesting show I saw or article I read (don’t remember which) — which says that the hormones in the Pill alters a woman’s sense of smell such that she tends to choose the “wrong smell” guy when on the pill and when she comes off the pill (for child-bearing) finds out shes no longer attracted to the man.
           
          The “smell” is that our sweat is either alkali or acidic and typically alkali folks tend to do best with acidic folks. But with the pill, alkali ends up with alkali and acidic ends up with acidic.
           
          That’s overly simplistic, but it sure does explain how after coming off the pill to conceive with my then husband that I no longer found him appealing even though he had not changed a bit physically. We may have drifted apart for other reasons, but that “smell” thing makes a lot of sense to me. So if you’re on the pill with your guy, you might want to consider another contraceptive now that you’ve moved in with him to make sure you don’t get caught in that alkali/acidic trap.
           
          Just a thought.
           
          Back to regular programming.

        7. Jenn

          Julia,
          You can do whatever you want and believe whatever you want; I was simply saying that your assertion that unwanted pregnancy is not a risk as long as you use protection is untrue. It is irresponsible to espouse such a notion on a public forum, where there could be impressionable people who might take your opinion as fact. The fact is, pregnancy and STI’s are reduced by the use of contraception, but the risk is still there, even if it is minimized.

        8. Julia

          Oh Jenn, its people like you who are truly irresponsible. If used properly Hormonal BC is 99% effective and condoms are about 97%. add in there Plan B for any true mishaps and no one should really have to worry about unwanted pregnancies in this day and age. Then people like you come along and spread the lies that these things don’t work, so people don’t use them and end up pregnant, or WORSE, contracting STDs even worse if they are HIV. So stop the abstinence BS. The vast majority of adults do not abstain until marriage and miraculously (or predictably) don’t end up with unwanted pregnancies.

        9. Karmic Equation

          Jenn,
           
          If the CEOs and CFOs who are the typical readers of this board are still “impressionable” they will have issues that even Evan wouldn’t be able to address. They should be in therapy.
           
          If YOU want to wait until marriage, good for you. A man will NOT love you more if you’re a virgin. You’re NOT more deserving of marriage if you’re a virgin. You will not be a better wife because you were a virgin. A person’s character is independent of his/her sexual activity or lack thereof.
           
          Moreover, virginity in and of itself contributes nothing of value to a relationship.
           
          Additionally, even abstinence does not 100% guarantee protection from pregnancy, you can still be raped and get pregnant. Can you imagine if your FIRST experience with sex was through such a horrible act? I would ditch my virginity simply to ensure that my first sexual experience was one of MY choosing than to risk losing it through some random act of violence. (If you watch the ID channel, this does happen to women. It even happened to an 80-yo virgin. That was truly truly sad and unimaginable).
           
          97% guarantee is a pretty good guarantee for life. Wouldn’t you like to have a 97% chance of winning the lottery? 97% chance of staying young forever? Only death and taxes are 100% guaranteed.
           
          We’re all adults here. Most are well to do. If a child results from that 3% chance, you can be assured that if the child is carried to term, s/he won’t be abandoned on a church’s door step. If an STI results from that 3% modern medicine is there to help. Would you STOP leaving your house on the 3% chance you could get raped if you stepped outside? Would you stop driving your car if you had a 3% chance of getting into an accident? 
           
          So please stop your fear-mongering and bible-thumping for abstinence. While admirable to some extent, it’s unrealistic and unnecessary in the 21st century.

        10. Jenn

          Again, Julia, I was simply pointing out that what you said is not true. Birth control is not 100% effective and I doubt that the miniscule number of people who’ve used it and still gotten pregnant or sick would agree with you that it’s 100% safe. I NEVER said that it doesn’t work. I said that your statement that “pregnancy is not a risk” as long as you use birth control is wrong. Karmic, I am NOT fear-mongering by pointing that out, nor have I ever been a “Bible-thumper”. Do you see me telling everyone “this is what I chose, so you should do it too, or you’re all going to Hell”? No, I have said nothing of the sort. I am being open about my choice to delay sex until marriage because I am PROUD of my choice and I want others who might be thinking of doing the same thing to know that it’s okay (there are more of us out there than you’d think, even on this blog – they’re just not speaking up for fear of being attacked). You might think that I’m weird because I made a different choice, and that’s fine. My life is none of your business, and what you choose to do with your life and your body, is none of mine. My husband, when I meet him, will know that I chose to save myself for him, and him alone. He’ll know that I placed a higher value on my commitment to our relationship and marriage than on satisfying a momentary desire. He very well could love me more because I made the choice to wait for him, and maybe he’ll even wish he would have waited for me. I’m truly sorry that more people don’t share my opinion – every person I meet who finds out that I’m a virgin and waiting tells me that they wish they had waited. That tells me that sex does mean something to people, even in our casual, throwaway society. I’ve chosen to place a higher value on sex because that’s the way that God designed it. He designed sex to be for marriage, to elevate the relationship between a husband and wife along with procreation. That’s the truth of it, and I’m truly sorry if it angers anyone to hear it. I want the kind of relationship and marriage that results from a meeting of the minds, not the bodies. I want to be able to look my husband in the eye on my wedding day and tell him that I saved myself for him, because I loved him long before I met him. It breaks my heart and I am crying as I write this, because if only more people actually took the time to really get to know their SO’s, without bringing sex into it and complicating things the way only sex can, we actually could see fewer divorces and more happy marriages. Because people would be giving their whole selves, body, mind and soul, to their forever loves. If that sounds idealistic, then I will admit it: I am an idealist and I’m not ashamed to be. Most people in this day and age are carrying around so much baggage from having had so many heartbreaks that they have a much harder time giving their all to their husband or wife, the one person who truly deserves it. I knew that wasn’t what I wanted for myself. I’m sorry if that offends anyone, but that’s how I feel.
          As far as being raped, I do not see how it would be any less traumatic if it happens after I’d already had sex. As far as I’m concerned, I’d still consider myself a virgin even on the off-chance that I did get raped before I get married. My virginity is mine to give: no man can take it from me. It is not a sexual experience when it is rape, even if the sex organs are involved. Rape is a horrible attack on a woman. It does violate her in a way that getting stabbed or beaten wouldn’t, but not being a virgin doesn’t lessen the horror of it. And if I did get pregnant as a result, I’d choose to have the child. Children are a gift no matter how they’re conceived and I would not choose to make the child pay for the father’s crime.
          I wish that people could understand that I’m choosing to voice my opinion not to influence those who are already dead-set against making changes. Rather, I want those who may be considering making a change to understand that you can. Many people do, and they feel so much better for it. It wasn’t until I found the site waitingtillmarriage.org that I knew I’d really made the right choice. Once there, I realized that there were other people in this world who felt the same way I do. It’s not about religion. It’s about wanting something better for myself and for my marriage.

        11. marymary

          Jenn
          I’m a christian and I think you’re overstating the case for waiting (and for marriage). I think it does avoid certain complications and risks, it is in obedience to the teaching.  I don”t think it makes you a better wife or makes your husband love you more.  I see just as many happy marriages outside the church. My brother isn’t a christian and his is the happiest marriage I have seen up close.  
          as for not being able to get over heartbreak, christianity is about redemption and  what you say seems opposed to that.
          But it’s your choice and hardly affects anyone else. I think a bigger problem is that there are, in  the uk anyway, far more women than men in the church.  I see many dedicated, lovely women ageing into being the church cleaners and caterers.  there is nothing wrong with that but it’s not a pew filler.
          Marriage isn’t part of the promise.

        12. Jeremy

          @Jenn.  First of all I respect your beliefs and would never dream of trying to argue you out of them.  I wish you joy from your decision.

          However, I wanted to point out what I believe is a fallacy in your argument.  You mention that it would be great if a couple could really get to know each other without the complications of sex getting in the way.  This is a problematic statement.  As I see it (and this may be more of a male point of view), as soon as a man is attracted to a woman, he pretty much wants to have sex with her.  As a relationship progresses, the more he likes her, the stronger that desire grows.

          From what I have observed in religious communities where premarital sex is forbidden, people marry very young after short courtships.  This is done to “keep them out of trouble.”  The lack of sex does not allow them to get to know each other better, nor does it allow them to deepen their feelings for each other.  What it does is encourage them to get married faster….so they can finally have sex.  THEN they start to get to know each other.  And we all know the divorce statistics for those who marry young with short courtships.

          i believe in long courtships.  Marriage is too serious of a commitment to make with someone you don’t know very well.  A long courtship that is sexless is pretty rare and torturous (at least for the male).  IMHO once they get the sex out of the way, they can both approach the goal of getting to know each other better in a clear-headed way.

          I am NOT  advocating rushing into sex.  I have never done it after less than several months into a relationship once I was serious about the relationship.  But I think that enforcing a need to wait until marriage causes significant potential for harm with little benefit.  of course, this is only true if you can step outside of religious thinking.

          As a final thought, in my religion (Judaism), the orthodox practice a ritual called “niddah” where it is forbidden for a married couple to have sex or touch in any way for 2 weeks out of every month in the time surrounding the woman’s period.  Imagine – literally HALF your married life without sex or touching!  Pretty crazy, right?  I have heard many religious speakers talk about the wisdom and merit of this practice and how psychologically beneficial it can be.  However, I have challenged several of them as to whether or not they would keep this rule if they were not religious – of course they would not.  It is one thing to do something because you believe God commanded it.  It is quite another to argue that you are doing it because it is logically/morally right.  The same applies to your arguments, IMHO.

          Sorry for for the rant, everyone.  I’ll get off my soapbox now. 

        13. RustyLH

          I’m going to have to disagree with you Jeremy.  You paint the bleakest of pictures that is not actually the norm.  While some do rush in, you assume that they just met.  Often that is not the case.  Often they have known each other a significant amount of time.  Also, the studies show that cohabitation does not equal more success in staying married.  I read an article where a psychologist explained why.  Briefly…when cohabiting you know there is no commitment so it changes the way you act.  You tend to be more forgiving of bad behavior, such as a man taking his clothes off and leaving them on the floor 5 feet from the hamper.  Cute at first, irritating after awhile, but until marriage, we often don’t even make an issue of these things.  Once married, we think we can then make an issue.
          Second, more often than not, when we met somebody and start dating, it is all about the experience.  We may have asked some questions to see if there are deal breakers we need to know about, but often we don’t actually talk about what needs to be talked about.  Many churches insist on premarital counseling these days to make sure these issues are discussed.  Sometimes they find out that they need to wait to discuss some issues, or realize that they aren’t right for each other.  Other times, they simply work out things that could have been problems if not addressed before marriage.
           
          This “rush to get married,” as you put it, can, be a good thing.  For one, healthier children over all since they aren’t waiting till they are in their late 30s and 40s to have kids.  Also, since the relationship in the beginning isn’t all about sex, you actually take the time to get to know each other.
          Also, contrary to popular belief, actual practicing religious people enjoy a much lower divorce rate.  Here are the numbers.
          % Divorce Likelihood ReductionFaith Affiliation
          Protestant – Nominal
          20
          Protestant -Conservative
          -10
          Protestant – Active Conservative
          -35
          Catholic
          -18
          Catholic (nominal)
          -5
          Catholic – Active
          -31
          Jewish
          39
          Jewish (nominal)
          53
          Jewish – Active
          -97
          http://thegospelcoalition.org/article/factchecker-divorce-rate-among-christians/
           
          It makes total sense.  Protestant Christians who are not faithful to their religious beliefs are 20% more likely to divorce, while those who are more faithful enjoy a 10% lower than normal divorce rate and those who are very faithful enjoy a 35% lower than normal divorce rate.  Jenn would fall into this group if Protestant.  Look at the very faithful Jewish.  97% lower divorce rate.  That’s amazing.
           
          Now, let’s talk about the ugly side of free sex.  I’ve seen groups of friends where it was circular dating…in that these couples were often breaking up, and getting with one of the other people in the group, to the point that most of the guys had sex at least once with most of the women in the group.  Niiiiiiiiice!
          Then we go to the fact that almost nobody ends up marrying the person that they had their most incredible sexual experiences with.  Some will claim this is true, but I’ve know a lot of honest people who admitted that this in fact was not the case…or, for instance, a woman will say that her husband is the best at this one aspect of sex,  but this other guy was better at this other thing, and another guy was better at that thing, and this other guy was the most well hung, which may or may not provide very good memories for her depending on his skill I suppose, etc….
          For a guy, he may love his wife, but several of his girlfriends may have been far more adventurous in bed, to the point that his wife pales in comparison.  Anyone who claims it isn’t normal, BS because you can find many articles talking about that very thing, and women complaining that her current man keeps pushing her to try things he did with other women…things she’s not comfortable with, such as threesomes, sodomy, etc…
           
          If you only have one lover in life, there is no possibility for comparison.  Now some would argue that with the free sex, you do get to experience all those things…even if not with your wife.  I say that this is simply a case of you can’t have your cake and eat it too.  There are benefits and consequences of both.  But look at it this way.  If you have cake and ice cream and pie here for desert but Cheesecake is only sold in France, and you never got to France, will you actually feel like you are missing out by never trying cheesecake?  Not likely.  However, what if you go to France for one vacation and try Cheesecake and then decide it is the best desert you ever had, but you never get to try it again because you don’t live in France and never make it back there?  Now you do feel deprived.  Sex is like that.  In most cases, so long as the person has good hygiene, sex is measured in terms of good and great.
           
          This idea that you have to take the person for a test drive is absurd.  So you test drive 50 people and then finally find somebody you want to marry.  They have all the qualities you want.  But there were those 5 other people that were much better in bed.  Had you never slept with them, you wouldn’t miss sleeping with them, and would feel the need to badger your mate to perform like those others.
           
          Now, the ugliest side.  This is 100% true and I know all people involved.  It happened in my hometown of about 8,000 people.  I don’t think it is any less likely to happen in big cities since even there, people tend to form even smaller communities.  I’ll give you the short story.  Girl I knew ran with men and a bunch of other people.  In this group was a decent guy who this girl’s mom seemed to disapprove of very much.  For some psychotic reason, her mom just didn’t like her daughter running in the same group as this guy.  Well, unknown to mom, a relationship started to bud, but mom knew nothing of it because daughter already knew mom didn’t like him.  Well, in the normal course of things, sex started happening.  She got pregnant.  Then the fireworks started, because now she had to tell mom.  Mom of course had a fit…an unholy fit.  Demanded she have an abortion.  Long story short, mom had to confess why this was an issue.  Turns out the girl’s real dad was the father of the guy she got pregnant by.  Yes…he was her half brother.  What did they do?  They broke up and she got an abortion.  Many people were devastated by this.  But how many other instances happen like this?  Who knows.  But there is a possibility.  I have zero doubt that there are more cases than we know, and most probably never come to light like this one did.  I felt very sorry for them.  They were madly in love and never got over it.  They were on the verge of creating a family and were talking marriage…making plans actually.  He had already proposed.  It was after this that they revealed it to her mother.  They were very happy.  But, in an instant they had it all ripped away from them.  They were never able to have closure.  It made it painful and awkward for both to hang out with the larger group so they usually didn’t.  On the rare occasions that they did, you could see the open wound as plain as day.  They never fell out of love…they had their love ripped away from them.  It was literally one of the saddest things I have ever witnessed in my life.

        14. Karmic Equation

          The moral of the half brother/half sister story ISN’T that they should have avoided premarital sex. It was that the MOTHER should have told the daughter the REAL reason why she didn’t want them hanging together as soon as she knew they were doing it. The mother’s secretiveness and shame led to the daughter’s heartbreak, not the sex. The couple were in love, and still are. They going to get married. Premarital sex didn’t preclude that from happening. 

          In that one story you derailed your mission of converting us all to withholding sex until LTR. 

          The mother should be ashamed for her part in this debacle and is the one at fault for this tragedy. Not the kids involved. 

        15. RustyLH

          And as usual, Karmic, you miss the point.  Had the mother kept her vows, or divorced if she were so unhappy, before sleeping with that guy, then this wouldn’t have happened.  At the same time, had the young couple simply courted openly, and then announced to their parents, first, that they were going to get married, the mother could have told them the truth before they ever had sex, or gotten pregnant.  In fact, it likely would have come out as soon as they started “officially” dating.  Mom would have pulled the daughter aside and told her the dirty secret.
           
          Is the mother partly to blame?  Yes, and that’s never going to change.  Stuff like that is always going to be a dirty secret.
           
           
          And I highly doubt that anyone who somehow believes that endorsing a woman right to exercise her power of choice is somehow a misogynist plot to hold down women, could ever be convinced to listen to reason.

        16. Karmic Equation

          No Rusty.
          As usual, YOU are twisting the narrative and the interpretation to suit your agenda.
           
          The premarital and extramarital sex is always going to happen.
           
          The mom should have disclosed that the dude was her half-brother as soon as she saw her daughter hanging out with him. Then NONE of the hooking up would EVER have happened. Very few people VOLUNTARILY indulge in INCEST.

        17. RustyLH

          No Karmic, it is you that wants to twist things.  The simple fact is that lack of morals caused this, all around.  Thinking that we can rewrite the rules to suit us as we please, and then when it doesn’t work out, we look for somebody, anybody to blame for where we find ourselves.
           
          Once again, the problem DID start with the mother having an affair, and then continued with her keeping it a secret for many years, for her own selfish reasons.  It continued with the two young people having sex out of wedlock.
           
          I agree with you that premarital sex is going to continue to happen, and along with that comes consequences.  Rare instances like the above, disease, unwanted pregnancy, etc…  And the same applies to affairs.  those will continue to happen.  And along with them will come consequences.

      2. 3.1.2
        Chance

        Kikiwomen have more options in the event of an accidental pregnancy.  Men do not have the same options as women.  Therefore, they are more likely to have to bear the negative consequences of an unwanted pregnancy.

        1. Julia

          Well, first I want to point out that the children usually have the worst consequences from it. No one ever focuses on them. Secondly, while I know a couple men paying through the nose for child support, I know even more women who got married too early, had kids, were left and can’t get their ex-husbands to pay a dime of child support. Men who never see their kids, give them nothing and still try to claim them on their taxes. Men who would rather go to jail than pay for the children they had with their wives. So please spare me the men are victims. Single parenthood is mess for everyone. 

        2. Chance

          Julia, no one is saying men are victims.  However, we’re talking about unwanted pregnancies from ONSs.  It’s an entirely different thing to abandon your family, which is really irrelevant to the conversation anyways.  No one would defend that.  Besides, breaking the law isn ‘t really a viable option.  I stand by my original comment.

        3. Marie

          @Chance – what do you mean it’s really men who are more likely to bear the negative consequences of an unwanted pregnancy?  There is a crisis in this country of single unwed mothers who are below the poverty line.  Do you see a crisis with single unwed fathers lining up at the food bank?  Why – it’s because the accidental pregnancy often falls on the shoulders of the woman with the father nowhere to be found, or denying he was ever the father.  I’d like this to be a Jerry Springer episode but unfortunately working with underserved populations I see this all too often.  Please don’t rant about men not having options — unless the woman or her family have access to a good lawyer, men have the option of walking away, which sadly is used all the time.
          Now, what you may mean is RESPONSIBLE men don’t have the same options.  Well, I don’t see how women have any good options either: keep the baby and risk not being able to raise it?  Giving the baby up for adoption in the terrible adoption system that we have in the US?  Abortion?  Let’s not compare gender notes here.  Accidental pregnancy is good for no one and the solution is to have more responsible sex by both parties!

        4. Evan Marc Katz

          Except you ignore, Marie, the fact that the woman is choosing to carry the accidental pregnancy to term, while the man has no choice in the matter. So even if both parties were initially responsible, the choice to bear the child and deal with the economic consequences is entirely the mother’s.

        5. Julia

          You know there are places and populations of people where getting an abortion is next to impossible. Either because there aren’t any places to perform abortions (in states like Mississippi or the Dakotas) because of waiting periods, because of laws on when a woman can get an abortion and because its cost prohibitive. So if you believe a woman should have a choice to abort, saying that all women have equal access is frankly not helpful. Of course, the communities most impacted by this are the communities that Marie described, communities where men rarely stick around and contribute anything anyways. I think there is a myth being perpetrated here that lots of middle class women get pregnant and stick men for support. I think you’ll find the communities with the highest rates of single motherhood are the poorest.

        6. Karmic Equation

          Unfortunately, many of those poor women still think that sex = relationships. Or they use their children as meal-tickets to welfare. While educated women with pride and resources would refuse to go this route, you would be surprised at how many women are deliberately getting pregnant to live off Uncle Sam. Would they be pregnant if they were better educated? Not sure. Would they be pregnant if there wasn’t welfare to fall back on? Maybe.
           
          I think once a woman has a child and goes on welfare, she needs to be forced to be on some form of contraceptive (like IUD) until she gets off welfare. Having multiple children as a way to increase household income is just wrong. (And yes, unfortunately, I know of people who’ve done this). “Accidental” pregnancies in their cases could have be aborted but they chose to carry to term precisely because their first child was already welfare subsidized. Sometimes the baby daddies are complicit in the baby-making to increase the woman’s “salary”.
           
          That said, that doesn’t apply to what we’re talking about here on this board full of middle to upper class women with higher education. I don’t think we need to bring the poor into these discussions. They’re not the 95th percentile women that are Evan’s target audience.
           
          Middle and upper class women DO have the resources and access to abortion, and therefore, if they refuse to have an abortion, the presumably middle- and upper-class men with whom they had sex DO NOT have a say in the baby being carried to term.
           
          HOWEVER, if men were REALLY that worried about accidental pregnancies, they SHOULD BE DOUBLE-BAGGING that thing before sex instead of trying to convince women to go on the Pill or use an IUD so that they can rawdog it sans condom.
           
          So, in the end, unless the man double-bags it, while the woman is on the Pill or IUD, the MAN did NOT do his ABSOLUTE best to prevent a pregnancy, so if a child results, he should pay, imo. Sorry fellas.

        7. kneedajob

           
           
            EMK, Shouldn’t there be a responsibility to the man for having gotten the woman pregnant?  Other than the financial responsibilities later.  If he knows that he isn’t seriously interested and that biologically he wouldn’t be able to have the same choices the women would have if there was a pregnancy, shouldn’t he take some thought into his actions?  Men might benefit more emotionally from a ONS, but maybe this is his trade.  And maybe there is something wrong with a man who still ignores this information despite being past his early twenties.

        8. Jenn

          Evan,
          Unmarried people may routinely have sex for pleasure, but that doesn’t automatically make it right. And yes, it does make perfect sense that if a man is not ready for the full responsibility of being a father, or willing to take the proper precautions should he choose to indulge himself anyway, then he should abstain. Oh, there’s me, being totally out of touch with reality again! Sorry everyone, guess it’s just too hard to do the right thing. We all have a choice: we can do what is right, or what is easy. The easy path is unfortunately the one that too many people choose to traverse.

      3. 3.1.3
        Lau_ra

        @Jenn,
        not sure I get the point of your comments. Yes, its not that the risk of pregnancy is totally eliminated (unless several types of contraception are used). And? 

      4. 3.1.4
        Julia

        @Karmic in my ONS years I was on the pill (twenties mostly) I’ve been on IUD for a couple years though (easier to use, cheaper, doesn’t make me depressed) so I am not too worried about that.

        I would never consider having sex with a new partner without a condom though, despite the IUD. Very risky. 

      5. 3.1.5
        tamara

        @Jenn: Yes it’s fine for u to abstain till marriage; nobody said you’re weird because of it, and I don’t see why anyone should fear being ‘attacked’ here for that choice. I for one can respect that decision. I’m not a virgin but I’m far more conservative with sex than the average American woman; I didn’t sleep with my last bf even though we dated for several mths and he had proposed. (A v good decision since he turned out to be a really horrible person who showed his true colours when I refused to get back with him, but I digress.)

        But while I think most of us here are fine with your decision, I have to say respectfully that the tone of some of your posts comes across as a teeny-bit judgmental. Not just this post, but some others. I feel like some issues of morality are very black and white, and some–like those concerning sexual choices–are often like varying shades of grey, with no objective right or wrong.

        1. Jenn

          To me, people who take my tone as judgmental may just not know how to deal with it when they’re confronted with someone who has decided to make better moral choices. Perhaps they feel a little guilty about their own choices when confronted with someone who has chosen to follow the right path. It is a black and white issue, unfortunately. Sex was designed by God to be practiced in a loving, committed marriage. That’s not my opinion – it’s mentioned countless times through the Bible. I know people tend to disregard the Bible because they don’t believe. I can well understand the temptation that people face when it comes to sex – I face the same temptation and have the same urges. It’s not an easy decision to make, to abstain from sex while I’m single when everything in my body, and the messages all around me say to just do it. I chose not to do so because I decided I wanted something better for myself. That’s not a judgment against anyone else. But when I say stuff like that, I can see how it would bother some who have not made the same choice. It causes people to question their own beliefs and that makes people uncomfortable. Sex is not bad in and of itself. It is one of life’s best pleasures and is meant to be enjoyed, but in the right context. We live in a culture which constantly tells us that “if it feels good, just do it.” But very few people seem  to really want to take the responsibility of dealing properly with the negative consequences of their actions. They’d rather just pretend that they don’t exist because it feels too good in the moment to stop.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Sweetie, no one is questioning their judgment to have sex. We just feel bad for you.

        3. marymary

          I’m abstaining from sex and it’s coming off as judgemental to me too.

        4. Tom10

           
          @ Jenn
          “To me, people who take my tone as judgmental may just not know how to deal with it when they’re confronted with someone who has decided to make better moral choices. “
           
           
          Better moral choices, or different moral choices?
           
           
          “Perhaps they feel a little guilty about their own choices when confronted with someone who has chosen to follow the right path. It is a black and white issue, unfortunately. Sex was designed by God to be practiced in a loving, committed marriage.” 
           
           
          Perhaps they feel a little guilty, but more likely they don’t.
           
           
          The problem with this “I’m right, you’re wrong. Period.” discussion technique is that it doesn’t leave any room for learning which will help improve our odds in dating. We are all here on this blog to further our understanding, thus improve our chances in dating.
           
           
          If it’s a black and white issue where you’re right and we’re wrong, what/how are you hoping to learn from this blog?
           
           
          That’s not my opinion – it’s mentioned countless times through the Bible. I know people tend to disregard the Bible because they don’t believe. “
           
           
          True. I disregard the Bible because I don’t believe.
           
           
          “But when I say stuff like that, I can see how it would bother some who have not made the same choice. It causes people to question their own beliefs and that makes people uncomfortable.”
           
           
          It might cause me to question my own beliefs, but why would that make me uncomfortable? I am very comfortable in my beliefs – that’s why I have them.
           
           
          “Sex is not bad in and of itself. It is one of life’s best pleasures and is meant to be enjoyed”
           
           
          Agreed. So one would imagine that you would be keen to experience it.
           
           
          “but in the right context.”
           
           
          Agreed – within the context of consenting adults.
           
           
          “We live in a culture which constantly tells us that “if it feels good, just do it.” 
           
           
          But culture doesn’t actually tell anyone to do anything. People don’t have sex because culture told them to do it – they do it for their own reasons.
           
           
          “very few people seem  to really want to take the responsibility of dealing properly with the negative consequences of their actions.”
           
           
          Agreed. Most of us here advocate for people to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
           
           
          Jenn, the problem isn’t really with your lifestyle or sexuality choices. It is reasonable for you to choose to exercise your sexuality in any way that suits you – whether that is solely within the confines of marriage or not. The problem is your tone and language; your dogmatic approach and communication technique turn people off. When you say that you make “better moral choices” and you chose “the right path,” you are conversely saying that others who live their lives differently make poorer moral choices and chose the wrong path. This attitude is unattractive and men will pick up on that, which will negatively impact your chances in dating.
           
           
          If you are happy with your dating outcomes then there isn’t necessarily a problem. If, however, your reality is not aligned with your goals, then it might be something to consider.

        5. starthrower68

          As a Christian, it only makes sense that I am going to have a Biblical world view.  Most of us know that is going to be at odds with a great section of the culture, maybe even the majority.  That just goes with the territory and is a price we must pay to live out our faith.  That having been said (and I have by no means arrived),  truth must be accompanied by grace.  If I speak with the tongues of angels, but have not love, I am as noisy as a clanging cymbal.

  4. 4
    Karmic Equation

     
    I might be the other exception. Except, truth be told, I’ve a only a total of 3 ONS in my life. I had two ONS in my 20′s and one ONS in my 30s. I had one what-could-have-been-termed-an-ONS encounter in my 40s that became an FWB and then became a gf/bf relationship. And about 2 years ago, another not-quite-ONS. The one ONS in my 30s turned into a 6yr relationship. The two ONS in my 20s were true ONS. I never saw them again and never thought of them again.

    The two ONS in my 20s were to explore my own burgeoning sexuality. The one in my 30s was because I was “on the prowl” that night as I was feeling particularly beautiful/powerful. I didn’t regret having this ONS, but when he asked for my number the next morning (I didn’t expect that) and said he would call on Tuesday (but didn’t) — I spent Tuesday regretting I gave him my number because the anticipation of his call and not getting it really turned me upside down. By Wedenesday morning, I had accepted that he wasn’t going to call. When he called that night, I was surprised and had sufficient self-control to calmly say, without accusation or rancor, “I thought you were going to call Tuesday” to which he gave some lame excuse. But I let it slide. We had a good convo. This was the beginning of what might be called a casual relationship as there was no sexclusivity talk, but which did become exclusive about 6 weeks later.
     
    For the not-quite-ONS in my 40s, I went through a very methodical thought process before I had sex with the guys. They weren’t strangers but people I considered friendly acquaintances where we were very attracted to one another. I went through the following process before having sex for the first time with them:
     
    Do I like their personality? Yes
     
    Do I want to have sex with them? Yes
     
    Do I want a relationship with them? Not sure, but possibly.
     
    Would I regret more that I didn’t satisfy my sexual curiosity about them or that they could do a hit-and-run? And would I be ok if we never spoke again after the encounter?
     
    With guy#1, it took me about 6 weeks of getting to know him casually (no dates, we just ended up seeing each other about 2x/week because we hung out at the same bar/pool room) before I decided that I was ok if he disappeared after sex. He was a “major” player and I knew this about a week after meeting him. But I was curious about “players” never having been attracted to one until him. Yet, I still was undecided about whether I wanted a relationship (logically, I knew the chance was slim to none, but I had to ask myself the question). I finally came to the conclusion that not having my curiosity satisfied would be worse than not having a relationship with him (he was a player after all lol). So, I was mentally prepared to never speaking with him ever again after that encounter (and yes, it was NOT fulfilling) — and was surprised that he wanted another round a week later, but I actually called him on his bad performance when he propositioned me again, “Ummm, the first time was nothing to write home about. So why would I want to do it again?” — That must have surprised him and challenged him, because he promised this time would be much more satisfying. As I was still attracted to him, I let him talk me into it. And he came through like a champ.
     
    With guy#2, it took me about 4 weeks to decide that he was NOT bf material, so having NSA sex with him was perfectly ok. Again, the dealbreaker question I had to answer was “Am I ok if he did a ‘hit-and-run’” — I was ok with that. But with him, because he was not bf material AND because we were friends by the time I made this decision as I had known him for about 6 months at the time, I was pretty confident we would still be on speaking terms afterwards. I was right.
     
    With guy #1, we progressed from ONS, to FWB, to gf/bf, and then back to FWB after our bf/gf relationship ended. 
     
    With guy #2, even though I had ruled him out as a bf, it still stung my ego, that about a month later he had found himself a gf. However, that was my EGO that was bruised not my heart.
     
    Neither of those “first time”/ONS sex experiences were fulfilling, nor was the ONS with my 6yr bf, but I don’t have sex for the orgasm. I have sex because I like the physicality of sex — and the “effort” that the man expends to please me in bed counts way more than an orgasm itself. With guy #1, sex was all for him the first time. But in all the other times afterwards, he always expended great efforts to please me, so I couldn’t complain.
     
    With guy #2, it was awkward that first time, but he DID try very hard to please me, so the lack of orgasm wasn’t due to lack of effort on his part. And we remain friendly and flirtatious to this day.
     
    Perhaps, technically speaking, I didn’t have true ONS, but rather NSA sex.
     
    Ultimately, I think my decision-making is what makes it possible for me to have NSA sex, of which ONS is a subset. I understood clearly what the “worst case scenario” would be after having NSA/ONS sex, and until I could accept that worst case scenario (hit-and-run), I refrained from having sex with them even though I was wildly attracted. However, if most women have sex “expecting” an orgasm every time — then those women would certainly be disappointed by ONS sex and should avoid it.
     
    But I do believe if women applied a more logical process in their decision making before having sex as opposed to having sex based on emotions, whether it’s an ONS or FWB or relationship sex, fewer hearts would be broken because they would have clarity on WHY they’re having sex in the first place.

     

    1. 4.1
      Kathy

      Karmic,    I don’t know if it helps a woman to be  logical about sex when she really likes someone. So I guess the answer is to not have sex in this case if she doesn’t know what the sex means?

      1. 4.1.1
        Julia

        Kathy, I think its best for every woman to decide what’s best for her. Know what you want and what you can handle. Some women really need to be in a committed relationship and that’s OK. I’ve even needed that at different points in my life. I feel like my needs have been fluid depending on everything else going on in my life.

      2. 4.1.2
        Kiki

        Kathy,
        I agree with Karmik that ONS is not conducive to guranteed orgasm, even though, with some luck, you might get one.  
        So if you are like me (very orgasm minded) you would strongly favor being in a relationship in order to have the best possible sex with the lucky man of your choice. If you can enjoy sex for the physicallity of sex and don’t mind not having an orgasm – you could enjoy ONS and whatever.  
         
         

        1. Julia

          Some women rarely orgasm at all, some orgasm constantly. Every woman is different and there is no one size fits all that any of us should think is standard. One can have really great orgasms with a ONS and find that they occasionally can’t with a partner they love very much. Even men occasionally cannot.

        2. Karmic Equation

          Well, Kiki, I had the best orgasm with an FWB who was a terrific lover (but only once). I had 2 in my twenties with one boyfriend, maybe a handful of times with my ex-husband, but even though I had MORE orgasms with my husband they were the LEAST satisfying. The foreplay/sex part wasn’t that much fun with him, go figure. So orgasms during sex for me aren’t required. I can get them quicker and more of them by myself. But the foreplay/making out/kissing (I *love* kissing), I can’t do by myself. Hence I like physicality of sex more than orgasms.

  5. 5
    John

    So, in the end, unless the man double-bags it, while the woman is on the Pill or IUD, the MAN did NOT do his ABSOLUTE best to prevent a pregnancy, so if a child results, he should pay, imo. Sorry fellas.
     
    Karmic- On the off chance you are not being facetious about double bagging, that is the worst thing you can do. Double bagging actually leads to an increase in condom failure since latex rubbing on latex causes more friction than latex rubbing on skin. Hence, the propensity for failure increases greatly.  This is Condoms 101.
     
    Instead of double bagging, the thing to do is to still pull out just before orgasm with the condom still on as an added precaution. Much safer than double bagging. If you time it right, you can pull it out, get it off and then give a belly shot. That’s always a hot way to end things while still having the extra precaution.

    1. 5.1
      Karmic Equation

      “Instead of double bagging, the thing to do is to still pull out just before orgasm with the condom still on as an added precaution. Much safer than double bagging. If you time it right, you can pull it out, get it off and then give a belly shot. That’s always a hot way to end things while still having the extra precaution.”
       
      Ya. That IS hot! I have to agree. And extraordinarily coordinated too. haha – 
       
      I’ll go with that suggestion: A guy should be using a condom AND pulling out AND the woman should also be using a contraceptive (pill, iud, diaphram, etc) — If the woman isn’t then the guy SHOULDN’T have sex with her, because then, again, he’s NOT doing his absolute best to prevent a pregnancy, so he should pay if becomes pregnant.
       
      And if a child results from sex having met all three conditions, then, yes it’s TRULY an accident — or a miracle depending on your POV — and the man SHOULD have a say:
      - If she carries to term against his wishes, she should bear the full financial responsibility.  – He doesn’t have to pay anything.
      - If because HE believes it’s a miracle — and wishes that she carries to term and promises full financial support — and she DOESN’T, that would be sad for him. And that *would* be a high price for him to pay for a miraculous mistake.
      -If they both wish to have the child, then I wish them the best and hope it all works out. I’m sure they would both try hard to make things equitable in this situation.

      1. 5.1.1
        Jeremy

        “If the woman isn’t then the guy SHOULDN’T have sex with her, because then, again, he’s NOT doing his absolute best to prevent a pregnancy, so he should pay if becomes pregnant.”

        Problem comes, Karmic, when she says she is but really isn’t.  Happens all too often.  But I definitely agree with you that he should wear a condom.  Pulling out is safer too.
         
        The whole concept of the “belly shot” though is risky.  There was once a commenter on this site who actually stated her opinion that any bodily fluids on her body became her property to do with as she desired, and she saw no reason not to inseminate herself with them if she so desired.  Likely a small minority opinion, to be sure, but with the reports of occasional “sperm bandits” I would recommend leaving the condom on until the end and flushing it to be safe.
         
        I agree with your final 3 options 100%, theoretically.  I do not think it should be conditional on what precautions were taken, though.  It becomes a he said-she said argument.  He said he wore a condom, she said he didn’t.  Who cares?  When a woman walks into an abortion clinic they don’t ask her what precautions she took, they just do as she asks.  If a man wears a condom and it breaks, the woman can take a morning after pill if she does not want to have a child.  She can have an abortion.  She can bear the child and put it up for adoption and bear no responsibilites at all toward the child.  She has these options regardless of what contraceptive methods she did or did not take.  Men have no such options.  The fact that we are judging men for what precautions they took and not judging women for them is indicative of how the pendulum has swung a little too far in this regard.
         
        Having said all that, all of this is purely theoretical.  Most men, if handed a child and told it is theirs, will become attached to that child and to their best for him/her.  I am quite sure that I would fall deeply in love with my own child, regardless of whether or not I had wanted it.  That child is innocent, and is my responsibility.  But were I tricked into fathering this child (through tampered birth control, lies, after-the-fact insemination, etc), I would be mad as hell at the mother, and believe there should be legal consequences for her.

        1. Karmic Equation

          Well, I’ll be a little facetious here. With smartphones having digital cameras and if this is REALLY such a problem, then the guy can always take a picture of his member with condom before, and intact with ejaculate after, to show that he used a condom. There are time/date stamps when images are taken. Belly shots, perhaps, but probably would need her consent for that. So I guess belly shots would have to be reserved for regular partners instead of ONS ;)

  6. 6
    starthrower68

    Again, I might be seeing things all wrong, but if I had a child as a result of a ONS and the guy wants no part of that child’s life, I would prefer he stay away – including his money.  I would work however hard I needed to in order to provide for that child. I’ve done it. I think it’s much better on everyone that a guys stays completely away if he wants no part of me or the child.  That having been said, if he does want to be involved, then I have to allow him to do so, as long as it doesn’t mean hurt and confusion for the child.  We adults do a lot of stupid stuff.  It’s our job to mitigate the consequences as much as possible from any kids involved.  I can say that because I’ve done it. My ex and I had a divorce decree, but in 10 years we have not been to court once over money. We discuss it and work it out.  In a way, we are kind of family even though we’re not married. I am friends with his wife.  I remember all too well what my parents split did to me and I was not willing to put my children through it. Even if it meant things were not entirely fair for me. I’m glad I did.

    1. 6.1
      Henriette

      Good for you, @ST68.   I wish more divorced couples would think of what’s fairest for their children rather than how to best hurt/ gouge their ex. 

      1. 6.1.1
        starthrower68

        I won’t lie; there was a lot of hurt and anger that we both had to work through, and we had to swallow a great deal of pride. But it has been worth it to turn out good kids. I’m not perfect, not have I arrived. But grace can turn bring good out of bad things.

  7. 7
    Kiki

    I totally did not expect that my offhand comment regarding the woman bearing the consequences of an accidental pregnancy would stir such a discussion.
    In my opinion,  men have no choice as to whether a woman aborts or would not abort an unplanned pregnancy simply beause the pregnancy is in her body and keeping it, or terminating it has medical implications for her body, not for his.  You can choose what to do with your body, you cannot choose what to do with the body of another human being, it is as simple as that. Of course, there are financial consequences from unwanted maternity, and from unwanted paternity, and whether these are fair or unfair is not relevant to the fact that you can not order another human being to undergo a medical procedure against their will on the grounds that is they don’t,  you will suffer financially.

    1. 7.1
      Jeremy

      Kiki, I don’t think anyone here is advocating the obligation of a woman to abort if she doesn’t want to.  But I want to point out the double standard in your argument – and the argument of many people when they discuss this issue. 
      When we discuss abortion, we state that the woman has the right to choose not to carry a fetus within her body if she chooses not to, even though that fetus will die because of her choice.  I agree 100% – it’s about body autonomy.  But then we state that we have no problem obligating men to work to support a child…..work that is done with one’s body!  You see, it is not that the man somehow has a nebulous pile of money that we are obligating him to pay.  He has to work to get that money.  The work is done with his body.  By obligating him to work, we are dictating to him what he must do WITH HIS BODY.  The fact that the parts of his body that he works with are probably not his sexual organs changes nothing.
       
      One may argue that, once a child is born, the woman also has the obligation to work (with her body) to support the child.  Agreed.  However, this is a child that she CHOSE to have.  Had she not wanted to support the child, she could have aborted the pregnancy (a choice the man, rightfully, does not have), or given the child up for adoption (again, a choice the man does not have).

      There is a double standard at work here.  If we agree that the woman can do what she wants with her body, but that society has the right to obligate what the man must do with his (prison for failing to keep up with child support payments, or even alimony payments), we are advocating for an unequal society.  Hence Evan’s previous article about whether it is right to obligate men to support children they didn’t want (outside the bonds of marriage). 
      I would advocate for the following:
      1) A child born to a married couple – responsibility of both parents automatically assumed.
      2) A child born to an unmarried couple, and both want the child – responsibility of both parents assumed, custody automatically shared.
      3) A child conceived to an unmarried couple where mother wants to get an abortion – she has that right, regardless of what the father wishes.
      4) A child conceived to an unmarried couple where the father wants an “abortion” (ie. does not want a child) but the mother goes ahead with it against his wishes – she should assume responsibility and custody for the child.  The decision was hers, and he had no say in the matter.  (and for those who would argue that his “say” was having sex, that argument does not hold up in the abortion clinic when the roles are reversed).

      1. 7.1.1
        Danaris

        Chance,
        I am a curious as to what you mean when you state that a  man’s responsibility begins at conception.  Do men have to pay child support before the child is born or do they  have to pay for prenatal care for the mother?  If not,  in what way does his responsibility begin at conception?

         

        1. Jeremy

          Danaris, he means that any choice or say in the matter ends at conception for the man.  For the woman the choice continues through pregnancy (via abortion) and into early childhood (via adoption – lest one argue that the differences only exist due to her being the pregnant one).

          Fusee, I agree with most of what you said.  I’ve mentioned in other posts that I think most men would choose to support their child, just as most women would choose not to give up their child for adoption.  But having the choice is, I believe, important.  It does not free one from ethical ramifications.  A woman may choose to have an abortion or give up her child and feel guilt and remorse (or not).  Having a choice frees her to choose, but does not free her from the consequences of that choice.  Nor would it for men. 

        2. RustyLH

          The problem is one that pervades most our political discussions.  They always act as if worst case scenario is the most likely outcome.  In this case, if they give men the option to opt out of parenthood, every man will do so.  That is absurd, and also assumes that no consequences can be imposed upon the man for choosing this option.  It also assumes that men feel no bond to their child.  That absurd.  Most do.
           
          So if a man opts out of parenthood, he has no legal claim to the child at all, even in the future.  Now some claim that the man would have the ability to enter the child’s life when it reaches 18.  Absurd.  You think that child would want anything to do with the man?  Almost assuredly the child would have an extremely low opinion of the man at a minimum.  Next up is that idea that he might change his mind a couple of years later?  I see no reason he couldn’t assume being a parent, but that can also be handled by the courts in a fair fashion.  The older the child is, the less of a bond it will ever feel for the father, so it is a decision best made sooner rather than later.  Taking on the responsibility of back child support would be something the court can impose.  The mother herself, and even the child if old enough should have the majority of the say in this case.  I would actually be open to the court allowing the mother and child to have the majority of the decision.  Especially when the child is older.  But at a minimum, two years of back support should be the default obligation at the time of filing, for the man.  So if it takes 6 months to get through the courts, he would owe 2.5 years of back support.
           
          I personally counsel all young men to avoid fatherhood at all costs until laws change to be more fair.  The typical amounts of child support are absurd.  Sure, when a woman has 4 kids and no job skills, there is a problem.  But I’ve seen way too many cases where a woman has 2 ids, a college degree and a good job, while the father may be military for instance, or a construction worker, and half of his pay is going to child support.  I’ve seen men made homeless because of this…and the numbers would be higher except for the fact that many do have the option to move in with parents or another relative and live very low cost, while they also pay off debt that may have been accumulated.
           
          They need to start looking at the total financial situation of all parties involved and that includes income of new spouses.  This should be done in conjunction with investigating the couple’s cost of living.  This is what I am getting at.  Suppose a woman has custody of her two children.  If she marries a man with a paid off house, she no longer has to pay for a place to live.  If his house is not paid off, his income combined with hers would be used to calculate against the mortgage payment.  If it is a $2,000 a month payment, and he makes 3/4 of the income, then her obligation would be $500 a month.  Likely significantly less than she would have to pay for a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment.  This should reflect in the child support amount.  Just as a woman can go after a man who is trying to keep his child support payments low by refusing to take a better job, the same could be applied to a woman.  In short if she is doing things to try to keep the payments high, this should be taken into account, such as cohabiting but not getting married.  In short if she is co-inhabiting in a man’s paid off house, that would be viewed the same as if she were married to him.

    2. 7.2
      Evan Marc Katz

      You pretty much nailed it. He should not be permitted to tell her what to do with her body. She should not be permitted to tell him what to do with his wallet – when he has no say in the outcome.

      1. 7.2.1
        Jeremy

        Evan, I would rephrase your message to make the point clearer- “He/society should not be permitted to tell her what to do with her body.  She/society should not be permitted to tell him what to do with his body.”  Financial support is work done with one’s body.  If his wallet was all that was involved, the message is not understood to be comparing apples to apples.
        Once each person has committed to their choice (the woman by carrying through with the pregnancy, the man by accepting the child or marrying the mother), that choice becomes irrevocable and their responsibilities to the child become permanent.

        1. Chance

          I liked your analysis on this topic, Jeremy.  

           I’d like to add one additional point to illustrate the inequitable nature of reproductive rights in the States (I can’t speak for any other country):  a child is legally born at two separate times, depending on the parent.  From the father’s viewpoint, a child is essentially born at conception because that is when his responsibility to support the child begins, unless the mother decides to abort or put the child up for adoption.  From the mother’s viewpoint, the child isn ‘t born until much later, and her responsibility doesn’t begin until then.  

      2. 7.2.2
        Jenn

        If two people make a mistake, then together they should both do the right thing and take responsibility for their actions. Abortion is not taking responsibility, either – it is getting rid of the “problem” (which wouldn’t exist had the two people acted responsibly to begin with).

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Jenn, as a virgin who doesn’t believe in abortion, it would be next to impossible for you to have an original opinion that is not dictated by your religious beliefs.

          Accidental conception is a problem that is experienced by people who are having recreational sex – which is what virtually ALL sex is before two (usually married) people voluntarily choose to have a child.

          If you can’t concede that the woman holds all the cards after accidental conception, you don’t really understand the concept of fairness. It’s one thing if he’s contributing to the cost of the abortion; it’s quite another for him to pay for a child he doesn’t want with a woman he may not want to marry – for the next 18 years. Again, I don’t expect you to understand this because it would mean stepping outside of your own shoes and being in his shoes for a second.

        2. Jenn

          My virginity has nothing to do with this particular topic, so I don’t get why you felt the need to bring that into it. If I weren’t a virgin and did choose to practice “recreational” sex, I’d still feel the same way. And just because a woman can choose to have a child, that doesn’t automatically mean she needs to keep it. It’s a hard choice to make, but adoption is a viable option too. In that case, the man (who is half responsible for the child’s conception, even if he wants no part of his or her existence) should take responsibility for his role. He played a part in that child being conceived, so he should at least contribute financially to his or her care. Whether that means paying child support or paying medical fees for her prenatal and hospital care during an adoption. He has a choice too: he can choose not to have sex in the first place. But there’s me again, all out of touch with reality because I made the unpopular decision to refrain from sex until the right time, right?

        3. Shaukat

          @ Jenn

          When someone is truly fulfilled and satisfied about their life decisions, they don’t keep asserting how happy they are about their current situation. That’s the hallmark of insecurity. In fact, your words convey the exact opposite of their literal meaning; it comes across that you are not satisfied with your choices pertaining to sex.

          Echoes of Shakespeare: “Doth protest too much.”   

        4. Jenn

          If I’m protesting anything, it’s having to constantly defend myself against people who make statements that lead me to believe that they think I’m naïve, delusional or otherwise out of touch with reality just because I made the uncommon choice to save sex for marriage. I am very secure in my decision, which is the reason I choose to continue to speak up. If I felt any doubt whatsoever, do you think I would continue to argue?

  8. 8
    Fusee

    Ok guys, I was trying to stay away from commenting on this blog post because I do not partake in the hook-up or ONS culture, but I feel the need to add my two cents regarding the comments on how unfair it is for a man to pay child support in the case of an unwanted pregnancy.
     
    First, is there an actual law in the US saying that as soon as paternity is proven you must automatically pay child support? I would be surprised if there was such a law because it would be quite ridiculous to judge all cases in the same way, but other things have surprised me in the US so who knows : ) Assessed such cases in courts, based on specific circumstances, would be more fair in my opinion.
     
    Anyhow, in such situation men and women do not indeed have the same rights and obligations because of their biological differences. It is what it is at least for now. The same differences make women more likely to be infected by a contaminated man then men to be infected by a contaminated woman during an ONS by the way. Some things are not the same (or totally “fair”) between genders.
     
    Now, if I imagine being a guy who uses a condom during an ONS, goes on his merry way, only to be contacted a few months later for a court-ordered paternity test and later child support, I’d be pretty upset! Problem is: as a responsible person using overlapping contraceptive methods with long-term partners, I’d find even more unfair to see my tax dollars support children conceived out of ONS instead of you know, the guy who actually climaxed during say conception!
     
    So if you’re a guy partaking in the hook-up culture, there are a few things you can do to prevent being forced to provide child-support: 1. Be a little selective with whom you hook up with (most educated and self-reliant women will not sue a ONS for child support, they will take care of the surprise pregnancy by themselves one way or the other), 2. Ask about her birth control method, take charge of the condom, and consider ejaculating outside of the woman’s body, and 3. If the extremely unlikley happens (she is self-reliant, you have used two contraceptive methods, and she still gets pregnant AND sues you for child support) then get a good lawyer to defend your case. If she is self-reliant you should not have any trouble demonstrating that your financial help is not needed.
     
    Basically sex will always have a risk associated to it, and I believe that the weaker members of our society should be taken care of, ideally first by education and prevention. Saying that a man should be totally relieved from any responsability simply because he says that he does not want a child and because abortion is legal in some states is ignoring all the possible ethical and emotional ramifications of the sexual relationship that are there to stay, even in completely casual encounters.

  9. 9
    Kiki

    I fully share Fusee’s opinion.
    I must admit though, that not living in the US, I do not know what is the legal mechanism for obtaining child support from the father in case of unwanted pregnancy.  In my country,  the woman has to go through the court in order to establish paternity and then enforce child support from a man she is not married to. It is the court that decides on the amount of child support.  The court decides based on the living costs in the country and on the financial circumstances of the man.  Not paying child support is not a criminal offence, i.e. a man can not end in jail for this in my country; consequently if he has no income, practically he pays nothing, and there is no legal mechanicsm to force him to work.  Separately, single mothers and/or abandoned children receive welfare payments which are generated by taxpayers monery; as a taxpayer, I would rather the man support his child (besides the mother), instead of taxpayers.
    As to Jeremy’s comment regarding forcing somebody’s body to work – I totally disagree with his line of thinking. When we live in a society, we each pay a certain part of our income for other people through our taxes, even for people we dislike, or we wish they did not exist in this world. The government extracts a portion of our income in order to provide societal services, and also seeks to redistribute income from the richer to the poorer/more vulnerable parts of the population.  When a man pays child support, it is a form of tax – the money for the child has to come from somewhere – either from the father, or from society. The woman and the child are the recipients, because society correctly views the father who has intact working capacity as the stronger party whereas the woman and moreover the child are the weaker/more vulnerable parties. 
     
     
     
     
     
     

    1. 9.1
      Jeremy

      Kiki, you lost me at “the woman and moreover the child are the weaker/more vulnerable parties.” 

      Certainly the child is weaker/more vulnerable.  Why is the woman?  Having the child was her decision.  She could have chosen not to, at several stages of the game.  Why are we, as a society, taking her decision and saddling him with its consequences?  Why are we assuming that she has no agency of her own, and is not responsible for the consequences of her decisions?
       
      This is, in my opinion, a throwback from older times.  Before birth control, morning-after pills, safe abortion, and adoption, when a couple decided to have sex it was assumed that a child could result, and so by having sex each individual consented (non-verbally) to the responsibilities involved.
       
      However, in today’s era, if a woman comes to a man 6 weeks after a sexual encounter and informs him that she is pregnant, she now has a choice: Does she want to be a mother or does she not.  If she does, she will become one.  If she does not, she will not.  The choice is hers, and she will make it based on the factors that are important to her.  The fact that she HAS a choice at this time is a relatively new thing – 50 years ago she would not have had a choice following intercourse – but she certainly has one now.  Nobody would tell her that her choice was made at conception – that would violate all modern concepts of reproductive freedom.
      At this point, however, the man has absolutely NO choice.  He is, by all current laws, bound by whatever SHE chooses at that time.  Her choice will obligate him for the rest of his life (minimum 18 years, but parenthood is forever), regardless of his opinion or his means.  This is not FAIR.  They should both have a choice of whether to be parents or not.  Due to biology, the mechanisms of making that choice will be different.
       
      And, Kiki, your argument of taxation does not hold, IMO.  Taxation has no bearing on choices we make.  It is imposed universally on all people who have an income.  To utilize your example more appropriately, it would involve the government charging someone more tax because they decide to have more children, who will use the educational system.  Because they will use the educational system more than someone without kids, they deserve to pay more taxes, no?  However, the government does NOT charge them more tax, because that would be unfair/unequal in society.  Now, to further complicate your example, necessitating a man to pay child support for a decision that was made by someone else is like the government charging a man more tax because someone else made a bad decision that cost the government money (again, it is no longer the case that by engaging in intercourse the decision is made to have a child.  The decision to have a child is made solely by the mother upon discovery of pregnancy).  This does not happen with taxation.  It doesn’t happen even if HE is the one who makes the bad decision, nevermind if someone else does.

      The government supports people who make bad decisions.  How many people are collecting welfare because of their own bad decisions?  Should we state that their families should support them – after all, why should the government support them when their families could?  Perhaps because that would be an unfair burden?  Perhaps because that’s the function of welfare?  
      And perhaps, knowing all of this might factor into the mother’s decision of whether or not she wants to have/keep the child.  But fair is fair.  BOTH individuals should get to decide whether or not they want to be parents, and should accept the consequences of the decisions they make.

      1. 9.1.1
        Kiki

        Jeremy,
        The woman is the more vulnerable party simply because when she is pregnant or just gave birth, she is in a weaker position financially, as her ability to work in order to support herself is limited. This is the reason why working mothers have a maternity leave similar to a sick leave.  As the child grows, once again, someone – usually the mother – needs to be a caregiver, and she might not be able to work if there is no one to look after the child.  An accidentally pregnant  woman is the one who has to make a very serious decision entailing health rists (e.g. through aboirtion) and weigh those risks and her own moral values (possible religious beliefs) when she chooses whether to terminate, hence the woman is in the weaker position from the moment she finds herself preganant, and not by her choice. 
        As for the baby – obviously a child who is born needs to be supported (have access to food, housing, etc) irrespective of how he/she was conveiced. 
        This is the simple reason society still supports, through the legal system, the notion that paternity paymest are due, irrespective of whether it was an accident or not.  It is not an evil plot against men, it is protection for the weaker.
        As for your example regarding a family with five children using more of the educaton system than a family with one child – this is something completely different. Having better education and a better educated population is a common good shared by every one, even by people who have no children. I would personally  be extremely happy is a larger portion of my taxes are directed to give the best educational options for everyone.
         

        1. Jeremy

          Kiki, all of the reasons you gave to support the position that women are weaker are wonderful arguments against single parenthood, regardless of gender.  Most would apply whether the single parent was male or female.  They would be excellent arguments for a single woman who un-intentionally finds herself pregnant, to consider the possibility of abortion or adoption if she was unable or unwilling to shoulder the burden of raising the child alone. 
           
          None of your arguments, however, negate the fact that the woman finds herself in this position because of a choice that SHE made.  And she could have made other choices that would get herself out of this situation, had she wanted to.  Again, the man has/had no such choices.
           
          Your argument that the current laws are not an “evil plot against men, but are just protection of the weaker individual” are, I believe, a relic of the past.  In days gone-by when women had no reliable birth control, no morning-after pills, no safe abortion, no reliable adoption laws – yes, your argument would have held.  Not today, when women have reproductive freedom and choice (and whether or not they choose to avail themselves of this choice is still a choice!).  In today’s society, it is MEN who do not have reproductive choice.
           
          For this same reason, alimony laws are being changed across the US.  It used to be that when a couple got divorced, the woman was considered weaker because women did not work in those days.  In today’s day and age, having a man pay permanent alimony to a woman who has an education and work opportunities is NOT protecting the weak, but rather entitling one person to a one-sided provisioning contract with no gain for the provider.  It is unfair, and society is finally starting to recognize and adjust for this.
           
          I don’t think you will have many supporters who will agree that the woman is the weaker party (at least, I hope not!).  If choice is power, women are the powerful ones in this situation.
           
          The one area where we do agree is that the child is ultimately the biggest loser in this scenario – the one with the fewest choices of all.  Interestingly, one of the biggest predictors for good outcomes of child-rearing is the presence of a father during childhood.  Not the presence of his money, but his actual presence.  In other words, maybe the most important thing for the well-being of this child is not forcing an unwilling man to pay for her to raise the child, but rather to wait to have a child until a stable family unit is established.  Again, something for the woman who finds herself un-intentionally pregnant to consider whilst making her difficult choices.

  10. 10
    Kiki

    Jeremy,
    with all due respect, none of your reasoning persuades me to think any diffrently.
     Especially the argument that it is better for the child to have been aborted instead of to benefit from child support payments from the father.  Once
    I do not want to sound mean, but if you really think abortion is a nice and safe medical procedure, you might wish to consider vasectomy which is also safe and reversible.

    1. 10.1
      Julia

      I would advise against any woman having a child with Jeremy, or even partaking in the act of potential child creation. Anyone that obsessed with money is a complete bore.

      1. 10.1.1
        Chance

        Julia,
         
        Would you like to refute any of his points?  I will say this:  anyone who disagrees with the viewpoint that he has put forward has no interest in equality between the sexes.  Rather, they are only interested in what is best for women.  The logic of his argument is simply too straightforward for anyone with a triple-digit IQ to miss.

        1. Julia

          Listen, anyone who talks, ad nauseum about money is boring. Anyone who talks ad nauseum, about how women are just out for money, doesn’t like women that much. I prefer to not sleep with men who actively dislike women. I am 100% in favor of pre-nups, I am 100% in favor of equal child support and custody but  am not 100% in support of a man who constantly put women into a box.

        2. Chance

          Julia,

          I heard you the first time, but you have still failed to refute one single point that he and I made on this subject.  With me, you changed the subject a couple of times to something that doesn’t directly have anything to do with the inequitable state of reproductive rights in our country.  Then, you shamed Jeremy.  Your choice of responses makes it look like you don’t really disagree with anything we said.  Rather, you just don’t like what we said.

    2. 10.2
      Jeremy

      We will agree to disagree Kiki.  You do realize, though, that society allows women to abort for any reasons they chose, and does not judge them on their reasons?  I find it interesting that you are judging any male perspective on the subject.  Do you judge females?  And if a woman does get an abortion do you suggest she also get her tubes tied? 
       
      As an aside, you may have missed the point in my post that one of the decisions the pregnant woman could make is to have the child ADOPTED if she does not want to abort and can not shoulder the burden.  My point was that this child could then, potentially, be raised by a loving family unit rather than a struggling and unwilling single parent.  She can choose that.  The father can not.
       
      Julia, that is a remarkably personal attack, and I am not sure where it is coming from, given that we know nothing about each other.  I think you might find anyone, man or woman, who is forced to work for 18 years to support someone else against their will is bitter.  Thankfully I am not in this situation, and support my own wife and lovely 3 children quite willingly.

      1. 10.2.1
        RustyLH

        Jeremy, that is similar in purpose to “slut shaming,” or “prude shaming.”  Here, the idea is that many many women care a great deal about money, and in the event of a divorce, which has about a 50% or more likelihood of happening, the gloves often come off and the women will take everything the law allows her to take, regardless of what is fair.
         
        Yeah, imagine this…a man has a construction business he has been running for a few years.  He’s been killing himself to build good relationships with customers.  Then he gets married to a woman who is a nurse.  A few years later, his hard works tarts paying off.  He has done some good quality work for the right people and now has good connections and he starts getting some solid jobs.  His business is growing, and he has to hire more crews.  His net worth quadruples.   Then, 5 years later, she decides she wants a divorce.  Now, bear in mind that she has done nothing to help build that business.   In fact, because he is now married, he may be more distracted and spending less time on his business.  Had it not been so far along before the marriage, it might not have grown because he didn’t have as much free time to devote to it.
         
        But because it grew after the marriage, the wife is magically entitled to half of the net growth of the business in many states, such as California and any other “community property” states.
         
        Ah, but if the man goes to any effort to do what he has to do to protect HIS assets in the event of a divorce, he is a bore, and women should avoid him.  It’s as much , if not more, a message to men..act that way and we will not have anything to do with you.
         
        It’s much like how they used to equate a man asking for a prenup as not actually loving the woman.  “If you really loved me, you wouldn’t ask me to sign this.”  Of course, when women started earning things for themselves, prenups became more fashionable.  In the same way, spousal support is no longer as universally supported by women.  Many women these days earn more than their husband.
         
         
        I think it is good that people are writing their own marriage vows these days.  Most write vows that are beautiful, but lack any real acceptance of responsibility.  The old ones aren’t as fashionable because they are all about responsibility.

        1. Jeremy

          Agreed, Rusty.  I had the same thought too.

          You know, when there’s an issue of unfairness to women, many men (including myself) stand shoulder to shoulder with them to try to achieve equality.  It’s a shame that more women do not do the same when it comes to the areas where men are at a disadvantage.  We need more women to do so because, unfortunately, most men just retreat into silence rather than argue.  It is only when women start to argue that society starts to listen (hence your point about pre-nups and spousal support, Rusty).

          Kudos to Evan for raising this issue with his blog posting on the subject. 

        2. Karmic Equation

          Jeremy,
          Men are still the gender with all the power. Simple example, Viagra is covered under all insurance by all employers, even the Catholic Diocese. Yet not all birth control geared for women are. Why is that?
           
          Because men have MORE power than women still, any alleviation of laws that favor women will simply maintain the status quo, preventing equality.
           
          So if you’re truly for women’s equality, you need to NOT fight against the laws that favor women, but start to to fight against laws or culture that currently favor men. Since men will be in power for a long time, women will likely not EVER achieve full equality. So never fear that men will EVER become the underdogs in culture or business.

  11. 11
    Jeremy

    Karmic, are you kidding?  I am not sure if your comment was intended to be satire, but it has no bearing on present reality.

    Fact – schools are geared toward women, and women are currently out performing men in every aspect of school from primary to post-graduate. Given that every person in America goes to school, I’d say this is an important inequality.

    Fact – family law heavily favours women, in terms of alimony, child custody, child support, and allocation of assets.  Given that 50% of marriages end in divorce! I’d say this is an important problem.

    Fact – women currently have reproductive rights and freedom under the law.  Men do not.  This is, in fact, part of the problem we are discussing.

    Fact – government spending on social and health programming for women vastly is skewed toward women’s favour.

    There are many, many inequalities still present in society, both from a male and female perspective.  But no longer do we live in anything resembling a patriarchal society.  Women are free to work or parent, as they choose.  The wage gap is gone (except insofar as women choose to work less in order to prioritize their children – but this is their choice to make, just as it is mens’).  Women are free to pursue any career they want, and can climb as high on the corporate ladder as they want.

    Your argument about Viagra is a straw man.  Incidentally, in canada (where I live), people pay for Viagra out of pocket.  Women pay for their own birth control, and so do men. But health care is free for everyone.

    The most odious  argument you make is that we should not protest laws that favour women, and should instead protest laws/culture that favour men.  Yeah, sounds like equality to me.  Did you ever read Animal Farm?  We are all equal, but some are more equal than others?

    Karmic, it is obvious that if we want an equal society, we must eliminate laws/culture that favour EITHER gender.  I can get on board with that. But as long as feminism advocates for rights of women while ignoring the inequalities for men, it will not truly be an equalist movement.

    1. 11.1
      Karmic Equation

      I get a kick when men label me a feminist. I’m not. In fact I’ve P.O.’d quite a few card carrying feminists on this board. Most women here think I’m a man in disguise as I side with men on most issues relating to personal responsibility in relationships. But when we talk about cultural or business responsibility, men have the power and I can’t abide by the poor me attitude that some men take.
       
      As a minority and as a woman, I’m more  aware of the power that white folks have in general and men have in particular. Are women making gains, sure. But we’re still the underdogs. We have to work twice as hard as men to get half the respect. As a Chinese person, we don’t get the the special perks given to other minorities. So, as a race, we have to work harder than any other race to as far ahead we want to.
       
      If women are OUTPERFORMING men in colleges, it’s not because women are favored, it’s because they ARE WORKING HARDER than the men. Throw that fact out. It doesn’t mean anything, other than women are more ambitious now then men.
       
      While women DO have reproductive rights that men don’t, how often do you see posters about deadbeat MOMS who have not paid thousands of dollars in child support?
       
      So sure, the LAWS might favor women, but if men don’t abide by them and enforcement of those laws are lax until the numbers get astronomical, those laws don’t mean anything for women.
       
      We all know that unless the guy signs up as Mr. Mom for a marriage, it almost always falls upon the woman to ARRANGE for childcare, housecare, etc., even if she is not doing it herself. And when both parents work and can’t afford a nanny, the majority of the actual labor in the relationship (driving kids here there and everywhere) fall’s upon the mom’s shoulders, in addition to most household chores. Yes, men mow the lawn and take out the trash. But they don’t mow it every day. Nor does the garbageman come daily. Women’s work in a household is chronic, men’s work is situational.
       
      It’s just basic math. Until the side that’s on the negative gets to the positive side, if you continue to give pluses to the side that’s already on the plus side, there will NEVER be equality. So get women to parity FIRST, then we can figure out how to equalize the system. Until that happens, women will continue to have an uphill battle.

      1. 11.1.1
        Mimi

        Any individual, male or female, who is for equal pay for women and for women’s right to vote,  is a feminist.

        1. Jeremy

          Mimi wrote: “Any individual, male or female, who is for equal pay for women and for women’s right to vote,  is a feminist.”

          Unfortunately, this is untrue, Mimi.  This is what my highschool English teacher taught me, and for many years I considered myself a feminist.  But what you describe is actually first-wave feminism.  Second-wave feminism went considerably farther, and third-wave feminism is (IMHO) absolutely nuts.  That’s why many people who once considered themselves feminists no longer do.  Many feminist websites today are just as fringe and extremist as some “manosphere” websites (on the other end of the spectrum).  Both have some valid points to make about our society, but both go too far IMHO.

  12. 12
    Chance

    Jeremy, is there anything you can do about replacing our Dunkin’ Donuts w/Tim Horton’s?  Love that place.  Joking aside, I agree with you on all points, and unlike me, you can say it with the diplomacy that is characteristic of our friendlier neighbors to the north.  

    Karmic, can we agree that there are areas within our society where women get the short straw just as there are areas where men get the short straw?  Wouldn’t it make the most sense if we worked together to eliminate these legal and social inequities and strive for what is the most equitable and what makes the most sense, in general?  I think what is most concerning about the posters who are disagreeing with my and Jeremy’s stance is that they can’t really dispute the inequitable state of reproductive rights, yet they don’t seem to care that it is unfair anyway.  How can you (not you personally) convince the “other side” to join you in your causes if you refuse to acknowledge their concerns, even when they are supported by facts?

    1. 12.1
      tamara

      @Chance, Jeremy, et al: On balance, I agree with the ‘male’ POV on this topic, ie that it’s unfair for men to have to pay child support when they didn’t want the kid, offered to help pay for an abortion etc. I had an abortion at 20 because I wasn’t ready to become a single mom, nor could i see myself marrying the guy (and i’m sure he felt the same way! haha) and I would’ve been furious if the guy had been able to force me to have the kid, so I can sympathise with a guy being angry at being forced to pay child support.
       
      The thing is, while I agree in principle with yours and Jeremy’s arguments in principle, I just don’t have all That much sympathy (though I have some) with the guys because u all Know what the law is. U know that if u get a woman pregnant and she decides to have the kid, u could be Forced to pay child support. So like someone else mentioned, how about being fussier about the women u sleep with (know what kinda character she has, her socioeconomic background etc) and put on a condom always? Most of these unwanted pregnancies happen when no protection is used.
       
      Society could help by better educating boys on the heavy consequences of unwanted pregnancies. Schools, parents etc. There will still be guys who insist on having sex without a condom because it feels better for them. But if they get women pregnant, they’ll have to live with the consequences. Unless the law in question is some glaring violation of human rights, u have to either change the law or follow it.

      1. 12.1.1
        Chance

        tamara,
         
        “The thing is, while I agree in principle with yours and Jeremy’s arguments in principle, I just don’t have all That much sympathy (though I have some) with the guys because u all Know what the law is.”



        I hear what you’re saying, but this isn’t about sympathy.  It’s about fairness.  The fact that 50% of the population has options to relieve themselves of the consequences of an unwanted pregnancy, and the other 50% has no such options, is inherently unfair.
         

  13. 13
    Jeremy

    Your comment reminds me of an interesting article I read a few months ago, Karmic.  The article was written to point out that women today are still doing more housework than men, on average, and they are angry about it.  However, when you look at the statistics examining paid work, unpaid household work, and child-related work (also unpaid), men and women were doing EQUAL amounts of work (men slightly more).  Yes, women were doing more unpaid household work, but men were doing more paid work.  The situation was not inequitable at all!  But many women were choosing to view it as inequitable because they were only looking at the unpaid side of it.

    Now, let’s look at your arguments one by one, shall we?

    1) Regarding education, it is a fallacy to state that women are excelling simply because they are working harder.  The system is currently rigged in their favour, right from kindergarten.  Read the book “the war against boys” by Christina Hoff Summers for an excellent description of the problem.

    2) Regarding deadbeat moms and dads –  The women who did not want to be moms had the right to abort, adopt out, and take advantage of safe haven laws.  The dads did not.  That is the topic of our current debate.  But further, dads are the ones EXPECTED to pay in our current, unequal society.  That is why they are shamed and called deadbeats.  Moms who can’t afford to pay are given sympathy, support from the dad, and social assistance.  Women are not hailed for failing to contribute to their childrens upbringing.  Only men are.  

    Again, Karmic, there are basic inequalities in our current society.  Those inequalities used to favour men.  Now, they more often favour women.  It is all of our duty to find those inequalities and correct them.   NOT to only deal with those of women and ignore those of men.

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