The End of Friends With Benefits

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I’ve written a bunch on hook-up culture (here, here and here to start).

Each post receives a lot of play  in the comments below (82, 105 and 118 comments to be precise.) Because every time I write about this, it’s some version of the same thing:

I was an active participant in hook-up culture for nearly 20 years.

I never judged women who did the exact same things as I did.

Numerous studies show that women (on the whole) don’t enjoy hookup culture as much as men, but yet they still participate in it.

They participate in it because they’re trying extremely hard to convince themselves that they do enjoy it. Or they participate because they feel they don’t have a choice. If this is what all the most desirable men want, maybe it’s just the cost of doing business.

This dissonance is what causes women so much pain and frustration – blaming men for having low standards for sex, instead of understanding that this is common and that the only person responsible for who you hop into bed with is you.

When I point these observations out, a conversation breaks out about slut-shaming and double-standards, when, in fact, the studies are merely reflective of women’s opinions on hook-up culture. Too often, women (my clients!)  feel used, undervalued and discarded by men – mostly because they tend to associate sex with feelings, while many men will  sleep with virtually anybody regardless of emotions or long-term intentions.

This dissonance is what causes women  so much pain and frustration – blaming men for having low standards for sex, instead of understanding that this is common and that the only person responsible for who you hop into bed with is you.

Enter this piece by Leah Fessler in Quartz.

This paragraph powerfully sums up the internal ambivalence of the sexually liberated woman who has been forced to come to terms with the fact that she doesn’t like hookup culture:

“While there was a major gulf between my public self and my private one, the one thing that remained consistent were my politics. I told myself that I was a feminist, despite subjecting myself to unfulfilling, emotionally damaging sexual experiences. And I believed it, too.”

Fessler continues:

“It wasn’t just the social pressure that drove me to buy into the commitment-free hookup lifestyle, but my own identity as a feminist…The idea that sexual liberation is fundamental to female agency dominates progressive media. True feminists, I believed, not only wanted but also thrived on emotionless, non-committal sexual engagements…

While various academic studies tout the damaging effects of hookup culture, I came across them much more infrequently. Besides, the alternative seemed to me to be abstinence–an equally unfulfilling option. I decided it was time to ditch my antiquated desire for monogamy. As Taylor’s article suggested, I would “play the game, too.”

So she did. As do so many women who remain momentarily sexually gratified but feeling hollow inside – almost against their own wills. This isn’t a “conservative” position. This isn’t a 1950’s position. This is what studies show and women have continually told me.

This is what Fessler studied in her senior thesis.

“After interviewing 75 male and female students and analyzing over 300 online surveys, the solidarity was undeniable: 100% of female interviewees and three-quarters of female survey respondents stated a clear preference for committed relationships. (My research focus was on the experiences of heterosexual women, although of course many non-heterosexual relationships happen at Middlebury as well.) Only 8% of about 25 female respondents who said they were presently in pseudo-relationships reported being “happy” with their situation.

The women I interviewed were eager to build connections, intimacy and trust with their sexual partners. Instead, almost all of them found themselves going along with hookups that induced overwhelming self-doubt, emotional instability and loneliness.”

This all-too-common experience is why I have a job, for better or worse. It’s also why I’m going to articulate how you can still partake in physical activity  without getting as hurt:

Stop sleeping with men who aren’t your boyfriend.  

Simply put: if he doesn’t respect your boundaries (that you won’t have sex without commitment) and he doesn’t step up to become your boyfriend (after around six weeks of foreplay), you cut him loose and move on.

No, it’s not a perfect solution, but it’s a good work-around for women who want to fool around without getting  too attached. Simply put: if he doesn’t respect your boundaries (that you won’t have sex without commitment) and he doesn’t step up to become your boyfriend (after around six weeks of foreplay), you cut him loose and move on.

This is not the only way to handle sex, obviously. If you like hookup culture, I am not attacking you in any way. This post is specifically for women who are sick of feeling used by men and are trying to figure out how to date, have fun, and not get their hearts broken.

Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.

Join our conversation (298 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 41
    Dawn

    Lauren,

    This is something I’ve never been able to comprehend about other women. Why would you make someone who you believe is boyfriend material wait for sex, but freely give it to some Joe Schmoe who just happens to be available when you’re horny? It’s rather nonsensical.

    That’s like a busy neighbor’s bored kid knocking on your door when you have nothing to do and you agree to take them to the amusement park because, well, you enjoy going too and it gives you an excuse to go have fun. But then your niece or nephew, a blood relative you care about 1000x more than the neighbor kid, comes to visit for a few weeks in the summer and you tell them they can’t go to the amusement park with you until they finish all their summer book reports and math lessons. (I don’t know about anyone else, but in my school district you got homework over the summer, due on the 1st day of your new classes.) Anyway, do you see what I mean? You’re partaking in a fun activity of some kind with someone who means very little to you…neighbor kid/random hookup… immediately and just because they were there at a time convenient for you. But then you are forcing the person you love and feel strongly about…young relative/boyfriend…to jump through hoops and wait to enjoy the same exact activity with you.

    It just doesn’t make sense, and I completely understand why men get upset. I would be upset too, hearing about how a woman I’m ating jumped in bed with a random guy within 2 hours of meeting him at a bar or club and had carefree sex with him, but I have to wait for weeks, take things slow, wine and dine you, and then finally be “gifted” with sex as a reward for waiting. It would honestly feel  like a slap in the face, like you were playing games or being manipulative, even subconsciously.  

    I’ll be honest here: I first had sex only a few weeks shy of my 24th birthday. As I mentioned up in comment 34.1, my first real sex partner was my FWB I’ve been with the last 9 years. I fully admit that I did make him wait even though I was very attracted to him and he to me. However, this was *only* because I had been sexually and emotionally abused by my stepfather from age 9-17. I had to work to unlearn a whole shitload of horrible “education” regarding how sex and intimacy is meant to be, and I’m thankful that FWB #1 was willing to be patient unlike every other man I’d tried to date in high school and college. So yeah, it was about 5.5 months before we had sex. But for my other two FWBs, I began sleeping with them not even 2 weeks into us deciding to be “more than friends”. I mean, why not? I already knew them, knew they were nice guys, liked spending time with them, and neither of us could think of a reason to avoid having sexy fun. It just boggles my mind when I hear about other women being blatantly hypocritical in regards to sex.

    1. 41.1
      Lauren

      Hi Dawn,

      First off, I’d like to say that we are all different and we all relate to our sexuality (a very personal topic) quite differently! What works for me, does not *have* to work for you, or anyone. Here are a few clarifying points:

      *I have a  one time  casual sex  maybe,  if I’m single the entire duration of 6 months to a year. I do not do FWB finding that never works out for me (I get too attached or distracted from dating).

      *I have found that delaying sex until someone is my boyfriend (as Evan suggests) works for me. The annual or bi-annual hook up is because I’m human and I NEED SEX at least a 1-4 times a year. Sometimes I’m taking a break from dating (I had some personal stuff  go  on last year and I wasn’t in good shape for dating. I took a break for six months – I had a hook-up during this time). If I’m dating a nice guy, I may make him wait until exclusivity but we are still exploring our sexuality together. It’s not like I’m punishing him or being frigid or prudish. I’m just taking my time getting to know him. There’s a lot you can do without vaginal penetration that creates intimacy and help him and I get to know each other better.  

      *I make a worthy contender  wait because if I don’t do that and we have sex once, or multiple time and he breaks it off, I find I take the rejection harder. Many of my guy friends have admitted that sometimes lust gets in the way of them really “seeing” a woman. They will sleep with them and then…their feelings change suddenly. Maybe she wasn’t as great, or compatible for him as he thought (before the sex). So, it’s also a heart-protecting act for me.   

      *Honestly, since I started doing waiting for sex for exclusivity (only for a few years now) it’s never been an issue. I’ve never had a guy who was pressuring me or making me feel bad about it. In fact, it never even really came up! We were so busy having fun together, getting to know each other and rounding the bases, that it was a non-issue. In each of the two relationships, both guys asked me to be their  gf  before the topic of sex was really addressed. Like, I never had to say, “I only sleep with guys who are my bf,”. I think that’s because we were both sexually satisfied  with the other sexual activities going on and we waited until we could REALLY SEE EACH OTHER without the blinder of lust. By the time they asked me to be their  gf  (about 2 – 3 months for each) we felt like we knew each other pretty well by then and it enhanced our sexual connection. One relationship only last 3 months and the other close to two years. Both didn’t work out but, for good reasons, we ultimately weren’t compatible and it had nothing to do with how we started our sexual relationship.

      *If I’m actively dating someone, or interested in someone, I’m not looking for a one-time  hook up  – I’m focusing my energy and attention on them. So, it’s not like I’m going on Date #4 with a really great guy on Friday night and then going out and having a one-night stand on Saturday night. Even if I was, that’s really none of anyone’s business (because we aren’t exclusive yet) but, that’s not how I operate. I’m more like a “sex camel” taking in some sex to last those long stretches where I may have no sexual contact.

      *I’m actually never looking for a hook-up – sometimes it just happens when on vacation, traveling, or just some random experience! A perfect example:

      I lived abroad for four years doing service work (non-religious kind obviously!) paid by the federal government. The first year I was focused on just learning the language, getting around my small town, and navigating my work (the whole reason I was there). Dating was not even a thing I could even think about at that time in my life. Thus, I went 14 months without a kiss, a hook-up, sex anything. So, yes, when I was visiting with some local friends for a birthday party and a young man started coming on to me (who I also found attractive) it was great fun! We danced, and later that same night we had sex. It was great. I’ll never forget that experience and I was surely overdue. That man is still a friend, when I visit the country I visit with him, platonically. I certainly don’t regret that experience.

      Another, I went on two dates with a nice man who was a pilot in the AirForce. He was divorced and likely to be transferred somewhere else soon. He wasn’t really ready for a serious a relationship (he didn’t have to tell me, his actions said it all). We went on a very romantic second date and we hooked up (not sex) in the back of his car after a meal, a hike, and a sudden thunderstorm. I looked at the thunder and lighting through his sunroof while he pleasured me. I am very glad I had that experience. NO REGRETS. We drifted apart after that, he was traveling some, and then I started dating someone who actually called when he said he would. When the pilot finally tried to set up a third date I let him know that I was now seeing someone.

      Sometime I’m not dating (by choice), sometimes I’m not clicking with men I’m going on dates with, and thus, I can go for maybe six to 12 months without a kiss or anything.  So, the casual hook-up is because I’m human and we all tire of vibrator. We all have a breaking point. AND we all deserve some fun (safe) adventures in our lifetime.

      I’m sorry for your abuse. Sex is complicated enough without having trauma on top of everything. I’m also a survivor of a one-time assault in college. Not to compare, but just to say, I know the pain I’ve dealt with that and I’m sorry for your experience. We probably have developed very different attitudes about sex based on our own experiences, preferences, and lifestyles.   

       

      I wrote all this out to explain to you how I operate to help you see that there’s not one “right” way to do something. Hell, maybe I am doing it wrong? I don’t know! I’m just doing what feels okay for me. I’m not saying “you should do this, too,” or that anyone “should do” anything when it comes to their own sexuality. I do what works for me. And everyone, man or woman, or non-binary person, should do the same for themselves, too.  

      1. 41.1.1
        Dawn

        Hello Lauren,

        Please don’t take what I said the wrong way, I don’t think there’s any right or wrong way to practice one’s sexuality so long as it’s consensual. Heck, people can be furries or engage in ageplay, BDSM, have nothing but ONS their entire life, or only have sex after marriage. Truly, it doesn’t matter to me. I just find it strange to make someone wait to have sex if you already know you really like them that way. The disconnect for me in what you said comes down to attachment, I think. It might be due to the fact that I’ve never had a hookup/ONS and don’t understand how to share that kind of intense intimacy and physical vulnerability with someone only once, or someone I just met. My brain can understand that people do it of course, but I don’t know how, if that makes sense. Like your story about the guy you danced with and had only met that day, but had sex with…I could never do that, I must know the guy is a good, safe man prior to ever being intimate with him. Which is why I prefer FWB so much, because I already know these men as close friends.

        The part that confuses me the most is when you spoke about attraction and how if you’re interested in being with a guy long-term you’ll make him wait because you want to protect your heart. Okay, I can kinda see that. But then how do you protect your heart from ONS guys? It sounds a little bit like you have an on/off switch for your emotions, as though it’s typically off for hookups but on for dating. Is that how it is, or am I missing something? I’m also curious to know if you’d ever had a guy you really liked break up with you because he wanted to have sex by (completely arbitrary numbers here) the 5th week of dating you, but you wanted to wait until week 10. Even if you haven’t, would you be able to sympathize with where he’s coming from, or would you think he’s shallow?

        1. Lauren

          Hey Dawn,

          Yes – I can understand where you’re coming from. And you’re right – I guess I do operate a bit like an off/on switch with emotions like that! I appreciate your  line of inquiry – looks like we’re just sharing and learning from one another here.

          ONS guys – I’m usually on vacation, or we don’t run in the same circles at all and therefore, one night of passion – where we both know that we are walking away from this with no potential for commitment is way easier for me to deal with then a guy who will hang out with me, make dinner with me, watch movies with me, have sex with me, but WON’T make me his girlfriend. Just typing that made me wince – that sounds way more painful to me than a one-time fling (for me). And it’s not always someone I only just met (maybe on vacation) but one time I met a young man at a bar (I actually felt really good that at 33 I could still pick up a 26 year old at a bar!). We hung out about 2-3 times, but he grew up in the foster care system, was still trying to figure himself out, still trying to figure out his job, his life. He wasn’t a good long term fit AT ALL for me. But, we hooked up on a one-time agreement. So, it’s not always a stranger I guess? LOL

          Per the “making guys wait,” honestly, in the five years, I’ve been doing this – it’s never come up as an issue! My last long-term bf of almost two years was actually the one who brought up that he wanted to wait. He said that he didn’t want sex to cloud his judgment in making a decision about starting a relationship and he knows lust can create blinders. He brought it up, all I had to do was respond that I was on the same page. We just kept doing what we were doing (making plans, having fun, and hooking up without penetration) and one day about 2 or 2.5 months he asked me to be his girlfriend. We didn’t even have sex like RIGHT AWAY after that. We waited until the weekend when we had time to really enjoy it 🙂

          I started doing this (Evan’s advice) after dating a guy for three months. We had sex early on (like the fourth date or something) and we continued to date. At first, his feelings were really strong but then he seemed to cool off. He kept hanging out with me, but, I felt less sure where I stood with him. I fretted and was so anxious during that time period that I finally asked him where we stand (after 3 months of dating). He promptly freaked out, he stammered something about not being ready for marriage LOL and we dissolved after that. That really hurt my heart, and I decided to take Evan’s advice.

          Since I put it out there, it hasn’t been an issue. As I said, I’ve never even had to tell a guy “I don’t have sex until a commitment,” we would just fool around (no penetration) have fun, and then boom they would ask me to be their girlfriend. Of course, there were other guys who maybe I went on 1-4 dates with. Some I kissed, some I may have made it to second base with, but basically, sex never really came up because we were still at the “let’s grab coffee or dinner” stage. We weren’t yet at the “come over to my house” stage.

          So, yeah, it’s never been an issue. Actually, I remember now, there was one guy that wanted to be my bf and it did come up. I told him and it made him respect me more. He admired that. He was really impressed that I made him talk on the phone with me (also Evan’s advice) before we met for a first date. He saw I had standards for a relationship. Eventually, I did end things with him because I just didn’t feel our values/next steps in life lined up and he didn’t live in the area. But, yeah, not a single guy has had an issue with it! I’ve never lost a good one with this sex guideline. And I say guideline because rules are silly and I don’t believe in anything too strongly! 🙂

          And, if a guy balked (which has not happened to me yet) means that a guy is looking for sex – and there are lots of women out there who are looking for that. If I’m dating, I’m looking for a relationship. If he is also looking for a relationship he probably won’t balk at the suggestion to wait.

          I do have a divide in my head of ONG and relationship guys. ONG could NEVER be relationshp guys and I know guys who do the same thing. Who they’d hook up with and who’d the commit to are VERY different. And I guess that’s how I operate, too.

          Again, the ONG is like maybe 1-3 years if I’m not actively dating or been having a dry run with dating. So, it doesn’t interfere with my actual dating. I would never hook up with someone while fooling around with a guy I’m actively dating.

           

        2. Yet Another Women

          @Lauren

          So, yeah, it’s never been an issue. Actually, I remember now, there was one guy that wanted to be my bf and it did come up. I told him and it made him respect me more. He admired that.

          He admired you because he assumed that you were a special snowflake who makes all men wait.   I can assure that his response would not have been the same if he knew about your periodic hook ups.   Guys just do not see it the same way as women.   Men see the practice as being backwards.   As ezamused mentioned, the practice of hooking with guys who do not count while making guys who do count wait makes the guy who has to wait feel less sexually desirable.   It is human nature just as a guy who hangs out and has sex with you who does not want to commit to you makes you feel less desirable.   That is the real reason why you are upset.   Your heart is hurting because you have been rejected by a guy who does not desire you enough to give you more than sex.   However, the women who engage in this practice have blinders on, so I am just going to let it be.

  2. 42
    Dawn

    @Yet Another Guy

    So then what do you think about men and women who don’t experience the kind of jealousy or desire for monogamy and commitment you’ve spoken about above?

  3. 43
    Marika

    YAG said:

    “and men who desire a non-promiscuous woman have to learn how to make and keep a commitment”

    And when did you learn that? Have you fully learned & embraced that? (Past marriage aside). You’ve said on here you tend to get sick of women pretty quickly, you’re not sure you want a relationship, or not, or maybe yes. Like many of us you waver, you’re unsure what you want, don’t want to repeat past mistakes etc. There have been periods in your life you’ve been committed (for your children’s sake), other periods were you weren’t very committed. Including within the last year or so.

    This is the biggest source of frustration. You are far from perfect yourself – and that’s okay – but you have these bizarrely strict rules for women, giving no leeway, no empathy, even though your dating history has been sketchy, to say the least. Maybe attempt to treat women like fellow human beings. You’re not a caveman.

  4. 44
    Dawn

    YAG,

    I asked this in another question, but didn’t actually make it as a reply directly to you so I don’t think you saw it.

    You talk about men not wanting to be cuckolds. Are you using this term to mean not wanting to raise another person’s kids unknowingly, or to mean wanting your female partner to commit to monogamy with you alone? If it’s the latter, what do you think of men who have no problem with open relationships?

    You also talked about how women still vet for a provider while dating, even though it’s unnecessary nowadays since most can pay their own bills. What do you think of women who are not hypergamous or monogamous and specifically only want relationships where finances aren’t combined and she pays as much or more on dates with her sex partners, and is also happy with open relationships?

    1. 44.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Dawn

      You talk about men not wanting to be cuckolds. Are you using this term to mean not wanting to raise another person’s kids unknowingly, or to mean wanting your female partner to commit to monogamy with you alone?

      The traditional definition of being made a cuckold is when a man is made to believe that a child fathered by another man via an act if infidelity.     That being said, do the “or” clause above prevent a women from making a man a cuckold?   The act of being chaste was created by women to provide paternity assurance, and the practice slut-shaming was originally created by women to take other women out of the running when competing for a high-value male.   We have to acknowledge that a woman always knows that a child is her biological child.   A man has to assume it.   Sure, we have paternity and DNA tests today, but requesting one could do irrevocable damage to a marriage.   I personally believe that a paternity test should be an integral part of the recording of a live birth.   That would save a lot of heartache.

      I do not believe that a man whose woman has sex with other men with his permission is a cuckold.   However, a lot of men will refer to such a man as a cuckold, especially if only the woman has other partners.   In this case, the word is being used as a pejorative because the idea of giving a man giving his woman permission to have sex with other men is abhorrent to a lot of men.

      What do you think of women who are not hypergamous or monogamous and specifically only want relationships where finances aren’t combined and she pays as much or more on dates with her sex partners, and is also happy with open relationships?

      In my humble opinion, the term “open relationship” is an oxymoron.   Is that not just casual dating?   After all, the difference between casual dating and a relationship is exclusivity.    Now, an open marriage is another animal altogether.     From what I have seen, very few marriages are opened because both partners desire to do so.     In most cases, one partner wants to open the marriage and the other agrees because he/she is trying to avoid divorce.   Divorce is painful and expensive.     I have been approached by women whose marriages have recently become open.     Most of the time, such a woman’s husband already has a steady sex partner because men are much less selective breeders than women.   A woman who states that she is in an open marriage will be flooded by guys who are looking to get lucky; therefore, if she is resorting to contacting men, it is because she is being too selective.

      1. 44.1.1
        Yet Another Guy

        *does the “or” clause above not prevent a woman from making a man a cuckold?

  5. 45
    Dawn

    Lauren,

    That’s really awesome, how waiting to have sex has never been an issue for any of the men you’ve dated. I am honestly a bit envious of you, lol. I tried traditional, monogamous dating (both face-to-face and using dating sites like POF and OkCupid) from my senior year of high school all the way through getting my bachelor’s, and it never worked.

    Almost every guy only lasted 1-2 dates, either because they had completely misrepresented themselves online (one guy was literally obese 300+ lbs with a giant flopping stomach when his pic just showed him having a dadbod which I was attracted to, another guy had a huge bushy beard when all his pics showed him being clean-shaven… and I absolutely hate facial hair, but he loved having it, another guy claimed he was single and had no kids but during our first date he got a text from his separated wife about picking up their sons from school on Monday, another had stated that he definitely didn’t want kids in his profile but by the second date he was dropping not so subtle hints that he actually wanted to be a father, etc) or they had immediately progressed to open displays of affection like holding hands, trying to kiss me, putting their hands in my back pocket, in public on the first or second date even though I told them upfront it made me very uncomfortable.

    More than half told me they wanted to have sex by the third or fourth date… which is a total no-go for me since that’s nowhere *near* enough time to get to know if someone is truly kind and nice and safe or not. I have moderate haphephobia and always include that in my profile so men don’t think I’m playing “hard to get” or something. I also always either go dutch or pay for the entire date, because I didn’t want them to think I was using them to get a free meal, and because I’m far more comfortable with masculine gender roles.

    Eventually I gave up with traditional dating. Since I already knew from a young age (16) I never wanted to get married or have children, it’s not like I needed to be monogamous or committed. So I switched tactics completely and just pursued FWB relationships with nice men I already knew. So far it has worked incredibly well, even though I sometimes feel weird being in my 30s and only having a sex history of 3. Luckily, all my FWB had similarly low numbers prior to being with me (7, 3, and 2 respectively) and they don’t care about the fact we have open relationships, so it has all worked out well. I don’t think I could go back to traditional dating if I wanted to, lol.

  6. 46
    Marika

    Maybe she was pissed, YAG, as she ‘did her homework’, found out you’ve had sexys on standby, in your 50s and thought you were a massive hypocrite.

    1. 46.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Marika

      I have not had any true sexies on standby since I re-entered the dating pool post-marriage.   Sure, I kept a couple of women around who wanted to be more than friends, but I made a point to never have sex with these women.   To equate that practice with hooking up is a stretch.   Women keep men around who want to be more than friends all of the time; otherwise, nice guys would not complain about being placed in the friend-zone and being used.     It is not that these guys are being used.   It is that they are not getting want they desire.   The same can be said for the women I kept around.

      By the way, one of the women mentioned above has had a steady boyfriend for over a year.   She still contacts me from time-to-time to my current girlfriend’s dismay.   I consider her to be friend, which is why I have not cut things completely off.   My girlfriend is adamant about the fact that no woman who has a man maintains contact with another man she wanted unless she is attempting to keep the door open.   I do not know if what she is claiming is true, but I have made it clear that I am not interested in being more than friends with my friend because I am not physically attracted to her.

      1. 46.1.1
        Marika

        YAG

        Maybe the many times you’ve posted here about ‘sampling the candy store’,  sexys on standbys, being easily sexually bored with women quickly, not sure you desire commitment again etc have all been untrue or exaggerated. Maybe you are Mr Commitment and have been since your marriage. That would explain all this.

        Alternatively, if some of the things you used to write are true, then you shouldn’t be ‘baffled’ by these women and their behaviour..they’re going through exactly what you did post- divorce and until very recently.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Marika

          I would not say that I am Mr. Commitment because I desire commitment that leads to anything long-term.   I would say that I am Mr. Commitment Out of Necessity.   I commit in order to obtain sexual exclusivity with a STD test before sex.   It is just not safe to have casual sex and multiple partners these days.   STD infections are growing at a faster rate in my age cohort than any other age cohort in the United States.   I still get sexually bored after a few months, which is an affliction I am attempting to shed with my current girlfriend because I do not relish having to find another woman who I sexually desire who is willing to agree to undergo an STD test before we become intimate.

          By the way, sampling the candy store does not automatically imply that a man is hooking up with every woman he dates or even a sizeable number of women.   It merely implies that a man desires to see what is available to him (i.e., he continues to look for a more attractive, more desirable woman than the one he just met).   Sure, there are guys who sleep with every woman who says “yes,” but they are guys who have a scarcity mindset or are sex addicts.     Sex for the sake of having sex loses its luster after it becomes almost as easy to obtain as man as it is for woman.     The thrill of the conquest is gone, so a guy has to get his sexual high from being with a woman he truly desires, and believe it or not, men become as selective as women when it comes to true desire.   I have dated one hundred women since splitting with my ex-wife.     I can count the number of women with whom I had sexual intercourse on one hand.   I could have had sexual intercourse with many more women.   Heck, I have even had women ask me if I was gay because I said “no” to an offer of sex.   After all, no straight man says “no” to an offer of sex from a woman. 🙂

        2. Emily, to

          Yag,

          I can count the number of women with whom I had sexual intercourse on one hand.   I could have had sexual intercourse with many more women.    

          Ugh. You may not have had “intercourse,” but something tells me you did everything else. I’m sorry, but if someone has her mouth all over you and your mouth is all over her, you did her, whether you had actual intercourse or not. IT COUNTS. And when I went home with a guy who would do everything but …   I thought he was silly.

      2. 46.1.2
        Dawn

        YAG,

        What made you finally stop being a bimbo? It sounds like you were okay being promiscuous until recently. What made you change your mind so drastically?

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Dawn

          I was never bimbo.     I had a lot of short relationships and did not marry until I was in my later thirties.   Yes, I did not tell more than one woman that I would be her boyfriend just to get into her pants, and I did sleep with a few women who I only considered to be friends.     I recently revisited my pre-marriage dating history because I wanted to know how many actual hookups I had before I married.   I define a hookup is same-day sex, that is, having sex on the same day that one meets a person.   Having sex one time with someone you know is not a hookup.   However, it can be seen as a mistake.

          With that said, why did I change my behavior?   Well, I am older.   I do not have the testosterone level that I had in my twenties and thirties.   I am also the father of daughters.   If that experience does not change a man, nothing will.   Finally, it is just not wise from a health point of view to run up the numbers these days, nor is it healthy to sleep with someone who is running up the numbers.

        2. Marika

          Speaking of blinders, YAG, you’ve made it clear that you offer commitment because it’s in your  best interests, not because you care about women’s feelings. So the best match for you is a women who acts in her own best interest with regard to sex without regard to your feelings.

          How many more people, men included, have to expose your hypocrisy and double standards before you take your blinders off?

        3. Yet Another Man

          @Marika

          So the best match for you is a women who acts in her own best interest with regard to sex without regard to your feelings.

          People are entitled to behave the way that they choose to behave.   They just need to realize that different actions have consequences with different people.

          I never said that I do not care about the women I date.   Yes, I act in my own best interests and so do the women I date.   If my date is a woman who hooks up, I am not her man.   If she does not date men who pass judgement on women who hook up, I am not her man.   It is that simple.   There are a lot of fish in the sea, and I am not her keeper.   People are acting like I am some kind of aberration. I am merely a guy who is willing to discuss something that bothers a lot of men my age.   A lot of women want nothing to do with men who hookup.   About 1/3rd of the female profiles in my age cohort have language letting men know that they are not interested in men who hookup.   No one is taking these women to task.

  7. 47
    Marika

    YAG

    What you do in your dating life is entirely your decision. And I do very much hope it works out with the current lady who sounds like a catch. What I am saying however, is that you’re in no position to judge anyone. There’s zero reason for you to be on a soapbox about sex and commitment.

    You make it sound as though you deserve a commitment -minded, sexually non promiscuous woman as you are that way inclined yourself. You aren’t. You commit out of necessity as you’re scared of stds.

    From a risk management approach, you’re a risky prospect for a woman who wants commitment. This lady, if she knew your full history and attitudes, is actually taking a big risk being with you.

    Or we could think of it this way, if inclination to make & sustain a commitment (without children in the picture) was like leagues, you’re a 4 but you want at least a 7. You’re dating up.

  8. 48
    Dawn

    @YAG

    Have you seen my replies and questions to you?

  9. 49
    Marika

    Jeremy  

    Can I pick your brain? I can’t reply above, but it’s about the biological sex discussion and your preferences. I’m grateful you explained it the way you did, it helps me understand why you care about a woman’s past (in a non-judgemental way).

    You and I have similar values. But you’re far, far more logical and risk averse than me. So I’m interested to know, from a logical person, which would you choose between these two options:

    – A lady whose company you very much enjoy, you gel well with her, find her very attractive. You make each other happy and she clearly shows you she desires you. On occasion in the past she’s had NSA sex. In all other respects your values align.

    –  A lady whose company you very much enjoy, you gel well with her, find her very attractive. You make each other happy. She’s more reserved and so her desire for you is less overt. She’s always been sexually conservative. With you and in her past. Your values align.

    Which lady would you choose?

    1. 49.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I’d choose the NSA one. No brainer. We’ve now been together for twelve years.

    2. 49.2
      Dawn

      @Marika

      For what it’s worth I also care about my partners sex history. For example, I would never date a man who had many previous partners (in my opinion many = more than 20). This is because until fairly recently my own number was 1, and even now it is only 3. Unlike YAG, who appears to be newly conservative due to fear of disease or out of desire to be a MGTOW…I don’t know as he won’t answer any of my questions for some reason… I’ve always been sexually conservative due to my past.

      I  had to work through a lot of shit, and now instead of viewing sex as something inherently dirty or humiliating or harmful, I view it as almost sacred. Something to only be shared with men who respect you as an individual and truly know you for who you are, as well as men who you’re confident are safe. Hence why I prefer FWB relationships, since we already have known each other for years as “just friends” and they are good, honestly nice nerds just like me. This is also why I have never been attracted to guys with “bad boy” personas…they have an air of danger about them, ergo they are to be stayed far away from and cannot be trusted. Sex in the form of ONS is similarly off the table obviously, as there is absolutely no way to know enough about a man just by talking to them for a few hours.  

      Because of this, I want partners who hold similar views about sex. I want to have sex with men who think it is special, not to be had with random people just to scratch the itch that everyone gets. Even if a guy was pretty damn awesome and I really enjoyed hanging out with him, if he told me he had slept with, idk, 23 different women…I would never consider him as a potential partner. One of my friends claims to have slept with 50 different women, and he’s only a year older than me! He asked about becoming one of my FWB but I politely and quickly shut that down hard.

      So if it helps with learning different viewpoints, I’d pick the guy who was sexually conservative and has subtle desire. I myself am not really into overt PDAs like kissing or holding hands, and only engage in them because some of my partners like to do so, and making them feel desired in their “love language” of Physical Touch is important. My own “love language” is Words of Affirmation, so a quick text saying something like “I’m proud of you having the balls to leave your old job” or “I was thinking about you today” is an amazing gift. The sexually conservative guy is my perfect partner, and I’d be incredibly happy to learn he never had NSA sex, same as me. I think having aligning values is very important in a relationship.

      1. 49.2.1
        Clare

        Dawn,

        “3. Unlike YAG, who appears to be newly conservative due to fear of disease or out of desire to be a MGTOW…I don’t know as he won’t answer any of my questions for some reason…”

        If you hang around here long enough, you’ll see that YAG does not answer questions for which he does not have a ready answer that fits his theory.

        1. Dawn

          @Clare

          Ah, okay. Thank you for clearing that up for me. I’ve met his kind before…men who have their blinders on quite firmly, and outright reject any type of conversation that might harm their fragile worldview. Obviously in his mind, he *has* to live in the strict dichotomy of “women gatekeep sex, men gatekeep commitment” and he can’t even fathom a relationship where it’s the opposite. Or one like my own, where everyone gatekeeps their own access to sex (because duh, each of my partners and I have the right to decline sex at any time, but oddly enough, only they ever have because I have the strongest libido), but absolutely nobody gatekeeps commitment because *none of us give a crap about it*. Why guard something that doesn’t impact your life?

          Fwiw, I actually have online friends who are MGTOWs…the kind who aren’t misogynistic and are simply watching out for themselves after being treated horribly by their ex…, and I myself am an egalitarian strongly in favor of men’s rights advocacy. I understand most guys current hesitation in giving either sex or commitment in today’s dating world, precisely for the reasons that Jeremy described previously. It’s unfortunate, but makes sense. I just don’t understand males like YAG, who simply refuse to acknowledge that “NAWALT” and “NAMALT”. Men like him think men are clones of each other and women may as well be a hivemind, lol.

      2. 49.2.2
        ezamuzed

        @dawn

        Thanks for sharing this. In particular the “I was thinking about you today” is an amazing gift for someone who likes Words of Affirmation. I didn’t realize how powerful that could be. My girlfriend has the same love language and I’m always looking for more ways to make her happy.

        1. Dawn

          @Ezamuzed

          You’re welcome. I’m glad that my comment could help you. Yes, for someone who’s “love language” is primarily Words, having our partners tell us they’re proud of us, or that they were thinking of us, or that they respect us is HUGE. It’s the number one way to get in our hearts and our pants, lol.

          Do you know what her secondary one is? Mine is Gifts. Some people think that means men and women with this type of “love language” are materialistic. Not true. Gifts are important to us irrespective of their value… I have never, in any of my relationships, gotten a gift worth more than $50, though I have given ones up to $300. (We’re all lower middle class, unlike a lot of the commenters I’ve seen here.) Just receiving my favorite candy bar or a new set of dice from one of my men is enough to make me happy for the rest of the day. Why? Because if you buy something for someone when they aren’t next to you, you were obviously thinking about making them smile when you didn’t have to. It’s the meaning behind the gift, that you’re thought of and loved, not even remotely the gift itself.

      3. 49.2.3
        Marika

        Hi Dawn  

        Thanks for sharing your perspective.

        But…I’m really confused about this. How is FWB different to NSA sex? Aren’t they the same thing? If you don’t mind me asking. If you like the nerdy guy friend and want to have sex with him, why not just be in an exclusive relationship? (I’m not asking that of people in general, but of you, given how you are). If it’s FWB, couldn’t he be possibly seeing other people?

        I’m sexually pretty conservative myself, as in I can’t handle casual sex. My partner count is quite low. If I limited myself to guys with as low a count as me, particularly dating online, that would restrict my options – before I factor in their treatment of me, consistency, kindness etc. I also would feel very uncomfortable asking them about who they’ve slept with. And I believe the present matters more than the past. We all make mistakes, change and grow.

        1. Dawn

          @Marika

          I don’t know what NSA sex is defined as, so I don’t know how it’s different. If you have a definition you know is most frequently used, I can answer better. I can say that FWB, in my case, is not the same as a “fuck buddy” or “booty call” since there is a component of long-term, pre-existing close friendship that is completely lacking in the other two designations. I don’t want an exclusive relationship, and neither do the guys I’m FWB with, ergo we don’t try to tie each other down or eliminate each other’s freedom. They are absolutely able to date other women, but don’t usually have much luck. Only one of them has actually had sex with another woman since we’ve been “together”.

          I’m kinda curious about two of your statements. You say that if you limited your dating pool to guys as low as yourself or roundabouts, you’d be restricting your options. But how do you know that unless you have asked those guys what their own numbers are, especially if you are uncomfortable doing so? Are you just assuming your number is less than theirs?

          Also, you talk about the fact that people make mistakes, change, and grow in reference to their sexual history. Correct me if I’m misreading you, but it sounds like you’re saying that having a large number is potentially a mistake someone could make, or something a man or woman could “grow out of”. I can say that I don’t think of sex history that way. If I was interested in a guy but he said he had slept with 30 women, I wouldn’t think he had made a mistake or 20+ bad decisions, because I think that would be insulting. Instead, I’d believe that he knew exactly what he was doing each of those times and would therefore conclude he is not a suitable partner for me. Yes, the present matters, but in my opinion it matters just as much as the present. My past makes me who I am as a person. All my accomplishments and failures, nightmares and dreams, goals I still have and trials I went through. Without those memories, I’m nobody…or at least not me as I am today. This is why sexual history of my partners matters to me. Not because I hate or disapprove of sluts, but because I have different sexual values than a promiscuous man, and it would create a snag in our relationship.

        2. Marika

          Hi Dawn  

          You and I are so different, and I think talking past each other. Which is okay, it’s good to hear other perspectives. I do like to understand things though, if I can. I suppose to me it seems  somewhat confusing to have a problem with a man having a high sex count when you seem to have a somewhat unorthodox approach to sex which many people could potentially judge, or misjudge – but which I’m assuming you would not want them to judge you for. For instance, the stereotype of a person who’s into FWB arrangements is a person quite different from you. The same could apply to a person with a number you consider too high.

          NSA sex is ‘no strings attached sex’. Sex with someone where you don’t tie each other down or restrict each other’s freedom. That could be with a friend, which is your arrangement. Again, which is fine, I’m not trying to say there is anything wrong with that. It’s just not the norm to prefer that, and you could be potentially be sleeping with someone who is simultaneously sleeping with other people. Which you seem to be okay with.

          So, if a man was a bit older than you and had had say 20 sex partners, as they had, say, 12 girlfriends they loved and several arrangements similar to yours…you wouldn’t like that? That would be a bad thing? Why? (Honestly only asking as I’m finding this confusing, not to give you a hard time).

          I’ve never asked a man what his ‘number’ is, but sometimes it comes up, they tell me, or his friends say things which hint at it or I meet an ex who is still a friend who makes some jokes or something. Whenever it has come up, it was brought up by someone other than me. It’s not something I ask.

          My understanding from people with high sex counts – one of which was my ex husband (also, I know a lot of people and because I’m a good listener they tell me lots of stuff – some of which I don’t want to know!!)  is that some of the people they slept with they do consider to be a mistake, and I do think a lot of people grow out of wanting to sleep around. A person can have had one particular mindset towards sex and relationships when younger, or at a certain point, or when something happens to them, which changes over time. I actually think it’s relatively common. A twenty year old man is much more likely to want to sleep around than a 43 year old. And, for instance, there may [?] come a time for you when you decide you do want a relationship, rather than FWB, for instance.

    3. 49.3
      Jeremy

      Which lady would I choose….for what?   Marriage is the confounder here, Marika, in a way that I don’t think most women think of.

       

      I know you went through a difficult divorce and I don’t minimize the pain you must have felt at all.   And I know you had to leave your house that you said you paid for.   But I’d imagine that now that it’s all over, you’re free and clear, memories aside.   Imagine a different scenario.   Imagine that you’d had kids, but because your ex had been their primary caregiver, you’d now only be able to see your kids every other weekend.   Imagine that because you’d spent years sacrificing your work-life balance to support your family, you’d now have to cut your ex a cheque for 40-50% of your gross income…..for the rest of your life.   That you’d work every Monday and Tuesday to support your ex, every Wednesday and half Thursday to pay the government, and half Thursday and Friday for yourself.   And imagine that should you decide you don’t want to work so hard (‘cause you’re not keeping much of what you earn), the law then tells you that you can’t cut back your hours….because your ex is entitled to his lifestyle and you are responsible for it.   Forever.   Even after you retire, until you die.   Because you once thought your ex loved you and you said “I do.”   And imagine that after your divorce, you moved into a small apartment to start your life over again, bereft of children and income, while he woke up the next morning in the same house you used to share, surrounded by his children, and guaranteed enough income from you to keep living there in relative comfort forever.   Imagine this scenario, Marika, and you’ll understand why a man like me has to be risk-averse when it comes to marriage…..because when we talk about commitment in marriage, only one person commits anything to the other.

       

      When it comes to marriage, we each have goals, things we hope to lock down.   Else, why the need for legal commitment?   I see nothing wrong with women wanting children, wanting a commitment of security and support before starting a family.   It’s a good idea, frankly.   But I don’t and didn’t want to be desired only as a “dad.”   For my partner to support her relationship goals.   Because those goals will become obsolete, as so many men discover.   I needed a woman who is genuinely attracted to me, and not just what I provide.     Ahhh, but how am I to know the difference?   The question is too important to be agnostic about it, there’s just too much at stake.   I could be like Gala and eschew marriage entirely, but that wouldn’t satisfy my desires.   Or I could seek to understand motivations.

       

      Finally, back to your question – there are 2 women before me, both of whom like me, both of whom I like, one is more sexually reserved both with me and with her past, the other is sexually eager, both with me and with her past.   Whom do I choose.   Answer – I choose neither until I understand the big confounders for each.   The reserved woman – I care nothing about why she was reserved in the past.   Why is she reserved with me?   Is that likely to continue?   The eager woman – why is she eager?   Why was she eager in the past, why is she eager with me?   Until I can answer those questions for myself, I might choose either for an uncommitted relationship…..but I’d not choose marriage.

      1. 49.3.1
        Marika

        Jeremy, thanks for your answer.

        I honestly get most of that. I wanted to understand if you care more about a woman’s past than how she treats you in the present.

        Because that’s what this whole thing amounts to. How much it matters what a person did before they met you.

        I think people change throughout their life. I think people don’t always act consistently. I think you can’t control everything. I think you have to expect the best. Have faith that you can judge someone’s character well without going on a fact finding mission and invading their privacy.

        1. Jeremy

          People can indeed change. But sometimes people also confuse legitimate change/maturation with the running of a reproduction algorithm. Did she really want a man unlike any she’s dated in the past because that’s what she’s now attracted to, or is she simply focusing on her priorities of the moment?

          How a woman treats me in the present is more important than her past, I agree. How she will treat me in the future is most important of all. You can’t always know how they’ll treat you….but you shouldn’t ignore obvious clues.

  10. 50
    Marika

    YAG

    I strongly disagree. Just because women want commitment from men doesn’t mean they get it. Doesn’t mean the man steps up. Doesn’t mean he understands why it’s important to her. Doesn’t mean many, many women haven’t had their hearts broken over guys who were wishy-washy with them and wouldn’t commit and then marry the next woman they meet. Or lied about commitment to get them into bed. And think nothing of it. It happens all the time. You think men commit to every woman in the same amount of time? Of course not. It’s ridiculous. I’ve never even asked a guy how long before he committed to the last person. It’s none of my business. It’s an unnecessary worry. And I have been ridiculed by men for asking for commitment before sex, asking where we stand, wanting to as they say ‘put labels on it’. So have some of my friends.

    Btw, one of the main people saying your views on this are indicative of insecurity is Evan. He’s a man.

    It’s funny how you talk about what women not getting it and not understanding the male perspective. You don’t understand the female perspective on this, or on many things,  at all. Nor give the impression that you want to.

    You want to be with a woman who only has sex with commitment – that’s absolutely fine. Choose whoever you want. But as multiple people have told you, the issue here is your double standards. And your relentless need for comparison/competition with other men.

  11. 51
    No Name To Give

    Tron and YAG should just find women who sat in their ivory towers with no lives until they come along to rescue such a woman. Or they could just go to Japan and get one of those life-like sexbots.

    1. 51.1
      Tron Swanson

      NNTG,

      The first half of your comment puzzles me. Compared to most men, I’m extremely comfortable with the idea of women having both lives and sexual pasts. Far too many men are hypocritical on this issue: “Sex is good for me, but not her–not until she meets me, anyway!” Healthy people have as much sex as they can. I hate how overused the word “creepy” has become, but I do find it genuinely creepy that so many men want sheltered, inexperienced women…I get the impression that they think they’ll be easier to manipulate.

      Now, the second half of your comment is right-on. I’m eagerly waiting for the arrival of affordable but high-quality sexbots.

      1. 51.1.1
        No Name To Give

        Somehow, Tron, I am not surprised to learn this about you.

    2. 51.2
      Yet Another Guy

      @NNTG

      I never said that I wanted a woman who has clean sexual history.   What I said is that I would never date a woman who has a recent past of hooking up with men who thought that it was okay to make me wait.   That woman is not worthy of the wait.

      1. 51.2.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        I repeat – you will most likely never know if she’s making other men wait or not – so why the obsession with trying to figure it out?

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Evan

          My number one rule is that I do not date women who hookup (by hookup, I mean have sex with total strangers).   It is just that simple.   I do not care what they did when they were a twenty-something.     We all did stupid things at that age.   What matters is recent history.   The women I date may not feel the same way about sex, but they are free to rule me out for any reason they deem important.   My feelings will not be hurt.   Rejection is part of dating.    The crazy thing is that most women my age will share their recent sexual past because they assume that I hookup a lot because I have been on a lot of dates.   The idea that a man could be sexually selective because obtaining sex is not difficult today is foreign to a lot of women.   That is the difference between having an abundance versus a scarcity mindset.   That does not mean that I do not enjoy the company of women that I date.   It just means that the women with whom I choose to have monogamous sex are not promiscuous and have something about them that makes spending time with them unique.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Buddy, I hear you. And I respect you and your engagement on this site. But if you’re really hear to learn – and not just teach women what you’re thinking – please trust that I’m advocating FOR you right now. Your “rule” is silly and arbitrary and has already been shot thru with holes and fallacies by our dedicated readers. You think it’s protecting you – from sluts, from STD, from golddiggers, from basketcases – but it precludes the very real possibility that women are as inconsistent, confused and sexual as men – which is not really up for debate. Put away the judgment. Put away the rules. They don’t work for women and they are holding you back from love. Virtually everyone I know has moments of promiscuity, and I would dare say that it’s less of a flaw than the person who can’t understand this notion and remains in fierce judgment of it.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @Evan

          but it precludes the very real possibility that women are as inconsistent, confused and sexual as men — which is not really up for debate. Put away the judgment. Put away the rules.

          I appreciate your concern, but it is a rule from which I will never waiver.   There is a big emphasis on compatibility on this blog, and I support it.   Well, having the same attitude toward sex is included in compatibility.     I do not mind waiting for a woman, but I am not waiting for a woman who has a recent past of hooking up.   We are not compatible.   Jeremy stated that he would not interested in a woman who did not treat sex like it was special.   No one took him to task.   I do not have a double standard as has been suggested.   This quickest way to not have a second date with me is too offer sex on the first date.   If you think that women do not do it today, I have stories to tell.   I politely turn down her offer and never contact her again.

        4. Jeremy

          I think that when we are considering what compatibility means to us, we should really think about what matters and what doesn’t.   What we need, what we want, what we can live without, what we are better off without.   And the qualities that fall into each of these categories will differ by individual.

           

          One might advise a Jewish person not to limit her search to other Jewish partners because doing so cuts the dating pool significantly.   And this might be good advice to a secular Jew, but not to an orthodox one.   It would be a non-sequitur to ask an orthodox Jew, “If you met a woman you were compatible with in every way except for the fact that she isn’t Jewish, would you date/marry her.”   A non-sequitur because you CAN’T be compatible in every way in such a situation – the difference is not minor.   You can like each other, be attracted to each other, but can’t be compatible in lifestyle unless one of you is willing to make a major change.   What falls into the “doesn’t matter” category for one person may well fall into the “what do I need” category for another.

           

          The world around me is full of people who are inconsistent, and that fact has confused the hell out of me my entire life.   Because I am not, have never been, inconsistent.   I’ve made mistakes, but have never been inconsistent.   Have lived with one eye on my personal code of ethics and the other eye on my goals and aspirations – personally, emotionally, professionally, ethically – in a way that my peers largely did not.   For me, the quality of consistency in a partner falls into the “what I need” category in a way that it would not for a different personality type.   It’s not about me controlling others, it’s about needing someone who values her own self-control (as I do).   It’s not about me foisting a set of my own values upon someone else retroactively, it’s about finding someone who has always lived by that set of values, because they are hers, have always been hers.   When I talk about this, I am talking about myself.   Not being prescriptive to men or women at large.   I’ve always been reticent to tell others what should fall into which category unless I felt I understood them pretty well.   And in the same way, I won’t tell them what shouldn’t fall into which category unless I understand them equally well.

        5. Nissa

          Jeremy, that’s the best explanation I’ve heard in a while in regard to compatibility. Like you, I have always had a high level of consistency, and am always extremely puzzled by the lack of this in others. That’s why I’ve always been a little confused about your wife’s change in priorities, as you have explained it. The closest thing that I’ve done to that shift in priorities, is become more spiritual. However, I would say that it was an increase in and codification of, something that was already there, rather than a change of personality. The seeds of interest in integrity and honesty were already there.

          I particularly liked your example of a secular jew versus an orthodox jew as I could really relate to it.

          But am I the only one who thinks that in some way, Evan and YAG are actually in agreement – if you don’t want to have sex with someone who is still actively dating and having sex with others during the same time frame, don’t. My impression is that by “recent past”, YAG means “anything from the last few months to the last year”. I can understand why he would feel that someone’s character would not change in that short of a time. I can understand that he would like a woman for whom sex is special. I’m a little confused by that being a desire for him, though, as most of what he’s said didn’t indicate to me that sex was special to him.  And I think it was Dawn or Marika who made the excellent point that sex with someone random is just sex, and sex with someone special is special. I love that! So on point. I’d also agree that someone who in the past has made a lot of mistakes of a sexual nature, would probably continue to make mistakes of a sexual nature.

          So perhaps we are all more in agreement than it might first appear.

  12. 52
    Marika

    ezamused

    Evan doesn’t encourage women to have NSA sex at all. With either non-potential or potential bfs. A lot of us (me included) can’t handle it.

    That’s not the issue. The issue is going on a fact finding mission to dig into a person’s past to use against them, and treating love and relationships like a pissing competition. If you can’t deal with a woman’s past, either don’t ask her about it or find someone whose past you can handle. And who doesn’t mind you asking very personal questions. And who isn’t turned off by that type of comparing.

    The other issue is YAGs double standards. I don’t get the sense that applies to you. To his credit, it doesn’t seem to apply to Tron either. But for YAG, he wouldn’t be able to handle a woman with a past like his. He would judge her for it. And he can’t see how hypocritical that is. It makes no sense for him to be with a woman who demonstrates commitment orientation and sexual discernment when the minute there’s a cure for stds, he’s off to have as much NSA sex as he can get.

    1. 52.1
      ezamuzed

      @marika

      Evan doesn’t encourage women to have NSA sex at all. With either non-potential or potential bfs. A lot of us (me included) can’t handle it.  

      I thought that before too, and that seems like wise advice. But in the comments he seems to be suggesting otherwise. That it is okay to make potential bfs wait for sex while having NSA with non-potential bfs.

      The issue is going on a fact finding mission to dig into a person’s past to use against them, and treating love and relationships like a pissing competition. If you can’t deal with a woman’s past, either don’t ask her about it or find someone whose past you can handle. And who doesn’t mind you asking very personal questions. And who isn’t turned off by that type of comparing.

      I agree digging into the past is a sign of insecurity and should be checked. But in a healthy relationship you will be talking about past relationships and past sex at times. Those conversations will come up.

      And for many men sex is the ultimate expression of admiration and approval. And so for him if he discovers that random guys got the admiration and approval with no strings attached at the same time he was told to wait it is going to mess with his head. He is going to feel less admired and less approved of compared to random guy.

      I feel like woman should know this because many of them seem to not.

      As for men who feel like there should be a different set of rules around sex for men vs woman. They are hopeless and should be cast out from society. For other men who resent that woman will hook up with strangers but not them. Who hate that their girlfriends only will have starfish sex with them but had crazy wild sex with other guys. Change yourself instead. Women are going to do what woman do. Work on become your best self and woman will want to hook up with you and will also want to be your girlfriend. That is what I did and I’m happy and a much better person because of it.

      1. 52.1.1
        Marika

        Hi ezamused

        I want to address this if you don’t mind: “He is going to feel less admired and less approved of compared to random guy.  I feel like woman should know this because many of them seem to not”

        FWIW, I already understand this.

        If you’re open to it, this is what women want: to be trusted by the person they love. To have the person they love understand and trust that they are able to make adult decisions without them being picked apart and questioned, that they have done whatever they did before the two of you met for their own reasons which made sense at the time. They want a man they can rely on, who is secure in your relationship.

        That, for me, is the crux of the issue. If you get any sense a woman is using you, of course, move on. But do it because of how she’s treating you, not others.

        I also want to apologize. I feel like I misjudged you. I still think you don’t fully understand how difficult divorce can be for women; but I do see now I misjudged you in other ways. You seem like a really decent guy. I hope it works out with your lady.

        1. Jeremy

          Not to go round and round in circles, Marika, but a person who wants something from you will treat you very well indeed in the present.   And when I say “wants something,” I don’t mean in a nefarious way, I mean in a subconscious way that they are often totally unaware of.   Sorry to keep returning to this example, but it’s just so salient – Mrs Happy’s bookclub women.   When they married I’m sure they were convinced it was for love, primarily for love among other things.   But if you have kids and then lose all motivation to then prioritize your husband, what MUST your motivation have been in retrospect?   Regardless of what you thought it was at the time?   These women were running reproduction algorithms – “the time has come to reproduce.   Find good genes and support!”    They hadn’t “matured,” they were just doing what they’d always done – focusing on their priorities of the moment – and continue to do so when those priorities predictably change. Their future actions prove it, regardless of what their actions were when dating.   This is common.

           

          I believe you are totally correct when you say that women want partners who trust them.   But ask yourself whether those same women return that trust.   If you trust a man the way you want him to trust you, why ask him to sign a legal document putting his money where his mouth is?   Why ask him for an irrevocable commitment when you provide none in return?   The answer is because, deep down, we all want some guarantee of security.   Marriage is as close to a guarantee as you can get….for women.   Men get no guarantee in any form.   I’d just ask that you be cognizant of this difference when we talk about marriage (as opposed to dating), when we talk about “trust.”   What women are asking and what they’re offering.   What men are asking and what they’re offering.   Skewed symmetry.

        2. ezamuzed

          Marika

          If you’re open to it, this is what women want: to be trusted by the person they love. To have the person they love understand and trust that they are able to make adult decisions without them being picked apart and questioned, that they have done whatever they did before the two of you met for their own reasons which made sense at the time.  

          I agree, I think feeling safe from unreasonable judgement is part of feeling loved.

          They want a man they can rely on, who is secure in your relationship.

          And herein lies the crux of the problem. Starting the relationship with a boundary that only exists for potential bfs will make a decent percentage of men feel less secure in the relationship.

          I also want to apologize. I feel like I misjudged you. I still think you don’t fully understand how difficult divorce can be for women; but I do see now I misjudged you in other ways. You seem like a really decent guy. I hope it works out with your lady.

          Thanks, we are just words on a screen to each other, anonymous otherwise so it shouldn’t bother me.

           

           

        3. Marika

          Hi ezamused

          In terms of the crux of the problem you mentioned, if you don’t ask, the problem goes away.

          If down the track you discover something about your partner’s previous sex life which hurts you (as I have myself), you either try to manage your own emotions, or if you can’t, you figure out if you care more about that than how she’s treating you in the present. If it bothers you so much and you can’t get over it, I guess you have to move on.

          I’ve been hurt lots of times by men. I can relate to pain, jealousy, insecurity, fear. But I always *try* not to lead with that, not to make it the other person’s problem. Not to try to restrict and dictate their actions to help manage my fears. Or take things personally that are about them & how they approach life.

        4. ezamuzed

          Marika

          In terms of the crux of the problem you mentioned, if you don’t ask, the problem goes away.

          I wouldn’t ask. But that still doesn’t make this right.

          First of all if the boundary is communicated in the way I’ve heard: “I only sleep with men who are my boyfriend” most people will assume that you don’t have some NSA side action going on. So it that sense it is dishonest.

          Second that even without directly asking about it, there is a reasonable chance it will come up very soon.   Imagine your pre-sex talk, it should come up then especially if you follow a script like this.

          https://www.verywellhealth.com/talking-about-safe-sex-with-a-new-partner-3133115

        5. Marika

          Hi ezamused

          I’m not sure what to tell you other than in all my many dating experiences, one man has wanted to know details about my previous boyfriend (at the time it was boyfriend, singular, I was in my 20s).

          To my memory, no one at all has asked anything like how many and certainly no one asked anything about how quickly. That may be because I’ve had lots and lots of first & second/third dates which went no further, where it’s unlikely to come up. But even amongst boyfriends, only that one wanted to know lots of things about my previous boyfriend (funnily enough, he was most concerned about things like how quickly I introduced him to my family). He also made a few crude jokes which implied he wanted to compare in other ways too – but he stands out as it doesn’t typically happen that these comparisons are made nor questions asked.

          Evan isn’t alone in being a man who doesn’t care about these things. Are you familiar with a previous regular contributor, Karl R? If you read over his (very reasonable) commens, he too doesn’t make these types of inquiries. Nor do most men I’ve known.

          Whenever I’ve brought up the subject of an STD test (which I agree is a reasonable request), I’ve always had to bring it up very, very gently. We both felt awkward. Overall – my general impression is that people don’t like these types of conversations and prefer not to have them, and certainly in as little detail as possible.

          Not only do I find it easy to avoid comparisons which could offend and upset, IME, it’s the norm.

    2. 52.2
      Emily, to

      Ezamused,

      And for many men sex is the ultimate expression of admiration and approval.

      But it doesn’t always mean admiration and approval when   a woman has sex with a man. Sometimes it means nothing more than — Hey, its an opportunity. Why not? Or I need some practice. Or the guy I really like is taken. Women have sex for a variety of reasons, and they aren’t always to bestow admiration and approval or even validate attraction. Sometimes it’s just something to do. I wish men would understand that. Sometimes sex means everything; sometimes it means nothing, and then there’s every other reason in between those 2 extremes.

      1. 52.2.1
        ezamuzed

        Emily

        But it doesn’t always mean admiration and approval when   a woman has sex with a man. Sometimes it means nothing more than – Hey, its an opportunity.

        Maybe not to you. But to him at the very least it means that you choose him to have sex with over other guys that were available at the time. This is a form of feeling admired and approved of.

        1. Emily, to

          Ezamused:

          But you told us what it meant for men. I’m telling you what it can mean for women or anybody for that matter. If a man assumes it’s to bestow admiration and approval, he could be gleaning the wrong message.   My last person was pleasure but not in the physical sense. More in the sense that he was down to do stuff at work, and I thought it’d be fun and a little taboo. The one before that? Experience seeking (improving my skills) and revenge.  Here’s a list from a Psychology Today online article about why people have sex.  
          Physical reasons.
          Under this broad umbrella, we find: (1) tension relief;  (2) pleasure;  (3) physical desirability  (simply, we find our partner to be hot); and  (4) experience-seeking  (improving and practicing your sexual skills).
          Goal attainment.
          Under this broad umbrella, we find:  (5) resources  (trying to obtain the objects of our desires);    (6)  social status  (concerns about what other people think and our reputation);  (7)  revenge); and  (8)  utilitarian  (using sex to gain an advantage in a relationship or life domain).
          Emotional reasons.
          Under this broad umbrella, we find:  (9)  love and commitment  (a way to maintain a secure, deep  attachment); and  (10) expression  (one of the ultimate  ways of communicating, at least with one’s romantic partner).
          Insecurity.
          Under this broad umbrella, we find:  (11)  self-esteem  boost  (a strategy to gain a modicum of strength and power);  (12) duty/pressure  (anything from obligation or coercion by another person); and  (13) mate guarding  (doing the deed to ward off poachers).

        2. Marika

          Emily

          I’m despairing. This is a rare opportunity for the guys to try to hear us, how we feel, but it’s not happening.

          Even amongst the nicest guys, this is coming off to me as controlling. It makes me (and I’m sure I’m not the only one) feel the way I did around my strict father who didn’t really seek to understand my feelings. It’s like saying: “you should always have acted in a way that I wanted you to act, even before I met you”.

          It’s funny, I don’t have a sordid sexual past at all, I’m pretty insecure in relationships myself and get jealous etc, so I do understand, but I have always recognized that was on me – I really can’t abide all this thought control and past detectiveness. It makes my skin crawl.

        3. Emily, to

          Marika,

          It’s funny, I don’t have a sordid sexual past at all, I’m pretty insecure in relationships myself and get jealous etc, so I do understand, but I have always recognized that was on me — I really can’t abide all this thought control and past detectiveness. It makes my skin crawl.

          Frankly, I don’t WANT to know about someone’s sexual past. Who wants to hear about great sex your guy had with another woman? That’s something a man should discuss with his buddies.

          I also getting awfully tired of being told by men — even though I’m a woman and have women friends — that when women have sex with men it means they’re really into them, and when they have sex with them quickly after first meeting, they’re overwhelmed with lust. It certainly can mean that, but it doesn’t always. I certainly never assumed a guy was besotted with me just because we hooked up. I’m also tired about hearing that women hook up with some guys while dating others and making them wait … when, what, almost every woman on here has contradicted that? I don’t know anyone who does that.

        4. sylvana

          ezamused,

          I hate to say it, but that’s somewhat on you guys for believing the ridiculous notion that women and men are so different when it comes to sex.

          I always said that feeding that notion is what leads to the majority of problems when it comes to women, men, and sex.

          Let me ask you this: Is a man having sex with a woman the ultimate expression of admiration and approval? Heck no. It just means he was horny and she was available.

          Why would you assume that a woman’s reasons were any different? Why, other than the fact that you expect her to bend to social and cultural expectations of how a woman SHOULD feel and act?

          Why would you not choose to just see her as a human being with the same sexual needs as a man?

          Sex is only special with someone special involved. Otherwise, it’s just that: Sex. It’s not some great price to be had or bestowed on someone.

          And as if it wasn’t bad enough that women are supposed to want sex only in line with social or cultural expectations, now we’re also expected to use it to express admiration, approval, love, stroke his ego, pleasure him, etc.

          Lots of women out there want sex for the same exact reasons men do. The problem with this whole “she’s playing games with me” part comes into effect only because it keeps getting pushed that she SHOULD want sex only under certain circumstances, and if she has sex just for pleasure without it meaning anything, she SHOULD feel guilty/dirty/used.

        5. Emily, to

          Slyvana,
          Why would you assume that a woman’s reasons were any different? … Sex is only special with someone special involved. Otherwise, it’s just that: Sex. It’s not some great price to be had or bestowed on someone.
          And as if it wasn’t bad enough that women are supposed to want sex only in line with social or cultural expectations, now we’re also expected to use it to express admiration …
          Yep. I remember being in my mid-20s when a male friend explained to me that a man can go home with a woman and not even be attracted to her. It was quite humbling because of course it contradicted the narrative I had in my head. It’s the same scenario we’re experiencing here. What we’re saying goes against their narrative about women and sex. I’m not saying sex never means admiration or approval or attraction. It certainly can, and it’s different for every woman, but sometimes it just means … he was the guy who was there and asked.

        6. ezamuzed

          Emily

          I’m not talking about the reasons for the sex. Both people or can have whatever reasons. I’m talking about the feelings that result afterwards by the individual people. I’m saying that no matter what the reasons are the guy will likely feel admiration and approval (among others things)

        7. Emily, to

          Ezamused,

          I’m talking about the feelings that result afterwards by the individual people. I’m saying that no matter what the reasons are the guy will likely feel admiration and approval (among others things)

          I get what you’re saying, but I fail to see how the woman’s reasons for saying yes or feelings about the man don’t enter into a man’s feelings about the sex. Let’s say I go home with a guy I’ve been sweating for months. I have one of the best nights of my life and I feel great afterward. I leave thinking he had a great time, too. But when I run into him later, he all but blows me off. Or maybe I overhear him talking to a friend about how he did it because he was bored. Wouldn’t that affect my feelings about the evening?

        8. ezamuzed

          I think it is short sighted to discuss these reasons why men and woman have sex. I’m sure we are all well read on this subject and know there are many reasons for sex. And those reasons are very fluid depending on the time and situation. I want to focus on the visceral reaction many men have when they have sex. You cannot dismiss these feelings of admiration and approval many men get because your intention was something far from that.

          Too often on this blog and in life people get stuck discussing intellectual intentions.   That because we didn’t intend to make someone feel a certain way their feelings are invalid. A better way is to listen to what they are saying and try to put yourselves in their shoes and empathize.

          But there is still something I would like to hear explained. Why would a woman choose to simultaneously have hookup sex with non-bf material while waiting the bf material wait. The closest someone explained it is that woman still have physical needs. They need their sexual hamburger at time. Fine that makes sense, but wouldn’t it be better to get that physical need from a potential boyfriend than some random stranger?

        9. Emily, to

          ezamused,

          “I want to focus on the visceral reaction many men have when they have sex. …  Too often on this blog and in life people get stuck discussing intellectual intentions.”    

          You’re preaching to the choir. There are a lot of posts on here about passion that read like a biology textbook. But I can assure you I don’t think of sex in intellectual terms. I want a visceral reaction, probably to the detriment of anything else. But if I waited for a visceral response every time to have sex, I would have had very little sex. Which is why I listed some of the other reasons that might motivate a woman to say yes.

            “but wouldn’t it be better to get that physical need from a potential boyfriend than some random stranger?”

          You’re assuming that sex with a boyfriend is better but that’s not necessarily the case. Ideally, you get both a great relationship and great sex but not always. Sexual compatibility is tricky thing. The first time with anyone is awkward, but you don’t need to know someone well to tell if you’re sexually compatible. And attraction is something different than compatibility. You can’t tell if you click until you get someone in the raw.

    3. 52.3
      Yet Another Guy

      @Marika

      Nowhere did I claim that a woman’s distant past mattered.   We all did impulsive things when we were younger.   I did things of which I am not proud.   I am talking about recent past, that matters!   There is no denying that making a guy wait while hooking up with guys in the recent past does make him feel less desirable.    This kind of information hits a guy like a gut punch. It also makes the woman less desirable, but I am not touching that subject.

      As I mentioned in another post and as ezamused mentioned in his post.   It is does not take a lot of digging to obtain a woman’s recent sexual past, especially when she assumes falsely that man gets around.   I meet almost all of my dates online.   I definitely have to be a member of the top 20% because I have absolutely no trouble obtaining dates.   When a man in is this cohort, he is usually checking off a lot of boxes; therefore, women automatically assume that he is getting around.   My recent girlfriend assumed that I slept with a lot of my online dates.   She was shocked to learn about my practice of only have sex within the confines of exclusivity with women who do not hookup.

       

      1. 52.3.1
        Marika

        YAG:  I am talking about recent past, that matters!  

        Yes, I know. I’m talking about now. Last week, in fact, you said you decided to choose commitment because it now works for you, to avoid STDs. Not because you care about women’s feelings.

        So, why should they care about yours?

        You do what’s best for you, but women are supposed to do what’s best for you too? Really??

        Ezamused made it clear he does care about women’s feelings. Different story.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Marika

          By the way, when did I say that I do not care about a woman’s feelings?   I do recall mentioning that one of the reasons why I do not have sex outside of a committed relationship is due to the emotional fallout that can occur after the deed is done.   I believe that I referred to it as having to deal with “headtrips.”   I hated feeling like that when I was younger.   I was just so darn horny and clueless that I said and did whatever it took to have sex with the women I was dating.   Making bad choices and learning from them are part of growing up.

          Yes, my main driver for wanting exclusivity before sex today is to minimize the risk of STD transmission.   However,   I share in her life and she shares in mine.     Am I looking to get remarried? Probably not, but most women my age are not looking to get remarried.   Most are looking for a companion with whom to do things and a reliable sex partner, which becomes progressively harder for a lot of women after they pass age 50.    Many older women would be happy to have a boyfriend-in-a-box (BIAB). A BIAB is like a boyfriend on call for when a woman is not busy with her girlfriends, children, or grandchildren (if she has them).     An older male contributor to this blog referred to the state as “accessory status.”

        2. Marika

          YAG:

          “Having to deal with “headtrips””  

          Perfect example. You care about how you feel and the potential anger/jealousy directed at you from uncommitted sex. There’s no sense you give that you care about women as fellow human beings, their feelings, their needs, their wants. Look at all the comments from people trying to get you to show empathy towards women – it’s just making you dig your heels in more about how right you are.

          Think about how we know what we know about you: from what you write. You give the strong impression of being someone who does what you want. Which is fine. Like I said, a woman who does whatever she wants is the perfect match for you.

        3. Clare

          Marika,

          I don’t like talking about poor YAG as if he’s not here, but that self-involved, self-interested approach to dating and relationships is incredibly common, and the people who practice it don’t see anything wrong with it. They genuinely don’t. It’s an entire worldview and set of personality traits, and if you try to explain the other person’s point of view, they will just counter it by explaining things from their own perspective again.

          The ability to genuinely put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see things with their eyes, much less  care  about the experience that person is having, is not a skill everyone possesses. Which I have discovered to my detriment when dating. And which the OPs who write into Evan’s blog often learn. Evan refers to it as “dimestore selfishness” (one of my favourite terms). It is so common and so unquestioning that it sees absolutely nothing wrong with itself. But people who  can  empathise, who want a mature, caring and evolving partnership, are best advised to avoid it.

          I’m not saying this applies to YAG in his entirety (I don’t know him so I have no idea, but certainly many of his comments give that impression), but it’s an attitude I came across a lot in dating and in friendships. People who don’t think about situations from the point of view of the other person and therefore don’t try to be fair to them. Such people act almost purely in their own interests and assume others are doing the same. Of course the problem with this model is that they assume that what’s good for them  is  good for the other person, without really bothering to examine this assumption too closely.

          It used to blow my mind, but I can recognise it now and I stay away from it.

        4. Marika

          Thank you Clare.

          You often manage to explain these things in a way that calms me down 🙂 My head was beginning to spin that someone could pretty much forgive themselves anything, any change of attitude, any new approach to sex and relationships that made sense for them at the time, any wavering of what they wanted (pretty normal after the end of a long marriage)  – but have no such leeway towards the opposite sex. To be completely flexible with themselves and completely inflexible with their dates.

          It scares me, it honestly does, to know such a thing is out there. Pretty naive, I know. Sucks too, that unlike you who spots it and walks away, I stick around to try to figure it out! 🙂

          Sometimes it works. Well ‘works’. I often have people trying to get back into my life as they didn’t value me prioritizing them & trying to understand them until later. Probably until they met 10 other people who didn’t. Dates and friends. Usually I don’t go there again – depending on how it all ended and how long it’s been – but sometimes I do and it’s nice. Can be exhausting though.

          It does make sense and make me feel better that the people you speak of assume others are doing the same. So it’s not like they’re setting out to hurt anyone – they just assume everyone is out for themselves like they are. That’s slightly less terrifying 😉

        5. Yet Another Guy

          @Marika

          It does make sense and make me feel better that the people you speak of assume others are doing the same. So it’s not like they’re setting out to hurt anyone — they just assume everyone is out for themselves like they are. That’s slightly less terrifying

          Of course, people are out for themselves.   I have yet to have a woman contact me on a dating site that is not attempting to maximize her outcome.    It is human nature.   People operate in their own self-interest when looking for a partner.   They want the person who best fits their desires.   Very little attention is paid to if they are the best fit for the person being sought.   I have lost count of the number of women I met on dating sites who gave no thought to if they were a good fit for me.   They were only worried about how many boxes I checked off for them.   I do not have a problem with their inability to see that they are not a good fit for me because they are attempting to maximize their outcome.   Men and women are both guilty to going into dating situations wearing blinders because they are usually looking for different outcomes, which makes them tone deaf to each other’s needs.

        6. S.

          @ Clare

          It’s an entire worldview and set of personality traits, and if you try to explain the other person’s point of view, they will just counter it by explaining things from their own perspective again.

          Thanks for saying this and taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment.   There is empathy out in the world so I have little patience for those without it.   Or aren’t at least striving for it.   I know should have compassion and empathy for them first and sometimes I do. But it rarely is reciprocated with some people, online and in real life.   You talk or write and wait and it’s just like you said, back to their own perspective every time.

          Life is too precious and too short!

    4. 52.4
      No Name To Give

      YAG, sex isn’t special in this culture. This is where we live. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but I’ve seen it said several times. A typical date now is dinner, maybe a movie, then sex. I’ve had to bow out of dating. It doesn’t mesh with my faith which is more important to me. But it is what it is.

      1. 52.4.1
        Mrs Happy

        “A typical date now is dinner, maybe a movie, then sex.”

        Really?   That is typical?   I would’ve thought sex a few hours into meeting was much less common than dinner or drinks.   Where are you dating?   Who are you dating?   Never in my many years of dating or relationships did I have sex on date 1, and I’m sure I’m not unusual.

        1. k

          Same here.   I’d say the above example was the exception not the rule.   For every 10 guys I’d go out with, maybe one would push for sex on date one.

        2. No Name To Give

          Where did I say “the first date”?

      2. 52.4.2
        Dawn

        @No Name

        Although I am an atheist, I agree with you that it can be extremely difficult to find men and women who aren’t into hookups or who view sex as special. However, we do still exist and are always trying to find each other.

      3. 52.4.3
        ezamuzed

        Typical for me was sex by the 3rd date. I had sex on the first date or meeting a number of times. But that only happened if the woman made it clear she wanted sex.

        1. Marika

          Well now I’m completely confused! You were having sex within one to three dates, but were worried about speed in comparison to other guys?? When would she have slept with them – during dessert?

        2. ezamuzed

          Marika

          lol. Yes I want to be the main course 🙂

          I did say anything about speed. I’m saying that having the boundary that potential bfs must wait while simultaneously non-potential bfs do is bad.   Either have the boundary for all men or don’t have it at all.

        3. Marika

          Haha, main course!

          I get what you’re saying, but why is it even on your radar to care if you’re waiting a maximum of 3 dates (a week or two?) for sex?

          Enjoy your ‘meals’!

        4. sylvana

          Marika,

          you are on a roll here, lately. You are cracking me up!

          During dessert! LOL

        5. sylvana

          ezamused,

          Either have the boundary for all men or don’t have it at all.

          I fully agree with you there. I never understood the whole game playing.

          That being said, look at all the advice for women. Everywhere a woman looks, she is being told she SHOULD make a man wait for sex if she wants commitment. That in order to get commitment, she needs to withhold sex. Well, intercourse, at least. Apparently I can give plenty of blowjobs and still be fine.

          While this may be fine for women who don’t enjoy sex without commitment, it leaves the rest of women in quite a crappy position.

          First of all, if we listen to the advice, we would rarely ever get laid again, or have to stick to/stay in bad relationships in order to keep being allowed to have sex.  And second, meanwhile, we’re expected to overlook the fact that our male counterpart gets to have all the sex he wants – commitment or not.

          In short, being a woman sucks!

          Women who don’t mind having sex for fun have   two choices: Go against general dating advice, or take a huge hit to your sex life in your quest to obtain a long-term relationship that you can at least tolerate.

           

           

           

           

        6. Evan Marc Katz

          Sylvana, please read this in its entirety. In short, this isn’t a game.

          And I remind you that if you enjoy sex without commitment – and clearly you do – keep on doing it. There’s no real cost to “going against general dating advice.” Just stop shaming the people who don’t want to do it the way you do.

          Tolerance, people!

        7. ezamuzed

          Because I don’t like the idea of people getting hurt.

        8. ezamuzed

          sylvana

          That being said, look at all the advice for women. Everywhere a woman looks, she is being told she SHOULD make a man wait for sex if she wants commitment. That in order to get commitment, she needs to withhold sex. Well, intercourse, at least. Apparently I can give plenty of blowjobs and still be fine.

          I don’t think that is the advice. I think that the advice is targeted for specific woman. That if you are the type of woman who keeps feeling hurt after having NSA sex. Who keeps hoping that NSA sex will lead to something more but it doesn’t then trying making men wait. But if you are the type of woman who can handle a lot of NSA sex then go ahead and keep doing it.

          Just pure speculation here, but I imagine the easiest and most ideal path to reach commitment is to have sex somewhat quickly with dates.

          And second, meanwhile, we’re expected to overlook the fact that our male counterpart gets to have all the sex he wants — commitment or not.

          I think this a big misconception a lot of woman have about men and sex. For the vast majority of men getting sex is hard. Only a small percentage of men at the very top are “getting all the sex he wants”

        9. Evan Marc Katz

          ezamused – if you think the easiest and most ideal path to commitment is having sex quickly (particularly without commitment), you clearly didn’t watch my video, read the comments or listen to women for 15 years who complain that they do EXACTLY what you said and most of the time, it doesn’t work.

          You – and most of the other guys here – seem to have trouble thinking outside of what works best for YOU.

          Most women are more than willing to sleep with men quickly. Most of THOSE women complain that these trysts don’t turn into relationships. Your suggestion seems to be to tell women to keep doing what they’re already doing – even though it’s not making most of them happy.

        10. Marika

          Haha, thanks sylvana! 🙂

          Honestly, if a person is waiting all of hours to days for sex, I would have thought the only thing on your mind would be taking a long nap! Not worrying if some chick slept with some other guy microseconds before you. (I assumed the fear was being friend zoned for months or something – which I understand would not feel good).

        11. ezamuzed

          Most women are more than willing to sleep with men quickly. Most of THOSE women complain that these trysts don’t turn into relationships. Your suggestion seems to be to tell women to keep doing what they’re already doing — even though it’s not making most of them happy.

          *sigh* I never suggested this. The only suggestion I’ve ever made in this thread is that if you are going to have the boundary of “I won’t sleep with you unless you are my boyfriend” have it for all men.

          For the speculation of sex or no sex getting to   commitment faster. We can only speculate. I know there are plenty of long term exclusive relationships that start with sex before commitment and there are plenty that start the other way around. I suspect that for a woman like Sylvana who is seems can have NSA and not have her judgement clouded, who doesn’t experience anxiety, who can end a relationship that is going nowhere in a timely manner the former not having the boundary would be better for her.

  13. 53
    Marika

    ezamused

    It came across that way because you strongly agreed with YAG, who does have such double standards and who promotes data mining his dates to the nth degree before even meeting them for brunch. (Whereas they could never do the same to him as he’s upped his online privacy).

    I understand your overall point. But I still don’t think asking about your girlfriend’s sex life prior to meeting you is a good idea. One of you will feel hurt. It’s not worth it. If the relationship is good and the sex is good, isn’t that what matters?

    The more people I meet, the more I learn, the more I change my opinions on lots of things. If you took one example out of context of one thing from my past, it would explain nothing about me. And I really wouldn’t appreciate my boyfriend questioning me endlessly over it.

    My ex husband questioned me about everything and I’d only had one bf before him! A very vanilla bf. But he still felt threatened, and it was a turn off and I strongly considered lying to shut the conversation down. It’s awkward and creates unnecessary stress and discord. If I was more secure, I probably would have dumped him then and there.

    Please, please just let it go and enjoy your relationship. And trust she is with you because you’re awesome.

    1. 53.1
      Clare

      Marika,

      “But I still don’t think asking about your girlfriend’s sex life prior to meeting you is a good idea. One of you will feel hurt. It’s not worth it. If the relationship is good and the sex is good, isn’t that what matters?”

      I also think I may have misjudged ezamused and am glad he sees the benefit of working on and bettering himself and has a great girlfriend. But I wish he and YAG would understand this.

      The  vast  majority of the time when I have even referred to guys I dated or slept with in the past to guys I was seeing, they shut the conversation down saying they didn’t really want to hear about it, or let me talk but gave non-verbal cues that they didn’t want to continue discussing it. It was as if, in their minds, they preferred to think of me as never having been with anyone else. I actually think this is a really healthy approach, because once you let the floodgate of information about past relationships, and especially past sexual relationships, in, you open the door to a world of insecurity and misunderstanding. Who needs that? These guys seemed to understand that. These were the secure, stable, rational, fairly mature guys.

      Now let’s cross over to the other end of the spectrum. To your ex-husband and to an ex-boyfriend of mine I’ll call J. J quizzed me about my relationship history, my sexual history, wanted to know how many guys I’d slept with, got irrationally upset over any information I shared about it. He was also one of the most jealous, insecure, emotionally all-over-the-place men I have ever met.

      To me all this evidence leads me to one conclusion. And it’s a no brainer.

      Then, I have the experience with my current boyfriend.

      * I made him wait a few weeks to have sex, saying I wanted to get to know him better.

      * Although he made it clear he wanted to, he did not complain about this.

      * We both got what we wanted – lots of regular, fun, healthy, good sex   and a growing emotional connection in an exclusive setting.

      Why YAG and co. want to complicate this is beyond me.

      1. 53.1.1
        Emily, to

        Clare,

        The  vast  majority of the time when I have even referred to guys I dated or slept with in the past to guys I was seeing, they shut the conversation down saying they didn’t really want to hear about it, or let me talk but gave non-verbal cues that they didn’t want to continue discussing it. It was as if, in their minds, they preferred to think of me as never having been with anyone else.  

        This has been my experience, too. The only guys who asked questions about my sexual past were ones where we were having a strictly sexual situation, and I think they asked those questions to test my boundaries and see what else I’d be down for. The questions were about as subtle as someone dropping a cement brick on my head.

      2. 53.1.2
        ezamuzed

        The  vast  majority of the time when I have even referred to guys I dated or slept with in the past to guys I was seeing, they shut the conversation down saying they didn’t really want to hear about it, or let me talk but gave non-verbal cues that they didn’t want to continue discussing it. It was as if, in their minds, they preferred to think of me as never having been with anyone else. I actually think this is a really healthy approach, because once you let the floodgate of information about past relationships, and especially past sexual relationships, in, you open the door to a world of insecurity and misunderstanding. Who needs that? These guys seemed to understand that. These were the secure, stable, rational, fairly mature guys.

        You misjudge me more than you realize I’m one of those guys in who would be in your vast majority. I even had a conversation with my gf saying this exact thing about 6 months ago: “I’m okay with you talking about past relationships but I don’t want to know about the sexual side of it” I’m actually okay with hearing generalizations and I’m okay with hearing about bad experiences that might trigger her.

        To be clear again, I agree with a boundary of making all men wait unless they are boyfriends if a woman chooses that. But I disagree with women who make potential bfs wait while simultaneously having NSA sex with other men. (I know you didn’t do that)

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @ezamused

          To be clear again, I agree with a boundary of making all men wait unless they are boyfriends if a woman chooses that. But I disagree with women who make potential bfs wait while simultaneously having NSA sex with other men.

          Bingo!

    2. 53.2
      ezamuzed

      Marika

      It came across that way because you strongly agreed with YAG, who does have such double standards and who promotes data mining his dates to the nth degree before even meeting them for brunch. (Whereas they could never do the same to him as he’s upped his online privacy).

      Like anyone else I do agree with some of his thoughts and ideas.  On this particular one I agreed wholeheartedly. It seems like a lot of woman here to too. And it seems like we have a lot of post divorce dating experiences that are similar.  

      I understand your overall point. But I still don’t think asking about your girlfriend’s sex life prior to meeting you is a good idea. One of you will feel hurt. It’s not worth it.  

      I don’t think asking about sex life prior to good either. Although I do think talking about sex in general terms is a good idea.

      If the relationship is good and the sex is good, isn’t that what matters?

      Sadly it isn’t that simple. People have emotions, feelings and insecurities that are very real. Hopefully they will be open about them and judged by their partner from a point of empathy.

      Please, please just let it go and enjoy your relationship. And trust she is with you because you’re awesome.

      I don’t have anything to let go. My girlfriend have such a boundary and we had sex about as quickly as we could given our situation.   It started out rather casual as we both were sleeping with multiple people. (At least I deduced she was also and I was happy about it)

      I am awesome, I know that now. But for 40+ years prior I thought I was anything but 🙂 She is awesome too and there are things I love about her that I didn’t even know was possible.

  14. 54
    Marika

    Hi Shaukat

    You said:  I will say from experience that if a woman generally doesn’t mind sleeping with guys quickly but is making you wait six weeks or something it’s a bad sign.

    Equally, if a woman sleeps with you quickly and usually doesn’t it could be a bad sign, unless you want a relationship based entirely on physical chemistry.

    That’s why the very simple message from pretty much all the women (and Evan) is ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’. Just focus on the actual relationship in front of you.

    No one is comparing men vs women on the sex thing. They are comparing sex for women/commitment for men. How would you like it if your gf asked how quickly you’ve committed in the past? Are you holding out on her? Do you usually commit slowly? Quickly? Or is there something wrong with her?…

    Would that type of questioning  make you want to commit to her? Or would it feel insecure and turn you off?

    1. 54.1
      Shaukat

      @Marika,

      I agree with most of your post. Regarding the first paragraph though, I don’t think that would necessarily be a bad sign–could just be that sexual chemistry was very high in that one case.

      I don’t ever ask that question, though some times it does come up in the context of friendly banter. I’ve already stated I don’t really care and never judge. I was simply pointing out that in certain cases it could be a sign that attraction is low.

      1. 54.1.1
        Marika

        I understand, Shaukat and fair enough.

        But a big part of Evan’s overall message is that high sexual chemistry can be misleading, and isn’t a great basis for a relationship (of course, too low chemistry isn’t good either, but holding out for a couple of months if a person has jumped in too quickly in the past can be a sign of growth).

        It’s sort of the message he communicates a lot.  Which is why it’s so strange to me that guys choose this forum to talk about ‘leagues’ and how fast they are getting laid over and over.

      2. 54.1.2
        Clare

        Speaking purely for myself, I have at times felt insanely physically attracted to a guy and wanted nothing more than to rip his clothes off, but chosen to exercise my self-control and hold off on sex for a few weeks. My current boyfriend is an example of this.

        (To be clear, I am not sleeping with anyone else when I do this.)

        While this may be difficult for me, I have learned, with time, to gain some mastery over myself because I do not want to get hurt. I do this (hold off on sex for a few weeks with a guy I feel insanely attracted to) because you really don’t know someone or what they’re after in the first few weeks and, because I  like him, I’d like to get to know him a little  without  sex. Then, if things fizzle and he disappears, or maybe I decide I don’t want to continue, we can go our separate ways cleanly and with minimal pain. If we’ve slept together, that is more difficult.

        I just prefer to know that someone is sticking around (for a bit longer anyway) before I sleep with them. Again, this doesn’t mean I feel no/low sexual chemistry with them – it could mean that I am HUGELY attracted to them and am just exercising my self-control so as to respect and protect myself and whatever may develop. It could mean that I like them and simply want to get to know their personality a bit better without sex clouding my judgment.

        Frankly, again speaking only for myself, if I do not physical chemistry which is at least a 7 for a guy, I don’t continue dating him because enthusiastic sex is massively important to me. Other women may be different.

  15. 55
    Dawn

    @Marika

    I would actually want to be judged on how I am as a person. That’s how one can determine if someone is a good fit or not, after all. And yes, I’ve been negatively judged and rejected by some men for having a very low sex count. Obviously I don’t want to be judged on a stereotype that isn’t real, but that’s why I greatly encourage talking about one’s sexual history with a date before things get too involved. Each person should be able to make a decision prior to getting feelings, while they are most rational.

    I knew that NSA meant “no strings attached” sex, I just wanted to make sure I understood what your own definition was, as I’ve confused some people in the past because they believed FWB and fuck buddies are the same thing. But yes, you are correct; it is an atypical preference, and I am an atypical woman for having such a preference. All I can say is I have  known from age 16 that I don’t want to get married or have kids. Thankfully, now that I’ve reached my 30s, people are more likely to believe me when I say that, rather than condescendingly tell me “you’re young, you might change your mind!” No, I will not, any more than I might change my mind about eating meat when I’ve been a ovo-lacto vegetarian for the past 21 years. If something…whether it’s consuming flesh or having some of your freedoms removed…goes against your core personality, you’re not likely to just change your mind as you get older.

    As for a potential partner who was older and had 20 partners, I’d still be kind to them but no, they would not be a good fit for me. I would not be in a relationship with them. For example, the FWB I’ve been with for 9 years is 14 years older than me and his current count is 7 (he’s the one who had external sex once since we’ve been together, with another woman he was trying out FWB with…turns out she couldn’t handle her own jealousy). So just because someone is significantly older than me doesn’t mean they necessarily made a ton of mistakes in their youth. I mean, when I’m 45 I will most likely still only have a count of 3, and I have never regretted any of the sex I’ve had. I read horror stories from other women about sex they completely regretted… maybe they slept with a guy who was bad at sex, or they did it while drunk, or out of revenge, or purely to have sex but got no orgasms out of the encounter. Or the women who talk about the first time they had piv sex and it hurt them, as well as made them bleed. Or they had sex with a guy who didn’t respect her boundaries and tried to get her to do positions she’s uncomfortable with. I can honestly say that by being cautious and selective with my partners, I have never experienced any of these things. It is possible to reach over age 30 and never have a bad experience with consensual sex.

    So if a guy is only slightly older than me, as per your example, and he has gone through 12 committed girlfriends and 8 FWB but couldn’t keep it going with any of them…that is a red flag for me. It shows that either he tends to socialize with flighty women who aren’t in it for the long-term, or he sucks at picking partners who actually love him, or he doesn’t put sex on the same level of emotional importance that I do. I have 3 sex partners and have kept them all through numerous years…why has he had  seven times that amount but hasn’t kept even  one? Something just doesn’t add up with your hypothetical man. It sounds like he’s probably emotionally codependent on others and gives becomes committed way too easily, which is something he should work on fixing before trying to enter yet another relationship.

    1. 55.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      This just shows a lack of understanding about any perspective other than your own. Until you’re happily married, every person you’re with hasn’t eorked out. You seem to think you’re doing it “right” staying with a FWB for 9 years and keeping your count low. I preferred to look for lasting love and went out with 300 women in search of it. Somehow this is worthy of greater judgement than what you are doing? Please. You shouldn’t know anyone’s number, nor be judgemental of anyone’s history.

      1. 55.1.1
        Marika

        Agree with Evan.

        My hypothetical man is like many, many men; many people, Dawn. That hypothetical example is far, far, far more common than how you approach these things…something isn’t adding up with a person who wants to keep their number low through long -term FWBs. Why not date (but not marry) them? What if they want to find a relationship? How’s their new gf going to feel when she hears about your arrangement? It could all get very, very messy.

        When you talk about having a relationship, do you mean a FWB relationship, or at some point you will want an exclusive love relationship? If it’s the latter, how will you explain and prove to this person – as you quiz & judge them on their number – that you have spent 30 years avoiding commitment but are now magically ready for it?

        Yes, people (other than you apparently) make mistakes. They think someone was a good fit but they weren’t. Trying, getting our heart’s broken & trying again is a sign of strength and resilience. The best way to learn about something is experiencing it.

        Sitting in a corner and avoiding pain and judging others is a sign of living in fear, IMO.

        1. Dawn

          @Marika

          As I said to Clare, I wasn’t surprised you agree with Evan, as the majority of women who comment here seem to.

          As you have far more dating experience than I do, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt regarding your assertion about your hypothetical being how things typically are nowadays. What isn’t adding up for you about me wanting to have as few failed relationships as possible, while simultaneously not losing my freedom through marriage? Dating typically creates a sense of commitment and mild jealousy that I’d like to avoid. If any of them brought it up, I would carefully consider it but so far that has not happened. I suppose we will cross thst bridge when it appears. If any of them wswa to find a relationship, that’s entirely up to them. As I mentioned in my comment to Clare, my youngest and newest FWB has made it known that he would like to get married and have a bunch of kids one day. Unlike how other people have treated me, I don’t anticipate him changing his mind on this as he gets older. I am very aware of the quite real and likely possibility we will go back to simply being platonic friends when he finds a girlfriend. It is up to him if he wants to disclose our former FWB relationship, it’s not any of my business at that point. Perhaps she will be like you, and never care about his sexual past or even ask about it. In that case, it won’t get “messy” at all.

          I do not want an exclusive relationship, as I value both my freedom and the freedom of my partners. If I someday suffer a brain injury which alters my core personality to the point where I suddenly want one… please just trust me this is the only way it would happen… I would be 100% honest with any potential suitors. I would tell them that I have never desired or given commitment before, tell they what kind of relationships I used to prefer, how many men I’ve been with sexually, and how I think about the concept of commitment in my now altered brain.

          At that point, the ball will be in their court and they will judge me. I am fully confident that a decent number of men, perhaps even a majority, would negatively judge me and find me wanting. That is fine, as nobody should feel pressured to look past their preferences. If most men prefer to commit only to women who have been committed to/given commitment previously, then it will obviously take me a long time to find a husband. This is neither good or bad, it simply  is.

          I never said I don’t make mistakes. I am a human being just like you and everyone else here. Please don’t try to put words in my mouth. I simply have not made mistakes in regards to my sexual relationships…that is not to say I haven’t made mistakes at work, in school, with family and friend relationships, etc. Nobody is perfect. I agree that getting hurt and standing back up is a sign of strength. Believe me, nobody understands that more than I do, and I personally have come an incredibly long way mentally and emotionally building myself back up into a whole person after the kind of abusive childhood I am a survivor of. But I want to point out that I have even been judged negatively for this, as not many men can deal with the fact their partner was introduced to sexual concepts as a young child. And you know what? That is their preference, to not get into a relationship with someone who has been broken. They are not bad men for judging me to be a bad partner for them as individuals. That is how preferences work.

          I strive to learn from other people’s mistakes so that I can avoid experiencing them for myself. Does a child have to burn their own hand on a hot stove to learn it is a bad idea, or is observing the consequences of another child doing so usually enough? Would you tell the observant child that they  must burn their own hand, because that is the only “real” way to learn it is painfully hot? I sincerely doubt it.

          I am pretty confused why you think that I am “sitting in a corner” regarding relationships, when I have 3 successful…albeit very untraditional…ones. You make it sound as though you have never judged others, but that’s obviously untrue. I mean, you are judging me pretty negatively just for my personal preferences right now, lol. Avoiding pain is not something I’m used to being shamed for, as most members of the animal kingdom, including humans, survive and live longer by doing so, but if that is your belief then so be it. I won’t judge you negatively for holding such a belief, despite not understanding it at this time. If you want to have a conversation about why avoiding pain is bad, I would be interested in doing so.

      2. 55.1.2
        Dawn

        @Evan

        I do not see how my own preferences (that’s all they are) would indicate a “lack of understanding of others perspectives”. Quite the contrary, I try very hard to get to know other people’s perspectives, as you can see how I’ve been conducting myself here, and I actually over empathize with others in my daily life. Every one of my friends and family members says I’m “too nice” and too willing to give people second or third chances.

        I think part of the reason we’re in such disagreement is due to the fact marriage and exclusive monogamy is upheld as the “finish line” here, but I don’t subscribe to this notion. In my opinion, any form of LTR based on mutual love, respect, and trust is a worthy goal. For some people this means marriage, for others it means dating for 20 years but never tying the knot, for some it means FWB for many years, and I’m positive there are other types of relationships.

        As for you dating 300 women in order to find your One, that’s absolutely fine. Maybe I have not been explaining myself well, and if so I apologize. Please know that I am autistic and literally only say what I mean… I am not trying to ruffle any feathers or make people upset. And of course that appears to be what I am doing, ugh.

        Let me put it like this. There is no greater judgement or lesser judgement, there is only one’s personal judgement. Every judges other people, it’s how we pick the people we want in our lives. You judged those previous 300 women (and some probably judged you as well) and found something about them lacking…but then you found your wife and judged her as not lacking and you committed to each other. That is great! However, if you had dated me I’m very confident you would have negatively judged me and broken up…or most likely only gone on a couple dates…and this is also great! Being judged as not good enough for an individual is not a bad thing! It helped you find the woman who was perfect for you.

        And using my own preferences, one of which is to only get involved with men who have low numbers like me, I’ve also found guys who have so far proven themselves perfect for me. I hope one day they find women who are perfect for them as well, even if I am not that woman. I know my most recent FWB is younger than me and he has mentioned wanting a family someday. I am confident that, since I don’t want the same things out of life that he does, someday he will judge me and find me lacking. Until that day, we’ll do our best to make each other happy and loved. But I don’t think he’s bad for eventually judging me as not the best he can get, just like I don’t think I’m bad for judging men like you as not good for me as an individual.

        1. Marika

          Your preferences aren’t the reason you showed a lack of understanding of others.

          What did indicate that is your belief there was something amiss or not adding up about a man who approaches dating the way many/most people do.

    2. 55.2
      Clare

      Dawn,

      I agree wholeheartedly with Evan.

      You don’t want kids or to get married, so you have elected to have a longstanding friends with benefits relationship. That is one way of doing this life. There are plenty of others.

      You are entirely,  entirely  wrong (and I can say this with absolute confidence) about the conclusions you have come to about people who have had multiple relationships, and even multiple casual relationships. Human beings are complex creatures, and unless you display a curiosity and a willingness to learn about and understand them, rather than prejudging them  purely  based on the number of sexual partners they’ve had, you will continue to come to the wrong conclusions.

      1. 55.2.1
        Dawn

        Clare,

        I thought you would agree with Evan. Most of the women here do.

        I definitely agree with you that my way of going through life is only one of many, and is not perfect, good, or even worth considering for a whole lot of people. That’s great, because diversity is what keeps our species going!

        I disagree that I’m “entirely” wrong about people who have multiple relationships. Remember, I’ve only been discussing a single hypothetical scenario this entire time. I completely understand that some people just have shit luck, or can’t make up their minds, or have different goals and preferences as they age. However, I  personally prefer to be with men who have not gone through all that. That doesn’t mean that men and women who have changed or made mistakes are bad, but it seems like you think that’s what I was implying. I can assure you that I wasn’t, and it is here you are entirely wrong about me.

        Honestly, it feels a bit weird to be shamed for having preferences and have you say that simply for wanting men who’ve had low counts like myself that I’m somehow  not displaying a curiosity about others or a willingness to understand them. I am, in actuality, very curious about human nature and incredibly empathetic towards others. Heck, I double majored in business management and psychology for my bachelor’s degree! I love learning about how other people think and feel, which is why I subscribe to blogs like these, so I can talk to other men and women about their experiences. Just because I don’t want to be with someone who has had many previous partners or relationships doesn’t mean I’d treat them as any less of a person. Similarly, just because I don’t want to date someone who used to use or still uses recreational drugs or drinks every weekend doesn’t mean I think they’re “bad” people, they just aren’t for me. And the men who negatively judged me for having a low partner count weren’t bad either, they simply judged me based on their own preferences, which is entirely in their right.

         

  16. 56
    Marika

    Jeremy  

    I think you’re being unfair. Divorce is no picnic for women – as I’ve explained at length before. I don’t know any woman who only got married to have kids then walked away happily with no regrets and plenty of money. Kicking her heels in glee.

    My advice with the example you gave is to steer clear of entitled women. After 2 years dating them you can get an understanding of how selfish or kind or into themselves or greedy or empathetic they are. It’s very hard to keep up a veneer for 2 years.

    Also, there are no guarantees in life. You can’t control everything (including your girlfriend’s mind and past).

    1. 56.1
      Jeremy

      Had I written that divorce is a picnic for women, that women do not suffer from divorce, that women seek it happily kicking their heels, I would indeed have been unfair.   What I wrote, though, was that the commitment undertaken in marriage from one spouse toward the other is uneven, that the offering and asking of trust is uneven.   To imply otherwise would, IMHO, be quite unfair.

       

      Had I written that I thought the problem was greedy or entitled women, that the issue is about women maliciously affecting a facade, I’d agree that judging them by their actions during courtship should weed them out.   But what I wrote, though, was the problem is people not understanding their motivations, undertaking relationships with the best of intentions, not discovering what their true motivations were until after the fact, and oftentimes not acknowledging them even then. To imply that this is not common would, IME, be inaccurate.

       

      Had I written that life has guarantees, that one can control everything including a person’s mind and past, I’d agree I was being unreasonable.   But what I wrote was that believing that the future will be like the present is a fallacy – the prime fallacy of behavioral economics.   That the value of understanding a person’s history is not in judging them for their mistakes, but rather in understanding their personality and predilections.   To do otherwise would, IMHO, be foolish.   Unless one had no intentions of making a commitment one might later regret.

      1. 56.1.1
        Marika

        Jeremy

        You’re a good person and a great husband. I always value your insights.

        But I’m sorry, when it comes to stuff like this you come across in a way where it’s all about what you need, what you’re risking: you’re just not hearing the other side. There are  other ways to approach marriage and relationships, even for higher earning men (Evan being one and my brother being another, of two of many examples). You seemed to lead with some degree of suspicion, and no doubt you had your reasons. But there are other ways to lead – and I personally would prefer my partner lead with trust and optimism and treat me as a partner to be trusted who knew my own mind.  

        1. Jeremy

          I wasn’t going to respond to this, thinking that we’d gone around enough on the issue.   But in the end I changed my mind because of one thing:   the assumption that the reason for our disagreement here is that I am “not hearing the other side,” that it’s “all about what I need.”   Why make this assumption, Marika, as opposed to simply acknowledging that we just don’t agree here?

           

          It’s not that I don’t understand that you want to be trusted by your partner, that relationships (and especially marriages) are predicated on trust and optimism.   It’s about the fact that I don’t agree that trust and optimism should stand alone in the decision-making process when irrevocable commitments are involved.   It’s not that I don’t understand that people make mistakes, that they look back on their selves of 5-10 years ago and wonder at their own immaturity.   It’s that I understand that our future selves of 5-10 years from now will think the same way about the selves of our present.

           

          “I know I’ve made mistakes in the past, honey, but I’m positive I’m not making one now.

          Because I knew I was making mistakes back then.

          Because I’m mature now.

          Because I’m no longer the same person I always was.

          I know I’ve had sex in the past for kicks, for revenge, for experience….but with you it’s for love.   Trust me, honey.   Trust me…and sign here.”

           

          Take away those last 3 words and I agree entirely and wholeheartedly with everything you wrote, Marika.   But include those last 3 words (and there are lots of good reasons for doing so!)…and be a little bit cautious.

        2. Marika

          Hi Jeremy  

          That to me sounds like a conversation you’d have with a parent / some authority figure, not your future spouse.

          Speaking personally, but no doubt I’m not the only one who feels this way, I’d rather marry someone who made less money, or have some arrangement like separate bank accounts, than be treated like a potential financial liability (even though I know from experience both people take a risk – and obtain rewards – by marrying).

          It’s human nature to try to be understood, if at all possible. I think in this case I won’t be.

        3. Emily, to

          Marika and Jeremy,

          Here’s what I don’t get: Everyone who gets married knows there ‘s a potential for divorce and knows, in the event of a divorce, money will be divided up. Whether the man has to pay out more or the woman, one of the two will lose some assets. If you don’t want to run that risk, why get married? I’m a bit tired of people getting married and then complaining about this if they divorce. It’s like taking a job and being annoyed they want you to show up every day. You know the deal going in. We can argue forever on whether divorce laws are fair, but everyone knows what divorce can do when they get married.

        4. Clare

          Marika,

          I have to wonder if the fixation with the financial risks of marriage is a “Northy” cultural thing, because I just don’t get it, myself.

          I often read about American men’s terror of being taken for all they own and having their children taken away from them in divorces, and I have to conclude that, for them, it is a real risk and a real fear.

          It’s not like that here in SA, and people don’t approach marriage with the same degree of fear. I wonder if Australia is like that here. Sure, you sometimes hear of people going through messy divorces and the financial and custody arrangements can be disputed for a long time, but for the most part, our laws are fairer and men certainly don’t get  screwed  the way they seem to in the States. I don’t think I have ever heard a man express real fear here about getting married because his wife might take all his money and his kids, except by the most staunch bachelor. It’s not a real fear here. The majority of divorced couples I know here have working agreements on who gets the kids when and, if anything, the risk of loss of child support falls more on the woman.

          Overall, I think I really do not understand this cultural obsession with protecting yourself from your future partner because he or she might screw you over. It seems like no way to live. My brain hurts just  reading  Jeremy and YAG’s comments most of the time, honest to God.

        5. K

          @Marika “Speaking personally, but no doubt I’m not the only one who feels this way, I’d rather marry someone who made less money, or have some arrangement like separate bank accounts, than be treated like a potential financial liability (even though I know from experience both people take a risk — and obtain rewards — by marrying)” . I agree and as a high earning woman, I’m more likely to have financial loss in a divorce than my potential partner.   Also, a lot of high earning men tend to date lower earning women or want someone to take a career setback or stay at home with kids (I’m not saying some women don’t want those options too).   In that situation, if there is a divorce there is a loss on both sides potentially.   My current partner’s  preference  would be for a stay at home wife with kids.   I have no interest in his assets as a independent  working woman (personally I’d like to stay this way).   However, if it was very important to him that I take time off from my career to be a caretaker (he’s made it clear he doesn’t want to do this even if I was willing to support us), then I think he may take on some financial risk, but I’d be putting my career and future earnings at risk by taking time off from a career that I may never get back.   There are always risk.   If one doesn’t want the risk, then one should likely marry an equal and expect things to stay that way.  

        6. Jeremy

          Emily, you’ve written this type of comment before.   I wonder if you’d empathize more with a gender-equivalent example.   I’m sure you know that decades ago, there was no such thing as marital rape.   Women were taken to have consented to sex prospectively, in perpetuity, when they married their husbands.   And when campaigning began to change that law, a lot of people lobbed comments similar to the one you made above – that women agreed to it when they married, so why should they complain?   Problem was, they didn’t really agree.   No woman said, “Hey, surrendering my bodily autonomy?   Sign me up for that shit!”   They agreed because that was what marriage entailed at the time, and they needed marriage in order to have the life they wanted.   The family, the security, the legitimacy, etc.   But they didn’t really  agree.   And when the law was changed, everyone agreed (eventually) that it was for the best, because sex without consent is rape.   The parallel applies.

        7. Marika

          Wow…surrendering your body and surrendering your money are parallels?

          Clare,  you must be right. It would make sense…and I’m certainly hoping you are, so I’ll never come up against this type   of thing.

          I can’t rely on a man to pay, open my foor…or to wear long pants ..haha on a date! But certainly overall there seems to be more gender equality here. My divorce was horrible and I’d never want to go through that again. But, within reason, there are lines I won’t cross to (try to) ensure that. Like the example someone gave of bringing one’s credit rating to a date, or quizzing about someone’s past (or finding it out through data mining) or mental gymnastics between past and future to extrapolate my next 30 years.

        8. ezamuzed

          Clare

          I have to wonder if the fixation with the financial risks of marriage is a “Northy” cultural thing, because I just don’t get it, myself.
          I often read about American men’s terror of being taken for all they own and having their children taken away from them in divorces, and I have to conclude that, for them, it is a real risk and a real fear.
          It’s not like that here in SA, and people don’t approach marriage with the same degree of fear…
          I don’t think most Americans really know what they are in store for if they end up in getting divorce. IMO the system is worse for men but really it is terrible for both parties. The laws are flawed is so many ways that it creates a system where the only ones it is good for is lawyers, judges and other professionals related to the industry. There is a great documentary that sheds light on this:

          https://www.divorcecorp.com

        9. Jeremy

          Marika, you asked, “Wow…surrendering your body and surrendering your money are parallels?

           

          Hmmm.   There are 2 ways this question might be asked, 2 inflections of tone and meaning – the judgmental and the empathetic.   The judgmental – “WTF, you think there are parallels between these things?   I don’t see that at all!   And because of all the important differences I perceive in my world-view, I am going to judge your character for even making the comparison!”    And the empathetic: “You see a parallel between these things?   That’s interesting, because I don’t.   Why do you feel the way you do about this?”

          In spite of the rancor of this conversation, I think I know you well enough to know you tend more to the second, so I’ll explain my feelings.

           

          Of course marital rape and alimony have many important differences.   But consider this question: How can a woman make a man feel violated and helpless – and not just violated in an impersonal way, but rather in the way he is most vulnerable in his sexuality?   The answer is not by forcing sex on him.   This is what we discussed in the toxic femininity thread – that although many men have had women press unwanted sexual experiences on them, these don’t affect us the way they do women, don’t make us feel vulnerable and violated.   Consider that while women are raised to invest their sexuality (and thus their vulnerability) in their bodies, men are taught that if you want a wife you get a job.   While men search dating sites primarily by photo, many women are more interested in men’s income bracket when it comes to selecting a prospective husband.   Our sexuality is invested in our provisioning ability, hard as that is for most women to understand, and therefore so is our vulnerability.   So how does a woman coerce a man?   How does she make him feel violated in the way he is most vulnerable?   What does he provide in a marriage that makes him proud as a man, and why does his ongoing consent not matter?

           

          You asked “Wow…surrendering your body and surrendering your money are parallels?” The fact that women are surprised by this is a testament to the sad state of affairs in male-female communication.   Communication that is fostered by being empathetic when a person tells you how he or she feels.   As I know you always try to be.

        10. Marika

          Thanks for the explanations, Jeremy. I appreciate you’re willing to be so open.

          The more you explain, the more I think there are cultural and even ‘class’ (if I dare go there) issues at play here. I don’t look at income – I’m pretty sure all the dating sites I’ve ever been on don’t even list it. Most women I know want a partner in every sense of the word. My sister is the main provider, a close friend of mine is the sole provider in her family (not huge incomes at all). They aren’t ‘masculine’ women.

          Did you read what K wrote? While potentially not an ‘invested in sexuality thing’, practically speaking, women take a financial risk in marriage too. And other risks. For stay at home mothers, no woman dreams of their child being raised in a two parent home. I know in your case there is a very uneven financial risk, but this is not always the case, as I’m sure I don’t have to explain. In my world, with many people I know, it’s often far more balanced.

          Being a trustworthy, fair person, a person at the core you can trust to care not only about myself but also you,  even if I have a bad day or I’m angry at you or whatever, is so key to who I am that having to ‘prove it’ would be highly offensive to me. Perhaps I invest my sexuality in that? Not sure. But I’m certainly somewhat inconsistent – as are most people I think – so you could look at certain things I’ve said or done and possibly conclude I’m not to be trusted. But you’d be dead wrong.

          (I had always assumed others are the same, but I just read Clare’s excellent comment I’m about to respond to, and I think I’m wrong).

          That being said, if you need consistency, that is fair, I honestly had no idea there were people who were completely consistent throughout their lives. It’s actually great you knew so young just what you needed (and found it).

        11. Nissa

          What does he provide in a marriage that makes him proud as a man, and why does his ongoing consent not matter?

          Jeremy,

          Your comparison is an interesting one, no sarcasm intended. How I see it is this. Of course, ongoing consent matters, very much so. When people marry, most of the time it’s a given that both people promise sexual fidelity. So that’s fair.

          So what is the woman giving in return for the man’s money, really? For most women, it’s the management of the man’s day to day life. It’s the bearing of his children and the management of virtually all of their needs over time. That’s why, when a divorce occurs, the woman gets money to continue that service for a period of time sufficient to bridge the gap between the end of the contract and her establishment of a new contract (with either a new husband, employer or caregiver). For women without children, it would seem to be providing based on what is important to the man in question – be it beauty, companionship, feeling understood/loved/important/valued/ special/needed. There’s an assumption that over this same time time, the woman is also continuing to provide the same services as before in a decreasing sliding scale as the man assumes these duties for himself (or has them taken on by a new wife, employee or caregiver).

          Men may invest their sexuality in providership in a way that women don’t realize. And woman may invest their sexuality in their bodies. But facing the prospect of raising children without financial and logistial help, I think, would make most women quiver with helplessness and vulnerability. And if the woman was being dumped by the man with whom she is still in love and wishes he still wanted her, she would likely feel violated as well – especially since her post-baby body will be evaluated harshly on the dating SMV scale, she may feel her social value will never be what it was   pre-marriage. She cannot get that value back, just as man might struggle to get his finances re-established. However, anyone can make more money, which will be regarded as of equal value. But surgical enhancements can only take you so far, and they are never considered equal.

          My main quibble with what you said was your repeated use of the word forever. In most cases, as more women are now able to enter the workforce and have degrees and or a work history, many women get only child support, with no alimony. Women that do get alimony, typically get it for half of the length of the marriage.

          Whether it’s the promise of sex or money, if either partner decides to stop giving consent, it’s a breach of the marriage contract. At that time the partners will have to sit down and mutually decide if they want to write a new contract, with new conditions, or end the partnership due to breach of contract/unwillingness to honor the terms of the existing contract.

          When I ask myself, what made me proud in my marriage? It was how well I took care of my husband, in all aspects. It was how I honored him, respected him and made his wants and needs equal to my own. And I felt immensely violated when my ex failed to meet that same standard. But I would argue that it is the responsibility of each to call out the other if the terms of the contract are not met, on either side. A man’s consent must be honored just as a women’s must, but both are then expected to bear the consequences of that choice.

  17. 57
    Marika

    Hi Dawn

    I can see how it came across as judgemental, but I was honestly just meaning to point out some confusing anomalies in your opinions & approach. I also think it’s unwise to say there’s something amiss/ not adding up about how the majority of people (on this blog and elsewhere and including the blog owner) approach dating.

    I personally don’t understand how a FWB relationship is a successful relationship myself. But I don’t have to. It’s not my thing. I believe the thing about it being better to have loved and lost…etc

    If you’re happy with how things are going and working out for you, that’s fine. Why a marriage oriented forum though, is it helpful?

    And I’m sorry to hear about your childhood.

    1. 57.1
      Dawn

      Hey Marika,

      Can you please point out where you see any abnormalities that confuse you? I do not know of any in either my approach towards relationships or my opinions. Rather, they are as far from hypocritical as one can realistically be. I never ask anything of my partners that I do not demand of myself.

      I have a low partner count, and only want partners who also have a low count. I am not one of these people who are promiscuous in their past then want a virgin partner.

      I have never gotten drunk or taken recreational drugs, and I only want partners who have either been the same or have tried it once and never again… because yes, I know people make mistakes.

      I view sex as something special and borderline sacred to only be shared with those you actually love. I want partners who view it the same or similar ways (aka no emotionally meaningless flings or hookups that just serve to “scratch an itch”).

      I cherish my personal freedom greatly, and do not ever want to part with it through marriage or parenthood. Ergo, I only want to have relationships with men who are of a similar mindset… preferably for the  long-term/permanently like FWB #1 and 2, but am willing to temporarily have fun in the short-term as is the case with #3. If you see anything hypocritical here, I’d be very interested in hearing about it so I can remedy my actions.  

      I’ll admit that it was wrong of me to say that your/Evan’s/many people’s type of dating style “didn’t add up”. I didn’t mean to be offensive, but it’s clear from the responses I got that my words struck an unintended nerve. I should clarify that they don’t add up *according to how I and my partners approach relationships on an individual level*. Obviously this dating style does work for you and others though, or else you wouldn’t keep doing it. Which is your own decision to make, and my own relationship style has nothing to do with it, nor is one better or worse.

      Fwb relationships are successful if safe, stable, sexual partners who will never ask you to share finances, tie you down, or get you pregnant and still want to hang out as close friends are what you’re looking for. If that is not what you want out of life, then yeah… I can definitely see it as unsuccessful for you. I don’t believe that losing those you love is a good path to follow, but as you said, I don’t have to understand it since it’s not my thing.

      I was unaware this was a marriage oriented forum. I’ve read about 6 articles so far and all have been about dating, not marriage. Thus, I thought this was a forum for men and women in dating or at least unmarried relationships.

      Thank you for the sympathy. I think we disagree on a lot of things, but I appreciate you as a person with different beliefs and life goals.

       

      1. 57.1.1
        Marika

        Thanks Dawn. Yes, we are very different and I appreciate you too. This is a forum primarily for women who want to date men with the intention of long-term relationships which turn into marriage. That is what most of Evan’s products and courses (which I’ve bought/done) are geared towards, and it’s mainly women as they were most of his clients. Of course not everyone is here for that purpose. And the blog covers slightly broader topics.

        In terms of your views, I suppose I struggle to understand how you’re okay with someone sleeping with another person/people while also sleeping with you (as you are FWB and don’t restrict each other’s freedom), but you want them to have a low number before meeting you.   I suppose most people I’m aware of who think sex is special would care less about who their partner had been with previously but would very much care about being sexually exclusive now. Or would care about both. (Of course there are people who don’t care about either, but they don’t think sex is special).

        That being said, that was to answer your question – it doesn’t actually matter. Now that you’ve explained about the maybe not great choice of words and it’s clear you’re not judging others on this blog/society, what you do with your body is your choice.

        1. Dawn

          @Marika

          Thanks for the explanation. In that case, the responses I’ve gotten or seen make more sense (people constantly talking about commitment, being wary of divorce, pedestalizing marriage as the goal, etc). This place really isn’t for people like me then.

          Ah, I see where the confusion is now. Yes, I do want my partners to view sex as special and have a low number, just as I do. However, I am fine with the fact we are all free to share that with other people. My one FWB who still attempts to date did indeed find a woman who he really liked but she recently got out of a messy divorce. She was upfront with the fact she liked him too, but didn’t want anything serious. They casually dated/hung out for over 2 months before having sex. So yeah, his number is up to 7 now, whereas it was 5 when we met and I was number 6. But it’s not like he’s going out hooking up with random women on a whim every month, he’s still being highly selective and only having sex with those who care about him as well. As I understand it, 7 is still a pretty low number by today’s standards too, lol. I hope that clears up the seemingly hypocritical abnormality you mentioned.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Marika nailed it. You’ve created a microscopic Venn Diagram of “men with low partner counts,” “men who think sex is special,” and “men who want nothing more than FWB relationships.” There is no judgment on you for this “rule” you’ve made up, but you can’t be upset when people point out that you’re in a small minority and may have a hard time finding what you’re looking for.

          Signed, a happily married man for twelve years who had way more than 7 partners.

  18. 58
    Dawn

    @Marika

    Just because I can understand that many people approach dating in this way, doesn’t mean that I have to have sex or create relationships with those who do. I simply want to be with men who are mindful and cautious when having sex or entering relationships, while recognizing that one’s freedom is important, similar to how Jeremy has described himself.

    Of course I realize this drastically cuts my pool of potential partners, and it was indeed difficult to find men who are around my own age with low numbers. But I have, and we are happy. For what it is worth, if I was unable to find  any partners using my preferences, then I think you would definitely have a point that my judgements were too harsh. In that case, I would have had to accept that I would somehow never find a low number partner because everyone in my age range except for me has had a larger and significantly more varied sexual history.

    1. 58.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      If your goal is FWB, Dawn, you have succeeded but that’s a pretty low bar to clear. If you want more, maybe open up to the fact that most adults have a sexual history that you don’t want to know and don’t need to know, which is ultimately rendered irrelevant in marriage.

      1. 58.1.1
        Dawn

        @Evan

        It is a low bar for other people, but a perfect one for me. I understand now thanks to speaking with Marika that you are in the business of selling products aimed at marriage, so I wouldn’t be a client of yours since I never want to be tied down like that by the government or another person. But I think you give decent advice for those who do pursue such a path. I don’t want “more” but it’s obvious that the majority of society, and especially women, does.

        As for knowing my partners sexual history, I can assure you that I definitely do want to know it. You say that I don’t “need” to know it, but would you also say I don’t “need” to know if a potential partner used to be a meth addict or alcoholic? Do I not “need” to know if they are a divorcee or had anger management issues? Do I not “need” to know if they used to be a Mormon or grew up in an antivaxxer family? I would say yes, I should know these things about a person because the past matters. Likewise, I made sure all of my potential partners knew about my past and abuse (without going into graphic details obviously) because some men don’t want to get into a relationship with a woman who has been through that as a child, and it would be a lie of omission to not let them know. I want to know everything about my partners, including what kind of sex history they had and what they liked/didn’t like about previous partners, because  in my opinion it is a big part of who they are. Of course, my sex history is a big part of who I am too, so want to be able to talk about it just as freely. We are our memories. They don’t get washed away just from being in a relationship.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          You lost me at comparing having casual sex to being a meth addict.

        2. Marika

          Dawn

          I probably need to give up trying to understand this…but what the hell! While I’m not a past- question- asker myself, I can get my head around needing to understand the things you mentioned if you are to merge genes, finances, families… day to day co-living lives. If you intend to merge none of those things, I’m confused as to why it all matters. Isn’t the point of keeping things free and no ties that you don’t have to worry about a lot of that stuff? (eg I can happily be friends with a compulsive spender as it doesn’t affect my budget, I can spend time with a heavy drinker and then go home, without them, when the drinking gets too much etc etc, whereas those things could turn into big issues if we married).

          If there’s a long / complex reason the confusion will probably intensify, but maybe there’s a simpler reason I’m not seeing?

  19. 59
    Marika

    I’m sorry that is your experience of the world, YAG. Luckily, I’ve met plenty of unselfish people with empathy.

    If you feel men and women are tone deaf to each other’s needs online – which is easier and more logical: a campaign to change women or changing yourself to increase your understanding of women’s needs and feelings.

  20. 60
    Kerry

    I wish I had lived up to my own standards… I probably could have avoided some major heartbreak… but GoT had a line that I am going to use from now on:  If you want a whore, buy one… if you want a queen, earn it.

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