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.

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  1. 21

    I like Craig’s suggestion and with
    Evan’s response to him. My response to Evan’s response to me: Of course it’s not shit if he means it but my inclination would be to not believe it even if he does mean it. I guess at that point I’d follow my instincts and see what happens. I’d like it if he meant it.

    I like Zann’s response.

  2. 22

    To answer Selena’s question: In my teens & early 20s, I was turned down for DATES a lot, before the question of sex could even come up. In high school, most of the girls already had boyfriends. And from college on, it just got worse: almost every woman I met was either married or otherwise attached. Even at bars such is the case; contrary to stereotypes, bars are not singles scenes in my experience. So now, at 31, I’ve written women off as unavailable for dates, never mind sex. I don’t rely on them for my happiness anymore. I occupy my time with activities that take one, not two. And to Zann, I’m sorry, but sexuality does have some economics to it, whether we like it or not. For example, a group of men gather around one woman at a bar, hoping to take her home with them. But only one (if she likes any of them at all) can possibly do so. This scenario is more common than throngs of women throwing themselves at, say, Elvis or the Beatles. Plus we guys are socialized to be pursuers when it comes to matters sexual. Hence my belief that female sexuality is valued like gold while male sexuality is valued little more than dirt.

  3. 23


    Unless a man really does need to be in a committed relationship to have sex, that sort of lie is a huge turn-off. If a guy said told me that, I’d a) think he’s being coy, and there is nothing less sexy than someone being coy or b) think that he’s a prude and wouldn’t be much fun in bed anyhow.

    Sex needs to happen naturally. I’ve always felt that if no one brought a condom, that’s the sign that you need to wait for the next time. Or if a guy is over-thinking the bringing of a condom, then he’s over-thinking his perception by his sexual partners and probably has a problem truly being in the moment during sex, as well.

    If we worry about how a person is going to perceive us and present to the world a misrepresentation of ourselves, we will attract the wrong people to us. My longest relationship when I was 20-22 was with a guy I slept with the first night I met. We broke each others’ hearts and have recently begun the process of trying to start something adult. We started it this time around by having causal sex, again. The sex allowed us to spend time with each other and realize how right we are for each other.

    If I, last spring, had told him it was nice to have lunch with him, but I only have sex with people who I am involve with in a serious relationship, not only would he know that I had either become someone else or become a liar, but the progression wouldn’t have happened.

    Jim? If who you are is a person who is terrified of a woman thinking that he’s either a slut or thinks she is, you should not be having sex with virtual strangers. However, if you’re doing this song and dance because of society’s pressure to force you to be uncomfortable with your sexuality, then drop it. The right girl for you will be flattered you came prepared. Hell, if she’s naked in your bed asking you do anything that would involve a condom, chances are she is comfortable with her sexuality, as well as yours.

    Get over it.


  4. 24
    Evan Marc Katz

    I’m not talking about games, as Zann suggested, or lies, as Emma suggested. I’m talking about both SAYING and MEANING “I don’t sleep with someone unless I’m in a committed relationship”. Why is this so hard to understand? Because most guys don’t do it and wouldn’t consider doing it? Well, that’s entirely my point. If they DID do it, we’d all be a lot better off.

    I don’t judge anyone who hops into bed with a hot stranger, but I can state with confidence that nothing bad happens from discussing sex and reserving it exclusively for boyfriends/girlfriends.

  5. 25

    I just realized that I poorly edited my last reply and somehow left out some words.
    The first sentence should read, “I like Craig’s suggestion and AGREE with Evan’s response to him.” Further along I probably should have said “Of course it’s not shit if he means it but I’d be inclined not to believe him it even if he does mean it. ”

    I am my own grammar police but sometimes catch these things too late.

    Moving on, Evan later asked, “Why is this so hard to understand? Because most guys don’t do it and wouldn’t consider doing it?”

    Yes, that’s exactly why. You’re right. If they did do it, we’d all be a lot better off and nothing bad happens from discussing sex and reserving it exclusively for boyfriends/girlfriends.

  6. 26

    IMHO, saying “I don’t sleep with someone unless I’m in a committed relationship” is only truthful if you have a history of abstaining from sex until the commitment is declared.

    So advising men to say it just to “try it on for size”, see how it feels and how women respond to it…when they don’t wholeheartedly, sincerely believe in the approach… is kinda asking men to play games with women.

    I know that wasn’t Evan’s intent to ask men to lie here. So guys out there, if you’re trying this new “commitment first” program out for the first time, please be honest with the lady and at least say you’re “trying” to only sleep with women you’re committed to. A little honesty goes a long way for being able to look yourself in the mirrror.

  7. 27

    btw, one of my hottest memories was a date with this fireman. We spent the night in bed and kissed, but he wouldn’t even take my clothes off. When I practically begged him to, he said “believe me, I’d like to”, but wouldn’t.

    Since he never asked me out again, I like to think he was one of the guys who believed in the commitment-first program. And while I’m sure he wasn’t trying to make me more attracted to him, his refusal to have sex with me made him a Sex God in my mind. I love to fantasize about him to this day.

    So I do believe what Evan says about how there’s power in saying no. However, just because the power exists doesn’t mean people shouldn’t use it with integrity.

  8. 28

    I am surprised there aren’t more women writing to say “Amen” to this post, because if men did this it would make things infinitely better for us women. When to have sex and when to commit–even just in the sense of being “exclusive” and not dating other people–is a huge question mark in the beginning of a relationship. Figuring out the answer would probably be a lot easier if there is not a sexual relationship to deal with right from the start. Add sex to the mixture, and things get cloudy: you start to hope and wonder, does being open to a physical relationship mean being open to an emotional one? Is this the beginning of a romance we’ll remember for the rest of our lives? I think for most emotionally stable people, it is normal to believe that when you share each other’s bodies there is some kind of connection, beyond having the right parts that fit together. The problem is that the meaning of that connection might be so different from person to person that the partner that feels it more deeply is bound to be disappointed to discover that the other one sees it in a much more casual light.

    You can’t possibly be on the same page if you can’t even discuss it. I know, we like to think that our bodies are magically communicating something with sex, and we think we’re having the same experience. Most of the time we discover that this is not the case, and that’s painful. And what I think Evan is saying is that, given the opportunity afforded by not rushing, there is a greater chance that other parts of the relationship will be in place; it won’t really matter what the individual twists and turns are, but you’ll end up together, at the same destination.

    Naked, in bed, and maybe–on the way to the greatest love affair of your life. Sounds good to me.

  9. 29

    One thing that seems worth mentioning in this discussion is not just whether to have condoms available, but how to carry them. Body heat when carried in a wallet and the extremes of heat and and cold inside a glove box can deteriorate the latex in the condoms over relatively short times. Their designed to be kept at or near room temperature. If you’re going to carry one in your wallet or glove box for a date, don’t leave them there for days or weeks lest they fail, potentially leading to a much more complicated situation and discussion. A quick web search for “condom wallet temperature” turns up all kinds of resources on proper care and storage of condoms.

  10. 30

    I strongly disagree with Evan’s suggestion that men should tell us women that they don’t have sex unless they’re in an exclusive relationship. I went on a couple of dates with one guy who tried this tactic, and I have to say it went over terribly with me. It was the guy’s idea to bring me back to his apartment (I agreed because I liked him and I was horny), but then after we had a little fun, not involving actual sex, he told me he doesn’t have sex on first dates. I was thinking, why the hell did he bring me back to his place?! The second date the same thing happened, and I was left frustrated and not at all satisfied sexually either. So guys, if you use Evan’s idea, please PLEASE mean it and don’t lead us on and make us think we’re getting some when you have no intention of giving any. We women are frequently horny just like you guys, and if both people want sex, they should not feel at all taken aback by the fact that the man has a condom on hand. It is like bringing extra cash with you when you go out in case you need it to get home or whatever – it’s just more prudent to have condoms with you whenever you plan on meeting a woman, just in case there is a mutual spark. As a woman that carries condoms with me on dates myself, I can say that it’s ALWAYS a good move, for those rare occasions when a connection is actually THAT good that both people want to get together quickly. Believe me, women do not want to be stuck any more than men do in a situation where they want to have sex but can’t because nobody has a condom. In this just as in everything, better to be safe than sorry.

  11. 31

    p.s. As in that Sex and the City episode where Charlotte doesn’t have sex with her fiance until the night before their wedding and discovers that he’s impotent, I would much rather NOT get into any kind of exclusive relationship without a test drive. I mean, come on, nobody wants to work on a relationship and nurture it for weeks or months only to find out that one or the other person has problems with sex of whatever kind. Who has the time for that??

  12. 32

    MP: That reminds me that I’ve never heard a male version of the term “c*ck tease” and yet sometimes search my mind for one. 🙂

    I like how the tables are turned down and the genders are balancing out in this regard.

  13. 33

    I think Evan is right on – It has GREAT appeal but of course only when sincere. And the reasons for it are also about creating safety and comfort for the guy. Both can determine right timing and place, can look forward to it with anticipation and excitement, and when he gets the go ahead he knows it is meant. That can be freeing for a man too – so he doesn’t have to worry about about awkward or appropriate or sincere desire. Nothing bad about good communication or waiting. Also it is sexy when a guy can hold his horses- yes shows mastery and control and can translate unconsciously to the woman – as this guy has patience and will attend (maybe better lover)

    Men I ahve known who have decided on this agree –

    Of course no one is saying not to express one’s desire or suggest….It is amazing what a glance, a touch, a brush or simple hugs and contact can arouse.

    But if potential relationship is what is on the table- waiting for BOTH to know each other better and ensure comfort is liberating and can lead to better sex and self-esteem!

  14. 34

    As to MP- there is truth here too. Not everyone needs or wants exclusivity to enjoy a connection, casual or potentially other. It does help to have communication though and be on the same page. Much really depends on one’s objective. Being prepared is fine , and having sex early on is fine as long as both are comfortable. Yes Women can be just plain horny too. Then the guy needs to decide if that is really what he wants- and if he is ready to be perhaps just an amusement for a night, with no guarantees for more. Nothing wrong with that. Basically – be aware of what you want, what the other may want, and the consequences. Regardless of sex early on or later- it takes time to learn and know someone. It is still quite sexy to say No or not yet…with a twinkle

  15. 35

    I tend to find those men who don’t give out easily. Ones that actually do mean it when they say that they don’t fuck around. Sure I feel frustrated, but I value them more than the ones who are after me to get laid.
    I am like a man it that way.. what comes easily, I just lose interest, I got what I wanted, and my imagination is always wilder than they were.
    When a man makes me wait, we build a connection by talking about safe sex, how we see the world, what is out relationship past.. the trust is born. Then everything seems so much more natural, and you can try things out feeling secure. So my point is wait and let the electricity to build up. The sex/lovemaking afterwards has really been worth it.
    Men who have selfcontrol.. who are not after easy lay.. they are something I look out for, as I know they are worth pursuing too. Others just don’t interest me, I like the hunt that much..
    Even with the frustration, it is worth it.. =D

  16. 36

    THANK YOU EVAN!!!!!!!!!!! You are my hero.

  17. 37

    Great posts. I love Zann’s and Wannagetmatoballed’s posts. I even cut and pasted from matzo ball. I have JUST met a nice guy, last night was coffee at Starbucks, I’m more like Zann in my outlook and he was already wanting to kiss me. I pulled back as I’ve jumped into the sexual side of a relationship too many times too quickly. I really like this guy and want to go slow, BUT, question is, will he? This is going to be very interesting VERY shortly. I’m going to keep reading these posts as I’ve not been in this situation for a while. Yes Evan, I finally have met a guy who is not intimidated by my success and finds me to be very warm and kind. I know I was quite outspoken on the other blog about successful women.
    And to matzo ball, I’m the lokshen and kreplach in the chicken soup…oy vaysmeer! 🙂
    Thanks guys for a great blog!

  18. 38

    Hehe..thanks! I’m a Philly gal, too. Good luck, I’m sending you good vibes here in our “ugly” city. Hope it works out for you!!

  19. 39

    if all wait could wait and say no to sex more women would have the confidence to also say no and each relationship would turn into married as marc mentioned that being in a committed relationship does not mean marriage.

  20. 40

    I’ve learned more from these comments than I did with two husbamds and one and a half lovers. I’m almost eighty. Thanks, guys.

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