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. 61
    Karmic Equation

    @Maggie 62

    It was awful what happened to your friend and I hope she recovers well from her trauma.

    The fact that this happened with a big 5 consultant she met in a high-end bar doesn’t negate my post. I’m no authority, but you do realize she was INCREDIBLY vulnerable to date rape don’t you? She was

    (1) drinking (she’s at a bar right?)

    (2) situationally unaware (because he’s a big 5 consultant in a high-end bar patrons she automatically gave him a pass to being a good guy, bad idea)

    (3)  possibly sexually naive and/or sexually inexperienced (Was she thinking some sort of relationship would develop because she was going to to make out with him? That’s naivete borne of inexperience. What was she thinking? Or was her thinking impaired by alcohol?)

    (4) I suspect had low self-esteem (You either have high self-esteem or low self-esteem to go home with a guy you just met. High self-esteem folks tend have to good working goodguy-dar and probably said no to the guy due to his red flags. Low self-esteemers need a man’s validation to assuage their insecurities and tend to overlook red flags.)

    I’m not blaming her for the rape, when she said no, the guy should have stopped, if he was a good guy. Did she establish that he was a good guy before she went home with him? Probably not…You’ve already conceded that I’m one of the few people with this super-power.

    She did have the control to not go home with him and she didn’t exercise that control.

    She could have controlled her vulnerabilities so that she was less likely to become a target/victim. I’m sure if she had her vulnerabilities under control, she wouldn’t have looked past his red flags, because I’m sure he was flying them high. (Bet he suggested they go to his place, right? That’s a red flag. Believe it or not, if all you want to do is make out, making out in a car is better than going to their or your place. The confines of a car pretty much limit you to consensual acts).

    As women, we need to be smart and make sure we are as invulnerable as we can be to bad things happening. I’ve even taken self-defense classes, have you? It’s our vulnerabilities that make us make poor choices. So address (generic) your vulnerabilities and you will automatically make better choices and help reduce your risk of date rape (in the extreme instances) or simply bad relationships (a more frequent occurence when women are vulnerable).

  2. 62

    Date Rape – Yes it happens.  Yes ALL people are at risk (men and women, homosexual and heterosexual).  Some scenarios present a higher risk such as going home with a man you met in a bar than developing a relationship over 6 months with a man you met at church but the simple fact of the matter is all scenarios have a risk.  Some teachers molest students, some fathers rape their children, some physicians assault their patients.

    Common sense applies – don’t have a man pick you up at your house on a first date; paid dating sites are probably safer than free dating sites b/c the paid sites will have name, address, credit card number, etc.; print out the profile before a first date and give it to a friend; ask the guy for his last name before meeting and then during the date ask in a nice way to see his driver’s license – I certainly wouldn’t be offended if a woman did this; the list goes on and on but watch your alcohol intake, be assertive if you need to, and most important – listen to your gut instincts — if the guy seems creepy he probably is.

    Pants Off – The development of the sexual component of dating does not occur in a vacuum.  I don’t need a woman to read me a laundry list of what she will or will not do on first dates or second dates.  I usually have a very good idea based off of her profile, our initial phone calls and texts, etc.  To be blunt – if she sends me nude pics before our first date that is a pretty strong indicator that she might be interested in sex before date 10 😉  All interactions, her body language during a date, the topic of conversation, etc. let me know if I have a green light for physical contact.  With me it’s simple — red light means stop, regardless of whether pants are on or off.  I’ve had a number of women tell me their limits while still eating dinner and some have told me while we were undressing.  Still others have let me know they don’t engage in any form of casual sex until they’ve been dating for several months.  With me, and I assume the majority of men, boundaries will not be crossed once we know what they are.

  3. 63

    “sex is as natural as eating”. 
    Now that makes a bit more sense than the analogy and example provided earlier.  I also understand the point you are trying to make.  Sex is natural and beautiful.  Agreed.  I wasn’t suggesting otherwise.  But again, let’s be clear that it is a choice you make for your pleasure versus a need.  If you were having sex as a means of reproduction and the point in question was the survival of the human race only ( without any societal considerations), I would agree that sex is more important than relationships.  But we are comparing eating and having sex for pleasure.  I’m not uncomfortable with my sexuality.  I don’t think sex is holy. I just attach some emotional importance to it.  I tend to bond emotionally with those I sleep with and so to save myself from heartache I tend to wait until a reasonable hope of a long term relationship has been established.  Doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy sex.  I just can’t separate the emotional from the physical.  As someone suggested, it might be an age thing.  As I get older, my opinion might change.  Having said that, I try not to make remarks like “personally I don’t just hop into the sack with anyone off the street like some people here.”. That would be somewhat insulting to you, don’t you agree?  Because I’m sure that you and other similar minded women put thought into who you sleep with, just to a different degree than me.  It works for you.  Similarly,  suggesting that I or others who are more careful are not comfortable with our sexualities and treat sex as unnatural or holy is both untrue and insulting.

  4. 64

    Funny, I agreed with all of karmic’s last post as well as Nicole’s even though everything they said earlier struck the wrong chord.  I guess we are all saying the same thing.  Respect yourself as a woman and have sex when you are comfortable with it.  Be smart about who you go home with.  Take as long as you need to judge whether a man is “good”, be it 15 minutes or 3 months.  In either case, if the guy cares about you and you keep him interested, he will stick around.  If you drop your pants in 15 minutes, you risk being labelled easy and if you wait 3 months, you might be called a prude.  As long as you are okay with the consequences of your behaviour, do what feels safe and comfortable.

  5. 65

    Karmic Equation
    I’d have to say that you *think* you know if someone is a good person within 15 minutes of meeting them. There’s no way you could actually know that so quickly. If it only takes 15 minutes to know this, then perhaps Maggie’s friend would have been safer with the guy she’d just met.
    “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.”
    The point is that 57% of the women who are raped on dates are aquainted their attackers, so yeah, they thought they knew them also. The longer you take to get to know someone, the better, and even then, you still cannot guarantee how they will ultimately treat you.

  6. 66

    Karmic’s inflated sense of invincibility make her just as vulnerable as any of the rest of us. Just as there is no one “type” of man who rapes, there is no one “type” of woman who is more likely to get raped; strong, beautiful, intelligent, confident women show up in the statistics, too. Believing it won’t happen to you is the biggest mistake you can make.

  7. 67
    Karmic Equation

    @RW 68

    Great summary. That is it in a nutshell 🙂

    @Ruby 69

    I suppose you could say I read “tells” that identify a good guy (or bad guy) the same way a poker player can read another player’s tells for whether they have a good hand (or bad hand). But you have to play a lot of poker to read the tells. If you only play with the same group of players or only play poker once in a blue moon, you cannot possibly identify the tells of new players consistently or well.

    I’ve interacted with boys/men all my life (conversational interactions, people, don’t roll your eyes at me! LOL) — because I’m such a tomboy. I’d rather watch sports or participate in sports than go shopping, etc., so I get to see men in their “natural habitat” more frequently than other women. (I just made this connection, btw). So I get to just see a lot of men in non-date situations which allow me to apply that knowledge/tells in potential or actual date situations. So I do “know” within 15 minutes. It’s all filed in the subconscious.

    As to the 57%…Let’s put that in context…If we put 100 women in a room and let’s say 25% have been raped – then 25 women are rape victims. Of those 25 rape victims 57% were raped on a date, which is 14 women. So 14/100 (14%) of women are date rape victims. 55% of the women who were date raped were drinking. So that’s 8 (rounded up) women who were raped while on alcohol or drugs while on a date, meaning that 6 women were raped while not drinking.

    This means that if you don’t drink while on a date, you have an 6% chance of being raped. 6% is a far cry from 57%. This is how I interpret that data. Am I wrong?

    1. 67.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Karmic Equation – You’re interpreting it right, but you haven’t gone far enough. It’s not a 6% chance of being raped on a given date. It’s much, much lower than that. Because the vast majority of men are not rapists. In fact, I’d suggest that there are a tiny percentage of men who are serially aggressive towards women – and those men tarnish the reputation of the 99.8% innocent men out there.

      God, have I mentioned how much I HATE the fact that this post has become about rape instead of about foreplay? No one ever said you shouldn’t be aware or cautious. But it’s disempowering to live in constant fear. I can only sympathize with any woman who has been so damaged by a sexual assault that she can never relax and enjoy hooking up with a new man. Sincerely.

      Oh, and I just read this quote from Hanna Rosin’s Boys on the Side article: “One of the great crime stories of the past 20 years, meanwhile, is the dramatic decline of rape and sexual assault. Between 1993 and 2008, the rate of those crimes against females dropped by 70 percent nationally” Doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen way too often, but if you’re going to use statistics to reinforce why you should always have your guard up, I’m going to use statistics to illustrate that your fears, while fair, are overstated.

  8. 68

    I usually learn a lot about men from Evan’s posts, until I read this one. This time I learned a lot about other people’s experiences being totally different than my own.
    The advice Evan gave the OP is common sense to me, as I always do it that way.
    I don’t have a particular number of dates, never had, but I guess it ranged from 7 months with my first boyfriend (we were both 20 at the time) till about a little under two months with the present one (we were 31 at the time, 33 at the moment). Although I do understand some girls fears, I absolutely never ever had an unpleasant experience with a guy, nobody ever accused me of teasing, and they all seemed to enjoy my company and our progression over time. However, I should point out that all the guys I ever dated were from social circles overlapping with mine, so they were not strangers and I could usually find out about their dating etiquette well in advance.  (That would be one of the advances living in a small European country.) Before somebody asks about cultural differences/upbringing/religion etc., I will emphasize that all the guys I ever dated were atheists as I am and quit liberal and open-minded, again as I am.
    I’m sorry if this will offend anyone, but it never occurred to me that the guy I’m cuddling with naked could rape me when I tell him that I want to stop, so that he can take me home to sleep. Ever! And I asked my boyfriend about this thing, just in case; he had such a bewildered expression as if he didn’t even understand what I meant.

  9. 69

    Evan, I’m a new comer to this site and a total neophyte with regards to online dating. I cannot believe that you’d post this current article and then be surprised that the comments included date rape. Since you are an accomplished dating coach, you must be familiar with the stats [email protected] posted? Thank you Ruby for doing the research and posting. 

    Yep Karmic, you go girl. Since you can figure it out in 15 mins, go with it. Back in the day, I thought I could too.  Oopps. Not so much now. Whatever is working for you now…cool.  Go girl.  Sex is easy even for an old timer like me.  A relationship based on trust, honesty, care, and respect is another matter.

    I don’t think I’m inclined to think I have to disrobe in order to keep a stranger interested.  Apparently, the stranger can find many women who are willing to disrobe.  If the guy isn’t interested in me with my clothes on, I’m not willing to take my clothes off.  Duh?


  10. 70

    @ Evan: out of curiosity, are you and your (Catholic, IIRC?) wife planning on raising your kids Jewish?  Obviously none of my business, and no real reason for you to answer except that you brought it up in #36.

  11. 71

    I know that things on the Internet are not always as they seem, but another hugely popular website really set the place on fire when it asked if there were any rapists viewing and would they share their stories of why they raped, etc. The response was deafening, and while sickening, a real eye opener. The thing is, there are thousands of rapes that go unreported for a variety of reasons, so this idea that rapes have decreased cannot truly be substantiated, IMHO.
    To Fusee, #48, writing about how your boyfriend felt much more rejected when you kept moving his hand vs. letting him know your boundary is a good example of how clear, verbal communication is important. This way, he knew it wasn’t about him.
    Women (and men) have to follow their own hearts and not concern themselves with what’s considered the norm or average. It used to tickle me when my widowed, attractive mother of 57 went out on date after date after date and while I’m not sure how it happened, the men learned that she wasn’t the type to sleep with them before marriage. It didn’t matter how much money they had, the Porsche they drove, etc. Some of the men, being men of course, really tried. 😉 She didn’t allow herself to fool around and have herself undressed, saying no to sex, etc. She knew what felt right to her and that in time, she would find a good man who understood and was willing to walk the same path as her and share in the goal of marriage. And that’s exactly what happened. They became good friends first, and they have been married 15 years and he has treated her far more lovingly and kinder than my father ever did. She felt confident, strong, and didn’t allow her fears or insecurities to take control.
    If I were dating today, I wouldn’t follow her footsteps exactly, but I do know that I wouldn’t be rounding third bases unless I intended to go for a home run. 🙂

    1. 71.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Diana, I read the the rape thread and I agree, it’s sickening. However, your attempt to refute the massively decreasing rape statistics displays a highly selective bias. While thousands of rapes undoubtedly go unreported, the fact that rape is down 70% is indicative of a drop in rape itself, not in the reporting of rape. Unless you can think of a particularly compelling reason that there would be a massive drop in the reporting of rape. So, in other words, rape is still a problem, but it’s dropped dramatically. And the reporting of rape has probably not changed at all.

      Thanks again for continuing this sordid topic, though. I appreciate it.

  12. 72

    Evan, I appreciate your including my post.  In the article that you refer to, I don’t readily see anything that supports the decline statement that’s included. I am sorry, if I missed this. When I view Wikipedia re: rape statistics, it is challenging to know what to believe. There are several reporting agencies, and there appears to be variations in how the information is collected, interpreted and recorded.
    in general, I don’t put too much stock in statistical reporting. Statistics are known to be inherently flawed and skewed. All I know is that when a subject goes seriously unreported and/or falsely reported, and different organizations apply varying methods in their reporting, then statistics cannot be too heavily relied upon.

  13. 73

    @ Diana # 78

    “…but I do know that I wouldn’t be rounding third bases unless I intended to go for a home run. ”

    LOL! Prior to reading this thread I thought most adults felt the same. 🙂

  14. 74

    And for anyone who may wonder, “Well how do you know it goes seriously unreported and/or falsely reported, if you do not rely on statistics?” I don’t know from a statistical standpoint. Sorry for the double post, if you decide to include them.

  15. 75

    This post and these comments represent the split personality so many of us seem to have when it comes to sexuality and sexual expression. On the one hand, there are those who seem totally surprised that rape and assault experiences would appear in a discussion like this. If you haven’t experienced sexual assault or rape, you probably aren’t aware of all the ways in which such an experience recolors everything. It can take years, decades even, to recover a fully open attitude towards intimacy, one without the maddening fear, paralysis, and confusion that comes post assault/rape. I can say this as a survivor myself – yes, men experience it too, and rarely report it – and also as a man who has dated multiple women who were survivors themselves. There is a fair amount of research suggesting that our very brain chemistry is altered by the trauma experienced during assault/rape, sometimes forever. So it’s not merely a doom and gloom thing going on here with the women bringing up rape statistics and concerns about rape.
    On the other hand, I feel that there is something of an underlying sex shame and/or heavy handed conservatism behind some of the rebuttal comments towards Evan’s original post. Particularly, an angst towards the clear sense of joy Evan demonstrates towards foreplay – a joy I am totally on board with. I get the sense that a few here associate any sexual activity outside of a long term committed relationship as something dirty, shameful, and sordid. But beyond that, Julia’s point that you can experience the awfulness of rape, and still learn to recognize that most people aren’t out to abuse you is pretty vital. Knowing the gory details about all the abuse that does occur in the world can lead to excessive risk aversion, and an attitude that reflects that. After dating a woman for three and half years who worked in a woman’s shelter, I was hyper aware of all the ways in which men can “cross the line.” I had heard too many negative stories. and had no one to process them with, and balance them out with healthy, respectful stories about sexual intimacy. It took all of my 20s and into my early 30s to both move beyond the sexual assault I experienced, and also become less afraid of making mistakes, and become more joyful about sexual expression. I still struggle with some of that old baggage at times, and seeing the somewhat polarized attitudes here reminds me that I’m not alone.

  16. 76

    @ Nathan
    Thank you for sharing your unfortunate experience. Sexual assualt happens to men too, but because they are even less likely to report it than women, the statistics of occurance are unknown. Having male friends who’ve had this experience…the only thing I want to add is that it didn’t happen to them in a ‘romantic’ setting- such as a date.  No “playing the bases” – which I agree with other commenters, can be dangerous for women with men they don’t know very well.

    What stood out to me in your comment ( #82) was also this:
    ” I get the sense that a few here associate any sexual activity outside of a long term committed relationship as something dirty, shameful, and sordid.”

    My own impression is that there are a number of people who’ve commented that think sex is narrowly defined as intercourse – penis in vagina – and there are some that think  oral sex “doesn’t count”, or that “just the tip” (?) doesn’t count. Why doesn’t it???? Seriously. What is the point of these …um…’boundaries’?

    Intercourse is dirty, shameful, and sordid, but going down on your or the other person’s genitals ” doesn’t count”??? Yeah? How’s come? No pun intended though it’s clearly there folks.

    ‘Rounding the bases’ week by week, is something I believe most, if not all of us have done as a part of gaining sexual experience –  growing up into adulthood. After that? What is the point? Because it seems to me, if you have genital contact with another person…you ARE having sex. So what is behind your hangup as defining it as such?

  17. 77

    @Selena #83: “Because it seems to me, if you have genital contact with another person…you ARE having sex.”
    I completely agree with you (see my comment @11).
    @nathan #82: than you for your courage in sharing your experience. I’m not sure who you are refering too with the comment on “associate any sexual activity outside of a long term committed relationship as something dirty, shameful, and sordid.” but I will clarify that while I indeed desire to keep sexual contact within the boundaries of a committed relationship, I also do not see anything dirty or shameful in not having these preferences. To each their own, I really respect people’s different limits or absence of limits. My own boundaries are a reflection of my values and self-care, and are not about fear or judgement.
    @Evan #78: “Unless you can think of a particularly compelling reason that there would be a massive drop in the reporting of rape.”
    Although I respect statistics and do not seek to impose my perceptions as “truth”, I can actually think of a reason for explaining a drop in the reporting of rapes (without arguing against the drop in rape rate itself, which by the way is good news).
    For example a shift in the KINDS of rape that are committed can influence the number of REPORTED rapes because I strongly believe that undesired sexual acts committed during intimate encounters will be reported at a dramatically lower rate than other cases (even if committed by acquaintances). Those rapes will be less likely to be reported because most victims do not even realize that a rape actually occured given the intimate context surrounding the criminal act, or because of a perception of personal responsability to have put themselves in the situation. Or simply because of conflicting loving feelings towards the agressor… Therefore there can be a drop in rapes committed in non-intimate situations (and I would believe that and find it good news) and yet an increase of undesired sexual acts committed between the blurred lines of drunk dating, unclear body language, and entitlement/selfishness triggered when in a high state of sexual arousal.
    I sure do not believe that every guy is a potential rapist. Some guys do have self-control. This is actually the last thing on my mind while connecting to a new person. My powerful good guy-dar functions at a very unconscious level. But I certainly believe that good/decent men end up committing rape without having ever have imagined themselves committing something so despicable. Why? Because of the increase of random hook-ups and lack of clear, timely, and sober communication.
    My moral of the story: if you are a man or a woman with less strict limits, you have less risk of ending up in a situation that you do not want. You might also recover faster it the unfortunate happens. For folks with stricter limits, please communicate with clarity while hooking up or building a new relationship. It’s not about fear or insecurity. It’s about personal power and mutual respect. It’s about being fair to your partner. It’s well worth some awkwardness. The price to pay for the unlikely event of a undesired sexual act is just too high.

    1. 77.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Fusee – Even if I agree with your take on the myriad reasons that various kinds of sexual assault goes unreported, it doesn’t change my point:

      Those reasons have ALWAYS existed.

      So when we hear that there’s a 70% drop in rape, the most likely conclusion (drumroll, please), is that there was a 70% drop in rape.

      You and Ruby are working hard to explain why those very heartening numbers are false (why, I don’t know), but you have absolutely NO evidence of it.

      If there are various reasons that women aren’t reporting rape in 2012, those same reasons existed back in ’92 as well.

  18. 78

    @EMK: just read the article. Saddened me a lot.
    But you were talking about rape statistics. I don’t have much to say about that because I haven’t done the research. I’m heartened if the rate has dropped by 70%. But I also read what Fusee had to say and I interpreted her comment differently. Maybe the same acts that happened in ’92 are happening now. It’s just that today’s woman doesn’t know it’s rape. I’m not saying this is always the case, just offering an alternative possibility because you did ask for a compelling reason. I am willing to believe the statistic. I am not trying to disprove it. I do, however, have a hard time believing that men suddenly have more self control and so rapes have reduced. Not trying to vilify men either. Just saying that something has changed but not just rapist desires, not to that degree. It is probably in equal part what a woman will accept for herself. Drinking has become more common and accepted. Random sex has become more common. All these factors contribute to the lowered statistic. It’s lower, yes but it’s not something that can just be taken at face value without context and further research.

    Let me start by saying that I respect your level headed comments and opinions in general. That you can keep a cool head in heated situations is awesome. I am very sorry about your experience. Re: heavy handed conservatism or angst, it is not exactly that. It is simply self-preservation. I reread all the comments and no one advocates “no sex”. All we disagree on is the timeline. Re: sex outside a relationship, it is not dirty or shameful. It is just not for me because I think it causes more problems than it solves (again, for me personally).

  19. 79

    EMK #85
    Not really sure why you are calling me out here. I posted current statistics prior to the numbers you cited. Since you mention it, however, now we have DNA testing, rape kits, better understanding that rape is a crime. But I still think there is a gray area for many people as far as acquaintance rape (the majority of rapes) is concerned. And rape is still an under-reported crime.
    In any case, the 70% figure you cited pertains to women under the age of 24. For older women, the decline in reported rapes is about half that number, making the overall rate about 53%. That’s good progress, but if one in six US women have experienced an attempted or completed rape, that is still a very high number of women.
    From an a 2007 LA Times article:

    “The most likely explanation involves impressive generational developments. In 1970, women made up one-third of all college students (versus 57% today), earned about one-fourth of all young-adult income (versus nearly half today) and made up small fractions of doctors and lawyers (versus majorities of new entrants into these fields now). Women’s rapidly rising status and economic independence in the larger society fostered new attitudes and laws that rejected violence against women.
    That younger people growing up in this environment of greater gender equality should show the biggest decreases in rape, while older generations lag behind, is consistent with this explanation. The youngest teenagers (presumably those raised with the most modern attitudes) show the biggest declines of all. Over the last 30 years, rape arrest rates have fallen by 80% among Californians under age 15, much larger than the 25% drop among residents age 40 and older.
    Ultimately, however, sexual violence remains a serious danger. That is the best reason for rigorously scrutinizing its real patterns and trends (rather than taking tiresome potshots at “young people” and “popular culture”) to learn how to further reduce it.”

  20. 80
    Karmic Equation

    I think something’s being missed here. While this board has been focused on date-rape (which I believe drops to “SLIM TO NONE” if you are not vulnerable (see post #56)) — the posters who are hyping date rape, are missing the fact that you are MORE VULNERABLE TO STRANGER RAPE than date rape (Stranger Rape = 11% vs 8% date rape while drinking vs. 6% date rape while not drinking – see breakdown in #71).

    So if everyone here is sensitive to rape, you should NOT leave your house because you are vulnerable to stranger rape 11% of the time that you leave your house, which is 3-5% more likely than being date raped. The likelihood of being stranger raped is EVEN HIGHER if you apply it to everyday life. How many errands do you run a week? 10-20? How many dates do you go on a week 2-3? So you multiply your 11% chance of stranger rape by 10-20x because that’s how often you are out there being vulnerable to stranger rape.

    Please, yes, date rape is real, but the reality is that you are more vulnerable to being raped by a stranger than someone you’re dating, by a magnitude of 10 to 20x…

    1. 80.1

      thats 100% untrue and anyone can verify this by looking at law enforcement data.

      you are incredibly misinformed and painfully naive.

  21. 81
    David T

    Where does this 70% decline a couple of people mentioned come from? When I hear a claim of most anything changing that much, my BS warning goes off and I look for source data.
  (you will have to use the tool at this URL to generate the table of data yourself.)
    The U.S. DOJ reports a significant drop in forcible rape rates (incidents/100,000) between the peak in 1992 and 2010 (most recent data available there) but it is nowhere near 70%. More like 35%. Evan, you said something about 2012 data. That cannot be treated as credible seeing as the year is not over and these things take time to compile if done with care.
    So yes it has dropped, but not nearly as much as is claimed. I am highly skeptical of whatever other statistics, interpretation of statistics or conclusions came from the source that claimed a 70% drop. The author was either careless or flat out deceptive.

  22. 82

    When I said “it doesn’t count,” I wasn’t being completely serious. Of course it is sexual in nature–and if your preference is not to indulge in that, then that is your preference. For me, as twisted as it sounds, I can enjoy foreplay, completely nude, including him going down on me without bonding to him. However, the minute I reciprocate, things get dicey. Thus, those are my arbitrary boundaries. 

  23. 83

    Fusee “I will clarify that while I indeed desire to keep sexual contact within the boundaries of a committed relationship, I also do not see anything dirty or shameful in not having these preferences.” This is fair. I don’t think anyone can argue much with this line of thinking, even if they have a different approach. Unless “sexual contact” means no kissing, making out, etc. That’s where I tend to think shame based thinking is dominating. Few men are going to stick around if there is little or no intimate touching for months on end. But I totally respect not wanting genital contact without a commitment of some kind first.
    Evan, while it seems to be true that there’s been a major drop in rape overall in the U.S. – our numbers are still at least 10 times higher than those in the UK and many other post-industrial nations. The 70% figure appears high to me, though. During the year with the largest number of documented cases, 1995, a little over 109,000 rapes were reported. In 2010, there were approximated 85,000 reported cases. That’s a little over a 28% decline. Furthermore, there are many problems with the long standing, official FBI definition of rape. The FBI finally changed their definition this year after 8 decades. The statistics only focused on women, and only on forced vaginal penetration, which leaves a hell of a lot out. Point being, I don’t think there’s a lot of clarity around how much of a drop has happened, or if that drop only applies to “violent” – (i.e. with physical force) cases of rape.
    As Selena pointed out, there’s a disconnect for some folks around boundaries where intercourse is seen as wildly different, whereas anything else is fair game. The same disconnect is present in addressing issues of rape and assault. For too many of us, the image of rape and sexual assault is solely one of heavy force and violence, when the reality is much more complex. And the lack of complex understanding roles into the overall sense of sexuality, which is one of the main reasons why there is so much struggle around these boundary points. Intercourse is treated as a final destination, and some kind of vital confirmation, when it really is only one destination, or one point along the journey.
    I don’t want anyone to live in fear. There are ways to overcome past abuse and be empowered – and plenty of people do so. In addition, self control does play an important role in the average dating situation, and shouldn’t be dismissed. At the same time, given the prevalence of rape and assault in the US – even if the numbers are reduced from a few decades ago – it’s really understandable that women in particular have some concerns. Especially if they’ve been harmed in the past.

  24. 84

    Sorry for the double post, but Karmic – your comments on this thread in general have been questionable. But you are flat out wrong about the stranger rape comments. Two thirds of rapes and assaults occur with someone who is either an intimate (partner, friend, family member) or an acquaintance. Someone known to the victim. Stranger rape is the stereotype: it happens, but at far less of a rate. It’s the kind of thing that makes for juicy media stories and TV shows, but it’s not the majority by a long shot. And the reinforcing of that image as the biggest danger is one of the major reasons why it’s so difficult for those of us who experience something else to step forward and report it.

  25. 85

    Karmic Equation #88
    “…are missing the fact that you are MORE VULNERABLE TO STRANGER RAPE than date rape…”
    You need to better educate yourself on this subject. Check out, for more info. It’s well-known that most rape victims know their assailants:
    Approximately 2/3 of rapes were committed by someone known to the victim.
    73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger.
    38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.
    28% are an intimate.
    7% are a relative.
    He’s not Hiding in the Bushes
    More than 50% of all rape/sexual assault incidents were reported by victims to have occurred within 1 mile of their home or at their home.

    4 in 10 take place at the victim’s home.
    2 in 10 take place at the home of a friend, neighbor, or relative.
    1 in 12 take place in a parking garage.

    54% of rapes/sexual assaults are not reported to the police, according to a statistical average of the past 5 years. Those rapists, of course, never spend a day in prison. Factoring in unreported rapes, only about 3% of rapists ever serve a day in jail.
    Stats are taken from the US Dept. of Justice.

    1. 85.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I am hereby shutting down the rape discussion. It’s sad. It’s boring. It’s off-topic. And it’s my blog. And if you want to debate the 70% drop in rape statistic, please take it up with Hanna Rosin, author of “The End of Men” and the founder of Slate’s XX site. Clearly, she’s biased against women and blase about rape as well.

  26. 86

    @ Nathan #91
    “Few men are going to stick around if there is little or no intimate touching for months on end. But I totally respect not wanting genital contact without a commitment of some kind first.”

    Yep. Huge difference between months on end, a commitment of some kind, and date 2-4. That’s what I think has peeved some of the commenters and led to the now closed discussion. Why should anyone have genital contact (any kind) with someone they’ve only known a handful or so hours in order to keep them interested? They are either interested, or they are not interested. Or they are just interested in getting genital contact from relative strangers.

  27. 87

    I’m a male in his upper 30’s who has done a lot of online dating (dating women who are mostly in their 30’s).  Online dating pretty much translates to a lot of casual dating and few relationships and I can say my experience has been very similar to EMK’s.  In dating scenarios I have “fooled around” with a lot of women and only really have sex with a woman when it seems like dating is transitioning into a relationship.  I  actually prefer it this way because it usually takes me some time to get to know a complete stranger.

    I also agree with EMK that if I like the girl, foreplay is a great way of making me want to come back for more.  Unless you are pre-disposed to such behavior, there is no excuse for a lack of self-control when dealing with a mature person.

    This is good and bad.  I recently dated a girl on the rebound with whom I had amazing chemistry.  We had some amazing foreplay sessions but just as things were really taking off, she decided to go back to her ex.  It’s been tough and I still fantasize about her, even to the point of not being able to concentrate on another girl until I can get it out of my head.  But I know she didn’t do it to be cruel or with any mal-intent.  It’s just a part of casual dating that has to be accepted.

    I think there are plenty of healthy males out there that are used to cooling their jets in the dating world.  It’s just something a lot of us expect when dating outside of a relationship.

  28. 88
    Karmic Equation

    @Selena 95

    I don’t think anyone’s suggesting genital contact within a few hours to keep anyone interested. That’s absolutely the WRONG way to keep anyone interested. You should only do this if you DON’T care to have a relationship with whoever you’re doing this with. If you DO want a relationship then be physical at whatever pace makes you comfortable.

    What I was espousing was that if (generic) you have good guydar, you should usually be able tell if a guy is a good guy within 15 minutes. Not that you go home with someone withing 15 minutes. My POV annoyed a lot of folks who believe that it takes longer to tell if a guy is a good guy or not. Maybe I should have said you can usually weed out jerks within 15 minutes 🙂 Perhaps that would have gotten better press. KTR did it in less than 15, and online, at that! It can be done. Again, this weeding is what takes 15 minutes, not the going home part.

    The point I was trying to make before the discussion got derailed, was that it’s the CHARACTER of the man that matters most in the rounding of bases not actually how many dates. If the man is a good man, he’ll be ok stopping on a dime on date 1. If he’s a bad man, he will not be ok with stopping whether on dates 1 or 20 (but he’ll probably not be around for 20…which is good).

    It behooves a woman to establish that the man is a good man before rounding any bases. The contentiousness began when I said I could do that on 1 note and many insisted that 3 or more notes were necessary (This reference may be before your time, it’s referring to the game show Name That Tune!).

  29. 89

    @Karmic #97

    Within 15 min. I can sometimes recognize whether or not I’m attracted to someone. That’s about as far as my “dar” goes in that time frame. I suspect their are more women like me, than like you.

    As far as the topic of this discussion goes…the purpose of foreplay is to create and increase sexual arousal. If I’m not ready to have sex with a new man, I’m not going to be ready to be sexually aroused by him either. That being the case, why would I deliberately sexually arouse a man I didn’t want sex with?

    The premise is foreplay will keep a man interested in early dating (2-4?). How much time has a woman spent with a man on those dates? A handful or so of hours? How well does she really know him, or thinks she knows him in that amount of time? Apparently some people find sexual frustration exciting. I don’t. I find it an unpleasant feeling. How is woman to know how the man she is out with going to feel when she arouses him and then slams on the brakes? Maybe he’s cool with sexual frustration. But maybe he isn’t, so much. Some men can get nasty when they are sexually frustrated. Others just become more persistant. I don’t see foreplay as interest-keeping working very well if the guy walks away thinking the woman is a cock tease. And I don’t think a woman is going to remain interested in a man she had to end up fending off. More likely she will be upset and never want to see him again.

    Karmic, I don’t think even you can predict how a man will handle sexual frustration until you see how he handles it.

    I believe people should have sex – any kind – whenever it is they feel comfortable. Simple. I also believe using foreplay as a tool when one doesn’t want sex is risky business with men a woman doesn’t know very well. To borrow from another blogger, “If you don’t want to go there, Don’t. Go. There.”

    This is very clear to me. And part of self-control is not putting oneself in sexually murky situations.

  30. 90
    David T

    @Selena  The way foreplay is used in this thread, it means anything done before sex, whether it leads to sex or not
    Kissing is part of foreplay.  A warm hug can be part of foreplay.  A gentle touch to the arm, face or neck are part of foreplay. Clever verbal flirtation is part of foreplay. ALL of these are sexually arousing. These activities are fun in themselves even when they don’t lead to sex, and fun is part of what keeps someone interested.
    Are you saying you won’t do any of these things with anyone, even your partner unless sex is the outcome, because otherwise it will be ‘frustrating’? I doubt that is what you meant, so where do you draw your line?  What is your definition of foreplay ’cause your post is saying something odd as I understand it.

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