Can a Hot Woman Like Me Hold Out on Sex Until I Get a Commitment?

Can a Hot Woman Like Me Hold Out on Sex Until I Get a Commitment?

I’m a 31-year old woman, and have been dating a lot but have had little success. I’d say I’m in the very attractive category and have no trouble getting casual dates, but few guys seem serious. (I did see, and really appreciated, your post dedicated to the plight of pretty girls!) My last failed attempt has me really wondering what I’m doing wrong.

After about 4 dates (each time he’d follow up right away to tell me he had fun and wanted to see me soon), I spent a lot of time with this new guy one weekend and he introduced me to all his friends, who were very welcoming. The next weekend, we had a great evening together and went to his place, but I told him I wasn’t ready to have sex. He asked me why, and I told him truthfully that I really liked him, and that I wanted to be sure that we weren’t seeing other people first. I told him I could see myself getting more attached to him if we got really physical and just wanted to know there might be something there. Then I said that I was perfectly willing to talk about it all now if he was too. He said he understood, but didn’t say anything more just cuddled with me. We fell asleep together, then spent the next morning out for brunch and wandering around the local farmer’s market (his ideas). He seemed that day to be truly enjoying my company. But since then, he never called me again.

I accept that he’s no longer interested, and I’m prepared to be realistic and move on from this particular guy. I feel like it’s a good thing that I made my feelings clear — he responded by showing his true intentions were not to have a relationship but to just get laid. But how can this possibly keep happening? It’s pretty hard to think that he did such a 180 for any other reason than that I put my feelings out there. I feel fairly confident that if I had slept with him he would have made sure to see me again. You have said in your posts that sometimes you have to take a leap, but it can’t possibly be true that I have to “leap” and have sex with someone who’s just not quite willing to commit *yet* and then wait for him to decide that he’s willing to admit that he has feelings for me a few months later. Maybe in this case he really is seeing other people, but this scenario keeps repeating itself for me.

I think I must be doing something wrong, but I just refuse to accept that not having sex until he commits to me is the wrong decision. How many times do I have to go through this painful process before a guy (and a guy that I’m into) will be so crazy about me that he just says, okay, whatever you need – time, commitment, you’ve got it! I guess what I’m really asking for is some reassurance that a hot girl can hold out on sex without lowering her chances of finding a great, sexy and confident guy who’s really into her.

Thanks in advance for helping a girl out,


Dear Colette,

Guys want sex. Factor in that “great, sexy, confident guys” are more likely to be able to get sex in most circumstances, and, well, if you won’t give it to them, someone else will.

“Can a hot girl hold out on sex”? Yes.

“Can a hot girl hold out on sex and still hope to find a great, sexy and confident guy who’s really into her?” Yes.

Can a hot girl hold out on sex without lowering her chances of finding a great, sexy and confident guy who’s really into her?” No. Holding out on sex will inherently lower your chances of finding a guy.

Why? Because guys want sex. Factor in that “great, sexy, confident guys” are more likely to be able to get sex in most circumstances, and, well, if you won’t give it to them, someone else will.

But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

In fact, I want to laud you for waiting for a commitment before sex. If more women did that, there would be a lot less post-coital heartbreak. Alas, there would be a lot more of the pre-coital disappointment you’ve described above.

Choose your poison.

You feel “fairly confident” that he would have called you again after sex. What about all the other women who felt the same way and got burned? Clearly, you’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t.

So what’s a girl to do?…

Well, if you follow my advice – and, by refusing sex before a commitment, you have been – you get to see a man’s true stripes. If he steps up and commits to you, you have an answer. If he bails on you, you have an answer.

The only thing you can do differently is consider HOW you’re refusing to have sex. From your story, it sounded like you approached it in a healthy, adult fashion. But I wasn’t there. You may have felt that you were just speaking your mind and explaining your deep-seated reasons and ethics. Maybe all he heard was, “No. I don’t find you attractive.”

The disconnect between what we mean and what other people hear is at the heart of many relationship issues. Which is why it’s always valuable to step into the shoes of your partner – to attempt to see things through his eyes.

One thing that most women don’t know about men – in fact, one thing that MEN don’t even know about themselves – is that we are like sharks. We always need to be moving forward and making progress. If we’re not, we might as well be dead.

Consider a man who writes to you on “You look hot. I want to meet. Here’s my number.”

An inartful come-on line, to say the least. But it’s how you deal with it that determines whether he sticks around for more. If you tell him, “I don’t feel comfortable talking to strangers on the phone. Why don’t you email me more about yourself?” you can pretty much say goodbye. It’s not that your desire to get to know him better was wrong. It’s that you told him “No! Your way is wrong. My way is right. Follow my rules.”

We want to make progress in the bedroom…to know that we’re headed in that direction EVENTUALLY.

A better way to approach this would be to be playful. “You’re right. I am hot. 🙂 But you know that good girls like me don’t call boys like you first. So, before we go any further, why don’t you tell me about the first time you…visited Europe . And don’t leave out any details. Inquiring minds want to know. Talk to you soon, sweetie!”

See the difference? One is terse and negative. The other is playful and encouraging. Playing a little hard to get – while still remaining completely available – raises your value. It makes him want to chase. It makes the process of getting to know you fun. And, most of all, it doesn’t tell him NO. It tells him, LATER. All he has to do is follow your directions and he’ll get what he wants.

Your job is to make your directions fun for him to follow.

Similarly, men want to feel we’re making progress in the bedroom. It’s not that we need to sleep with you on Date 1 or 2 or 3. It’s that we want to know that we’re headed in that direction EVENTUALLY. How you handle us in this delicate arena is a big factor in whether we choose to come back for more.

Put it this way: if I go out with a woman and kiss her on Date 1, that’s great. If I go out with her, and can’t do any more than kiss her on Date 2, I might get a little frustrated. If I go out with her and get stuck in the kissing zone on Date 3, I’m pretty sure that that will be the last date. I know. It sounds awful. But I can’t be the only guy who works this way.

A woman is not wrong for keeping her shirt on. But her refusal to make any sexual progress unintentionally makes a guy feel rejected, and most guys aren’t going to like it. I’m pretty sure it’s why they invented “bases” in high school. We don’t need to go all the way, but getting to second and having a view of third shouldn’t be out of the question. Regardless of whether you agree with me, for most confident, sexy, 35-year-old men, staying on “first” for a month is not a viable option.

So without getting all sordid, Colette, ask yourself how you made your partner feel on this fourth date. Was it all about you? Your morals, your desires, your past heartbreak? Or did you consider that he might like you – and that it’s hard for him stick with a woman who doesn’t make him feel attractive or desired?

I don’t know him. Maybe he was just a run of the mill player.

I don’t know you. Maybe you did all the right things.

But just because a man’s desires run counter to yours doesn’t mean they’re wrong. It means you have to find a way to let him know that, with proper communication, you can BOTH get what you want.

This, by the way, is the key to ALL dating and relating – understanding the opposite sex and finding a path that keeps both man and woman satisfied.

To learn how to get your needs met, while still keeping a man satisfied, check out my audio series, Finding the One Online. In a few hours, you will learn the secret to attracting the best men online and screening them, using my “The 2/2/2” rule, to ensure the highest quality first dates.

In three months, you will view dating and men in an entirely new way. And that’s a good thing!

Click here to learn more.

Much love,

Your friend,


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  1. 31

    And I thought Cute Redhead was just placating the LW in her second paragraph. Go figure.

    In any case, a commitment will stem from a mutual desire to be together, not from talking about it or demanding it.

  2. 32

    Men don’t always have to get in, sometimes, a hand job will suffice….

  3. 33

    …LOL!…give him a hand job!

  4. 34

    “Am I the only one besides Cute Redhead who noticed this was a bartering transaction? (If you give me commitment, I may give you sex)”
    I don’t think sex should be used to negotiate commitment, but poeple don’t want to run the risk of having sex soon and then the guy bailing. People are not comfortable having sex so soon in a relationship. I’m not saying that the guy should wait months for you, but I do think that if there was genuine interest on his part, at least two months is a reasonable time for him to wait; and of course, communication is important.
    It’s not fair to label the guy as a jerk, but I think we can assume that he was not emotionally invested. I don’t think that 4 dates should warrent the guy to disappear because she didn’t sleep with him. Isn’t it obvious what his intentions were?

  5. 35

    I would suggest you try to look at this situation from a wider perspective. I understand from your post you were interested in this guy enough to want a long-term relationship with him.
    In a long-term relationship, you would have hundreds of situations along the way when you and him would have different needs, attitudes, ways of doing things (you shy from risk, he is risk-taking; you are more organised, he is more spontanious, you get me?)
    The issues around sex were just the first one in your case.

    Can you imagine each one of such situations being solved the way this one was?

  6. 36
    Michael Ejercito

    There is nothing wrong with people setting commitment as a precondition for sex. After all, sez is a big deal for almost everyone and most people prefer to share it with someone they are at least familiar with.

  7. 37

    Dating is a man’s world, no doubt about it.

  8. 38
    Cute Redhead

    Um…has anyone on here ever heard of sarcasm???? Did anyone besides the one poster who mentioned it read my “Ahem” paragraph?

    But seriously — you guys really believe that crap I wrote in the first paragraph? And you think I meant that truthfully? But more to the point, what is wrong with you that you think a woman can’t have her own sexual standards and boundaries?

    Hard to imagine that that’s working for any of you.

  9. 39

    My point is here


    A man like that showed that he was looking for – sex – so he wasn’t really looking for her best interests but his own pleasure. How good a relationship it would have been, had she gone forward with as he had wanted?

    He did her a favour – she is free to find someone who looks for her best interest to be as important as his own is (therefore the relationship will be happier too).

  10. 40

    To cute red head on post # 37,

    You didn’t mean everything you said in the first paragraph? AAAhhhhh, Bummer…..LOL!….

  11. 41

    A woman doesn’t have to be a “good girl” until the right man comes along. She can do what ever she wants to do, just do it gracefully, ’cause men are watching…..

  12. 42

    Well, CR, it really is a shame, but your sarcasm turned out to be right on the mark. Yes, indeed, the most anyone can -ever- hope for is a chance of things working out (hope for, not count on). There are no guarantees; at any stage of the relationship, I might add.

    Look, people, Evan constantly says this, and I apparently have to reiterate: this is reality. You don’t have to like it, you can resist it with all your might, but this is how it is. Like I said before, just listen to what the men here are saying (Ron doesn’t count, for several reasons).

  13. 43

    I agree with you, JuJu….that’s why I’m back in school working on my education. As Merlin told a would-be King Arthur, “when you’re blue, learn something. Learning never fails!”

  14. 44

    “Yes, indeed, the most anyone can -ever- hope for is a chance of things working out (hope for, not count on). There are no guarantees; at any stage of the relationship”.

    Sure, however many people who are in happy long-term relationships claim that a good relationship requires a lot of work ( and communication, good will, empathy and so on, I might add). From this perspective, pairing up with a “my way or the high way” person, significantly reduces your chance of success.

  15. 45
    Cute Redhead

    Well, JuJu–maybe you have to listen to what others are saying. Not everyone shares the same beliefs about sex and sexual activity. There is room for all in this world. If you want nsa sex — go right ahead. If you want committed sex — go right ahead. Not all men are all one way. Not all women are all one way. There are plenty of fish in the sea, enough variations on the sex/commitment theme to go around. Collette can certainly find a guy who wants to wait and she doesn’t have to compromise her standards to find one. Her problem is that she’s having trouble finding a guy who wants to wait. None of us can say why — maybe she likes being the coquette and is sending out the wrong message. Maybe she hangs out with people who have different values from hers and these are the only types of guys she meets. Maybe she’s had a string of bad luck. Or maybe she’s already met the guy who is waiting for the moment to be right for both of them. 🙂

  16. 46

    CuteReadhead (#37) – good one! Interesting to see how people reacted to your first post.

    I just can’t believe we’re having this discussion, particularly in an age of epidemic STD’s. Discussing expectations about sex is a mature, responsible thing to do. And advising against it is reckless and irresponsible. Doesn’t sound as if this guy was on the same page, so it’s just as well.

    Evan your advice is doing a great disservice.

  17. 47

    Sounds as if Collette’s intentions were noble, and that perhaps something got “lost in translation”.

    Without jumping inside the dude’s head, and making the leap of faith that he was not just out for sex, I would suggest that maybe one of three things happened here:

    1. He had a bad past experience with another girl who said she wanted to wait, and it was just a smokescreen by her to avoid getting physical. In the dating world, there are women who want to be taken out on weekends, but who hate the prospect of getting physical with the guys who are putting the time in with them. I know that the majority of women aren’t like this, but if you’re a single guy who has dated for any length of time, it is impossible to not run into them. The attitude of such women is “This guy wants to take me out to restaurants and clubs, and I’m gonna let him, but I don’t want to do anything with him.” Perhaps this guy had an experience like that in his past, and if he did, I can promise you that he had no intention of repeating it. If this is the case, then it’s regrettable that it happened this way, but not necessarily surprising.

    2. He endured a past relationship where the girl placed all kinds of demands on him for any kind of physical contact. Again, I know not all women are like this, but if you have dated for any length of time, it’s impossible to not run into women who are like this. It’s hard to explain without making it sound like you’re being unreasonable, but it gets to be a drag if the person you’re with constantly needs material things or to be wined and dined before they will get physical. It’s even worse when she acts like she’s doing you a favor by doing it. I know emotional connection is not the same thing, but maybe he thought, “If she’s doing this on the 4th date, imagine what she’ll be like in a year.”

    3. His friends got in his ear. He probably talked to some of those same friends that Collette met about what had happened that night. And there’s a chance that the conversation went something like this:

    GUY: “She said she wants to make sure I am committed before we have sex.”
    FRIEND: “Oh man, did she work you!!”
    GUY: “What do you mean?”
    FRIEND: “She said that just so she could get the friend stuff out of you without having sex with you. You’re already in the friend zone and you’re never coming out!”
    GUY: “No no, she just wants to make sure that it’s serious.”
    FRIEND: “Well, you want it to be serious too, but have you put the brakes on her in any way?”

    I obviously can’t say that this is what happened for sure, but I can say that I had an experience similar to this, and that I got advice along these lines. (Luckily for me, I ignored it and I turned out to be right.) Still, it cast a shadow of doubt on me for a little while, and that’s something that will cause most men to up and leave.

    I honestly think something was just lost in translation in this case. She said one thing, he heard another. It happens. Move on to the next one: there are plenty.

  18. 48

    What makes some people think that in this age STD’s are more common than, say, during the Middle Ages?

  19. 49

    JuJu – Here’s a suggestion – instead of slamming people on this thread, get educated.

    Incredible. Call the Center of Disease Control in Atlanta and get the facts on the increased rate of STDs.

    FYI, over 20% of young women have herpes in NYC. It is projected to be 25% in the not-to-distant future.

    Now perhaps you might understand why some people like the letter writter won’t hop in the sack without veting potential sexual partners. It’s people with your viewpoints that make the STD world go round.

  20. 50

    People like me? 😉

    But I am clean.

    Whatever, this isn’t the level of argument I’d be interested in participating in. You haven’t addressed (or, it seems, even understood) a single point I made.

  21. 51
    Cute Redhead

    I always get the idea when I read this blog that some men assume sexual desire to be the exclusive province of men, and that because women got the stuff that men want (and women have no sexual desires that need satisfying), they hold all the cards and are using them to manipulate the men. Is this an accurate summation of the discussion here? So that a women who wants to wait is doing it to get as much as she can out of the guy by flaunting her feelingless privates — that’s her assumed motivation. Right or wrong here?

  22. 52

    I rest my case. You couldn’t even see my point in my post.

    Most people are not ignorant of the fact that STDs are on the rise.

    If sex did not have any potential downside, Colette would have banged the guy from here to Broadway. Fortunately for her, she’s dodged a bullet (pun intended) with this guy.

  23. 53

    All right, let’s dissect what Cute Redhead wrote (albeit in jest), sentence by sentence.

    It is a man’s responsibility to satisfy my sexual needs if he wants to be in a relationship with me. If he doesn’t satisfy them, I’ll find someone who will. Sex is the primary reason people get involved in romantic relationships. I am not disputing the existence or downplaying the importance of whatever other needs we all may have (including one for companionship), but those can be usually met through other means.

    Whatever feelings I may or may not develop as a consequence works exactly the same way – i.e., it’s not a given. (And btw, from my observations of the world, it appears that in order for a man to want to commit himself to someone, it’s important for him to feel head over heels in love with that person. You are getting the chronological order of this?)

    As for what women get in return (and this is the phrase that should have originally tipped me off): well, what do you mean what do you get in return? You get the sex and the companionship (if only temporarily, but then, almost anything is) of a man you like and find attractive.

    The most a man can expect in return for having sex with me is the chance that I’ll pick him over the others. (This doesn’t mean others I am also currently sleeping with, because I personally don’t get physical with more than one person at a time (I don’t even kiss on the first dates for that reason). It means, of all my other possible options.) This really works both ways.

    I am stating all this being just as susceptible to the effects of oxytocin as any other woman.

    Now, why I said that Ron’s protests in this case don’t count:

    1) There is no evidence that the guy in the letter is a cad who only wanted to get into her pants. For instance, I see no incentive for him to have introduced the girl to his friends if he were never seriously interested in her. And the fact that he did end up not only spending the night but also the next day with her also demonstrates, I think, that he did care (he could have just as well taken or sent her home that same evening).

    2) No one can mean EVERYTHING to a person after four dates, and anyone who claimed that would be lying.

    3) The “personal power” argument shows such a lack of maturity and enlightenment that it is difficult to take it seriously. Besides, this is a normal, decent (albeit non-confrontational) person we are talking about, who, I bet, would react adequately.

    Lastly, venereal diseases would be a universal concern and not just that of women. The reason women try to hold off on sex is the above-mentioned hormone – they just get too attached (not in 100% of the cases, but often enough to experience considerable heartache by age 31).

    As for what I kept saying (lately, in every topic, it seems) about the necessity of having sex BEFORE considering commitment – it really has nothing to do with nsa sex (nor am I personally cut out for it). It’s just that, you think that if you like a guy, are excited to have met such a quality individual, and can actually see yourself with him, the sex will automatically be good, or at least acceptable? If you are counting on that, then for your sake I really hope you’ll never be disappointed. I, otoh, had an experience dissuade me of that.

  24. 54

    “It is a man’s responsibility to satisfy my sexual needs if he wants to be in a relationship with me. If he doesn’t satisfy them, I’ll find someone who will.”

    Oh really????
    Tomorrow your guy may be out for a car crash and unable to move his little finger for the next 12 months. Good to know what you would do.

  25. 55

    oh, and another interesting one:

    “The reason women try to hold off on sex is the above-mentioned hormone – they just get too attached”.

    Juju, are you familiar with any national (or maybe international?) norms on how attached a woman should feel after having sex with a man? Or is the “TOO attached” evaluation just a reflection of your own level of emotional attachment?

  26. 56


    why the hostility?

    There are no norms, obviously – sex just seems to affect women more than men.

  27. 57

    As for disability – I don’t know how I’ll react, honestly. I can only hope for the best.

    There was a huge discussion of this recently on the Carolyn Has board, and the following woman (who spent 20 years taking care of her husband) said it much better than I possibly could (being much younger, for one, and having not had the experience):

    “Caring for an elderly relative, caring for a child – these are not really the same. When the person that needs care is a spouse, there is the added burden of doing *without* all that one has assumed marriage would provide. Sex, yes, but also companionship, and someone to share the physical and financial load of your lives.”

  28. 58

    Carolyn Hax, sorry.

  29. 59

    Just to make sure, this is not meant as any personal attack. People have different attitudes towards sex and relationships and there are no absolute truths.

  30. 60

    I think the one thing the original poster did wrong was [i]go home with the guy.[/i]

    If you’re not planning to have sex, don’t stay the night (vacations and other practical residential necessities excepted, of course).

    Sleeping over is code for sex. Sleeping over but refusing sex is a tease (or can easily be perceived that way by the male mind). Nobody wants to date a tease.

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