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. 101
    Karmic Equation

    Below is excerpted from The Rules Revisited blog post entitled “Never say no to sex” – Confirming what EMK is saying. Note this is about not saying no to YOUR man — not not saying no to ANY man.
    “To put this in perspective, consider the following. Men are largely independent, and don’t seek the same things from a relationship that women do. While men love your radiance, your light-heartedness and your femininity, we don’t crave these things anywhere near as deeply as we crave your body. Saying no to your man when he wants sex is analagous to him saying no to you when you look to him for emotional stability, direction, comfort or protection: though it is not the only reason he is attracted to you, it is the primary one. Sex is the one thing he wants most deeply but cannot provide for himself. I don’t mean that women exist solely for a man’s sexual satisfaction; but I do mean that his sexual satisfaction is critical to his happiness (more so than a woman’s is to hers) and that you hold the key to that satisfaction.”

    1. 101.1

      he’s talking about sex in an exclusive  relationship not casual dating. that went right over your head,

      why is it so important to you that women fuck on demand? what is your emotional investment in this issue?

  2. 102
    Karmic Equation

    I’m dating a player and understand game quite well. And the begging didn’t gain the other alpha the prize he was after. No was no. But it was entirely fun that he tried and I had the presence of mind (barely) to parry!

  3. 103


    But we’re not talking about saying No to YOUR man. We’re talking about navigating sexual expectations with men before a relationship has been established.

  4. 104

    @Selena #113: Yes!
    Indeed, once I learned that we were on the same page and that we had a promising level of compatibility, he got all of my high sex drive and bedroom enthusiasm to enjoy. He is not hearing “no” since he does not really have to ask : )  
    I completely agree with Evan #108: “…unless you can make him feel important and desirable and validate his feelings…”
    Dating is about building a relationship. It’s about figuring out if we are compatible and how we can make one another feel loved. But he can’t do this assessement if I encourage him to be more sex-obsessed than he naturally is! Sex is an indispensable part of an intimate relationship – and as a woman I am aware that a commitment to marriage would entail a commitment to serving him sexually for the rest of my life and making him not regret to have chosen me as his one and only partner – but it’s not everything.
    Indeed, as Evan wrote in another post, in a marriage you end up having sex for only a couple hours a week, so you’d better make sure you have other qualities and interests to keep you going. It’s okay for him to be driven by his urges, I’m not calling him names for his manliness, but I’m doing my woman-job, which is to elicit an emotional connection BEFORE sex. That’s why in the early dating stage, beside assessing general compatibility, I make sure that “I can make him feel important and desirable and validate his feelings, NON-SEXUALLY.
    The side benefit of patience and self-control: when he realized how good he felt with me – WITHOUT SEX – he knew he was on something different than what he had experienced before. He felt close to me. For real.

    That’s when I dropped my pants.

  5. 105

    Fusee, I didn’t see that last line coming! Thanks for the laugh. 🙂

    Sounds like you’re into something good. May it only continue to get better. 🙂

  6. 106

    @Fusee – 105

    I always enjoy your thoughtful posts and I appreciate that you reflect on your behavior.

    You avoid KISSING for as long as humanly possible?   

    We are all different, but I’ve got to think that KISSING is one of life’s greatest joys.   There is so much communication that can take place during a long, passionate kiss.   Things that can’t always be put into words.   It doesn’t mean that it always has to lead to more.   It can be wonderful just by itself.   

    On the path to your goal (marriage?), don’t forget to linger and enjoy yourself!

  7. 107

    @sarahrahrah! #116:
    Thank you for the reminder! No worries it’s been delightful. It’s hard to convey an accurate picture of how slow can look like over a couple of comments, and I’ve been focusing on the self-control part in these posts. Now I look like a nun or a control-freak. No worries, as long as humanely possible must not be  that long… I kissed my irresistible boyfriend on date #4. We upgraded it to the French version on date #6 ; ) He’s been so good at accepting my pace and yet escalating the process gently. We’re a great team. I love him so much!

  8. 108

    From my own experience, I went on a date with a guy who tried to push for sex on the third date.   He seemed like a gentleman and had only kissed me twice previously (no tongue).   We weren’t connecting really well, but it was still early and I wanted to get to know him a bit better.   We went to my place to watch a movie and then he wanted to have sex.   I wanted to make out.   I said  I wasn’t ready for  sex.   We made out b/c I wanted to make out, but I had to say no several more times and that was really annoying.   He gave up and was polite and friendly when he left.   I decided he didn’t like me that much and I was not going to take him seriously. I never heard from him again!   I was proud of myself for accurately reading the signs.  The sad thing was, when I told some friends about it, they were shocked that I didn’t cave under the pressure.   They kept saying “Good for you!” and I didn’t understand why it was such a big deal.   I think a lot of women sleep with perfectly rational men who would have accepted a ‘no’ if the women had just said it.   It’s a boundary just like any other.   It’s up to each of us to decide what our boundaries are and to set them.   And remember that you can’t set a boundary AND worry about another person’s feelings at the same time. Also, you can’t set a boundary that you aren’t ready to set.   If you know that if you let a guy into your apartment and he moves for sex you will give in then don’t let him in if you aren’t ready for sex.   Or if you know that you can be buck naked and still keep sex off the table then you have more options. Decide before you start the date how you want to end it and act accordingly.

    With my current boyfriend, I was very impressed when we made out on the  third date in his car with clothes on, and he didn’t try to go further.   Same thing with the fourth date.   I was so happy that: 1) he had self-control, 2) He was pursuing me strongly, and 3) He understood the joy of making out!   On the fifth date he cooked dinner and we made out and I couldn’t take it any longer and gave him the green light.   He wasn’t planning to sleep with me that night and told me a few weeks later that I was really special and he didn’t want to rush.   In fact, he said he would have waited a MONTH for me!   Now I find this very funny, b/c by some people’s standards, a month is rushing. So if I had wanted to wait for 6 months (or longer), I might have lost him.   Likewise, if he had been pushing for sex early on, he might have lost me (asking is one thing, pushing is quite another). I had originally planned to wait a bit longer, but I think because I could sense how much he was treasuring me (zero pressure plus all the good signs Evan says to look for), I felt comfortable moving to the next step.    

    One last thing, we have to say no to some things in order to say yes to others. Say no to sex!   Say yes to making out!   (It’s really fun and it’s not the same after you’ve had sex.   It’s something you can only enjoy fully before you’ve gone all the way.   You can still enjoy it after, but it loses the sexual tension and mystery).

  9. 109

    Evan Marc Katz – 108.
    That was a very good point to make.
    He has feelings too and it takes two.   Sometimes, women can be really really hard on men.

  10. 110

    In my experience, I’m 67, dating again, .
    If you take your pants off, 99.9% of men will think you mean “Yes, we are doing it!”
    Many men think that if you invite them to your home.

  11. 111

    Evan you say that we have a right to set boundaries about how far we are willing to go and that this can help weed out men who are interested in more than sex. You also said it was normal for guys to pursue sex and try to get as far as possible. But where do you need to draw the line for pressuring? My example is,   it’s date 2, and it’s a DVD night, I told the guy that I want to take things physically slow and that I need to know a guy better before i have sex with him.   He says that’s fine but as I progress through hooking up with him he tries to start having sex with me without even using a condom. So I felt I had to guard myself basically. Then he asks to do it and then starts to get pissed off when I said sorry but it’s too soon. As soon as he noticed I was really frightened by this he apologized and he admitted he was being a jerk, he was just really turned on by me. But then shortly after could only talk about how he really wanted to have sex with me.   I’m not sure whether that’s normal/acceptable behavior or not because the last couple guys I have slept with have done the same.   He didn’t rape me, but it makes me feel hesitant to go on another date. He was otherwise a good date.  

  12. 112

    I HAVE to say the greatest and most memorable night I ever had with a man involved no intercourse. We “made out naked’ from apx 12am to 5am. It was FANTASTIC! He was from ARGENTINA and was such an amazing man. Is there a term for this? If not there sure needs to be! I can remember everything he did to me and said to me like a movie running thru my head. So yes, one can have the best night with a partner without intercourse!

  13. 113

    I am in a long distance romantic relationship with someone I have known since we were young teenagers pining for each other but having no courage to pursue each other. 30 years later, the sexual attraction is real, and for 6   months we have phoned/texted a few times a week, and for the last 3 months we have spoken daily several times. We will be seeing each other in 3 weeks (April), and then not again probably until October. Obviously, we have had no physical contact, although we have had graphic conversations about what we like and prefer in bed. I will not have sex with him (or anyone else) outside of marriage (I am a single mom of more than a handful of kids already, and it’s just not going to work out for me to get pregnant outside of a marriage, so I’m just not taking any chances), and right now, he is perfectly respectful of that. But what I’m wanting to share is that in these 6 months, we have forged a very intimate bond with one another, having discussed our past divorces, other relationships, parenting styles, money management, our future plans and dreams, biggest disappointments, what we love about each other, and we have even had a few arguments over meaningful things. We share a deep acceptance of one another’s personal circumstances, a deep understanding of what makes the other tick, and a deep desire for a physical relationship. I appreciate that we have had this time without the “distraction” of physical intimacy, because we have spend hundreds of hours talking, laughing, crying, and sharing–many hours of which we would likely have traded for time spent in sexual, rather than intellectual and emotional, exploration. The time for sexual exploration and intimacy will come; I wouldn’t have had it one moment sooner. The bond we have now is far deeper than I had with my first husband after 6 months together, and we got MARRIED at that point. Live and learn–I’ve learned a lot in 20 years. Thanks for your blog; I’m enjoying it.

  14. 114

    Thanks a lot. That’s a hell lot of self control. Would try it out. Its worth it!

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