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. 31

    Karl R-
    Why is using common sense precautions (like you yourself suggest) “treating a man like a serial killer/rapist”?? I don’t think Wendy suggested she was doing this, you are just jumping to conclusions. And further, do you think that wealthy men are not cautious and observant of ALL new women they date? Of course they are, let’s not be naive! That does not mean that one has to be demeaning. And if a guy is not happy if I don’t want to take my clothes off by the third date for a full-on heavy petting session, then good riddance! The bottom line is that some people are fortunate enough to be asked on a lot of dates, and even if a woman gets a feeling a guy is “a good guy”, one may want to go on more than just 3 dates before going to second or 3rd base- there are just too many options and other guys to explore possibilities with, and also some women are just not comfortable with going to 2nd and 3rd base with simultaneous people. But this is totally off- topic. Can one have their clothes off and not have full-on sex? To me the answers is obviously yes (it’s called 3rd base in case we forgot our HS vocabulary) and (to me) it can happen before commitment but not before the first 6 dates or so. Second base after the 4th date or so. All the boyfriends I’ve had (including the current one) have been top notch in the looks and success department but without the douchebaggery and sense of entitlement some men like them have. So this formula works for me.

  2. 32

    Interesting that I have never met a guy I perceived as disturbed or dangerous on about 30 Match dates. The two most offensive guys were 1) a man I went to college w (and knew slightly, many years ago), who got very harmlessly drunk during the date; and 2) the gazillionaire private equity guy who took one look at me in the foyer of the restaurant **and walked out**.
    I got involved w my ex boyfriend too fast and became a booty call, but never felt in danger going to his house etc.  But as all EMK readers know- that’s what happens w first date sex. I’m sorry that this has turned into a discussion of date rape.

  3. 33

    @Karl R: I don’t think anyone was actually suggesting treating men like potential rapists.  It’s a given that any man would and should run away if treated with that suspicion from the get-go.  I think the only point being made was that the line between yes and no is a fine one and even after 3, 4 or 5 dates we don’t know how a man is going to react if we fool around for a while and then decide we don’t want to go any further.  Not suggesting he will rape us, just that it might have been better not to go so far if you had no intention of seeing it all the way through.  All depends on the circumstances, I guess.

    Also, “move past that stage quickly” is very subjective.  Not to state the obvious but that is the takeaway here.  If your definition is different from that of the general populace you’re going to get passed over many times before you find your Prince Charming.  BUT, as long as you’re okay with the consequences there is nothing wrong with being different.  I make this point only because the tone of some of the posts above seemed to suggest that the women who were different were silly for not changing themselves and towing the party line.

    I can’t believe that I just read the “having sex is like eating” bit yet again.  Seriously?  No, Paula, they are not the same thing.  You may think they are but they are not.  Believe it or not, it is possible to get through many, many, many years of your life without having sex or even a self induced orgasm.  Not a happy situation maybe but quite a possible one.  The same cannot be said for eating.  Yes you’ll go somewhere else if someone won’t cook for you but you HAVE to eat if you want to survive.  You do not HAVE to have sex.  Yes, it’s healthy, it makes you feel good, blah, blah, blah but it’s still a want.  Nourishing yourself is a need.

    I apologize for the sarcasm but really, I didn’t know how else to respond. I should know better but I can’t resist replying.  I think I deserve some credit for being nice the last time I wrote a rebuttal to that comment 😀

  4. 34
    Evan Marc Katz

    @Wendy #32

    “Let your date know about your expectations. Ask him about his.”

    You try that and let me know how it goes. Normal people don’t state their expectations on the first date. “Hi, I’m Evan. I’m an intellectual snob and I’m hoping that you read the New York Times cover to cover like I do. I’m also a pretty outspoken liberal who is culturally Jewish but I’m really more of an atheist. Hope that’s cool with you – especially when I want to raise our children Jewish. Oh, and I’m used to going pretty far on first dates, so what do you think? Are we a match?”

    There are people who date like this. They are not the ones you want to see a second time. They’re trying to read the last page of the book without reading the book.

    You don’t discuss what’s going to happen physically on a date. You go on a date. You make a move. You see where it goes – both parties consenting, or not. The idea that you can negotiate this stuff at dinner is tone deaf to normal conventions.

    As for those who feel men are “entitled” like RW, Maggie, and Heather: please pay attention to what I actually wrote. You can do whatever you want physically. No one is judging you or keeping score. Really. Men don’t think, “I’d better get to third base by date 3 or else,” especially if they like you. So I’m encouraging you not to assume that men who try to move faster physically are “bad”, anymore than you should be termed “frigid” for wanting to move slow. They’re both unfair labels, and your inability to see the grey areas between “rapist” and “man who reaches for your belt buckle on Date 4, but is okay if you say no” is the only reason I’m prolonging this conversation.



  5. 35

    Evan #36: I didn’t say do this on the first date. I said, and I quote: “If you have a few great dates and things seem to be progressing down that physical path, why not have a talk?” For me, this usually happens at home or in the car, not on a public date, and I never said that it did. All of my best relationships have incorporated quality conversation, and all of my failed relationships have been lacking in this area. Communication is as important to me as compatibility in the bedroom, so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with finding out of we can talk effectively early-ish in the dating phase, just like most everyone else is making sure they can have good sex early-ish.  

    And by conversation I don’t mean approaching it so matter-of-factly as you have implied. Of course you wouldn’t have made it to the second date with me if that had been your first! I’ve always had so much fun with this part–why is everyone so afraid to talk to each other? I’m sure we all know by now how women can overthink things, so body language and mind-reading alone can lead to big misunderstadings. 

    Here’s an example of what I mean, for clarification: I believe it was on the third or fourth date with my current boyfriend (only a few goodnight kisses had been exchanged by this point), I said something along the lines of, “So…what do YOU like to do?” stated with a sly smile. He replied with a big grin and it went from there. We talked that night for about four hours (JUST talked) before he went home. We waited another two dates before having full-on, but we continued that original conversation and added in some physical contact. By the time we actally had sex, the build-up made it AWESOME.

    Now, a year later, we STILL talk like we did. In fact, I often use this blog for material (“So, what would YOU do if….”). We have FUN with this, and it usually leads to great FUN later in the bedroom. If no one can see the difference between having some fun sexual banter and an interrogation, then we really are in trouble!

  6. 36

    @ EMK:

    I think you have grossly misunderstood and unfairly judged women like me and Wendy. 

    Please, tell me exactly where and when I said that men are “entitled”?  Seriously? 

    Women can, and damn well SHOULD use common sense precautions when meeting someone new.  I’m not saying that you have a conversation within 10 minutes of meeting “yes, hi there, I’m Heather and I expect sex only after we’ve been dating for a little while.”  Not at all.

    What I AM saying, is that we women do have the right to be careful, cautious, and if we feel it’s unsafe to put ourselves in a situation where we feel uncomfortable, then by all means, we should do so.  We women have control over ourselves and our dating lives, and isn’t that what you’ve been trying to get across here in this blog?  So to use that logic, then doesn’t it make common sense to go, “OK, Heather.  You’ve been raped and abused in a marriage.  Think about what happened.  Learn from that.  Set better boundaries.  Watch men more, don’t just blindly trust after 10 minutes.  If you don’t feel comfortable having foreplay/intercourse on the first date, then don’t PUT yourself in a situation where that could happen.”

    THAT is all I am saying.  I find it quite commendable that people like Wendy are moving on with their lives.  We have a choice, we can sit and hide in fear or we can get out there and move on.  She and I have chosen to do that, but do so with a bit more caution than before. 

    Maybe you’re one of the guys who are fine with a woman stopping you if you guys are rounding 3rd base and she’s not liking it/getting freaked out/what have you.  But there are “some” guys who are not.  And it’s better to get to know a guy a little bit, IMO, before going there and then finding out the hard way.

  7. 37

    EMK #36
    “Normal people don’t state their expectations on the first date.”
    What Wendy actually said was, “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.”
    Why is this a bad thing? Notice that she didn’t advocate grilling the guy on the first date, which, I agree, would be hasty. Since it’s usually men who do the pursuing in the beginning, women are generally the ones setting limits.

  8. 38

    Having been a longtime lurker but never commented, here’s a few things I feel has to be pointed out. The reading inability and logical fallacies are teeth-gritting.
    @ Aimita re comment #02 – In the original post, Evan mentions that only kissing for 3 dates is a little frustrating. He did not say anything about it being a golden rule that had to be followed, or encased in stone, The 2nd paragraph of your reply gives your POV and a minimum timeframe of what YOU reckon you’re not comfortable with. The problem arises, when you extrapolate your POV and the validity of situations based only on your POV, in your subsequent replies.
    Your 3rd paragraph is the kind of reply that makes eyes roll/glaze over in any serious debate/discussion and immediately induces the urge to dismiss you as a candidate for measured non-exaggerated discourse (It’s only the 2nd comment, and we’re already at the Godwin’s Law equivalent of discussing foreplay/date progression ie rape).
    “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.”  
    I always took it that Evan was giving advice to those who were either unsure or didn’t know what he speaks of, and that he always treats his audience with the respectful premise that they have a certain amount of caution and commonsense, but just need that extra edge. According to you, a woman has to know a man VERY well, before engaging in foreplay. So what’s your definition of knowing the man well, and how long will it take? Can you seriously put a concrete time limit on such things? Having dated men and women, I can tell you that I didn’t need to know them VERY well, before having foreplay. It depends on where I’m coming from, and how I suss out the comfort zones and stop short at any major red flags, as I go along. 
    Maggie in #04 also seems to have a similar misunderstanding. Evan is mentioning that only kissing for 3 dates is a bit frustrating. He’s stating his viewpoint, which I can say is quite valid for most of my friends (some are experienced daters who’ve done everything from one-night-stands to more, and are now married). How it becomes twisted and exaggerated in interpretation, as a rule to allow men to manhandle boobs and more within- Here’s Evan’s original lines:
    “Or three straight dates with nothing but kissing. That was a little frustrating.”
    Maggie, you say the timeline in this post is aggressive. Please point out where Evan insists on a fixed timeline for how and what things are supposed to happen, and then we can see what aggressiveness you speak of. As I understood, he was giving his feelings and viewpoint, not rules. I read a post that tries to illustrate progression in steps and examples, but I don’t see anything fixed in gold. Your reply implies you do. Please, point it out. 
    I would also like to point out that if one’s approach is ultra-conservative from a religious/cultural/safety POV, that’s fine FOR YOU. One would do better with ultra-conservatives (eg. one must know the other person VERY well, before foreplay of any sort is allowed). But please keep in mind that there will be a reduced availability of people to your liking. If (generic) you are going to make your moral stance crystal-clear on the first date, you’ll have to be very careful HOW you do it, such that your firmness doesn’t translate into aggressiveness. Because if the other person gets the impression that your mindset and morals must extend to your partner, then you’re making them think you are likely going to be difficult and inflexible when you don’t get your way (which may border on ridiculous), then I have no interest in going further with somebody like that. I respect boundaries, but having YOUR law laid down on me like a drill sergeant, wet nanny or arrogant child does not make people hang aorund.
    I don’t agree with everything Evan says, but I can agree with most of what he says. His stance is that he is catering for the masses. Given what I know of my male and female friends, most of them would identify with more than half of what he’s saying, mindset-wise.
    @ Wendy re comment #28 – I read your comments 24 and 28. And I’m not surprised at Karl R’s or Julia’s responses. You cite statistics and examples, especially in #24 and give me the extreme impression that you are driving a point home that you are intent on tarring the entire forest as ash. You also seem to be missing the point of what you’re trying to advocate VS the actual impression your words are giving. I quote 2 examples below:
    I’m responding to the folks on here who claim to be able to know a person within 15 minutes of meeting him/her.

    Who are the folks here, who claim to be able to know a person within 15 minutes of meeting him/her? Not Evan. Not Karl R. Not I. Not Julia.
    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.

    You’re implying that you’re being called a crazy-phobic, because you don’t jump in the sack with someone without even knowing their name. NOBODY here is asking or telling you to jump in the sack with someone without knowing their name. I wouldn’t call you a crazy-phobic. But I might call you crazy about other things, and stay far away from you, because you seem a little too keen to prove that evil men exist out there and it’s almost impossible to be safe… not to mention a disconnect from what is being said Vs what you’re interpretting and putting out there. 
    People, being traumatised by rape is horrible. And scarring. But extrapolating not knowing a man well enough by YOUR definition = foreplay = likely rape should not be used as it is here because frankly speaking, that’s doing a real disrespectful disservice to rape victims.
    And frankly, regardless of gender, that’s where the problem lies with several posters here. A questionable reading comprehension obviously clouded by assumptions, flawed logic, an inability to recognise and step outside of the limitations of their mindset that they don’t realise (and recognise another POV as valid, equally valid or being more valid), hence leading to the impressions given in the wording. 
    Evan is obviously giving flexible and respectful advice (which he has acknowledged before in earlier posts, does not extend to everybody but is for the masses) based on the premise that the readers are mature enough to apply what they will as they wish, to their own situations. He has also added his POV about likely consequences and limiting factors. He is not ramming golden rules down your throat here. Some replies however, imply otherwise. Some readers, obviously, are not returning him the flexibility and respect.

  9. 39

    @L_M #40: To clarify, AGAIN, I was responding specifically to Karmic Equation who stated in post #20 that she usually knows within 15 minutes of talking to someone if they are a good person. My statistics were meant only to show that this is not always the case. If I’d simply said “Yeah, well, some good guys are actually bad, so there!” without backing it up with facts, I’d have been called out on that. And to suggest someone get counseling because they exhibit common-sense caution with men they don’t know is insulting. And AGAIN, you’re misinterpreting my suggestion that getting to know a man before going off into the night with him is the same as “Treat all men like they’re murdering rapists!” How are you coming to that conclusion? Honestly!
    It sounds to me like the OP had the kind of lasting, loving, faithful relationship that I (and many others) are hoping to one day find. That being said, since she’s been “virtuous” to the point of no longer needing to prove it, I hope she now gets the chance to have some fun with her new single status, sex and all.

  10. 40
    Karmic Equation

    @Heather 38 Maybe you’re one of the guys who are fine with a woman stopping you if you guys are rounding 3rd base and she’s not liking it/getting freaked out/what have you. But there are “some” guys who are not. And it’s better to get to know a guy a little bit, IMO, before going there and then finding out the hard way.

    There’s no guarantee that the guy will be ok with stopping if you don’t indulge until the 100th date, when you’ve gotten to know him super well. When you indulge is not the determining factor if a guy will or won’t be ok with stopping. It’s the character of the GUY himself. If he has issues he will have them at any date. If you find yourself with more guys who are NOT ok than ok with stopping when you say so, you have a broken picker. If you only have an N=1 experience, then this is not statistically significant to worry about. I’m sorry it happened to you, but it’s still not statiscally significant, and you can’t paint all men with the same brush.

    If you’re just IMAGINING this happens without any actual experience with this, then you need to stop the negative thinking. You are what you think. There’s a study (forgot where I read this one) – that the unconscious mind does not know “good” thoughts from “bad” thoughts, just simply that you have the thoughts. But whatever you think is what your mind moves you towards. So if You think men are potential rapists and every “stop” will engender negative reactions from men, you mind will keep helping you find those kind of men.

    @Maggie33 and Wendy37

    When you have sex or sexual activities is not the determining factor but rather the MAN HIMSELF. If it takes you 8 dates, then it takes you 8 dates. Some of us can get there on 1-3 dates. some of us can filter/decide faster than others. There’s no right or wrong.


    Great clarification. Bantering and communication is a good way of getting the sexual info across in a fun way. This is what I meant by having the kind of conversation that helps you get to know the guy. If your guy wasn’t a good bantering type whom attracted you, you wouldn’t have indulged and would have moved on.

    You’re actually doing what EMK is advocating just with a little delay in the action and a little longer on the conversation/getting to know stage.

  11. 41

    Karmic Equation #20

    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.”

    This is the comment Wendy originally replied about.  Her point to this specific comment (although she left it unspecified) was it is not always easy to tell the the good guys from the bad guys.   


  12. 42

    Who are the folks here, who claim to be able to know a person within 15 minutes of meeting him/her? Not Evan. Not Karl R. Not I. Not Julia

    Karmic 20  I usually know within 15 minutes of talking to someone if they are a good person.

  13. 43

    Although I agree that some commenters come across as “intense” or as having a “black or white” mindset, I also understand where they are coming from. They are coming from their own experience that was not necessarily positive. And it’s good for the rest of us – women and men – to learn from them as well. Dating can be light, playful, and fun, but not always.
    It is unfair of women who are fine with early sex/sex without a commitment or of men who are rarely victims of abuse to label women who remind others to be cautious as “paranoid”. And blog posts such as this one are going to trigger these reminders of being cautious because they somewhat advice people to rely on trust and non-verbal communication in an area where misunderstandings between people are rampant. Some people are really naive and need to be reminded that playing with fire can burn.
    Also, if Evan gives priceless advice geared to “the masses”, the benefit of his allowing respectful comments is to have a chance to share/read opinions coming from mindsets a bit on the right or the left of the bell-shaped curve. A lot of people do not fit the “average”. I certainly do not.
    Back to the question: “How can you take your pants off without having sex?”
    Well, you take them off (or let him take them off : ), do whatever you are fine doing, and simply say no to what you do not want to do. Easy.
    But as for everything in life, it’s best to examine potential consequences before engaging in something risky. And it IS risky to engage in foreplay if you do NOT want intercourse AND if you have not clearly communicated your limits before starting. Not risky because of an unlikely risk of abuse, but simply because of a risk of not sticking to your own limits and/or creating misunderstandings and unnecessary frustrations when clarifying your limits “at the last minute”.
    If you really want to refrain from sex, you have to realize that relying on one’s self-control or on the self-control of someone in a high state of sexual arousal is foolish. This is going to play in favor of the one who does not have such limits. However if you have a strong self-control and know that your partner does as well because you’ve communicated your limits clearly and learned from experience that they are likely to not be frustrated, then you have more chance to keep your date fun and playful while playing with fire.
    Therefore I agree with Wendy on the communication part. I’m always talking about sex before doing it. My motto: “if you can’t talk about it, you should not be doing it”. It does not need to be on date #1 and it does not need to be that matter-of-factly and it does not need to be that rigid. But I certainly use the transition to sex as a place to assess the ability to handle uncomfortable discussions where conflicting needs (when, what) and simple safety measures (safe sex, birth control) are involved. And this really encourages the getting-to-know process and the building of more emotional intimacy. It’s been always an enlightening (although uncomfortable) pivotal event in my relationships. Makes me decide to keep going or to opt out. Not because of the actual content of the conversation, but how the whole process is being handled. Emotionally immature people have always tried to avoid talking about it. Interesting.
    Not going to give this up!

    1. 43.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Fusee – You don’t have to give this up. You just have to concede a point.

      I’ve been with hundreds of women who participated willingly in foreplay without intercourse. There were no conversations about limits beforehand. Ever.

      You’re only attuned to one type of risk – the one that says that two adults can’t stop themselves from having intercourse.

      I want you to be attuned to the other type of risk – that by trying to communicate about foreplay through conversation, you’re actually hurting your own chances. It’s not that you’re “wrong” for desiring clarity on what could potentially be an uncomfortable situation. It’s that, for the vast majority of people, these things are more naturally communicated by him reaching for a body part and you moving his hand away. To discuss these things beforehand would be, at best, odd, and at worst, a turn-off. Such conversations about how far you’re going to go are borne out of fear, not confidence.

      Should you discuss STDs before intercourse? Yes. Should you figure out exclusivity before intercourse? Yes. But anything else that you want to discuss – whether you like it or not – comes across as insecure, unnatural and unnecessarily probing. Once again, you are entitled to your actions and beliefs and I wish you well with them. I only wrote this post – and these comments – to point out that the mechanism you’re using to protect yourself from risk carries a risk of its own.

      Thanks for your contributions.

  14. 44
    Karmic Equation

    Guilty as charged! I made that comment. *I* usually do know if someone is a good person after 15 minutes. Perhaps I could qualify the statement…I usually do know within 15 minutes “if that person is a good enough person to get to know better within 15 minutes.” It oftentimes takes longer than that for me to decide if they are sex-worthy, and always takes longer than that to decide if they are relationship-worthy. Yup, to me relationships take more work than sex, so I prioritize accordingly. One you have to use your mind and emotional energies, the other you don’t. The path of least resistance, you know 😉

    As I’ve indulged in a few ONS in my youth and have lived to tell about it, I’ve been able to tell if a person is good enough to have sex with within a few hours. I’ve even had a few not-quite-ONS hookups that went to 3rd base and did not end in sex and without any scars, emotional or physical. And I’ve even dated a guy and changed my mind and told him to stop *mid-stroke* without him reacting negatively. It’s all in the guydar-picking and the delivery of the stop.

  15. 45

    @Evan #46: Thank you for your thoughful comments!
    I should have mentioned that I definitely use the “moving his hand language” before any conversation happens. Much more natural and less awkward, I agree, but to my experience not enough to move the relationship to commitment (or to opting out), especially if you are on the “conservative” side like me, and would likely move his hand A LOT : )
    With my current boyfriend for example, it was more frustrating for him to have his hand moved all the time than listening to me clarifying my needs. Which was to keep all sexual contact within a committed relationship that was going to be assessed long-term. He had never dated a purposeful woman before so clear communication helped a lot to progress in our relationship. Moving his hand made him feel much more rejected than simply talking, and realizing with great relief that we both wanted the same thing in the end.
    My way of dealing with men has worked well for me, so I’m not worried about hurting my chances. I’m not looking to secure a commitment at any price. I’m looking to find myself in a committed relationship that has potential, so I’d rather not become committed at all than being committed to someone I’m very likely to leave later.
    I’m actually secure enough to not worry about looking insecure. I just look like what I am: someone who knows why they are dating and how much they respect their body and their emotions. Respect is not fear and perceptive men can make the difference in person. However I’m aware that such boundaries weed most men out, therefore I’m not urging all women to follow my methods. Just sharing in case someone (man or woman) would find interesting to hear about another way of dealing with their pants early in a relationship…
    My goal is NOT to secure a short-term committed relationship…

  16. 46

    Well said Fusee, much better than I could have 🙂  Agree 100% with both posts, especially about NOT securing short term relationships.  Evan, it really is not my intention to pick a fight but I didn’t say that men were “entitled” and I wasn’t talking about you at all when I mentioned tone.  Just because I disagree with you doesn’t mean I don’t see your point of view and your entitlement to it.  I also see that it applies to the masses and the reality of today.  Having said that, I hope you will consent that I have a right to disagree.  My way doesn’t work for everyone but it works for me.  I am not suggesting that other people use it but I am asking to be spared comments like: “I don’t put this holy value on sex like others seem to do. ”  That was the comment that stood out the most but there were others.

  17. 47

    Hugely interesting thread and I appreciate the POVs of everybody who commented. My thinking is along the lines of Heather, Wendy, and Fusee and the others who express what seems to me common sense cautionary boundaries in meeting strangers. Since I’ve only recently started online dating, I’m not a good source of experience but after over 90 days (I know a drop in the bucket), I’ve only met two guys I was willing to even have a second date, let alone deal with first, second or third base as long as we are using HS jargon here. BTW, Evan I recently read the posts on the “Worst Online Dates’ and I was amazed. I would very much like to see the posts that weren’t published. Very helpful but amazed.
    I’m am a bit perplexed as to why some folks are shocked that this post would lead to a discussion of “date rape”.  Clearly some guys (maybe most, who knows) can stop when a woman says stop even when pants are off and someone is reaching for the condom. Also clearly, some guys don’t/won’t stop. Thus the term “date rape”. I think it’s important to recognize that some guys don’t/won’t stop. I haven’t been a rape victim but I’m very sensitive to the crime.  I envy those ladies who can tell in 15 minutes. I’m not that clairvoyant. I’m going to have to know somebody more than 15 minutes and probably more than 9 hours. Sorry guys. It’ll take a bit more time before my knickers drop or anything for that matter.  If is all I want is sex, I can do that any night. This has been a great thread but a bit scary.  I wouldn’t want my 22 yro daughter to read this and think she can take her pants off and then simply say stop and someone she doesn’t know will simply comply. What if he doesn’t? Evan, have you discussed this with your gorgeous wife?  I’m wondering how you will advise your beautiful young daughter, if you are blessed with a girl?      

  18. 48

    Thanks for a very candid and helpful article, EMK.  For those of us who have been coupled for most of the past twenty or so years, this information and the opinions expressed in the comments are useful.

  19. 49

    @Runnergirl, if your daughter is 22, unless you are very conservative and went to some really conservative religious college,  she probably understands “hooking up” quite well.  Hookup culture was alive and well when I was in college in the 90’s, and it is even more pervasive now.  

    And that means that you don’t have people going steady and then rounding the bases.  It means that guys and girls who aren’t dating will meet at a party, and sometimes under the influence of alcohol (but for example, very few of my good college friends drank), then engage in some heavy foreplay that doesn’t end in sex.  

    I personally think that it MIGHT be a generational thing, in terms of people above a certain age assuming full or partial nudity leads to sex, or that it is impossible to safely let a man touch or see your boobs lest he molests you.  Yeesh.  I kind of assumed the writer, b/c of her age, didn’t know what else she could do while naked. Of course, I have no way of knowing how much people really towed the line regarding virtue back then.  I always assumed a lot of people just lied about being sexually active.  When I got to college and started hearing about “hooking up” I didn’t know what it meant when people explained that they didn’t have sex with the person but had been in bed with them.  But yeah, I was fresh out of high school.  

    Date rape was occurring even to girls wearing poodle skirts who planned on being virgins until they were married.  And Googling a few sources, the biggest culprit of unwanted sex (at least for college students) is alcohol, which blurs those lines between yes and no for both the man and the woman (although some of those encounters are very violent).  

    It’s funny how almost every thread devolves into this idea that mean are beasts just waiting to take advantage of poor, fragile, emotionally and physically vulnerable women.  I’m kind of offended that so many women want to play this role (and yet want to demand every other right when it suits them).

  20. 50

    Again, have no way of knowing b/c of my age but I picture lots of fear mongering being used against people in the past that any type of touching, petting, or nudity would lead to you being raped, or at least not being a good girl any more.

    It seems to the be the tack taken by a lot of people who want to promote extreme chastity…I’ve heard people who have no clue “explain” what can happen if they touch, or what happens to people who do touch.

  21. 51

    The date rape issue came up a while back on another thread, but I think it bears repeating, since I’m surprised that so many folks here are naive about it. Here’s a statistic from an article on date rape in the Washington University newsletter: “According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), women aged 16-24 not only experience rape at a rate four times higher than the assault rate of all women, but 25 percent of these women have been victims of rape or attempted rape since turning 14 years old, around the onset of puberty.”
    Here’s more:
    “From National Studies Of College Women
    * 84% of women who were raped knew their assailants.
    * 57% of rapes occurred on a date.
    * 25% of men surveyed believed that rape was acceptable if: the women asks the man out; if the man pays for the date, or the woman goes back to the man’s room after the date.
    * 33% of males surveyed said they would commit rape if they definitely could escape detection.
    * 84% of male students who had committed acts that clearly met the legal definition of rape said what they had done was definitely not rape.
    * 75% of male and 55% of female students in an occurrence of date rape had been drinking or using drugs.
    * Only a quarter to a third of women whose sexual assaults met the legal definition of rape considered themselves rape victims.
    * Many women do not report or characterize their victimization as a crime for reasons such as embarrassment, because they do not want to define someone who assaulted them as a rapist, or because they do not know the legal definition of rape. Many women blame themselves.
    * Nearly 5% of college women are victimized in any given year, meaning over 4 years one-fifth to one quarter of a cohort of women may be assaulted. Similar numbers experienced attempted rape.
    * The majority of rapes occur in living quarters–60% in victim’s residence, 10 % in a fraternity, 31 % in other living quarters. Off campus victimizations also took place in bars, dance clubs and work settings.
    * 50% of high school boys and 42% of girls said there were times it was acceptable for a male to hold a female down and physically force her to engage in intercourse.”
    From all I’ve read, it’s the high school, college, and early-twenties women who need to be the most careful. Not exactly EMK’s target audience, but still worthy of note. Acknowledging potential dangers isn’t the same as saying that “All men are rapists,” or promoting “extreme chastity.”
    As far as the OP is concerned, someone in their sixties, who was married for many years, and has dated very little, is probably going to be more conservative, and less knowledgeable about her options. She’s probably going to be less interested in engaging in casual sex. While it’s unlikely that she’s going to be in any high-risk situations, as i mentioned earlier, it’s not only about physical safety, it’s about emotional safety and comfort also. That just happens to vary from person to person.

  22. 52

    I agree with what someone else said. It isn’t about when a man wants to have sex with you that determines whether he is good and decent. Okay that’s common sense but I’ve met lots of women who don’t see it the way I do. While I want to have sex when I am ready, I certainly won’t put up an arbitrary boundary as a test. I suspect that that type of game playing would be counter-productive and actually weed out some very good men. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the good from the bad. But the truly bad guys (who aren’t obviously crazy) will be manipulative enough to put you in a position you’d rather not be in. Trusting your instincts in order to make the right judgement call goes a long way. The higher self-esteem you have, the easier it is to do that. 

  23. 53
    Karmic Equation

    @RW #35

    The way I interpret “sex is like eating” is that sex is AS NATURAL AS eating, and to women who are comfortable with their sexuality, just as necessary as eating. I agree with Paula that it’s not the holy grail that many on this board treat it. Sex is NATURAL, it’s beautiful, WHETHER OR NOT there is a relationship. Sex is just as necessary as eating because the human race would die out without it. I would say sex is more necessary than relationships because the human race can continue with just sex and no relationships. 
    @runnergirl50 I envy those ladies who can tell in 15 minutes. I’m not that clairvoyant…If is all I want is sex, I can do that any night.
    You don’t need to be clairvoyant, you just have to be good at reading people. And how do you “do sex any night” if you’re not able to size up a man’s character quickly?
    @Nicole 52/53
    Agreed 100%. Well said.

    If one hasn’t personally been date raped or know anyone who has been date raped or have never tried to stop a man from going all the way after the pants are off, one should STOP SPECULATING about whether or not a man can or cannot stop when a woman says no.

    I *have* stopped men after third base; and the man I stopped *mid-stroke* was an excon. So yeah, you can stop any man, provided you are a good judge of character. Don’t date men whose CHARACTER is in doubt. A man may be relationship material (ala BTK, Green River Killer, Robert Yates, etc.) — but that doesn’t mean they have good character. A man may have a past (excon) but that doesn’t mean they have bad character.

    I haven’t been date raped and am confident that I never will be because I’m not a vulnerable person. Date rapists target the vulnerable, people who are
    -Too drunk
    -Too low in self-esteem (many here confuse self-respect with self-esteem)
    -Too sexually inexperienced/naive
    -Too inexperienced at reading people
    -Too situationally unaware

    If you are any ONE of the above you may be vulnerable to date rape or bad relationships.

    How you help combat date rape is to ADDRESS ALL of the above, not fear monger nor speculate about the probability of date rape when rounding the bases. That’s just the voice of inexperience talking. The POSSIBILITY is certainly there, but is it PROBABLE? It’s POSSIBLE that you can be struck by lightning, but is it PROBABLE? It’s POSSIBLE that you can win the lottery, but is that PROBABLE?

    The chances of date rape–if you are NOT vulnerable and ARE a good judge of character–are slim to none, whether your pants are on or off.

    If you feel that the probability is higher for you, I’m willing to bet you are vulnerable in one of the areas above.

    1. 53.1

      you fuck excons? or you’re making shit up to defend an argument that’s falling apart?

  24. 54

    @Karmic I have been date raped and I certainly feel comfortable deciding when and where and what a man does to me. I’ve never felt out of control of my body EXCEPT when I was preyed on in college. That’s it. So I kind of wish these women would stop answering for women like me, who have been victims but also realize that most men are not out to hurt me.

    1. 54.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I think Julia speaks my truth the most. No one is suggesting that there’s no date rape, but rather that it’s far more prevalent for women in their 20s with men in their 20s, you have control of your choice of men and it’s not that hard to pick up on a hint of danger from a man, and that my advice on how to use foreplay prior to intercourse should not be remotely affected by your past.

      For the final time, if you choose not to kiss a guy for five dates, ask him how he feels about sex while you’re eating your salad, or get agitated that he reached for your bra before you were ready, that’s your prerogative. But the more you live in fear, the less open you are to making a real organic connection with a man. No one said you should get drunk and go home with every guy. But I tend to advocate for being less wary over more wary. And yes, I will teach my daughter the same thing. She will be the kind of girl who loves and trusts men, if I have anything to do with it. The alternative is clearly worse.

  25. 55

    Re: good guy dar – just a few of my thoughts, maybe others can add?

    Been thinking about this, and how I’ve developed it – must say its not something one is “born” with but I’m trusting and confident in my own judgement now.

    Here’s an interaction I had last winter. On, get a wink followed by a chat request from someone whose profile I’ve viewed, which I’m happy to accept. Profile looks great, names exchanged etc.

    Him: “have you got a webcam”
    Me: “no, sorry tend not to use it”
    Him: “Oh, you should.”

    I left the chat screen for a bit to do something.

    Him: “????”

    At this stage, I blocked him, obviously meaning no further conversation.
    Oh @ Karmic Equation, love your posts – but that’s LESS than 15 minutes ha ha 😉

    His profile stated – and I had no reason to believe otherwise – that he was  a successful lawyer, good looking in his pictures etc etc. Pretty much the standard alpha male wet dream, my mother and friends and that ex of mine would be like “oh, wow” if he was anything like his profile. It was a slowish dating period, and I’d say his face was my “type”.

    But I thought straight off, “not worth the risk”. Not saying he would be a rapist, of course, but he was coming across as wanting to push a boundary, not being aware that I (any woman) would be getting uncomfortable with his “tone”. 

    In the same period, I accepted contact from, and enjoyed dates with, a shortish guy who worked on oil rigs, an IT worker, and a NRA Indian guy with a strong accent.  

    That’s what I’d call my “good guy dar” at work. I don’t need to interrogate someone, I just register if – even subtly – they’re creating a certain dynamic in which I’m a bit off balance BEFORE any physical stuff or any prolonged 1-1 contact starts. In a dating context, I feel the good guys are generally eager to please and incredibly wary of offending, or even annoying me, and this guy seemed to lack that quality, so I avoided. No drama.

  26. 56

    @Karmic Equation #56.  “57% of rapes occur while on a date.” Curtis DG. Perspectives on Acquaintance Rape. The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress (AAETS)

    Do you really think this many women have “bad pickers” as you like to say? Low self-esteem? Are in need of therapy to become “normal” human beings? NO! I think YOU are the one who is naive and inexperienced in this area, and perhaps YOU should stop speculating about the FACTS. You have a wicked case of “Not Me” syndrome that could get you killed one of these days.

    AGAIN, I am NOT saying treat all men like potential rapists. Ruby #54 said it best: Acknowledging potential dangers isn’t the same as saying that “All men are rapists,” or promoting “extreme chastity.” But the worst thing you can do is think it’s really nt that bad, and that it could never happen to you. Wake up.

  27. 57

    I’m just gonna throw this out there as I’ve read the whole thread (and many others) but it really pertains to this one. As I’m reading everyone’s comments, except for a few of us that offered. I have no idea of any posters age and yes it does matter because both men and women of different ages approach and think about this and many scenarios differently. I know I don’t think and do the same things at 51 as I did when I was 25 or even 35 for that matter. I’m just saying that older folks with a lot of experience may have a better grasp on all of it because just maybe…..well we’re older and have been through a lot more.

    On the flipside I run across many divorced/widowed women who just came out of 23 yr. marriages who haven’t got a clue about anything dating/sexuality wise and I tell them simply “there’s no right or wrong, you have to figure out what’s right for you and what YOU are comfortable with” and if that matches the guy your dating that’s a good thing if not then find someone that it does match that’s all.

  28. 58

    @Karmic Equation
    I think you are FAR from an authority on the root causes and solutions to date rape and it’s pretty irresponsible of you to come to a public forum speculating about this topic like you were some sort of authority. You also seem intent on proving how you have this ability to tell who is a “good”vs. a “bad” guy within 15 minutes  because you have so much experience yet have not been raped. Well, woop-dee-doo, big deal. While it may be truth that you have hooked up with the entire battalion, whether it has occurred to you or not is totally irrelevant. That would be like saying “I’ve had sex plenty of times without prophylactics and don’t have HIV, so the people that have it must have a low immune system” or “I’ve had sex plenty of times without contraceptives and have never gotten pregnant, so I don’t need contraceptives”. Or “I’ve driven my car many years many times and have never had an accident, so people don’t need to wear a seatbelt”. Just.Plain. Stupid. To those of you who want to engage in high-risk behavior, that is totally your prerogative. It has nothing to do with an “conservative agenda”. It has to do with facts, data, and statistics. Yes, the OP will probably not have this problem because of her date range and this happens more to people in their 20s. I actually have a dear friend (37 years) to which this happened with a guy she met at a bar (this was not a seedy bar, but a high-end bar restaurant, and the guy was a Big 5 consultant). She went home with him and she thought they were just going to make out, but the guy ended up forcing himself on her. Then she was confused about whether it was a rape or not because they were making out when it happened. So ladies, be safe. And never say never.

    1. 58.1

      You can never say never!  And there is nothing wrong with chastity even in these days.  When I come across all this stuff it only solidifies my belief that sex should only come after marriage.  Society has treated it so nonchalantly and you don’t have to be religious to understand the implications of such activities!  I know i am a very small minority but so be it!

  29. 59
    Karmic Equation

    @Wendy 59
    57% of rapes are date rapes, not 57% of dates end up in date rapes. That’s a huge difference. If I interpreted the data the way you do, that means one of every two dates I’m on, I’ve been date raped. NOPE.
    I never said there is no date rape. What I said was that you can reduce your risk by becoming as invulnerable to it as you can. It’s always possible due to sheer bad luck that even if you are as 100% bullet proof as you can make yourself against date rape, it might still happen. But I’m not going to go about being fearful of that. I can control every I can, and then sometimes life happens.
    I hope that your posts regarding serial killers and stats on rape were recent research to prove me wrong in my posts. If they are the kind of info you read every day and keep in your head, well, sorry, you do need help to refocus your life on the positives and not negatives.
    I’m always be aware of the negatives and know that date rape is possible. *You* have to acknowledge that while possible, date rape is not probable if you make sure you don’t suffer from the vulnerabilities I listed in my post.
    As an aside, from the tenor of your posts, I feel you’d rather be right than to see the other person’s POV. If this is the way you carry on other relationships, especially with men, you’re never going to find the happiness you want with men. To be happy, you have to look for the positives of every situation. You DEAL with the negatives as they come along and then as soon as you resolve them, move on and never think of those negatives again, but always remember the lessons learned, so you don’t make the same mistakes again. If you only focus on the negatives, you’ll only see negatives and you’ll project negativity. Nobody wants to be with a negative, especially not men. What thoughts you have in your head, your mind will lead you towards. I hope that you can find it within yourself to think thoughts that lead you towards positivity, so that you can experience the happiness you wish to have.

  30. 60

    @Maggie, your story sounds like your friend went home with a stranger. She wasn’t on a date with someone she had at least taken time to get to know. And you both sound silly enough to believe that the man’s money and status somehow made him lower risk.  That part isn’t relevant.  It was a stupid choice period.

    No woman should take home or go home with a man she just met and that isn’t what anyone here is advocating.  And people should not think that someone is somehow safer b/c he went to a certain school or has a certain job.  That is utterly ridiculous but just buys into people’s notions of what kind of “people” commit crimes.   

    Going home with men you meet in bars is not the same as “can I disrobe with a guy I’ve seen a few times but not go all the way”  and who is not some wild beast who will lose control at the sight of your breasts. 

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