Why Men Should Say No to Sex

couple cuddling on the couch

I’d like to hear your take on how a guy can smoothly handle the condom issue early in the dating relationship (assuming things get hot and heavy on the first few dates before the “safe sex talk” comes up).  

For example, on the first few dates, the guy is not sure if he is going to ‘get lucky’ or not with the woman he’s dating.  

If things start to get intimate early on, the guy is going to look pretty tacky if he just whips a condom out of his pocket when it’s time. The woman would probably think, “The jerk must think I’m always easy that he put a condom in his pocket EXPECTING sex!”

So what’s he supposed to do to make this go more smoothly? If he just whips out a condom out of his wallet, she’ll probably think he’s looking like the promiscuous high school football star.  

The guy could just not bring condoms on the early dates (so it doesn’t look too obvious that he’s just out for sex), and hope the woman has one in her belongings or at her place. But then the woman could be thinking the guy is not very responsible, and he’s leaving it to her to bring the goods.

Perhaps the guy could put some in his glove compartment and tell her, “Hey, I didn’t know we were going to get intimate on this 1st (or 2nd) date, but I do have a condom in my glove compartment, I think.”   It would chill the sudden hot intimacy while he has to dash out to his car, but how else does a guy not look like a jerk in this whole process if things get unexpectedly sexual early on?  



Dear Jim,

First off, kudos to you for asking this. It’s not only a fun question, but an original one, as well.

Second, you’ve clearly thought this through, although I’m quite sure I don’t agree with your final conclusion.

Dashing to the car to retrieve a rubber from the glove compartment? I know you were going for some sort of compromise between prepared and unprepared, but this isn’t it. Might as well turn on Jay Leno and pour two glasses of milk, because your mood has already been ruined.

So let’s discuss the two alternatives you brought up and allow me to counter with one that you don’t seem to have considered.

You’re right about the perception of the guy who carries the condom in his wallet. I did it myself for years and got nothing out of it, except for a bunch of wallets with raised ring outlines. And, as you acknowledged, it comes off as a bit too slick and tacky. While being prepared is usually a good idea, the negative connotations outweigh the benefits of preparedness.

The other idea you came up with is not bringing condoms on dates, in hopes that the woman is prepared. This is a far better scenario, and I don’t believe that it indicates that you’re not responsible. Rather, it indicates that you didn’t expect to be in the position to have sex.

But what I want to posit with the rest of this post is a mind-blowing new take for men on how to deal with sex and early-phase dating.

Don’t do it….

See, that’s the supposition underlying all dates: “When are we gonna have sex?” And although sex can make things very exciting, it often leads to disastrous results.

Unless both parties are on the same page with either an exclusive relationship or an agreed-upon casual relationship, it’s likely that one person will feel stronger than the other. And you know how that plays out:

You two have sex on the second date.

She thinks this means you want to be her boyfriend.

You think it was fun, but don’t see her as your future wife.

Her heart gets broken.

You feel like a jerk.

This is dating, in five lines.

So what I’m proposing here is a whole new paradigm shift — one in which hot-and-heavy, spontaneous, condom scrambling never takes place again.

Why? Because you’re actually going to talk about sex before you have it. And what are you going to say, Jim?

“I don’t have sex with anyone with whom I’m not in an exclusive relationship. Which is why I don’t carry condoms with me anywhere.”

It’s crazy, I know.

But once I started doing this, the results were astounding.

Women would say, “Are you serious?”

And I’d say, “Completely.”

And they’d say, playfully, “You mean if I tried to seduce you right now, you’d say no?”

And I’d say, “That’s right.”

And they’d smile and stare at me and say, “Hmmm…”

And what I’ve established with that one declaration is this:

I’m safe.

I’m not going to rape her.

I’m not trying to take her home tonight.

I’m not out for just sex.

I don’t sleep around.

I have integrity.

I’m surprising.

I’m challenging.

I’m different.

Saying no to spontaneous sex gives a man power. Constantly chasing sex makes him weak. I’m not saying that spontaneous sex isn’t fun, or that I’m morally above it. I’m saying that nothing bad comes out of saying no.

Either you’ll avoid breaking hearts (which is a good thing) or you’ll make sex into something special (which is a good thing). Regardless, she’ll respect you for taking an unusual stand.

And more likely than not, she’ll feel so comfortable with you that if you do choose to have sex, you’ll be able to have it the next time out, but not until you’ve had a genuine conversation about what it means.

Say no to spontaneous sex.

More power, less heartbreak.

Join our conversation (84 Comments).
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  1. 1

    If a man ever told me no, I would be extremely intrigued–possibly to the point of being a bit enamored. I hope men everywhere follow your advice!

  2. 2

    I don’t mind the condom in the wallet thing. It tells me the guy is responsible, and, if it’s just one condom, you only get to do it once. If it was great sex the girl can’t wait to do it again.

    That’s my id speaking, anyway. I guess meeting a guy who followed Evan’s advice would be refreshing. I’d be left really horny, though.

  3. 3

    I’ve been in situations where I didn’t come prepared, which led to having to stop the proceedings and have a whole conversation about going to the store to buy condoms, what type to buy, etc. Big mood breaker, as well as a deal breaker. And I live in NYC. I could’ve been out of their apartments, down in the corner grocery, and back up with a 3 pack of Trojans in under 5 minutes…even at 3 am, if necessary.

    Conversely, I’ve done the condom in the wallet thing too and the women weren’t the least bit fazed when I whipped it out (the condom, that is). If you’re at that point in the goings on where condoms are needed, most women would be hypocritical to judge you for being prepared. In fact, I think most would be relieved that you have a condom, and that they don’t have to expose their stash to you, if they indeed have such a stash.

    I think if sex is your main objective, then follow the Boy Scouts’ motto and “Be Prepared.” If you’re looking for something serious, heed the advice of the single dating expert. What he says makes sense.

    1. 3.1

      He’s not single…he’s married and happily too.

    2. 3.2

      I agree with you. As a female I carry condoms constantly. Do I constantly think I’m going to have sex? No, but if the moment strikes I like to be prepared, and it’s better than guessing if the other person is prepared or not.

  4. 4

    First off, I can’t stand the degrading term “getting lucky” as any man theoretically is “lucky” to be having sex with a woman. Give me a break ! There’s should be no luck involved unless you play the lottery.
    2 adults either wanna be together or they don’t.

    As far as what Evan says to say ie: “I don’t have sex with anyone with whom I’m not in an exclusive relationship. Which is why I don’t carry condoms with me anywhere.”
    Sounds great and politically correct but it’s not true for a large percentage of people out here. So if it’s not true for you (like it’s not for me) I would’nt say it.

    There’s nothing wrong with carrying a condom in your car and putting it in your pocket when you go inside if you feel it heading that way and your BOTH up for it.

    There’s also been times recently when I’ve said “you know what, we don’t have to go that far tonight. I’d rather wait for another time when we have more time and we’re both prepared. Does’nt mean we still can’t have fun and enjoy each other.

    Evans’ right though it’s good to talk about it and see where you’re both coming from ideally so you can enjoy it casually if that’s the case without feeling guilty like in his scenario.

    As far as “nothing bad ever comes from saying no” …LOL You’d be wrong. I said “no” once and never heard from her again…lol
    No biggie, it wasn’t going to be a relationship but it stung for a day or 2.

  5. 5

    “I don’t have sex with anyone with whom I’m not in an exclusive relationship.” I’ve used this line. Guess what the guy did? He bulletined about condoms as if I have no knowledge about it…lol
    That’s why I’m a huge Evan fan because he’s such a decent human being!! Very noble:)

  6. 6

    Wow. I like Evan’s idea. My only concern is that I have dated a few women who insisted we have sex, even when I didn’t have a condom. So, I feel I need to have one available just to be on the safe side, for my own sake. I put it in my pocket though, not my wallet. (From what I’ve read, it’s not safe to use a condom that’s been sitting in a wallet because it tends to get worn down.)

    Evan’s concept of not expecting to have casual sex or counting on it is liberating. It’s something I’ve been doing for a long time now, and it’s incredible how much more power it gives me. I find that women find it very attractive in a man and that it puts me in the drivers seat.

    1. 6.1

      Wow, a woman who insists you have sex, even if you don’t have a condom, and sounds like bad news bears to me. : / Just imagining how many other guys she’s “insisted” that with. But besides that, if you didn’t want to have sex without a condom, YOU SHOULD HAVE SAID NO. Men can say no (re-iterating the article, obviously). Sorry, but you don’t sound like you’re in the driver’s seat at all.

      1. 6.1.1

        So what if he is not in the driver’s seat?      Women want sex just as much as men and there is nothing wrong with that.    You did not ask him how many other women he has had sex with.   Why does it matter?   Yes it should be protected, but there is nothing wrong with a woman that insists on sex.    In fact a lot of women are just looking for sex.          What are we in the 1950’s?    and while he says she insisted of course he could have said no!      Insisted is a bit of a strong term.   He could have left.

  7. 7

    There are two issues here: Sex and relationships.

    Firstly, this implies that condoms are exclusively a man’s responsibility, which is old school and unsafe. So just because men wear the condoms they’re exclusively responsible? The emphasis on this – and the fact that I’m the first female commenter to challenge this – surprises me.

    I can’t speak for any other women, but I keep a supply of condoms beside my bed. There’s no reason a guy should bring condoms over to my place when I’m capable of buying them myself. Furthermore, every guy I’ve dated has had a supply at their place. Run out? Buy more, whether you’re anticipating sex or not, just like other household items. Concerned about expiry date? Expiry dates are a long way off. Chances are you’ll have sex before then.

    Chances are the sex is happening in someone’s home so the condom issue shouldn’t be an issue.

    Secondly, If I heard “I don’t have sex with anyone with whom I’m not in an exclusive relationship.” I’d think he’s full of shit, playing me to look like the nice guy KNOWING that it gives him power, or not into me. I might wonder what’s wrong with him. I prefer if a guy tells me that he wants to take it slow or get to know me better before sleeping with me.

    Most guys I know don’t say “I don’t have sex with anyone with whom I’m not in an exclusive relationship.” and mean it – and I have a lot of male friends to pool this opinion from.

    1. 7.1

      I think it’s great for women to have a few condoms on hand. But condoms aren’t one size fits all and an ill-fitting one can ruin sex. For the most part guys should be in charge when it comes to supplying condoms.

  8. 8

    Clarification: When I said “Firstly, this implies…” I meant Jim’s question, Evan’s answer and the previous comments.

  9. 9

    An intriguing suggestion by Evan, but not a very realistic one. Waiting for a committed relationship before having sex? C’mon, you don’t buy a car without test driving it first do you? Honestly, how many guys are going to pass up a chance at some good ass with that line…can I get a show of hands? Yeah, that’s what I thought. A more realistic suggestion would be to find a middle ground that still gets you some respect and adoration. So instead refuse the sex the first night if in fact neither of you have a condom by saying: “I do not have unprotected sex outside of a committed relationship, but will come prepared the next time if you are still willing.” She’ll be impressed by your restraint, the fact that you weren’t expecting it, and concern for your safety…and hers. Plus, you still get to get some action the next time you see her way before waiting the 2 or more months it may take before committing. It’s a win-win situation. Just my 2 cents.

  10. 10
    Evan Marc Katz

    to JB: I’m not saying to refuse sex for effect. I’m saying to refuse sex because it shows respect, gives you power, and diminishes potential fallout if/when things don’t work out.

    to Andrea: It’s not full of shit if you mean it.

    to Craig: A committed relationship isn’t marriage. It just means that you decide not to see anybody else. This can take place after a date or two. The point is that you’re DISCUSSING what sex means, instead of having it and dealing with the ramifications later.

    Thanks to all for your thoughts. Can’t wait to hear from more women…

    1. 10.1

      How could any woman possibly have a problem with this??!! I would LOVE it if a guy said this to me. Normally the conversation is the reverse, with me playing defence and them playing offense. And me trying to explain why I don’t want to have sex/their hand down my pants/them trying to force my hand in  their pants (on the second date, no less). It is not only frustrating, but it can be scary at times.

      If some guy said this to me I would feel EXACTLY the way Evan  described.

      This is awesome.

      Well said, Evan, I wish more men would read this. Please teleport this message to all my dates for the rest of my life…:)

      1. 10.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        How about you share it on Facebook with a few hundred people to start? 🙂

  11. 11

    The only time I can remember someone not wanting to have sex with me early on was many years ago. On that night, I guessed I was going too fast for him and told him that was okay, nothing wrong with waiting until we knew each other better. Well, we started seeing alot of each other and it turned out that it wasn’t a time, or exclusivity factor–he was impotent and had been for a couple years.

    Sooo, (prior to reading this blog), if a guy gave me the “I don’t have sex with anyone with whom I’m not in an exclusive relationship.” line, I would probably think he had some kind of sexual problem, STD, or just wasn’t interested in me sexually.

    I will say though that I do believe in talking about sex, and expectations before jumping right into it these days. I do want to get to know someone fairly well first–I’ve been disappointed too many times by not waiting. And I do want exclusivity if I’m going to be having sex with someone and I’m not afraid to say so up front.

    I can’t see waiting 2 mos. or more to have committed sex though, so I like Craig’s line better. For one thing, it builds anticipation for the next time you see each other! And it can also serve as an opener to discuss expectations regarding sex if one is feeling a bit self conscious about the topic. And it shows the guy is not only willing, but also able.

  12. 12

    I agree with Andrea that bringing protection to the encounter should not be the man’s burden alone, but neither do I believe that he should rely on the woman to bring it. Neither party knows what STDs the other might have. There’s also potential on both sides for entrapment into parenthood; I’ve heard of women claiming infertility to trap men into fatherhood, & I’ve heard of men similarly deceiving women into motherhood. This is the age of equality, which for both genders entails responsibilities as well as rights.

    I also like Evan’s idea of us guys saying no to 1st- or 2nd-date sex. Doing so would raise the value of male sexuality. As with any product/service, the tighter we are with it, the more value we place on it. Meanwhile, the more we show that we can do without FEMALE sexuality, the more ITS value will go DOWN. Then we can make the M-F r’ship dynamic more balanced & fair.

  13. 13

    My experience with a guy that actually said he didn’t want to have sex until he’s in a commited relationship was because he was truly serious. He was a virgin! He wanted to wait to give it to his future wife. Sure, I thought that was sweet and endearing, and totally rare these days, but damn. Made me want him more, but darn it, the guy had too much will power. LOL. So yeah, the topic of condoms never even came up.

  14. 14
    Ron Goedde

    Nothing wrong with waiting to lose your virginity until you meet your future wife, Chloe.

    I’m 62 years young, and I’m still waiting for me sweetie to come along. I’ve held out this long – I just hope she shows up before long – otherwise we’ll be doing the nasty in the old folks home!

  15. 15
    Jared Meyer

    I agree with Evan with regard to waiting. I wonder though: why should men even say “yes” to sex?

    Would personal relationships last longer if two people didn’t sleep together within the first 24, 48, or 72 hours – let alone days – spent together? Do most couples have long-term serious relationships after sleeping together on the first date? Do we often lose interest or respect towards those we date after moving too fast? Imagine what our nation would be like if its citizens developed better discipline.

    My high school prom date once quoted someone who once stated that, “There are two tragedies in life: one – not getting what you want; the other – getting it.” If men were to toss aside their ego for a moment, a minute, or a month, would they be as inclined to have sex with their dates? We know that sex can be a powerful, special thing. Why do we often do what’s easy and not what’s right? Because we can. I’d like to change this and revisit that “less is more” theory of life. Who’ll join me in discovering discipline? All those in favor? All those opposed? Does anyone abstain?

  16. 16

    I like Craig’s suggestion.

    Although I think women who are sexually active should have some condoms at home, I still think it’s better when they guy buys them. That way, they get the kind that fits & feels best to them. (My personal experience is that guys are particular about it.)

    Someone said wallet’s aren’t smart (true) and I also heard in a safe sex class that glove compartments are bad because of the temperature changes. Condoms should be stored at room temp, not the fluctuating hot/cold of a glovebox.

  17. 17

    I totally agree with Evan on this. I personally am creeped out if a guy is prepared; I’d rather assume that nothing is going to happen. That might be naive, but I don’t have condoms in my house, and if he has them at his, it’s like–ok, it’s regular thing for him. And it’s true that people shouldn’t be afraid to talk about sex, even though we usually are. Sometimes talking about sex and framing it as something that is part of some kind of exclusive relationship feels like I’m pressuring him, which is ridiculous of course. Just goes to show you how far we’ll go to act “cool”. I like the tone of this post exactly for this reason: it’s easy to assume that guys are ready to pounce at the drop of a hat, but maybe they aren’t always, and maybe women have to put the brakes on more effectively without feeling like it makes them seem “prissy” and–God forbid!–“not fun.” Waiting is so logical, but I do think there is an atmosphere out in the dating world that pressures people to use sex as a way to get to know someone and artificially speed things up. Is it even effective??
    Another thing: all these guys whose main focus is “chemistry”, who couch it in some lame excuse about how they had such terrible sex with ex-girlfriends. I love it when they act like it is somehow so virtuous and honest that they are admitting that it’s such a vital part of the relationship. Well, yeah, duh. It’s almost like it is a thinly-veiled warning like, “don’t waste my time if you’re boring and not willing to do what I want.” Oh yeah, hotshot? Before you start getting all demanding, maybe I want some assurances that you’re packing something bigger than a Crayola–how’s that?
    I’m done for now. Good work, Evan.

  18. 18

    I agree! 🙂

  19. 19

    I’m a woman, and I’m most likely older than the women who’ve been commenting here. I agree with the majority of what Evan has to say and with Craig up to a point. But the writer’s concern was focused on whether it looks tacky or presumptuous for a man to be equipped with a condom when dating. Personally, I find it downright delightful that a man took the responsibility upon himself. It speaks of his respect for his own body, as well as that of any woman with whom he might potentially be intimate. To me, it doesn’t broadcast that he was hoping to score; it means that he’s always prepared, because you just never know. I am always prepared with condoms in my purse and a supply in my home. It shows I’m a conscientious and informed adult with a sexual life.
    If this insinuates to some that I’m a slut, so be it, but at least I’m a responsible one. And I educated my own kids, now adults, about this sense of individual responsibility & emphasizing that it is not the responsibility of the “other” person, male or female, to be sure sex is safe. I understand that Evan was using the writer’s question as an opportunity to open dialogue on the issue of sexual abstinence or delay by men when going into a new encounter with a woman. But why — as Craig implied — tell a woman you don’t have sex outside of a committed relationship, when you actually do and will? Why not just say, “I don’t have sex without adequate protection, and I came unprepared, but I guarantee you, I’ll be prepared the next time we’re in this situation.” And if a woman takes the position that it’s the guy’s responsibility to provide the condom, then she probably shouldn’t be having sex, because that’s expecting the guy to take care of you, and that’s not his job — that’s your job. Same goes for the guy. If every sexually active individual took the responsibility to always be prepared for safe sex, the world would be a much better place. Don’t burden it with all this moral posturing about will I look too eager or easy. I know I sound like an old saw, but I simply refuse to see sex as power or anything other than what it is — a mutual and intimate expression of affection that, yes, gets very up close & personal and happens to also feel very good. I have never in my life met a man who was offended because I was able to provide a condom. Not once. Nor have I ever encountered a man who thought I was pushing ahead into sex too soon. Har! But it’s always been after having a conversation about safe sex. Not about what it means tomorrow (“You mean he had sex with me, but now he’s not my boyfriend/lover/partner?”). Consentual sex between me and a man does not put either of us in a position of genuine power over the other. There may be a resulting perception in one’s head that one of you is now in the “driver’s seat” or that someone “won” over the other, but that’ not real power, that’s ego. Likewise, (sorry Evan, I have to disagree with you on this one), withHOLDING sex does not genuinely empower a person; and if it feels that way, then it’s become game playing or manipulative. There’s a million reasons why either gender may want to hold off being sexually intimate. I’m not sexual with a man I’ve only known a short time because generally it takes more time than that to figure out if I’m both attracted to and comfortable with him enough to get that intimate at that early point. I can be very turned on by a man on a first date (or first glance, for that matter) and, if it seems mutual, I can express that in pleasurable ways — use your imagination here — without anything beyond very purposeful, articulate, protracted necking. No condoms required. And finally, I want to comment on Collins’ comments, which I assume are male, where he suggests that men hold out in order to drive up the value of male sexuality and to somehow lower the value of female sexuality. What is this, Econ 101? We are not commodities. And I don’t know about any other women, but I sure as hell don’t see women’s sexuality being all that overvalued, at least not on the planet I inhabit. You can’t drive to the grocery store without seeing a billboard with an scantily-clad young, thin woman with ample breasts advertising just about any product you can name. Women’s sexuality is cheapened daily in all forms of media. So, no, let’s NOT undervalue women’s sexuality, or men’s, shall we? In fact, let’s instead focus on elevating respect for each individual’s body and their right to set personal boundaries for that body, be it sexual or otherwise. As ever, thanks for reading!

  20. 20

    Agree Zann. I also wonder if Collins viewpoint stems from being turned down for sex frequently. Hmm.

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