How Can You Take Your Pants Off Without Having Sex?

How Can You Take Your Pants Off Without Having Sex?

In your book “Why He Disappeared,” on page 63, you write. “just because you invite him inside doesn’t mean you have to sleep with him, just because your pants are off doesn’t mean you have to sleep with him.” (!!!) (What???) I was a virgin when I married at twenty years old. My ensuing 40-year marriage was completely monogamous, but I was widowed three years ago. At this point in my life, *Virtue* is the one quality that I am so sure of, I feel I no longer have to “prove” it. I am 65 years old but continue to very much want and appreciate sex. I don’t know – with my long and “perfectly virtuous” life – what I need to do as far as “waiting” to have sex is concerned. Your ideas on page 63 of “rounding the bases” makes more sense than anything I’ve ever read. *But* “HOW” can your pants be off and you still won’t have sex? –Carol

Dear Carol,

I chose this question because what you expressed is a real common sentiment. And it’s a complete and utter fallacy.

“How can I invite him inside without having sex?”
“How can I kiss him without having sex?”
“How can I take my pants off without having sex?”

As if neither of you possesses any measure of self-control about whose penis goes into whose vagina.

Just because you’re both naked and he’s reaching for the condom in his wallet doesn’t mean that you have to have sex.

Honestly, people.

I’m not going to count the number of people I’ve “hooked up with” without having intercourse, but let’s just say it’s more than 50 and less than 4000. How did I manage to pull off this stupendous feat of full-frontal fortitude?

Well, sometimes, when we were making out on her couch, she’d say something like, “I’m so turned on right now, but we have to stop.” And I’d kiss her for another fifteen minutes and reach up the back of her shirt again, and she’d move my hand back to somewhere she felt appropriate. And I’d take the hint.

Sometimes, she’d declare that she was having fun, but that she had an early morning the next day and that I had to go.

Sometimes, we’d have our shirts off and I would reach for her belt buckle and she’d stop me and grab for mine.

Sometimes, we’d dry hump until it was painful and both go home sexually dissatisfied.

Sometimes, we’d both have our pants off and perform various permutations of oral and manual stimulation.

Sometimes, there were orgasms. Sometimes there weren’t.

But in each instance of participating in foreplay with a woman on Date 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, I would always leave with this feeling:

That was AWESOME. I can’t WAIT to do that again.

Refuse to do any of these things (because you don’t DO that), and you’ll find that most men who take you out and make a move on you will feel embarrassed, rejected, emasculated, confused and dispirited.

(Except for maybe the blue balls. Or three straight dates with nothing but kissing. That was a little frustrating.)

Foreplay – as we all used it back in high school before we had intercourse – can be fun, exciting, hot, and yes, even gratifying.

Used as a means of establishing a physical connection while you assess his relationship-worthiness, I think it’s a great tool that women can use to their advantage.

Refuse all forms of foreplay because you don’t DO that (which is within your rights, of course), and you’ll probably find that most men who take you out and make a move on you will feel embarrassed, rejected, emasculated, confused and dispirited.

But to be very clear – you, as a woman, have total control of what you want to happen. And just because you’re both naked and he’s reaching for the condom in his wallet doesn’t mean that you have to have sex.

It’s called self-control, y’all.

And as the rare man who DIDN’T have sex with anyone who wasn’t a girlfriend from 2004 until I met my wife in 2007, I can assure you that providing sexual pleasure while still maintaining some boundaries is an effective and powerful stance.

If you can’t see the line between oral sex and intercourse, I understand. But most people I know can count how many people they’ve slept with. Not so much with the oral sex tally.

Yes, it’s arbitrary, but I’ve used this method (and coached it) to great success over the years. Hope that clears things up a bit, Carol.

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  1. 1

    “It’s called self-control, y’all.” Amen!

  2. 2

    Evan wrote, “But in each instance of participating in foreplay with a woman on Date 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, I would always leave with this feeling: That was AWESOME. I can’t WAIT to do that again.”  I notice that the count only goes up to Date 5.  I know there has been a lot of discussion on this site about when it is appropriate to have sex in a new relationship.  This statement leads me to believe that foreplay without sex is only satisfactory for a limited time period.

    Evan also wrote, “Or three straight dates with nothing but kissing. That was a little frustrating.”  If these dates are the couple’s first three dates (which probably take place within a 1-2 week time frame), then I think “nothing but kissing” is not inappropriate.  Myself, I really don’t feel comfortable having a man whom I don’t know very well putting his hands all over me during the first three dates.  Similarly, I don’t feel comfortable giving a man whom I don’t know very well oral sex.  I can’t say when I would feel comfortable, but I think I would have to know the person more than one or two weeks.   

    Evan also talked about “self control.”  I know that I can control myself, but I can’t control the other person.  If a woman doesn’t know the man very well, and she engages in foreplay, I think she is putting herself in danger of date rape.   

    1. 2.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Almita – I was really hoping you wouldn’t go there. But you did. So I have to respond.

      Your intimation that: “Foreplay without sex is only satisfactory for a limited time period”. Well, you make it sound like if a guy doesn’t get laid, he’s going to a) bail or b) rape her. That was not my experience in dating at all. What men want is to feel that things are progressively moving forward, so that sex is eventually a possibility. And if a woman makes it clear that she doesn’t have sex with a man until he’s her boyfriend (which is my advocated policy), the man has enough information to either a) bail or b) stick around and become her boyfriend in a sexually exclusive relationship.

      @Almita – “I really don’t feel comfortable having a man whom I don’t know very well putting his hands all over me during the first three dates.”
      I’m not saying that you have to use foreplay in the way that I advocate. I will simply point out that if you go out with 10 men and 5 of them think that staying on first base for four weeks is a little seventh grade for them, your feelings are still perfectly valid, but your strategy is largely ineffective in keeping men interested. If your goal is to weed men out in this fashion, it’s also valid. But realize that you’ll be eliminating plenty of good men whose timetable for foreplay is faster than yours. That’s your call. Once again, I’m just letting you know how certain men (including me) think.

      @Almita –
      “If a woman doesn’t know the man very well, and she engages in foreplay, I think she is putting herself in danger of date rape.” Oh, boy. This is like the nuclear bomb of arguments. And, like comparing Republicans with Hitler, it does a real injustice to reasonable people who don’t engage in black and white thinking. You’re right in one regard. If you only go for Starbucks dates – if you never let a man kiss you until you’re SURE he’s husband material – if you keep all men (potential rapists) at arms-length out of fear – you will never ever get date raped. You will also get very few second dates. Because you’re not paying any attention to what HE wants – which is half of what dating is all about.

      So let’s make this clear so I never have to say this again. You are entitled to do whatever you want on a date. I don’t judge you for holding out for marriage. I don’t judge you for refusing to kiss men within a month. I don’t judge you for asking him on the first date if he has venereal diseases or what his stance is on women’s rights. I’m just going to let you know that I write this blog as a means to let you know what (many) men think about dating, sex, women, and relationships. If you don’t like it, I’m fine with it. But to play that slippery slope card: “If you let a man get your shirt off, you are in danger of date rape,” is poor argumentation and a dangerous way to think of dating. Foreplay is actually what’s going to keep a guy interested in you while he decides if you’re girlfriend material.

      And suggesting that foreplay is putting oneself in danger of date rape is as unrealistic is saying that buying an airplane ticket is the most likely way to die in a plane crash. Yes, it’s true, but that’s not why people board planes. Women should enjoy foreplay because it’s fun, because you like it, because he likes it, and because it’s also a strategic way to keep him interested. If you don’t do these things, I completely respect you. But don’t dismiss my advice as a one-way ticket to date-rape. Please.

      1. 2.1.1

        Your advice is excellent!

      2. 2.1.2

        Honestly, I find your answer really disrespectful and dismissive. Just because you will stop when feeling aroused and wanting to take foreplay to the next step, because she say ‘no’, doesn’t mean every man can. You can’t know if a guy won’t lose control when horny, it can be excused as our natural instincts after all so if he’s able to complete his need he might do that. So I’m not implying that nobody can refrein in this situation, but laughing of possibility of forcing women into sex is disrespectful. Also, asuming that a simple ‘no’ will always be enough. There are many cases of rape when rapist will end up well, because if this women was kissing him, then they had a foreplay and she allowed him to pull off her clothes/stripped down in front of him, he can easily say that it was just a misunderstanding.

        I feel like you forget about the strenght difference between women and men. Add it to aroused man in need of intercourse and having opportunity right in front of him. He might accept his partner’s “no”, but after less than 3 dates (so you wouldn’t be so bored) you won’t know it. Call me some annoying feminist or just a whining bitch, but you shouldn’t ignore the fact that girls getting intimated with guys is vulnerable in physical way and sometimes saying “no” can be to late.

        1. Gerry

          “…doesn’t mean every man can.”

          Unless he is so mentally deficient as to be incapable of understanding right and wrong, yes, he can. It’s the difference between a man and a criminal. Men do not respond to disappointments and frustrations with brutality against other human beings.

          No relationship is worth persisting with a person who shows real signs of taking out his disappointments violently against another person. If (he) has a neurological problem based in a physiological disorder, you, a layperson, cannot help (him) by other than referring (him) to a specialist in his disorder. Do not be alone with such a person. If (he) will not admit that (he) has a problem, disconnect. “Disconnect” means don’t answer phone calls that show (his) caller ID. “Disconnect” means don’t respond to his texts. E-mails. Snail mails. Keep everything. Don’t delete anything. Print out your entire correspondence as far back as you have (this has proved invaluable in soured business matters). This will show when you cut off the relationship, perhaps why. Knocking on your door. If (he) persists for long, notify law enforcement. You don’t have to file a complaint, get a restraining order or anything to put an appropriate office of public safety. The idea is that the first one to contact law enforcement is given the benefit of the doubt in any situation of violence or threats of violence.

          Any reasonable person will soon stop persisting when (he) has been rejected.

          I put (he, him) in parentheses as women feeling endangered by men is most commonly a serious matter but women exhibit such behavior, too.

  3. 3

    I agree with Almita. The timelines in this article are quite aggressive. “Nothing but kissing for the first 3 dates” frustrating? . Well, if someone is multidating then one would probably be having several guys manhandling one’s boobs  and other body parts during the same period of time… uhm- no thanks.
    Also this quote: “But to be very clear – you, as a woman, have total control of what you want to happen. And just because you’re both naked and he’s reaching for the condom in his wallet doesn’t mean that you have to have sex. It’s called self-control, y’all.” LOL how naive Evan. Even in a date rape trial the situation you are describing would be considered evidence that the alleged victim was willing to have sex. I would not feel comfortable with letting the situation you describe unfold before at least 3 or 4 weeks of steady dating and being pretty sure that the guy is mentally solid. There are more people with impulse control issues out there than you can imagine
    I don’t have anything against foreplay before being bf/gf, no one is “holding out for marriage” , but this whole notion that “good guys” will be lost if one does not “put out” in like 3 dates is a little exaggerated. They are “good guys” in my book anyway.

    1. 3.1

      Maybe you just aren’t compatible with the OP? I mean, it’s okay for the OP not to date slow, just like it’s okay for you not to date fast. You can say no to anything beyond kissing, and the OP can say no to your 4th date. I personally have had every relationship involve making out and touching through clothing on the first night, but that’s because mine have all been friends -> chemistry -> physical -> romance -> dating -> more physical.

  4. 4

     I am European and I wonder a little bit about dating rules in America. There is a long thread on this blog on whether a woman should or shouldn´t ask a man out and the result of the debate seems more or less obvious that she shouldn´t. On the other hand, it seems to be absolutely appropriate, even desirable, to be physically intimate, although without going into “everything” in the first few dates. I don´t understand this – isn´t asking out less “dangerous” than having physical contact with someone you hardly know? So why are the rules so strict here and so lenient in the other area? In general, it has been interesting for me to read about all this stuff about dating, because I think that in Europe people take a more varied and individual approach to dating.

    1. 4.1

      Bravo Elli! I’m European too, and I guess that these rules ONLY apply to the USA. Here in France, or in Italy, people are completely FREE to handle their dates as they like, no rules involved. Individuality means a variety of behaviours that we (women) are asked to cope with. We are more free, no “appropriate gestures” for each step along the way of dating. No “he was holding my hands, he must like me”. No “we had our 3th date, how long should I wait before sleeping with him. No rules at all. In Paris especially.

      Here people are less prude and more free. Which is not always easy to handle, as a man is often sleeping with a woman without taking count of the number of dates they had, or that a certain behaviour is more appropriate than another.

      I would really say that these rules DO NOT APLLY to EUROPE.

      1. 4.1.1

        These rules do not apply to anywhere but households with hyperconservative parents. Ask an 100 Americans how dating world in America and you’ll get 100 answers.

    2. 4.2

      Americans are perfectly fine with women asking men out, unless you date far right kooky konservative khristians, but those crazies could be offended by anything. Dating DOES have a varied and individual approach here.

      For example:

      Everyone I’ve dated was a friend first. It got physical second, and romance easily followed, leading to dating and more romance and more intense physical stuff. In all cases, the woman initiated the physical and romantic side of the relationship. Now maybe I’m spoiled by west coast liberal rationality, but I live in a city where people think vaccines cause autism, genetically modified seeds are dangerous, astrology works, homeopathy works, and nuclear plants can explode like nuclear bombs, so I’m not sure rationality is the right word for it.

    3. 4.3

      Hi Ellie,

      I’m European as well, and the American dating “rules” absolutely baffle me. And don’t make any sense. They seem very conservative and old fashioned in origin. So you’re not the only one confused by all this.

  5. 5

    This is pretty spot on.

    If you feel like foreplay after the 3rd date is too soon, it’s worse in high school and college.

    Sex and foreplay occur at a much slower pace for women their from 40s – 60s compared to the kids in high school and college.

    Random hookups (foreplay and intercourse) is rather common–especially in colleges because everyone supposedly “knows each other,” it seems safe, free booze, and the bed is within a 10 minutes walking distance.

    Not saying you should be like them. That’s not a good idea.

    Just giving you something else to compare to.

  6. 6

    I found it refreshing to hear that you enjoyed getting sex. I think we women struggle with this simply because our culture vilifies women who openly admit to liking sex and therefore we want to appear like a ‘good girl’. I think we want to show that we are girlfriend material but I think many are not sure when to have sex in the hopes that they don’t appear like ‘sluts’ and as ‘easy’.
    I know you are just one man EMK but it would be nice to interview other men to see if they all hold the same experience that you did in that you enjoyed it and couldn’t wait to do it again.
    I think if I were a man, I’d be frustrated to be dating a woman who just was interested in fooling around. I think at some point, you’d be able to feel comfortable enough and ready to have sex. I would think a reasonable person would give a few dates and a few weeks or a month or two because you’d get sexually frustrated.
    At least for me, sex is like eating and I don’t put this holy value on it like others seem to do. If I’m hungry and someone isn’t going to cook for me, I’ll just go else where and buy my food or make it myself. The only difference between sex and food is that I can go longer without sex. With food, I can go a few hours without it and then problems will arise.

  7. 7

    Most single men would go from 2004 to 2007 without any opportunity for friendly female companionship never mind sex.  Hookups are for 60 women chasing 5 high status males.  The ordinary men who would be mesmerized by a woman’s attention don’t get a look in.  Women’s experience of sex is rather different than men’s.  Playing provocative games without delivering is at the least cruel.

  8. 8

    As a woman, you do have total control of what you want to happen, but you do not have total control of what will happen.  I point this out because while I do believe that the majority of men are decent and willing to play along with the situation, always in hopes of something more, and enjoying the fun that’s to be had, there are also men who do not play nice, especially in situations where the woman says yes and no at the same time.

    1. 8.1

      Many men take it that if a woman doesn’t put up real resistance, considerably more than just saying, “No,” they want intercourse. For many sex is a wrestling match in which she of course “loses.” She wants a take-charge man, one who knows what he wants, and that’s her. He takes “no” as a challenge for him to assert himself. The extra excitement of her fear response is how many women get off.
      Of course she doesn’t want to actually be injured, though a little mild pain can make all the more arousal. Millions of women have not been poisoned by radical feminism. They want at least some sexual aggressiveness from their men. Look at the romance novels. The standard plot has the hero doing what feminists call “date rape.” These women’s diddle novels and magazine articles have as a single theme exciting women sexually.
      A complaint that I have had repeatedly is that I’m not sexually aggressive enough. They have complained that they don’t want to make the first move, that they don’t want to give me sex; they want me to take them, to take sex from them. I had one, um, incident where we were out in the country alone, making out. She put up resistance, so I backed off. She became angry that I didn’t keep going. I said that she pushed me away. Her response? “So? Aren’t you a man? Can’t you be a man?”I said that I wasn’t a rapist. Her answer was that I had a lot to learn about women.
      This is so frustrating. Many women want to be “half raped,” that is, once they’ve picked out or accepted a man, they want to be “gently” forced to have sex. So a guy has to risk a rape complaint to please a woman? How is he supposed to be able to tell if a woman wants him to “rape” her or if she is a feminist with a black belt, who will file a complaint? After beating the shit out of him? Or a feminist who wants to be “raped?”
      I met a woman who had a black eye. She said it was from a guy who she turned down for sex at the end of their date. I asked if she had him arrested. She didn’t, so I asked why? She didn’t blame him because she had gone out with him, flirted with him for hours, but didn’t go to bed with him. But she would rather he had forced her to have sex with him instead of hitting her, especially in her face, even though she didn’t use birth control and was in her fertile time, which is why she didn’t want to have sex right then.
      This woman toasted my brains. It seems that many are like that. I felt like I should go and beat the guy up. But she could have beaten him down but didn’t.

  9. 9

    Excellent piece as always. 

    Another perspective: I’m a girl here, and I wonder why would you WANT a “commitment” of any sort with a man who didn’t turn you on, or who didn’t know how to? It would be like accepting a job with no title just because you thought the company had a pretty name – risky!
    As Evan says elsewhere, and this is SO true – us women are doing the choosing as well as the men. Surely “competent between the sheets and physically able to meet my needs as well as his own” is an essential for any sexually active woman? Or at the very least, something to be taking into account when deciding which suitor to accept? Solid foreplay or hooking up is a good way of telling if we’re attracted to them, or if we’re going to be.
    Personally, I’ve dated a few guys who were into me, treated me well, good financially and professionally, smart and easy to get on with. Physically, looked good over a dinner table, at the cocktail bar and on my arm. Restaurant chemistry was there. But sexually, they were incredibly nervous.
    Now, there’s nervous as in “worried because I like her so much” . Sweet and flattering. And then there’s “nervous to the point of making the whole experience tiresome and unpleasant for the other person because of your own insecurities”

    Let’s put it this way – although they were pretty keen on me before spending the night, and even  keener afterwards – I’m very, very, glad I didn’t promise exclusivity to any of them before this point, and could fade without too much hassle.
    I mean, I’m 27, so I know as I age, after I’ve had kids, sexuality may/will lose some importance. I don’t expect guys to look or behave like porn stars and/or supermodels and have me “oohing and ahhing in ecstacy within 5 minutes of meeting”

    But I think there IS a level of sexual incompetency which would seriously affect the quality of a relationship. Something I’d want to be aware of before making any decisions or choices or clearing out my schedule for someone. And its not something men would put on their profile.
    It’s not about the technicalities – I’m not judging someone on “yes, you must be X inches and stay rock hard for 8 hours and find my “spots” within three minutes”. Or on looks. My best lovers haven’t been the conventionally handsome types. I was with a slightly older, balding, man who couldn’t keep erect with condoms on. Obviously, unprotected sex wasn’t on the cards. The night was AMAZING and one of my most memorable ever, thanks to his enthusiasm (use your imagination ;-)) . From a man, communication and confidence, being aware of the lady’s needs and express his own honest desires (and NOT getting too hung up on performance insecurities) is good.
    But I would say  – and I’m sure others have experienced this – there are male “good catches” out there who have sexual issues/hang ups AND try and “paper over them” or expect their partners to live with them, rather than deal with them in a practical and non self-conscious manner.

    I’m aware of some women who are married to guys with major performance issues (sometimes due to something that could be sorted out in a straightforward manner – like circumcision). The men won’t sort it out, or even discuss it.

    Their argument is that they’re married, so that’s meant to be the “reward” for the lady. Well I think I’d much rather settle for being a spinster with cats and the TV on a Friday night 😉
    So be careful what you wish for, that “good guy who doesn’t want sex”, could be the cold man who refuses you any bedroom pleasure because it was only “commitment” you wanted, right? 😉

  10. 10

    @Evan #3: “If your goal is to weed men out in this fashion, it’s also valid. But realize that you’ll be eliminating plenty of good men whose timetable for foreplay is faster than yours. That’s your call. Once again, I’m just letting you know how certain men (including me) think.”
    I’m glad you added this to your initial response because I find valid to progress at a much slower pace in the physical intimacy department. Sure it weeds out decent men, and for me it works just fine to let those go to other women and select for myself a man who can demonstrate a little bit more self-control.
    What I would like to comment about is SEX. What is sex? To each their own definition, but for me intercourse is only one sexual act among others. It’s special and symbolic of course, but to me all other sexual acts are sex as well. Oral sex is sex. Mutual masturbation is sex. Dry humping is sex. Anal sex is sex. Intercourse is sex.
    When we talk about sex and the concept of not having sex before a commitment is agreed upon, I think of postponing ALL sexual activities. If your fingers make me come, I’m having sex. Also for me oral sex is actually more intimate than any other act, and it comes usually later in the relationship.
    On the topic of teasing and the risk of date rape: yes, I agree with previous commenters that such “foreplay dates” lead to a serious risk of creating more tension than fun by going too far in sexual arousal and not “delivering” what is expected. For some men, and some women, this can be really frustrating, sometimes painful, and of course more rarely, end in tragedy. As a woman with a high sex drive, I would not like being brought to a high state of arousal only to be told “sorry this is all I can do for you tonight”. I’d rather do nothing sexual at all.
    Also as a previous commenter noted, such fast timetables do not work in scenarios of multiple dating (which I do not do but try to imagine), unless you find acceptable to potentially orgasm with multiple people and still pretend it to be compatible with the concept of “waiting for sex until we have a commitment”. I find this pretty hypocritical.

  11. 11

    Doesn’t anyone else like sexual attention? If there is no physical attraction or desire why are you dating? I was on a third date last night and we fooled around, nothing too serious and I let it go as far as I was comfortable but I can guarantee he had as good a time as I did and the next time, we will move a bit further….

    But if you aren’t being groped by the 2nd-4th date then what’s the point? 

  12. 12

    I think it’s important to emphasize here to that the woman can pull back on sexual attention if she is uncomfortable. Although I agree with Evan on self-control, I’ve been in situations where quite frankly I just didn’t know how to diffuse the moment. I’ve been into the guy as much as he is as me in that moment, and I figure I should go with it. But then, most of the time I never hear from the guy again after sex happens.

  13. 13

    evan, i’m sort of confused.  I definitely understand all that you’ve laid out here and i think it makes sense, but i’ve always been told waiting until the pants come off before stating sex isn’t in the cards is a tease.  Is this more of a subjective take on the topic? While this is your take on the subject do you know any men that would consider this sort of thing a tease and be completely turned off?

  14. 14

    As a woman of the same age as Carol this can be a difficult situation when dating men. We’re certainly not young innocent girls anymore and some of us do enjoy sex with a partner. There aren’t any hard and fast rules as you certainly aren’t going to be attracted to every man you meet and every person and situation is different.

    The only thing you can go on here is your gut feeling at the time.  Go into it with your eyes wide open and if you are just looking for a one night stand because you think the guy is a decent sort, then there’s nothing wrong with it. You certainly do not have to say anything to him about that fact that you think he’s good for sex and that’s about all. Men will pat their buddy on the back and think he’s a cool guy for having a one night stand but they have the opposite reaction when a woman does the same … and makes the mistake of telling him. It’s kind of an ego crusher for them to be treated as just a penis.

    If it’s a man you’re interested in and he feels the same, you can take your time about having sex and work out if he is actually going to be a good partner for you. Your feelings, wants and needs are just as important as his are.

    Evan’s rule of no sex until you are in a relationship is a good one for most women. It’s easy to get blinded by lust and your libido and think it could be more than it actually is. Saying no to sex until you know he’s your boyfriend is the best thing you can do for your own self-respect and to avoid that walk of shame the next morning wondering if he will ever call or see you again.
    Age has nothing to do with it and men will always be men.  
    If you’re not sure if you’re doing the right thing for yourself by having sex with a man, don’t do it.

  15. 15

    Yeah I agree with the essence of what Evan has said. But as someone who has found herself in some compromising situations before, I definitely think that if a woman lets a man get even slightly intimate with her, then it might be best to do that when she is comfortable enough to have sex with him anyway, even if she chooses not to. The trust has to be there. Anyway, I know Evan was not referring to those kinds of situations. His is good advice because if you’re going to be thinking that every bloke is potential rapist, then they’re going to pick up on that. 

    I’m a bit sceptical about whether a lot of men would appreciate foreplay almost as much as sex. Then again the men I have personally encountered have been quite selfish, and I am only 22. As a result, I have some issues regarding sexual intimacy. I am not religious and nor do I view sex as wrong, but I would have to feel that I’m really comfortable with a man before we got intimate and when it felt right. That wouldn’t be because I was holding off for arbitrary reasons and I would let him know that I wanted it. If someone dropped me for that, then I wouldn’t consider him very understanding.

  16. 16

    I’m fascinated by these comments!  I’ve been someone who’s always taken at least a month between the first kiss and intercourse, but not because I was trying to use sex as a lure for committment.  Rather, I enjoy the exquisite ache of slowly getting to know a man’s body and responses, teaching him how I like to be kissed and touched…  this takes time and is part of the fun, bonding process.  Sure, a few guys have grumbled here and there about blue balls or begged “Just the tip!?”  But without fail, they have been okay with the slower pace because I made it clear that I was crazy attracted to them, that I was turned on, and that we were progressing, slowly but surely. 
    For those of you who think it’s unfair, I have found it pretty easy to tell men just as we’re starting to fool around that sex isn’t going to happen that night.  If they complain, I take their concerns seriously and explain — with absolutely no snark — that I’d love to make out but understand if they want to call it a night bc sex isn’t going to happen.  Thus far, every single one has decided to stick around for the make out… they’d rather have a tiny taste of sugar than none at all : )

  17. 17

    personally me and my guy have turned the “pants off without sex” into something of an art form – its actually very erotic

  18. 18

    @ EMK:

    While I agree, it IS about self-control, like a few other posters have said, there are some bad guys out there who can get very nasty and/or violent if they feel that they are being “cock-teased” in any way.  One never really knows what that other person is capable of.  That is why I tried to be very careful with fellows on the first date.  Many times I would not let a guy come into my house after a date, would say goodnight on my front stoop or front hallway and would not allow more than maybe a kiss or hug, maybe a little bit of making out.  I’d make it clear if they tried for more, that I’d prefer not to do more on the first date.  If I kept having to repeat myself, than the guy went out the door. 

    I’ve had a couple of scary experiences where a guy really got enraged if I wouldn’t “put out” or wanted to back off/move more slowly, so I am a LOT more cautious with men I do not know well.  It’s about self control for ME, as well, learning that I can say “no, please don’t do that, etc.” And also to not PUT myself in a situation where something scary might well happen.

    Yes, I don’t want to shame a guy or make him think that there is nothing there, etc.  But because of what is out there, it’s always better to be safe, than sorry.  And I’m with an earlier poster, if an otherwise good guy is put off by that, well that’s OK, I’d rather let a good guy go and stand by my boundaries and need to feel safe.  The right guy will get it, will work with me as I get comfortable with him as we progress and I work with him as well.

  19. 19
    Karmic Equation

    I agree with KTR that it’s just as important to a woman to figure out if a man is man enough in the bedroom before promising exclusivity to him.

    And I also agree with Lucy 16 that a woman shouldn’t indulge in any sexual activity until she’s determined that she would be comfortable having sex (but then just decides not to go all the way). And I agree with Fusee that oral sex is more intimate than regular sex. I actually save that for when a guy is close to being my BF. I never indulge in that during ONS or early in a relationship.

    If a guy is a good kisser, he is usually good in bed, too. So end your dates with some great kisses…and hopefully by the 3rd date you’ll have decided whether you’re ok having sex with him, then only indulge in what’s comfortable for you. You don’t have to go all the way.

    If you can’t tell by the 3rd date if the guy is a someone who could be violent, then you may need to adjust your goodguy-dar. I usually know within 15 minutes of talking to someone if they are a good person. I would definitely know by the end of the first date. I don’t go on 2nd dates with guys whom I don’t 100% trust to begin with. Or say it another way, if I’m not sure if the guy is a good guy after the first date, there is no 2nd date.

    If you are so fearful of date rape that you believe date rape is probable instead of just possible, you need to get that thinking process adjusted. Maybe therapy? (Not being rude, I think therapy is a real help to people). Anything is possible, but date rape isn’t probable if your goodguy-dar works like it should.

    1. 19.1

      many women who have been abused by their spouse were married for years before the first incident. guess their good guy radar wasn’t working too well for them.

      if a woman is raped it is because she is a bad judge of character and needed to adjust her good guy radar. her fault.

      women like you are why women hate each other

  20. 20

    I have never ever been pressured for sex. Not called back because I wouldn’t let my boundaries subside for a night…well yes… on that question. I do think that slowly opening up to someone on an intimate level is important with dating. If everything is going well, that means a slow kiss goodnight on the first date. On the second date I make it a point to touch him during conversation and be affectionate, along with more kissing. By the 3-4 date, there is usually some serious kissing and fondling. Sometimes the clothes are on, sometimes they are slightly off, and sometimes, dear God we are very close to each other completely naked. But, while I allow slow progression, there is no sexual intercourse (oral [okay sometimes they go down on me but that doesn’t count :)} or dipping even the head in) until I feel safe. To feel safe, I have to be in a exclusive relationship, know what I can expect as far as frequency in seeing each other, and know he is open to it being more than a few months of fun. A gentleman can enjoy being frisky, exploring you, pleasing you, and will wait for you to be ready to accept and enjoy all of him. Actually I think the: “I saw her naked, I had fun in pleasing her and turning her on, and want to do it again, and further” is exactly where you want his head to be. 

    1. 20.1

      I completely agree with you Liz. This has been my experience as well…I can usually tell quickly who I want to continue dating, who I want to do more than kissing with…etc. If the man makes me feel uncomfortable, I only go so far. If I feel comfortable and trust that he will stick around, I fool around a bit more. I only have sex with a man if he’s my boyfriend…that is something I learned not to compromise on the hard way. Yes, some good men have walked away, but they didn’t really want a committed relationship. It took some time, but I finally found exactly what I wanted by following Evan’s advice! Ultimately, you have to do what feels right to you…but I believe that being fearful will not help anyone create the relationship of their dreams.

  21. 21

    This is another great topic with an obvious myriad of opinions above me. First let me say that as a guy I do agree with about 99.9% of the advice Evan gives on this blog and in his practice. What absolutely blows my mind is the amount of TV shows there’s been on this summer with so called “Match Makers”, “Dating experts”, and other advice type shows filled with goofballs(“Miss Advised” anyone…???) and they don’t hold a candle to Evan and his expertise. What I’m trying to say is Hollywood is missing the boat. Evan should have his own TV show. They even gave Steve Harvey one starting today because of his so so book he wrote. Evan, you need a better agent!

    Anyway the topic at hand…. As someone that’s been dating ohhhh about 32 yrs now Evans’ right men just want to see things “progressing” over time. Every couple has their own “timetable”… depending on age, life circumstances, beliefs, goals,  etc… and that’s fine.

    @ KTR #10 brought up a good point about making a commitment to someone BEFORE you’ve had intercourse only to find out that you have bad chemistry like I did last year and had to end it after 15 dates because of no sexual chemistry. We waited about 12 dates. Like someone above me said it’s different for different age goups. She’s in her 40’s and I’m a little older so I’m no hurry and don’t have any “timetable rules” per se it’s always different depending on a lot of variables. Suffice to say at my age I haven’t had intercourse on a third date or earlier in many years nor have I wanted to but I love to make out. (except for one incredible one night stand with a woman from out of town but that doesn’t count…lol that had nothing to do with “dating”) Sure anyone can wait until you’re exclusive to have intercourse but there’s no guarantee of KEEPING someone after you’ve made that pact. You still have to have something to sustain it.

    You see what’s rarely talked about is the “skin starvation” factor meaning sometimes people at my age can wake up and figure out….not only have I not had sex in months I can’t remember the last time I actually made out with someone or passionately kissed someone whether I was wildly attracted or not. So it’s not always about the “orgasm” which we can all give ourselves, sometimes it’s just about the affection/foreplay that we all crave and love. Pants on or off!

  22. 22
    Karmic Equation

    @JB 22 You see what’s rarely talked about is the “skin starvation” factor meaning sometimes people at my age can wake up and figure out….not only have I not had sex in months I can’t remember the last time I actually made out with someone or passionately kissed someone whether I was wildly attracted or not. So it’s not always about the “orgasm” which we can all give ourselves, sometimes it’s just about the affection/foreplay that we all crave and love. Pants on or off!

    Well said. There’s no age restrictions up or down for the “skin starvation” factor. I would absolutely agree that that is why we need to have sex. Orgasms can be self-delivered. Skin on skin, yeah, we need another body for that!

  23. 23

    @Karmic Equation #20 (and anyone else who insists people can quickly and easily determine good guys from bad guys), I give you this:

    The BTK Killer, Dennis Rader, killed 10 people in Wichita, Kansas over a 30-year period. He was married with two children, a Boy Scout leader, employed as a local government official and was the president of his church congregation.

    The Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway confessed to killing 48 women over a 20-year period in the Seattle, Washington area. He was married, held the same job for 32 years, attended church regularly and read his Bible at home and at work.

    Robert Yates killed 17 prostitutes in the 1990s in the Spokane, Washington area. He was married, had five children, lived in a middle-class neighborhood and was a decorated U.S. Army National Guard helicopter pilot.

    Please stop telling us our goodguy-dar is defective just because you’ve been lucky. As someone who has been raped, I can ASSURE you–it’s not as simple as you think, and caution is never a bad thing.

  24. 24

    @wendy if you think every guy is a killer just never leave the house. You can know a man for years and he can kill you, hell you could get in your car to leave work today and die on the way home. Fear can’t be something that controls you, period.

  25. 25

    @Wendy #24   Thank you for the reality check.

    I recently went out with two different men. At the end of the first date with each man, I said goodbye by kissing the man on the mouth (not an open mouth French kiss, but a kiss on the mouth). Both men asked me for second dates.

    On the second dates, both men were constantly trying to kiss and grope me, even though we were in very public places (in a restaurant, on a sidewalk in front of open shops, in a parking lot, in a city park where there was an event with hundreds of people).  I felt that if these men had such little sense of boundaries in terms of access to my body when we were in a public place then they would have no sense of boundaries if we were in private.  

    In the end, the first man did not contact me again.  The second man did ask me for a third date, which I declined.          

  26. 26

    @ Wendy,

    As a fellow rape and domestic abuse survivor, I can totally understand your caution and pain.

    It’s easy for others to sit and judge when they have no clue what it is like.  Sure, we should not let our fears and our past ruin our future.  But still, some caution and nervousness is hard-wired, and for good reason. 

    It is perfectly OK to be cautious with men you don’t know.  No, we don’t have to interrogate each guy we come across, but using wisdom and caution is never, ever a bad thing.  I learned valuable lessons from the nightmares I endured and I am much more thoughtful, careful, and pay a LOT more attention to red flags now, than I ever did.  I was so blind to caution flags certain guys would send up, and I got hurt.  Now, I watch and pay attention.  I’d check in with a friend on a first date.  Go to a public place, and say, “NO!!!” if a guy tried something on me that I was not comfortable with and it scared me.

  27. 27

    @Julia #25: I’m not saying every guy is a murderer/rapist and we should all stay at home with the doors locked for the rest of our lives, for heaven’s sake! I’m responding to the folks on here who claim to be able to know a person within 15 minutes of meeting him/her. It’s ridiculous and potentially dangerous advice to tell someone to get therapy to “fix” themselves because they’re cautious-types and choose to be aware of their surroundings. I guess you think women who take self-defense courses are nut jobs, too. Someone is sexually assaulted in the U.S. every TWO MINUTES. That equates to approximately 208,000 per year, and almost 40% occur at the hands of someone the victim considers a friend or acquaintance. Do you think these THOUSANDS of women all just have broken goodguy-dar? I pray it never happens to you, but it is a possibility that shouldn’t be so blithely dismissed.

    Those of us who exhibit a reasonable amount of caution are not crazy phobics, and frankly I’m tired of being called one because I don’t jump in the sack with somebody before I even know his name. Good luck to you.

    1. 27.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      What a shame that this thread has devolved into a discussion of rape, instead of the genuinely useful topic of what to expect sexually from the dating process. No one is minimizing rape or sexual assault here. But you can’t make every discussion about sex come back to the perceived threat of violence. I mean, you CAN, but it’s just an endless loop for the vast majority of men who have never assaulted a woman. So please, if you have something to add about the original post on how you can use foreplay before having intercourse, I’d love to hear what you have to say. If you’re going to continue to imply that foreplay can’t be used – because some douche called you a cocktease and therefore men are scary and dangerous – well, then you can probably keep those comments to yourselves. You’re entitled to your feelings, but it’s not remotely constructive to continue to instill fear in a conversation about the 99% of dates where foreplay/sex occur without any violence.

      1. 27.1.1

        the fact that you are surprised that your advice turned into a discussion about date rape shows your blind spot as a man. maybe you don’t know women as well as you think you do.

        maybe you are unaware that the most common defense used for rapists is that she was asking for it because she was drinking and/or consented to engage in some form of sexual activity sans penetration. this still happens today. see karmic equation’s ignorant comments on the next page telling a woman poster her friend got raped because she was drunk and wearing the wrong thing.

        maybe you are also unaware that everyone has the right to have their own boundaries. if a woman is uncomfortable with petting etc before she’s ready for sex, thats her right. please stop assuming she’s so stupid she doesn’t understand that a conservative approach to sex might turn off some good guys, that she needs to be reminded to get naked or else. it’s still her right,

        no one is calling all men rapists. the fact the you had to come back with uncited statistics to convince women that rape rarely happens so drop those panties, girl! says a lot about you. there is huge area between trusting no men and trusting all men.

        no one is questioning that petting and foreplay without sex can be fun (and most of us have known that since we were 13).

        the point is everyone has the right to have their boundaries respected and adopt whatever sense of caution they choose to feel safe.

        now given your propensity to censor comments that question or disagree with you, i don’t expect to see this in the comments section. but for once try to listen instead of insisting your answers are always right and must fit every women because after all we are all alike right?!

  28. 28

    As someone who has just recently joined the online dating world and just started coming to this site, I would say that Evan’s comments are right on.  Sex, like relationships should be a progression.  I don’t believe in any set number of dates or rules for it but go by how I feel about the other person and how well I know them.  Of course trust is a given because I will not go on multiple dates with anyone who seems “off”. I’ve been in a serious relationship where we didn’t have sex (but built up to it) for months and one where we had full sex on the third date.  It also depends on how the dates go because I’ve had good dates go for 4-6 hours, most of it talking, learning about each other, and enjoying each other’s company.  It’s only natural that at the end of a great date, you want some physical contact and want more as time goes on.  I only have sex when I’m ready and don’t do casual sex.  Most men know the drill and try the the normal progression across multiple dates of light kissing, making out, a little groping, clothing removal, intense contact, and so on. I’ve always felt like I could set the pace though, even if some men are more persistant then others, and never felt unsafe.  I also think men find the build up fun and exciting, even if they are a little frustrated.  And, I believe that skill in foreplay is an indication of how good and giving a man is in bed. 

  29. 29
    Karl R

    Wendy, (#24)
    If you treat a man like he’s a potential serial killer (or a rapist), all the decent men will dump you. We’re accustomed to being treated much better than that.

    Two of my most serious relationships were with women who had been raped. They didn’t treat me like I was a potential rapist.

    You can try to justify your paranoia all you want, but the decent men won’t cut you slack. If you went on a first date with a wealthy, successful man, and he treated you like a gold-digger, would you go on a second date with him? No matter how many times he’d been ripped off by women (or how much money he’d lost), you would see no justification in him treating you in that manner.

    I expect common-sense precautions, particularly in online dating where you start out as strangers. But if you can’t move past that stage quickly, you’re sending out all sorts of negative signals.

    Almita said: (#26)
    “I felt that if these men had such little sense of boundaries in terms of access to my body when we were in a public place then they would have no sense of boundaries if we were in private.”

    That’s correct. This isn’t rocket science. If a man doesn’t respect your boundaries, he’s not one of the good guys. He’s not a safe bet to be alone with.

    And it took you less than two dates to discover this.

  30. 30

    Karl R #31, I’m assuming you haven’t read my response (#28). 

    I am not, nor do I advocate, living in fear because I KNOW all men are not murderers/rapists. I am not paranoid and I honestly don’t understand what in my posts is giving people that impression. Do you lock your house before going to bed at night? Does that make you paranoid? I have had good dates, bad dates, GREAT dates, and several turned into quality relationships (including the one I’m in now). I could not have accomplished any of this if I was so fearful and mistreating. Just because I pointed out that there are certain risks a single girl takes when going out alone with a guy she’s never met, and that I don’t think 15 minutes is enough time for most of us to know for certain that a man is safe to get into a car with, doesn’t make me a bad person.  

    It was never my intention to focus on rape, but I don’t appreciate being misunderstood and need to make sure my message is clear.

    Now, can we please get back to the post at hand? I think one of the things that’s been missing from many of these posts is simple conversation. If you have a few great dates and things seem to be progressing down that physical path, why not have a talk? Let your date know about your expectations. Ask him about his. The objective is to make sure you’re both on the same page. Whether you’re a girl who likes to jump into sex quickly or hold off until he’s officially a “boyfriend,” why keep him guessing or make him try to figure out your body language? Men aren’t mind readers and often have no idea what we want from them. Just because the last girl they dated had sex on date three doesn’t mean you will (or should) if that’s not right for you, but how else is he going to know that if you don’t tell him? I personally think these conversations can be almost as much fun as the foreplay that follows, and definitely lets the guy know that I’m interested without undoing so much as one button until we’re both ready.

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