My Boyfriend Expressed Doubts When Asking Me to Be His Girlfriend. Should I Worry?

I came across your blog when I first started online dating a few years ago in New York and your advice has helped me navigate the modern dating scene. I’ve always valued your advice because it is no nonsense, practical and mirroring worked for me like a charm.

I’m currently in a new relationship. Like you advised, I politely declined to sleep with my partner until we were exclusive. He was the first to bring up the ‘what do you want with dating’ talk, and I answered honestly that I was looking for a committed exclusive relationship. He followed up by pursuing me hard, committing to me and taking down his profile in quick succession and introducing me to his friends as his girlfriend.

He recently admitted that he did have doubts if he wanted a relationship or was ready even as he asked me, but went with it as he liked me a lot and it was what I wanted. He also affirmed that with time, he knows he made the right decision to commit to me.

I share a similar dating philosophy with your wife. I believe in mulligans and I am grateful that my partner and I are able to talk about us – what a joy to find a man who wants to talk about the relationship! – and I have no desire to punish him for his honesty in any way or to use it to guilt him. His recent affirmation to the commitment also made me reassured. In fact, he has ticked all the boxes that you mentioned in what a man should do for his girlfriend. He is by no means an alpha Marlboro guy and my younger self would have found flaws in him, but my older self agrees with your philosophy in being with the man who treats you well and wants to be with you.

However, I have some niggling fears over his admission that he wasn’t ready when he asked me to be his girlfriend, and that he had doubts even after he had asked me during the early days. I would love to hear your opinion on whether this is a red flag. From my perspective, I appreciate his desire to be honest with me and have no wish to punish him for it. But you have more experience and insight, and I’m sure myself and other female readers would benefit from your thoughts on this.

Margaret

Think about the relationships where you had no doubts whatsoever.

You “just knew” he was your “soulmate” and you’d be together forever.

What happened to ALL those relationships?

You got it! They fell apart. So much for “just knowing.”

I don’t know how long you’ve been with your boyfriend, Margaret.

But if he’s treating you well and is talking about a future with you, it doesn’t matter at all if he had doubts at the beginning.

Doubts are just signs that you’re seeing things clearly and can tell your partner’s flaws.

While it’s no fun to have doubts, they’re necessary before taking the plunge into marriage, lest you end up like the couples who “just knew” but were mistaken.

Doubts are just signs that you’re seeing things clearly and can tell your partner’s flaws.

I famously had doubts about proposing to my wife.

I told my friends.
I told my therapist.
I told Dr. Pat Allen – who told me to dump my wife or I’d end up cheating on her. I even told my girlfriend directly – two weeks before I proposed – that I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but I knew I had to do it soon because she was 38.

Should she have been scared? Well, yes and no.

Yes, I was admitting that it was in the realm of possibility that we might not get married.

No, there was nothing to be afraid of because my decision was out of her hands.

Many women would have freaked out, dumped me, or tried to extract an ultimatum.

My future wife didn’t.

She knew I was a serious, relationship-oriented man who desired marriage and kids.

She knew I never lied.

And after having a first husband who cheated on her, it was refreshing to be with an honest guy who articulated all of his thoughts and emotions, however painful they might be.

If you’re NOT afraid of making a mistake, you’re not thinking very clearly.

Thus, she put her faith in me that I would come to a conclusion in my own time – despite my admitted reservations about spending the rest of my life with one person.

(Again, if you’re NOT afraid of making a mistake, you’re not thinking very clearly.)

I’m sure it was hard for my wife when I was deciding whether to step up or step out.

But she’s a smart woman with unparalleled people skills and a deep understanding of men.

She knew that if she wanted me to propose, getting nervous wouldn’t help, talking about “us” wouldn’t help, and grilling me wouldn’t help.

She just had to continue to do what she had done for sixteen months before that – be the best girlfriend I’d ever had, accept me as I was, and become indispensable to my happiness.

That’s why she’s my wife instead of Date #301.

So, my friend, allow your man to tell you the truth without punishing him for it. He’ll feel safe that he can be himself with you. You’ll be the only woman who ever let him be honest without flipping out on him. And that’s why he’ll stay with you above all others.

Good luck.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Evelyn

    Evan, your advice is spot on for a man who expresses his fears and doubts, but stays in the relationship as he is working out his feelings.  We all want to feel loved and appreciated as we try to work as a team together to resolve issues and move towards building a future together.  But, sometimes it’s not possible to be the best girlfriend a guy has ever had while he’s deciding to step up or step out.  If the man suddenly disappears, starts pulling away, ghosting, stashing you, breadcrumbing, or asks for a break to think things over, any woman with a shred of self esteem will not stay in the relationship.  At that point, loving the indecisive man and being his best girlfriend ever means she will step out and give him the space he needs, at his risk of him losing her forever to someone else.  I agree with your reassurance to Margaret that things are looking favorable, but it would be best for her to keep up the communication with her boyfriend, work on her own doubts and fears, and hopefully the two of them will love each other enough to give it a go.

  2. 2
    S.

    Margaret seems very level-headed. She said twice she had no wish to punish her boyfriend for his honesty so I have a feeling she wouldn’t have even if you hadn’t responded to her letter.

    I think this is key:

    if he’s treating you well and is talking about a future with you, it doesn’t matter at all if he had doubts at the beginning.

    If he’s treating you well and talking about a future with you.  That’s mostly (not all) everything right there.  That’s her boyfriend’s truth. His actions.  If a man’s truth isn’t that, if he’s not treating you well or talking about a future with you, then I don’t think you should accept him and that as it is.

    But if he’s treating you wonderfully and wants a future, enjoy. 🙂

  3. 3
    Sum Guy

    “So, my friend, allow your man to tell you the truth without punishing him for it. He’ll feel safe that he can be himself with you. You’ll be the only woman who ever let him be honest without flipping out on him. And that’s why he’ll stay with you above all others.”

     

    So well said.

    Men fear exactly the thought process the letter shows, we call it overthinking and why we hold back.   Because of that, when a good confident man shares such feelings and thoughts with you it is a sign of deep trust.

  4. 4
    Malika

    As we get older we no longer throw ourselves into a relationship, even if we feel the famous ‘click’ and are ready for it. Doubts can mean many things, and it shows maturity that he wanted to think things through before commiting. Way better than the guy that declares his love, goes full speed and leaves you after a couple of months.

    If he still kept expressing reservations, then that would be a source of stress and a red flag, but this just sounds like common sense! Enjoy your new relationship with your self aware man!

    1. 4.1
      Adrian

      Hi Malika,

      I like what you said but I am not sure if I agree.

      Doubts usually have a source. Either the person has done something that we consciously or unconsciously felt was a possible long-term red flag or that WE feel like being with them is in someway settling.

      I read a few comments from one of the regular male posters about dating down so I have been asking a lot lately about it on this blog. From my understanding the feeling of settling is the same as feeling that you are dating down.

      A third possibility could be feeling that though this person is great you still feel that you are compromising and since Evan has written that most people can not tell the difference between the two when it comes to relationships my guess is that when a person has doubts it is one of these three reasons.

      As much as I love Evan, his behavior would not have yielded positive results with any other woman but his wife. He has told too many stories that display her beyond average character in regards to dating and relationships. Take that and add to it that Evan (who we all respect and love) is beyond a handful for any woman to deal with long-term and still have a happy relationship and we have a wife that is exceptional.

      …   …   …

      One last thing; you said, “As we get older we no longer throw ourselves into a relationship, even if we feel the famous ‘click’ and are ready for it.

      I have observed that most older people who meet a wonderful person but still refrain from throwing themselves into the relationship are doing so not from a desire to exercise cautious diligence but rather because they are approaching the person’s goodness and the ease of the relationship in a cynical manor. 

      The old saying “too good to be true” comes to mind. It’s as if they intentionally seek out the person’s flaws because they DON’T believe in the positives. And the better a person is the more suspicious they are of that person (an example of this would be how YAG admitted to searching long and hard to find dirt on the woman who contacted him first because she was too beautiful).

      I think you, Marika, and myself are all around the same age so I am sure that you have noticed that most older people don’t pay us or our advice any attention when they talk (we are too young to be considered capable of understanding (O_o)…), so they talk about things openly and freely in front of us. This is why I have heard so many different variations of it that I do believe that older single people have a twisted version of Evan’s dating philosophy which goes like “believe the Negatives, ignore the Positives.

      1. 4.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        @Adrian

        “As much as I love Evan, his behavior would not have yielded positive results with any other woman but his wife. He has told too many stories that display her beyond average character in regards to dating and relationships. Take that and add to it that Evan (who we all respect and love) is beyond a handful for any woman to deal with long-term and still have a happy relationship and we have a wife that is exceptional.”

        I think you’re overstating this a bit, my friend. My wife is extraordinary – that much is true – but you’re making me out to be some sort of monster that no other woman would want to date.

        “wouldn’t have yielded positive results with any other woman.”
        “beyond a handful for any woman.”

        Let’s be clear: I’m opinionated and outspoken, but I’m also ethical, honest, communicative, selfless, fair, and a proponent of personal responsibility and personal growth. The idea that my outspokenness outweighs all of my positive attributes as a partner is a bit limiting.

        You’d be hard pressed to find a more devoted husband who is as conscientiously committed to his wife’s happiness as yours truly.

        The fact that you’d say that just goes to show that even my most devoted readers don’t really know me or my relationship dynamic whatsoever.

        1. Angela

          I read your column and I do feel what was said here was a bit harsh (as I’m saying this I remain respectful to the writer above to see things the way he does). I sometimes agree with you spot on and sometimes completely disagree. But I see you as a good man that is honest and trustworthy that  has faults (like we all do). But I believe you to be a person a woman would be lucky to marry 😉

        2. Adrian

          Hi Evan,

          I had just typed a 10 points bulletin quoting times when you gave examples of you doing things that as you said “did not make you look like the good guy”… well actually only 6, 2 were from your interviewers that made comments (one radio and one podcast), one from a woman who met you in person at an event, and the last from your wife herself all to prove my point.

          But then I erased it. I don’t want to bring that level of negativity to this site or to your life with more misunderstandings, and I want to learn and grow not tear others down to prove that I am right. I feel that adding to the level of negativity even if it was a misunderstanding would not help anyone.

          If you felt that I was attacking or insulting your character than I apologize. I know that you are a man of good character.

          That all being said, I do have to say this. You know that a person

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          Your comment got cut off so I can’t fully respond. But here’s the thing:

          I put myself out on here in a way that nobody else does on the internet. You know more about me, my flaws and my marriage than you know about ANYBODY’S relationship besides your own.

          When I share things that I’ve done “wrong,” I do it for educational purposes, to illustrate that even good people are imperfect – they’re stubborn or selfish or ill-tempered or impatient.

          So if you can name 10 things I did that embarrass me, don’t forget: I TOLD you those 10 things. What I didn’t do is tell you the 1000 things that make me a kick-ass husband and father. People don’t want to hear you brag; they want to hear you own your flaws and “be real.”

          I’m as real as it gets. Don’t hold it against me that you know every time I fucked up but I don’t know a single thing about anybody else here.

          The only person who knows how I show up in a relationship is my wife and I promise you: she is extremely happy with her choice of husbands, which is why it doesn’t matter at all what strangers on a blog think. I just find it surprising that even “fans” can see me as some sort of tyrant because of a few anecdotes I revealed intentionally to teach healthy relationship skills. You just can’t win.

        4. Adrian

          Sorry Evan but this time I DO have to fight you on this and disagree with you when you say “You just can’t win.”

          You are winning. The majority of your readers (including myself) think you are a good guy and I can’t even count the number of times that a commetor has defended your character, acknowledged that you are a great husband, or said that they envied your wife and your marriage in general.

          You are wrong Evan! Your loyal readership proves it. People (men and women of all ages) would not look up to you and seek your help if we did not think you were someone worth  emulating.

          My comment does not negate that.

      2. 4.1.2
        Sum Guy

        Adrian @ 4.1

        have to call complete bullshit on this:

        “Doubts usually have a source. Either the person has done something that we consciously or unconsciously felt was a possible long-term red flag or that WE feel like being with them is in someway settling.

        A third possibility could be feeling that though this person is great you still feel that you are compromising and since Evan has written that most people can not tell the difference between the two when it comes to relationships my guess is that when a person has doubts it is one of these three reasons.”
        You then go on about looking for negatives and ignoring positives but these three reasons are just that, overthinking negative BS driven by insecurity and inadequacy (i.e. He doubts because I did something or he’s dating down/settling).

        You forgot another insecurity doubt, he’s afraid she’s out of his league and can’t keep her.

        Doubts are a legitimate response to making important decisions on limited or imperfect information.  It’s how you handle those doubts which is more telling.

        Having “doubts” when you make a big commitment based on limited knowledge is wisdom and being honest enough with yourself to know what you don’t know.  Has nothing to do with settling, but rather is she and the relationship really what he thought and hoped it was. Sounds like it is and he does, and he handled it well, gave it a chance and was willing to take that chance and be vulnerable.

        1. Clare

          Sum Guy,

           

          “You forgot another insecurity doubt, he’s afraid she’s out of his league and can’t keep her.
          Doubts are a legitimate response to making important decisions on limited or imperfect information.  It’s how you handle those doubts which is more telling.
          Having “doubts” when you make a big commitment based on limited knowledge is wisdom and being honest enough with yourself to know what you don’t know.  Has nothing to do with settling, but rather is she and the relationship really what he thought and hoped it was. Sounds like it is and he does, and he handled it well, gave it a chance and was willing to take that chance and be vulnerable.”

          I agree with you completely here, Sum Guy. It’s disheartening to me to see so many say that these vague, initial doubts which he expressed are signs that something might be truly wrong. This smacks to me of fear thinking – fear of rejection and abandonment, trying to head off something that hasn’t even happened yet. What you’ve said above is far more calm and mature.

          I like to think of myself as extremely smart and cautious. I do a lot of introspection, reading and weighing up. I’m sensitive to nuance and a whole host of different factors in every aspect of my life. I like the fact that I’m like that because it’s contributed greatly to my success in life, but it also makes me fall prey to another pitfall: overthinking.

          As smart and as intuitive as I like to think I am, I am not always right. Nowhere is this more clear to me than in the realm of dating and relationships. I have felt anxious and fearful about certain things in dating and relating to guys which have turned out to be nothing more times than I care to admit. It is a growth area of mine to chill out and let things unfold and trust that things will become clear in time, rather than trying to overthink and plan for every eventuality.

          It’s as you say – it’s natural and human to have fears and express doubts about relationships. After all, we invest a lot, particularly in terms of our hearts and our emotions, and the price of a failed relationship is high. It is a sign of a mature and evolved person that they want to make a decision to enter a relationship carefully (not stalling, that is something entirely different). If you ask me, only the most blind and unaware people rush in without thinking, and when I look at my friends and the people I know, honestly – the people who rushed in and didn’t take their time and insisted all was sunshine and roses all the time, were the people whose relationships did not last.

          Back to my point about my own overthinking which I am trying to overcome. I am sensitive, and like anyone else, I don’t want to get hurt. So I am inclined to take small things, like, he doesn’t text for a day or two, or his texts seem a little off, and wonder if that is a sign that something is wrong and I should move on emotionally. But I don’t want to be like that. Firstly because, as I said, I want to be the kind of relaxed, confident woman who will trust that things will reveal themselves in good time and who knows that my relationship success is inevitable.

          And secondly, because I am so often wrong. Just recently I had a conversation with one of my close guy friends where I had to point out to him that for the past couple of months, I had done all the initiating in our friendship. He is one of the nicest, most inoffensive people I have ever met and a person of truly outstanding character. But he had been absolutely oblivious, unaware that this had been going on. He was so thankful to me for pointing it out to him. So, it is a person’s attitude to things that come up in a relationship, not the small, minor things that happen, which counts.

          That’s what I think.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Sum Guy

          You forgot another insecurity doubt, he’s afraid she’s out of his league and can’t keep her.

          I concur with your assessment.  The LW gave us a clue when she mentioned that her beau was not the typical alpha male that she sought.  I can see how not being an alpha male with a woman who is accustomed to being with alpha males could cause serious doubt to form in a man’s mind.

        3. JustSaying/Androgynous/xxxxxx

          Another twist on the adage tnat she is out of his league and he can’t keep her is that he does not doubt his feelings for her, but he doubts her feelings for him.

          No man (or woman) wants to feel “settled” for. Like LW said, when she was younger and presumably had many more better options, she may not have gone for her current boyfriend.  Which man wants to be the third or fourth choice on a woman’s list, finally landing his prize when his prize could find no other better takers.

      3. 4.1.3
        Malika

        Hi Adrian:

        I see that a lot of people who have already chimed in with lots of great comments. Here’s my additional two cents:

        While i have definitely had doubts in the past pertaining to a future partner, there have also been plenty of times where i had doubts on the intensity of my feelings and also whether i was ready for the relationship in question. Wherever you go there you are is my favourite saying for a reason. If i feel i am not ready for a relatiomship or do not feel what i should be feeling, the onus is on me, not the other person. Which is why i would give a pass to the man the LW is dating, as we need time and space to sort these questions out for ourselves.

        Evan’s wife is most certainly a patient, chillaxed, balanced woman with an attractive temperament. She is most certainly not the only one out there. I know that sorting the wheat from the chaff while online dating can give us a skewed take on the dating pool available to us, but believe me, there is a lady like that out there for you. When i made a vow to avoid immature and emotionally incontinent men (my dating wheelhouse in years past), it took a while but i met a wonderful man who is chill and interesting and makes me feel as at ease as Evan does with his wife. A lot of dates went into finding him, and the bill for my glasses of wine (i live in the country that spawned the term going Dutch) could have probably paid for a nice holiday. But he was out there and worth it! I am sure you will experience the same too, please don’t give up.

        Not being listened to because you are a young ‘un, yes i feel your pain. Chronological maturity doesn’t mean you know it all better than the ‘kids’ but that is not a mindset shared by everyone. I sometimes feel i learn more from my interns than the other way round! Quite a lot of commenters here appreciate your input and use it!

    2. 4.2
      Nissa

      Malika, you made me think about how I react to relationships now that I’m wiser and more experienced. I notice that even when I feel the ‘click’, I am much more cautious now. However, it’s not because of the man in question – it’s because I know that I tend to see the positives and forget that there might be some negatives I haven’t seen yet. I am very proud of myself that I have learned to let the person show me who he is before I assume I really know him.

  5. 5
    Adrian

    Hi Marika,

    (I know you haven’t commented on this post yet) I think this letter is a great example of what we were speaking about in the other post about admitting things to you partner that they possibly can and can not handle.

    I think that Margaret the letter writers problem is not that her boyfriend is treating her differently or that his “actions” are unsure but his confession made her think that he doesn’t desire her on the same level as perhaps another better looking women.

    Maybe she feels he is settling for her because he could not find a prettier or slimmer women. She did not mention looks or weight but from my understanding most women believe that guys will readily commit to a gorgeous women without doubt. A man would feel the same thing if he was told by the woman she had doubts, he would think: does she want a better looking, richer, taller, more handsome guy? I could be wrong but every time someone wonders why a person doesn’t want them it is usually their looks or weight first.

    Another possibility is that she feels that he just did it for access to sex-she did mention no sex until commitment in her letter. Regardless of his reasons his confession did not make her feel like he valued her as much as she valued him which is causing insecurity and doubt on her part.

    Tying this back to the telling your partner things they may not be able to handle conversation; I feel that there is a HUGE difference in confessing something like doubt, or that you did not make a previous hot guy wait until commitment before sex, or you tried some kind of sex act with a previous guy who was not committed to you but you will not with your current guy who did commit, or etc, etc, etc.

    I think it all comes back to timing, trust, and emotional connection level. Margaret the letter writers boyfriend should have waited maybe two years into the relationship and then casually brought up how he “foolishly” had doubts and how he almost ruined the best relationship he ever had by being unsure. At that point she would not be as anxious about his words because they will have already created a strong link and foundation of trust and understanding (plus I have observed that after a few years together most men and women don’t care as much about being seen as the hottest guy or girl to their partner; their relationship is more reality based).

    I can’t speak for YAG but my point in the other post was that I don’t think people in new relationships should confess certain things so quickly (or at all if possible). Both men and women want to feel desired and be viewed as high value by their partner. New relationships are like a cake that has only been in the oven for a few minutes-delicious looking and solid on the outside but still not firm or strong on the inside.

    People who confess when they don’t have to most times are only doing it as to take the burden off of them selves and place it on the other person.

    1. 5.1
      Marika

      Adrian

      I say this with absolutely no judgement (in fact, I recognise it as I’ve seen it in my own behaviour at times), but I see a lot of insecurity in what you’ve written.

      It’s like when readers get upset at something Evan has said, which is not in itself upsetting, it just bothers them. So instead of looking at whether their feelings are the issue, they lash out at the ‘messenger’. The post where the LW wanted her boyfriend to think that she was as hot as or hotter than, Angelina Jolie is a good example of that. If you read the comments, most are pretty unrealistic and some of them are borderline disturbing.

      If you expect your partner to only ever talk about their past in a manner that works for you and at a time that suits you, you’re just setting yourself up for a world of petty arguments. You may also well push away a good woman who’s more secure than that and doesn’t want to keep having to reassure you or hide her past in case it upsets you. Don’t make your future girlfriend responsible for your feelings. Of course that doesn’t mean she should tell you everything she’s ever done before with other guys in great detail or throw it in your face, but if you keep ‘score’ or think her past in any way reflects on you: that’s a problem.

      A great relationship is built on trust, honesty, shared vision for the future, reasonably good mental health in both people, the ability to ‘not sweat the small stuff’, fun, enjoyment of each other’s company and of course a good level of chemistry. Not on concerns about hotness or comparisons between past and current partners or who-did-what-with-who-when.

      Also note that any concerns about appearances or sex are coming from you. The LW didn’t write anything that would imply that she’s concerned about either of those things. If anything, I read it as the boyfriend wasn’t sure he was ready for a serious relationship, but his feelings and interest in her were never in doubt.

    2. 5.2
      Sum Guy

      Wow Adrian @5

      i thought the letter writer was overthinking it but this takes the cake, pun intended

      One thing that is spot on, committing to exclusivity before sex is a big step for a lot of men, a risk, it could be they are completely incompatible in bed but great on paper (as another recent blog post addressed).

      And if chemistry/ intimacy is important to him that’s a risk.   Yet the compatibility was high enough that he decided to risk it.   Clearly the chemistry turned out high enough or he never would have opened up.  And a player wouldn’t open up either, he’d just keep on until he moved on.

      1. 5.2.1
        Emily, the original

        Sum Guy,

        One thing that is spot on, committing to exclusivity before sex is a big step for a lot of men, a risk, it could be they are completely incompatible in bed but great on paper (as another recent blog post addressed).

        But what about the guy who really wants a girlfriend? I mean, are there some guys who would overlook (or maybe not care that much about or even notice) sexual incompatibility? I ask because I have a friend who said, after kissing the man she is still dating for the first time, that she was going to need to teach him a few things. I’m assuming it all depends on what you value  ??

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          But what about the guy who really wants a girlfriend? I mean, are there some guys who would overlook (or maybe not care that much about or even notice) sexual incompatibility?

          That is a mistake that an aware guy only makes one time.  I did it with my ex, and I will never repeat it.  I think what Sum Guy was attempting to convey is the old adage that women need a connection to have sex whereas men develop a connection through sex.  If we extend that line of thought to commitment, a woman desires commitment before she agrees to have sex, but a man desires sex before he will commit.  With a lot of men, sex is a try before you buy thing (before you state it, I am certain that there are women who want to try before they buy too).

        2. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          a woman desires commitment before she agrees to have sex, but a man desires sex before he will commit. 

          I guess I meant that there must be guys out there who prioritize having the girlfriend to great sex. There are certainly women who prioritize the relationship over the sex. There are some guys you can just tell really want a girlfriend.

        3. GoWiththeFlow

          Emily,

          A guy with a girlfriend is having sex.  Which even if it’s lacking is preferable to no sex.  So I’ve been told 😉

           

        4. Emily, the original

          GoWiththeFlow,

          A guy with a girlfriend is having sex.  Which even if it’s lacking is preferable to no sex.  So I’ve been told 😉

          It’s so different for women, isn’t it? I’d rather have no sex than bad or sex with someone I feel “meh” about. There isn’t enough alcohol in the world ….  🙂    (Although I have talked to a couple of guy friends about this, and they both said there are most definitely levels of sex, even for them. One mentioned that only two previous partners had made it into his Sexual Hall of Fame, and he has hooked up with A LOT of women!)

        5. GoWiththeFlow

          Emily,

          I think there are more women who will accept mediocre sex because they value “the relationship” than there are men who will.  For men, I don’t think the thinking is “Well the sex isn’t great, but I want a girlfriend soooooo bad.”  I think it’s more, “She’s sweet and cute, and at least I’m getting some on the regular, so I’ll stick around.  For now.”  For the moment and for the short term it works for the guys, but for the long term it won’t.

        6. Emily, the original

          GowiththeFlow,

          think there are more women who will accept mediocre sex because they value “the relationship” than there are men who will.

          Possibly, but what is mediocre sex for men? She was asleep?  !  🙂

        7. Sum Guy

          Emily @5.2.1

          oh certainly, I believe a high compatibility can overcome and increase low chemistry.   Personally compatibility is the most important to me, never had an issue with the chemistry side, so would readily agree to be exclusive before sex if had the connection…yet for many (myself included) physical intimacy (chemistry) is the hallmark between just good friends and a romantic relationship.

      2. 5.2.2
        Nissa

        You know Sum Guy, that brings up a question for me. Couldn’t the man in question ask the woman about her sexual past in order to make that decision, instead of relying only on personal experience?

        For example, I don’t get intimate with men that aren’t my boyfriend. This is not because of the men, it’s because of me. I tend to assume things that aren’t true when I’m physical – I need that distance to keep from losing my head and my heart inappropriately. But any man assuming that this meant I don’t like or want sex, or that I’m not open in the bedroom, or I’m trying to control him, would be incorrect. I’m trying to control myself!! Somehow I can never remember that sex doesn’t mean to others what it means to me – that I’m all in. I can’t even just kiss without starting to fall. I’m guessing I’m in the minority on this one, but I would hope that a man would at least ASK me about my behavior, instead of assuming.

         

        1. Sum Guy

          Hi Nissa @5.2.2

          I am all for communication, even about our sexual nature.  Of course it is a subject that needs to be addressed with tact and, dare I say, some lightness.  It’s one subject where the line can be fine between crass and tastefull, weird and natural, and those lines vary for people

          Youre not alone on the connection physical intimacy can make, it triggers the same feelings in me.  I’m so into it (and “it” has been easy for me to find) I am careful and selective…and why I focus on compatibility these days.   Only took me 25 years to learn this 🙂

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Sum Guy

          why I focus on compatibility these days.

          It is infinitely more difficult for me to find chemistry than compatibility.  I have not met a woman who made me say, “wow” in a long time.  I am curious as to if you are a demanding partner from a lifestyle point of view.  For all of my faults (and there are many), I do not demand much from my partner other than space when I need it to recharge.  My wants are large, but my needs are small.  I am an improviser, not a planner, so I do not get upset if plans fall through like many people.  I prefer the spontaneous to the planned, but I can do planned too.

        3. Nissa

          Thanks for the responses, guys. It makes me happy to think that this is something that could be discussed in a way that is appealing to both parties. Sum Guy, I love that you say “addressed…with some lightness”. Yes to that!  As a lady, it’s a fine line. Many men seem to take it as an invitation if the subject is even brought up. So I don’t tend to bring it up, I just monitor myself to make sure I’m keeping my hands to myself.  It’s funny to me that so many men seem to believe that ‘no physical intimacy’ means ‘no interest’. Maybe it’s a millennial thing? I was raised in a very Christian household, so most of the people I knew, were virgins until marriage and had very few partners (at least, that they would admit). So it’s quite foreign to me to think A = B in that way.

          YAG, I wouldn’t say that I’m a demanding partner (but I find most people are not objective about themselves, so who knows?). I am demanding in asking for the man to pay for all dates, to be extremely honest, to be consistent, in that my partner be held to AGREED UPON standards, and for my partner to know himself – what he wants, what he needs, what is a dealbreaker and what is tolerated, and in being healthy in mind, body and spirit. I’m NOT demanding in terms of lifestyle, such as needing expensive dates, jewelry or purses. I am just as happy to go on a no cost date as a dinner date, so long as the man plans, initiates and executes. I am a more creative type, so I want someone who balances me by doing more of those things. I tend to “BE” rather than “DO”. I’m ok when things fall through, as they do, but I like my time to used efficiently when possible. I also require more “space” than most people. However, my ex saw this as VERY demanding of me, when he wanted to attend parties that lasted 10 hours and spend entire weekends with his family (which I found exhausting). They were nice enough people, but to me it just felt excessive. Most of the men I dated were not demanding partners – I find men to be simpler than women, and mostly easy to please.

          All of which just makes me realize how much we all talk past each other, even when we think we are communicating.

    3. 5.3
      Emily, the original

      Adrian,

      I feel that there is a HUGE difference in confessing something like doubt, or that you did not make a previous hot guy wait until commitment before sex, or you tried some kind of sex act with a previous guy who was not committed to you but you will not with your current guy who did commit, or etc, etc, etc.

      You have brought this up in several different posts. Have you had this experience? Has some woman you dated told you the intimate details of her past sexual history? Has someone actually told you she hooked up with a guy she just met in a matter of hours but if you want to sleep with her she’ll need a commitment? I can’t imagine having that conversation with someone and that’s probably information you don’t need to know. I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but you have to stop worrying about this. You have no control over how someone feels, the experiences she had before you and how she processed those experiences. Just because a woman hooked up with another guy sooner does not mean she wanted him more. It could mean that, but maybe she wanted some experience and didn’t want anything else from him. Maybe there was an opportunity there and she said to herself: Why not? Maybe the way she looked at sex and commitment was totally different than how she sees it now. Maybe those experiences were part of her past and she has no interest in repeating them. Who knows? Just go in being the best Adrian you can be. That’s all you can do.

      1. 5.3.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Emily, the original

        Have you had this experience?

        It has happened to me many times.

        Has some woman you dated told you the intimate details of her past sexual history?

        Yes

        Has someone actually told you she hooked up with a guy she just met in a matter of hours but if you want to sleep with her she’ll need a commitment?

        Absolutely!  It is always about a woman protecting her heart.  If a woman is so worried about protecting her heart, she should not have sex with any man who does not commit to her, problem solved!  If I know that a woman delineates between men with whom she will have sex with no investment and men who have to commit to have sex, I walk if she attempts to play that game with me.  I can assure you that men who are men do not feel special in this situation.

        Men are not hairy women.  Men do not “get it” because a huge part of a man’s self-esteem lies in his sexual prowess.  Women can talk about emotional intelligence all they want, but no amount of social programming is going to undo this instinctual programming.  It is why men who suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED) often end up losing their zest for life, even becoming suicidal (Google “erectile dysfunction suicide”).

        The problem here is that a woman does not realize that she is lowering a man’s rank within the male social hierarchy when she tells one man that he must commit for something he knows that another man was able to obtain with little to no investment.  Why should a man care about a woman’s heart when she is attempting lower his rank within the male social hierarchy?  No woman is worth that psychological hit.  That is why men with options move on when confronted with this decision.

        Whether women want to believe it or not, men are acutely aware of where they fit within the male social hierarchy.  Guys who get sex with little to no investment are at the top of the male social hierarchy.  Guys who have to make an investment are ranked in order below the guys at the top based on the amount of investment they have to make and the quality of the women in whom they are making investments.  That ranking is where the term “alpha fux/beta bux” is derived.

         

        1. Alex

          YAG I’m sorry, but this makes no sense to me.

          So if I’m out and just looking for fun and have a couple drinks and decide to sleep with someone who I have no intention of dating, that means I’ve lowered the social rank of any man who I meet later in life? If I decide that now I want to look for a relationship and not just “fun”, then I’ll have to sleep with every guy immediately to keep them ahead of that one guy that I slept with?

          I think it makes you seem like a very insecure man if you care about how quickly a woman jumps into bed with someone above how that woman is treating you.

          Now I wouldn’t say to wait around for her for months, but is it such a terrible thing if she wants to get to know you for 3 weeks?

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Alex

          It does not make any sense to you because you are a woman.  You do not have the same internal value system as a man.  I can assure you that most self-respecting men will walk if they know that you have casual sex with men you do not care about, but ask a men you do care about to wait to protect your heart.  This difference between men and woman is one of the things that makes men think that women are crazy.  Men do not want to wait in the first place.  If you do not believe me, take a random survey of men across all social classes. Ask them if they feel stupid waiting for a woman that they know has casual sex with other men with no commitment.  The result will shock you.  This difference is very much like the difference in how men and women view oral sex.  Most women believe that oral sex is more intimate than vaginal sex whereas most men do not count going down on a woman as having sex with her.

        3. Jeremy

          @Alex, Emily and YAG.

           

          Men and women just don’t see eye to eye on this issue, and the reason is because we see sex and commitment so differently.  Women value commitment, since sex is generally easy for them to obtain.  So a woman who has sex with some random guy doesn’t see herself as getting anything special from him – she is commitment-oriented, and doesn’t want commitment from that guy.  Whereas she might feel that a guy she makes wait for sex because she wants commitment from him should feel honored – she doesn’t just want sex, she wants his commitment!

           

          Men don’t see it that way.  For many men, commitment is the price they pay for sex.  For such men, the ultimate compliment a woman can give is that she just wants him for sex.  That means that she likes him so much, she is willing to give him sex without him having to “pay” for it!  It matters not at all that the woman doesn’t see it that way.  That’s how men see it, generally.

           

          So yes, a man who discovers that a woman made him wait for sex until he committed, while having a one-night-stand with some random dude another time – yes, he will likely feel that the woman in question doesn’t value him as much, while she will feel that she values him more.

        4. Marika

          Remember what Evan recently reminded us: people act in their own self interest. Men and women alike. They don’t act in the self interest of a person they are dating & certainly not that of their future boyfriend. People do different things for different reasons at different points in their life. Human behaviour isn’t all rational and predictable. It’s silly to expect that!

          A woman could say to a divorced man who never wanted to remarry: but you married your ex, why not me? You’d better marry me too, or I will feel less valued than her. That woman is insecure and unreasonable. Just like the man who expects to be seen as the hottest, sexiest, highest smv man a woman’s ever been with.

          I’ve dated the hottest man I’m pretty sure I’ll ever date. Yes, we made out not long into our date. Partly because he was jaw droppingly gorgeous, but also because he was boring and self involved. I wouldn’t have initiated the kiss, but I reciprocated as I thought it would be better than me trying to keep a conversation going with someone with no conversational skills. Should a future boyfriend be threatened by that? If we’re swapping funny dating stories, do I leave that out because he can’t handle it? That’s not a man I want to be with.

          I don’t hold people’s past against them and I don’t think it’s fair for someone to do it to me.

        5. Emily, the original

          Hi Jeremy,

          That means that she likes him so much, she is willing to give him sex without him having to “pay” for it!  It matters not at all that the woman doesn’t see it that way.  That’s how men see it, generally.

          Women have casual sex for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, she’ll have it just like a man would and be ok with any decent offer that comes along. Her agreeing to commitment-free sex does NOT mean she really likes the guy or is even all that attracted to him. It can mean that, but it doesn’t have to. If she wants to hang out with the guy, get to know him, date him, be there for him emotionally, etc … that’s much more proof she may really like him, just as a man doing that for a woman can be proof he may really like her.

           

          So yes, a man who discovers that a woman made him wait for sex until he committed, while having a one-night-stand with some random dude another time

          How is he going to find that out? Are they all in a very small college dorm?

        6. Alex

          @YAG @Jeremy,

          I’m truthfully more confused now than I was before. I thought men thought sex was so *not* intimate that they will practically take it from everyone, as long as the girl meets some baseline threshold of attractiveness. So then how could his ego be so wounded? In his eyes isn’t it *just* sex?

          Also, I suspect this is very different in the millennial generation. We all have more sexual partners/experiences period. Sure, the men probably still have more than the women, but it’s still an awful lot more than our parents (baby boomers like yourselves) who got married early and went from their parents homes to their spouses homes without having their own experience in between.

          Also, shouldn’t men work to overcome this internal struggle for their own good? If women know that men won’t be able to deal with them having multiple partners, then women who want to get married are better off skipping sex entirely until they find the guy they want to marry. The men will be left literally paying for sex (instead of paying for it  in getting to know a girl). I mean, that was what the first half of the 20th century was like and it kinda sucked for everyone. Men had to have sex with prostitutes and the girls they wanted to marry had no experience whatsoever. Is that really a good thing?

        7. GoWiththeFlow

          Emily,

          “How is he going to find that out? Are they all in a very small college dorm?”

          Bingo.  The amount of TMI sexual disclosure that men report women make so early in a potential relationship in mind boggling.  There used to be this think called discretion.

        8. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy,

          “For many men, commitment is the price they pay for sex.  For such men, the ultimate compliment a woman can give is that she just wants him for sex.  That means that she likes him so much, she is willing to give him sex without him having to “pay” for it!”

          And then the woman gets punished for giving the man what he wants by him now judging her as unfit for a commitment.  Like YAG wrote on another post, he wants a slut but will never marry one.  If women’s behavior iregarding the timing of sex is confusing to men, then that goes in the other direction as well.  And around and around we go!

        9. Alex

          Emily and Marika,

          Thank you! How is the guy going to find out what I’ve done in the past? And if he holds it against me then why would I want to date him anyway? Besides, it happened. I can’t change it now 😉

        10. Yet Another Guy

          @Jeremy

          Men don’t see it that way.  For many men, commitment is the price they pay for sex.  For such men, the ultimate compliment a woman can give is that she just wants him for sex.  That means that she likes him so much, she is willing to give him sex without him having to “pay” for it!  It matters not at all that the woman doesn’t see it that way.  That’s how men see it, generally.

          Bingo!  A guy does not care that you care about him so much that you want to wait.  All he cares about is that you did not make another guy wait; therefore, he is seen as less sexually desirable (i.e., you inadvertently placed him further down on the male social hierarchy).

          If you do not believe me or Jeremy, and you are one of the women who has casual sex with men who mean nothing to you and make men you care about wait, try this experiment.  Inform the next guy you make wait about your sexual rules of engagement immediately after he has committed and you have just finished having sex.  If he does not get up immediately, put on his clothes, and leave, one of two things will happen.  He will swallow his pride because he realizes that he cannot do any better, or the relationship will enter slow decay because the guy feels like he was played.

          Like I mentioned and Jeremy confirmed, guys base a lot of their self-esteem on their sexual prowess.  Unlike women, men have to work for sex.   The amount of effort a man has to exert to obtain sex determines how other men see him (i.e., his ranking within the male social hierarchy).  It is the basis the phrase “alpha fux/beta bux.”

          The truly sad thing is that guys like me who know how women think use it against them to obtain sex when they have absolutely no intention of truly committing.  How many times has a man agreed to commit only to disappear after he obtained what he wanted?  How times have you talked to one of your girlfriends who said, “I got played?”  Women who fail to realize that men and women approach sex from radically different points of view will continue to get played.  Shooting the messenger will not fix the problem.

          Like I said, if you make the men you desire for more than roll in the hay wait, then you need to make all men wait.  If you give men with whom you just want to roll in the hay a fast green light, then you need to give all men a fast green light.

        11. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          How is he going to find that out? Are they all in a very small college dorm?

          Trust me, it is not that difficult.  All an experienced man needs to do is build false intimacy.  Women rarely hold back after they feel secure.  I have had this very discussion with several women that I have dated since re-entering the dating pool who were foolish enough to confide in me that they treat men in whom they are not interested differently than they treat men in whom they are interested.   As Jeremy so eloquently described, a woman’s goal when dating is usually to obtain commitment.  A man’s goal when dating is to obtain sex.   That is why it is easy for a separated women to date, but challenging for separated men to date.  Men are not looking long term.  What is driving them to date is sex.   Other the hand, most women are looking for commitment, and a man still being legally married to another woman is a no-go.

        12. Emily, the original

          GoWiththeFlow,

          But most of us are far, far from life in a college dorm. The issue was brought up by Adrian, who I think is in his late 20s or early 30s. YAG and Jeremy talked about it. YAG is 50. Jeremy has to be at least 40 based on his level of emotional intelligence.  🙂   Unless women are telling the world about their sexual escapades or they live at 40 in the same small town they grew up in, wouldn’t they be able to keep their sexual pasts to themselves?

        13. Yet Another Guy

          @Alex

          We all have more sexual partners/experiences period. Sure, the men probably still have more than the women, but it’s still an awful lot more than our parents (baby boomers like yourselves) who got married early and went from their parents homes to their spouses homes without having their own experience in between.

          I would not make that assumption.  That assumption only holds for leading-edge some middle Boomers.  I am a trailing-edge Boomer. Trailing-edge Boomer men married much later than older members of the generation. I have several close friends who never married because they could not find a suitable partner.  I did not marry until age 37 (I married an Xer).  I was a bodybuilder man-slut who had no reason to marry.  I can assure you that I could give even the most promiscuous members of your generation a run for their money in the sexual partner department.

        14. Yet Another Guy

          @GWtF

          Like YAG wrote on another post, he wants a slut but will never marry one.

          Whoa! That is not what I wrote.  I wrote that there are women with whom a man will only have sex, and there are women a man will consider marrying. Guys like slutty women because they are amazingly fun in bed.  It is the sexual equivalent of going to Disney World for the first time as a kid.  They do not have body image issues and other sexual hangups that haunt non-slutty women.  They swallow and do anal.  You can tie them to the bed with neck ties and drip hot candle wax on them.  If you want to use a riding crop, no problem. Nothing is off limits with these women, even sex in on a park pinic table in the dead of winter.  If you can imagine it, they will make it a reality.

          There are no sexual time limits for a man now that women are no longer expected to be virgins.  A man will marry a woman who sleeps with him on the first date if she is the right woman. I slept with my ex on the second date, which was the day after our first date. Her sleeping with me on the second date did not make me think that she was a slut.  She did not attempt to extract a relationship out of me by sleeping with me.

          A guy knows if he wants a relationship or just sex from the first date.  A guy who truly wants a relationship with a woman almost always goes all-in first.  He has to nervously wait for her to catch up.  A guy a woman has to convince to go all-in is not the right guy.  Sex as a bargaining chip is not going to change his mind.

          By the way, I am 56, not 50. 🙂

           

        15. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          If it bothers you that much, you are just going to have to date women who don’t have casual sex. And those women will more than likely expect a commitment before they have sex with you … you can’t have it both ways. Something’s got to give, baby!

          All an experienced man needs to do is build false intimacy.  Women rarely hold back after they feel secure.

          And why are all your answers so Machiavellian? I’ll be honest: It’s creepy, and if I can feel it over an anonymous internet post, I’m imagining it may come off in person.

        16. Emily, the original

          Alex,

          How is the guy going to find out what I’ve done in the past? And if he holds it against me then why would I want to date him anyway?

          I agree. If some guy hold the past against me … NEXT!

        17. Alex

          @YAG

          It sounds like you hold contempt for women whether they sleep with you or not and whether they want a serious relationship or casual fling. And you seem to think that all people, man or woman, can be explained entirely and exclusively by their sex hormones.

          I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe that women or men are that simple and I don’t believe that relationships are a simple exchange of sex for security. I suspect I meet fewer cynical people because I’m a lot less cynical.

        18. GoWiththeFlow

          Emily,

          “Unless women are telling the world about their sexual escapades or they live at 40 in the same small town they grew up in, wouldn’t they be able to keep their sexual pasts to themselves?”

          That’s the point.  The guys are reporting here that there are women who are freely discussing their sexual histories with men in the early stages of dating, or with casual male friends and coworkers.  It’s TMI and these women would probably do better in the dating and mating world if they kept their personal information personal, i.e. exercise discretion about whom you share your sexual info with.

        19. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily and Alex

          I agree. If some guy hold the past against me … NEXT!

          It is not about past behavior.  It is about present behavior, that is, unless you count the guy with whom you had casual sex last month as past behavior.

          I was told that I cannot have it both ways.  That is correct.  I no longer seek casual sex for many reasons.  The same holds true for women.  They cannot have casual sex with some men and then expect other men to wait because doing so lowers the rank of the man who has to wait.

          As I mentioned earlier, if you believe my view is unique, make a guy wait until he commits and then tell him that you have casual sex with guys in whom you are not interested.  If he does not get up and leave immediately, he either does not have options or it will be the beginning of the end.

          You do not have to take my word on this subject.  Jeremy is one of the most balanced commenters on this blog, and he confirmed what I wrote.  Adrian alluded to the problem when he wrote about how upset his friends where when they discovered that their girlfriends had had casual sex with other guys on campus while making them make an investment.

          Only women would believe that this behavior is acceptable.   Guys do not have these rules because guys do not control access to sex; however, they do control access to commitment, so do not be surprised if they have their own set of rules.  No guy with even a modicum of self-esteem wants to have to work for something that another man received for free.

          Men do not use sex to extract commitment.  It is that simple.  Making a man wait only serves to weed those who do not want to have sex with you badly enough.  A man who does want to have sex with you badly enough will do and say whatever it takes to get you into bed, and you will not know what hit you in the morning.  You can turn a blind eye to it, but it happens every day; otherwise, the word “player” would not exist in the dating lexicon.

        20. Alex

          @YAG @Jeremy,

          I suppose my real confusion is more that I’ve always heard that men value what they have to work for more. So with the guy I want to value me, I should wait. If I don’t care what he thinks, it doesn’t matter what I do. But now you guys are saying they actually get offended when they have to work more for sex?

          I’m hoping this is more of a sweet spot issue and you’re not just saying I screwed a woman screws herself over completely because of some drunken party in college.

        21. Yet Another Guy

          @Alex

          I suppose my real confusion is more that I’ve always heard that men value what they have to work for more. So with the guy I want to value me, I should wait. If I don’t care what he thinks, it doesn’t matter what I do.

          It is a little more complicated.  A guy does in fact appreciate a woman for whom has to put forth effort more than one he does not; however, it is not for the reason that you assume.  Men appreciate women who make all men wait, not just the men in whom they are interested.  The reasons being that a) men feel like they won a prize, and more importantly b) men are instinctively territorial.  A man values a woman in whom he needs to make an investment because he knows that no other man is going to sleep with his woman without making the same investment, and that is not going to happen on his watch because he will do his best to ensure that it does not occur.  When you inform a man who just made an investment in you that you have casual sex with men in whom your are not interested, you just nullified the reason why he made the investment.   He thought that he was getting a woman who was difficult to obtain sexually.  You made him realize that you are not a the special snowflake he believed you to be in that area.

        22. Malika

          Hi YAG:

          For the past couple of days i have been thinking about this discussion that has sprawled far away from the original content of the LW. It has been a very heated discussion. Your assertions that you do not want to wait while some other guy can get the sexual intimacy at the drop of a dime has created some passionate comments. While i don’t condone placing women in ‘slutty/selective’ boxes, and i find some of your stances on data mining and reasons to say next to women worrying to say the least, on this issue i for a great deal understand you.

          I suddenly realized your stance on walking if a woman wants you to wait but jumps into a ons with someone else looks very much like the situations i found myself in time after time that led me to this blog. I was continually with men who had commited with other women and had made a great effort to keep the relationship going, but were not willing to do the same for me. I was expected to be happy with crumbs of attention, go for long jags of no contact, only reluctantly be introduced to friends, put up with putdowns and hissy fits etc. The reasons were a combination of bad timing, he’s just not that into you and paying for the sins of the past girlfriend. Once i broke free of that pattern of accepting crumbs while other women got to eat the whole cake, it changed my life. So i do understand your stance on this, and understand that you don’t want to be treated as a second rate date.

          What i would say though is just because a woman wants to wait a BIT (couple of weeks/a month) before sexual intimacy that doesn’t mean she’s playing you. I wait for such a period because a degree of emotional intimacy makes the sex far better for me and i like getting to know the man better in order to have something other than sex. I am sure that goes for many women, and even, dare i say it, for some men. Additionally, this is a period i also implement even if i think it’s only going to be a short term relationship. If a man doesn’t want this, i understand and he can go back to Okc who doesn’t need this boundary. So there is a big grey area between sex on the first date and being selective and lots of women fall into that area.

        23. Nissa

          Don’t forget that women (like me) who make ALL men wait may not be quick to admit that, either. Admitting that upsets a lot of people, who start to make assumptions such as: she’s using him, why does she think her mere presence is enough, she’s frigid / controlling / manipulative / not into him. Women sometimes yield to pressure to a degree, that they get physical before they are really ready, because they think they “should” or “it’s time”.

          So it’s a fine line to walk. One hopes that the gentleman in question would, just ASK, for pete’s sake, but that is not what I have seen on this blog. It’s not always about guarding our hearts, either. It’s about learning from our past mistakes, so that you don’t put on the handcuffs unless you have a spare key and you are not expecting company.

        24. Sum Guy

          YAG @5.3.1

          have to agree with a lot of this.  Although I have never heard it myself, I wouldn’t want to hear how she’ll sleep with other men quickly but I must wait.

          First, such a conversation is inappropriate and kind of in your face…in a word rude.  My thought would be, and why are you telling me this?

          Of course context is everything, if it was more a confession/ explanation that when she jumped into bed quick it was always a mistake and she wants to get it right, and it is genuine and said in a way you feel special, then no problem.

        25. H

          but it’s still an awful lot more than our parents (baby boomers like yourselves) who got married early and went from their parents homes to their spouses homes without having their own experience in between.

           

          Huh? First of all, are you talking about 70-year-olds, or about their children, the 50-year-olds? Because that’s what that senseless term, “baby boomer”, encompasses: no less than two distinct and very different biological generations.

          Secondly,  who do you think brought about the “sexual revolution” in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s? It was today’s 70-year-olds.

          BTW, at the beginning of my sex life, in the early 1980s, I did things that seemed to be “cutting edge” and very “avantgarde” only a few years ago – “millenials” probably think they invented them 🙂 – and they were perfectly “normal” to me.

          Also, while I did not have many sexual partners, it is perfectly ordinary for women born in the 1960s (at least in Europe) to have had in excess of 20 partners. Thanks to the “sexual revolution” of the earlier generation, there was great peer pressure to have sex, and the period could be quite onerous for those who did not want to be pressured into sex.

           

           

           

           

      2. 5.3.2
        Emily, the original

        YAG,

        The only men I have ever talked about my past sexual experiences with were either gay or straight men I viewed only as friends.

        1. Felicia

          Unfortunately how long a woman makes a man wait ultimately depends on his attractiveness. The more attractive/hot/desirable a guy is the lesser she will make him wait. Men will have to accept it and learn to not hold this against women when they are being made to wait.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Felicia

          Men will have to accept it and learn to not hold this against women when they are being made to wait.

          Only men without options have to accept it.  If a man is in the top 20% of the available male population that 80% of the available female population chases, he will walk.   The alternative is that he will continue to have sex with other women until you reach the point where you want to have sex with him.  What he does next is based on how painful you made it.  More often than not, a woman will not extract commitment from a guy who has options using this approach.

    4. 5.4
      Alex

      @Adrian, I’m also curious. Have women you’ve dated actually explained how long they made certain men wait for certain things? I couldn’t imagine saying this to someone and it’s never come up in discussions with female friends.

      I think you’re making a mistake thinking that most women see sexual acts as their bargaining chips for a relationship. Yes, there is a bit of this thinking underlying all sexual relationships (it’s a cultural thing) but on an individual basis I don’t think it’s very common. Women just want to know that you like them in the same way. Sometimes that way means “just for casual sex” and sometimes it’s something more. I think you’re better off trying to discern a woman’s intentions with you than comparing yourself to the last guy she was with. She could have done anything with him  for any number of reasons. What matters is her feelings about you.

      1. 5.4.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Alex

        Men are not wired that way.  You are fighting biological instinct.  Unlike women, men are not cooperative.  There is no tend-and-befriend response to danger and stress.  Men only have the fight-or-flight response to danger and stress. Men are biologically competitive and territorial.  It is why men go to war.  If you make a man wait for sex,  the reptilian part of his brain he believes that he won the right to breed with you (he is not thinking that he won the right to have a committed relationship).   If he discovers that you gave it away to another man who had to put forth little to know effort, it messes with a part of the male brain where women should not tread.

        You are dealing with primal instinct.   You are dealing with a man’s inner caveman.  Have you ever heard stories of bucks (male deer for those who have never been out of the city 🙂 ) running through plate glass windows while attempting to sparing their own reflections?  That is the male deer response to breeding competition.  While humans are capable of higher-order thought,  men can become unpredictable when this part of the brain has been activated because it exists for the survival of the species.  Whereas a woman’s most basic primal need is safety/security (the reason why women like tall men), a man’s basic primal need is to spread his genome.  He is programmed to dominate other men to make that happen.  Some men have a stronger need to dominate than others, but all men wanted to be ranked high within the male social hierarchy.

         

        1. Marika

          It’s not me, it’s my biology!! Interesting excuse 😉

          If you know this about yourself, then it’s incumbent on you (as an intelligent non-caveman) to not trick women into revealing their sexual pasts to you, because you can’t handle it. Just like it’s incumbent, in the example you gave, for a woman obsessed with tall men to remind herself that her instinct towards tall men is irrelevant to her well being, security or dating success in the 21st century.

      2. 5.4.2
        Tim

        Alex

        Why dont you tell us?  How would you compare the men you had sex with very early on vs the ones you made to wait until things were clear?

        I can talk from my own experience as an average looking 29 yr old guy: Almost every woman I date tells me that sex should only come into the equation if things become serious. They want to see how much Im willing to invest in a relationship first. But sooner or later, I find out they have had or still have hook ups with good looking, hot guys very early on, even when no relationship is in sight.

        1. Alex

          @Tim,

          I would say the guys I slept with early on were guys I met when I was younger and wasn’t totally sure I wanted a serious relationship. When I decided I did want something more, I decided to wait a little longer. Not that long, still only 2-3 weeks.

          I would say most men I date are around the same level of attractiveness. With a few exceptions of course:)

        2. Sum Guy

          Hi Tim @ 5.4.2

          “But sooner or later, I find out they have had or still have hook ups with good looking, hot guys very early on, even when no relationship is in sight.”

          Then they were shining you on unless they were looking to see if you were to replace hook-up guy.  Of course I may be wrong, being about 20 years older, maybe it is assumed you are also hooking up as well.

        3. Alex

          @Tim

          I’m afraid I agree with Sum Guy on this one. If they are actively seeking out other guys while dating you, then they’re just taking advantage of you. I’ve never once gone looking for new guys to hook up with if I really liked the guy I was dating.

          Did these girls have something in common? When I have the same experience over and over I try to figure out what the common denominator was. I promise you, not all women are like this!

        4. Yet Another Guy

          @Alex

          Why do you always have to form an argument where the woman is having casual sex with other guys while making the guy with whom she wants a relationship wait?  It almost never happens that way.  Most of the women that I have met in my life have been serial monogamists.   A serially monogamous woman tends to do what Benjamin mentioned; namely, she will date a guy for whom she throws out the rule book because she thinks that he is really hot, and he has more than likely exhibited the alpha tendency to be self-focused.  This woman feels that she does not stand chance of having him stick around if she attempts to make him wait.  In essence, sex is used a bait with this guy.  It almost never works, but women continue to do it. The next guy is more of a sure thing, so she has sex on her terms.   The guy who is made to wait falsely believes that she is a special snowflake.  It is all about perceived value.  Hell will be paid if guy #2 discovers that his special snowflake is not so special.

        5. Alex

          @YAG

          I read Tim’s comment and this is what it sounded like he was saying. Similarly with Benjamin. Hey, maybe I just didn’t understand what they are saying.

          I’m really sorry to hear that women are trying to extract commitment from you by withholding sex. That’s pretty messed up. And it sounds like they haven’t discovered how much fun sex can be if you treat it like its own reward.

          i personally don’t know anyone who tries to lock down a guy by the means you described? But it’s kind of a trope, so maybe you do see it a lot. But I can promise you a lot of women don’t do this. And the women here have said as much. Maybe you need to adjust your profile to try to attract a different type of woman?

          One more point about your comments in general – statistics don’t actually matter to the individual. Yea you want to be realistical, but if you do a good job attracting the small percentage of women who you want, it doesn’t matter that the other 90% are so wrong for you.

    5. 5.5
      Sylvana

      I do understand Adrian’s points. And I can understand why the letter writer has concerns. I, personally, see absolutely no reason to bring up the fact that I might have had doubts in the beginning stages of a committed relationship. What’s the point? To me, that’s the best way to make your partner not feel secure in the relationship you are trying to build. Years later, maybe, you can joke about it, since it obviously turned out well, but not in the beginning.

      Her boyfriend admitted that he only agreed to being her boyfriend because it was what she wanted. Let’s face reality: He agreed to it, because she wasn’t giving it up until he was her boyfriend, and he was ready to get laid. Becoming the boyfriend comes with the promise of regular sex, after all. Much easier than having to find a willing partner all the time whenever you’re in the mood.  (I’m a woman, and I’m guilty of that myself – agreeing to be someone’s girlfriend for the benefit of guaranteed, regular sex. And no, it’s no easier for a woman to get laid casually. Personal safety is a huge concern.)

      Apparently, the sex is satisfactory, so now he affirms that he made the right decision to commit to her. Since he also likes her a lot, he’s happy enough. For now.

      But it makes me wonder why in the world he brought up his doubts to begin with. To me, it sounds like a warning. And it sounds like he still has the same doubts. I’m all for honesty, but why does he need to point out that

      a) he wasn’t sure he wanted a relationship

      b) he wasn’t sure he was ready for a relationship

      c) he only agreed to it because she wanted one (aka – because he wasn’t getting any until there was one)

      and then cover it up with: I made the right decision.

      It’s not like they were getting married, or even moving in together. It’s just a relationship. Is a commitment to not sleep with anyone else or date anyone else really that hard a decision to make? Or does he fear having to consider someone else in his daily life?

      Things are fine now, true. But it seems as if he laid the groundwork to not look like the bad guy went things end. I can already hear him saying, I told you I didn’t want a relationship, wasn’t ready for a relationship, and only agreed to it since you wanted one when he breaks up with her. Might be overthinking, but I’ve seen it happen just like that a hundred times. If he was truly so happy with the way things are right now, he would have never expressed his doubts. Or at least expressed them in a joking way.

      Does the letter writer or Adrian sound insecure? I don’t think so. They’re merely noticing the red flags. A secure person would likely tell the man to take some time to figure out if this is truly what he wants. Take sex back out of the equation. Give it a few months. Explore other options like dating someone who actually knows they want a relationship.  To me, it’s the insecure person that would continue having a relationship with this person for fear they can’t find another partner. Even if the letter writer doesn’t step back, I think she should at the very least be careful how much of an emotional attachment she forms, and how much she invests in this relationship. She’s been warned.

      This is where I see a major problem with not having sex until you have the boyfriend commitment from a guy. If a man I liked, and got along with well, offered me guaranteed regular sex in exchange for becoming his girlfriend (and committing to him), why would I turn that down? Does that mean I’d be serious about the relationship? No. I wouldn’t cheat, I wouldn’t date other people. Wouldn’t be worth losing the benefits. But I’d stay committed only as long as the relationship goes well, without too many inconveniences and sacrifices on my part. This would be especially true if I wasn’t sure I wanted a relationship to begin with, and only agreed to it because the other person wanted it. Why would a man be any different?

      I think it’s blackmailing a guy into calling himself your boyfriend just for regular sex. Don’t be surprised if he’s out of there the moment the going gets a little rough.

      Then there’s the other, obvious problem. Sexual compatibility and expectations. So I hold out until I get a commitment and manage to get it. I have sex with him a couple of times and figure out this will absolutely not do. Now what? Sorry hun, changed my mind. Don’t want you to be my boyfriend after all. I’d much rather have that all figured out before I ask for any sort of commitment. And I don’t think discussing sexual preferences and expectations after a few dates is considered proper etiquette for a “lady” either. Or is it?

       

       

       

  6. 6
    Noquay

    Relationships always involve some element of risk and time investment as it takes time to to truly know someone. No amount of overthinking is going to sidestep that. Unless there’s some major deal breaker right away, you have to give it a try, see what happens.

     

  7. 7
    Nissa

    As someone who ‘just knew’ in both of my relationships, I just want to throw in an idea. When I ‘just knew’, to me that meant I knew myself, knew that this person appeared to have a great deal of what I wanted for myself, knew that IF the person was as they presented themselves to be, then that was a person I could love for the rest of my life. I did not consider either of them a ‘soul mate’, although I would call the first one ‘the love of my life’. He did not feel the same way about me.

    So I would agree with Evan that ‘just knowing’ doesn’t mean the other person feels the same, and is not a guarantee of a relationship. But I CAN say, that my feelings about those two were dead on in terms of MY feelings. I fell right away, and that never changed. To me, that knowing doesn’t mean ‘we will be together forever’; it just means that the person feeling it, is acknowledging that it’s a match for what they want – and it’s important to recognize that the other person may be feeling something VERY different.

    I think Evan would call that chemistry, but I wouldn’t call it that, because these relationships both happened when I was younger and more sexually cautious – so I waited quite a while with both. That ‘zing’ happened within about five minutes both times, months before any sexual activity. Even when I ended both relationships (one cheated, one was on his way to becoming an alcoholic), my feelings never changed. I ended things in spite of my love for them, because the love isn’t enough if you aren’t on the same page. And on the flip side, I have dated men that would have been awesome husbands, who were good human beings, that I just could not muster up any desire in their presence. Not once have I been able to incite that flicker of YES if it wasn’t there from the start.

    1. 7.1
      Alex

      Hi Nissa,

      just wanted to say I feel the exact same way. I call it “clicking”. I’ve dated many people who were great guys, but I just didn’t click with. I’ve also clicked with some guys that I really wouldn’t have wanted to date (and I didn’t). But if I don’t click with someone, I know it’s not going anywhere.

      I don’t think it’s really an “I just know” feeling, because I have never assumed I knew how the relationship would end. I never equated clicking with someone to being “soul mates”. I also don’t think it’s necessarily about how they look. The best relationship I ever had was with a guy who, objectively, I would say was not very cute. But we did click very well.

  8. 8
    Marika

    The next time someone accuses women of being crazy or irrational, I’m going to refer them to this conversation 😀

    Normally I appreciate the male point of view and can usually see the point being made. But the guys weighing in here: honestly! This is the relationship equivalent of a first world problem.

    Either date virgins as Alex refers to above, or accept that the women you date have slept with other people, who shock-horror may have been hotter than you! And she may have slept with one of these hotties a week earlier than she’s sleeping with you!!! The heartless creature..

    If that bothers you, work on your own level of security, instead of giving women a hard time.

    1. 8.1
      Emily, the original

      Marika,

      Either date virgins as Alex refers to above, or accept that the women you date have slept with other people, who shock-horror may have been hotter than you! And she may have slept with one of these hotties a week earlier than she’s sleeping with you!!! The heartless creature..

      He may have been hotter than you! He may have been better in bed than you! Pshaw! That’s what I was trying to tell Adrian. You can’t control any of that. She may be madly in love with another guy she can’t have. Who knows? You don’t really know what you’re walking into. But … she could also think you’re the cutest thing ever …  🙂

    2. 8.2
      Alex

      @Marika thank you!

      I cannot believe the virgin/whore dichotomy is still a thing!?

      1. 8.2.1
        Marika

        It’s also interesting that the person who seems to have the biggest problem with this is hardly a virgin himself!!..

        Evan so needs to run programs for men.

      2. 8.2.2
        Sum Guy

        Alex @ 8.2 and Marika @8,

        I can’t believe it is still a thing either.   Is it some double standard as well?  Guys talking about the “whore” women they’ve slept with but they wouldn’t be good for a long term relationship.  I mean really, you slept with them so that must mean you are not relationship material either.

        I also can’t believe it is such an either/or thing.  She’s great and wild in bed or she’s relationship material.  She is a good girl who makes men wait or she is a whore who doesn’t.  People aren’t that simple.

        To me it smacks of sexual insecurity and a generally very uptight and guilty view of sex.   It presumes sex is some “dirty” thing that taints you, that you can’t be crazy in bed, but sane on the street or have your shit together.

        I am certainly not a free for all anything goes kind of person, but you can have a one night stand or have sex on the first date and it be a respectful and uplifting thing between two consenting adults.  You can also be wild in bed, open to all kinds of things, and do it only within the context of the right person in the right relationship.

        My comments go to a woman telling you up front in a way that makes you think (why is she telling me this?) about how she sleeps with men she doesn’t care about quickly but ones she cares about have to wait…as current behavior.

        Fundamentally the past is the past, it’s not so much what you have done but why you do/did it.  Are your sexual choices (chaste or otherwise) indicative of some ongoing character problem (I think men should ask themselves this question as well and if the answer is biology, to me that’s a cop out and a problem as well), or just human behavior which can be fallible and insecure from time to time.  Most people I’ve talked with who seem sane are a mixture (by my advanced age of 50) of quick encounters and longer relationships.  People we wish we had never slept with or married and those we felt got away.

        I’ll also weigh in on the whole comparison to others in bed, I don’t ask this question and don’t need to be your best (just not your worst 🙂 ) but I get it a lot from women asking how good they are.   Also each person and situation is different, things do evolve over time, and what do we mean by good?  It’s more than just orgasms to me.

        Do I have a rough ranking/comparison in my head, yes I do, but I’m with this person now, the past is the past and I’m not going back to any prior girlfriend nor likely could even if I tried.

        A more secure productive way for people (men and women) to ask this question may be: “Who was the best before me, and what did he/she do that you liked the most?”   My view is the person you are with now can be the best you ever had with time and some openness.

        1. Alex

          @Sum Guy

          Thank you! I think it’s really the same as that other letter writer’s complaint that her husband didn’t see her as hotter than Angelina Jolie just because he loved her.

          Don’t we all know we’re not the hottest people on earth? And really, I think good sex is just about honestly trying to please your partner and enjoying yourself.

          I actually don’t have a ranking in my head. I could probably tell you my best or worst, but beyond that, I really couldn’t say. But I’m also generally happy someone wants to be involved at all haha! It’s the little things!

    3. 8.3
      Malika

      I totally agree that if a man wants you to have never had an ONS in order to ok the waiting for full sexual intimacy for a couple of weeks or a month, then he is a wee bit deluded. Most people of our age have had periods of being single, and adventures have been had. I am thankful for them, because while they had their place and were a whole lot of fun, it does make me appreciate being emotionally and physically intimate with someone i actually have the hots for on different levels. Yet if i ever disclosed any of the experimental periods to the men i was dating in the pre-Evan advice days, 10/10 i was downgraded.

      I wish it was different but unfortunately a LOT of men think in this way. The ideal older woman for older men has only had a couple of boyfriends/1 husband and is only sexually experienced within these relationships. The idea that you have had ONS’s or FWB’s is to them gross, and ratchets down your value considerably. They want to fight for a prize they feel few other men have had. Even the more enlightened dudes in my circle think in this way. I had a promiscuous period in my life from my early to mid twenties and an open relationship in my early thirties and have learnt the hard way to keep schtum about it to any man i have a romantic prospect with. I don’t lie, but i say 100% nada to them, and present myself in a certain way via clothing, demeanour and level of disclosure the way i am now: only interested in sexual intimacy with a man i am seriously dating (a commitment at the beginning is not necessary, but i don’t want to be treated as you-will-do/booty call). The depressing but not surprising outcome? Nearly all treat me as girlfriend material from the get go. In fact, the very few that proposed sex on the first date and were told politely that it was too quick for me, had their fires flamed and if anything were even more interested in dating me seriously after the polite decline!

      It’s depressing, but it’s best for women to accept the reality of what men want, and to keep from them the nitty gritty details until we know them well enough to know that disclosure won’t have permanent consequences.

      1. 8.3.1
        Sum Guy

        Malika @ 8.3

        “The ideal older woman for older men has only had a couple of boyfriends/1 husband and is only sexually experienced within these relationships. The idea that you have had ONS’s or FWB’s is to them gross, and ratchets down your value considerably. ”

        Not to me.  It’s about what you want now, who you are now.   Provided that if you did have a lot of risky sex (re HIV) you have been tested to make sure you do not have it. (this goes both ways both men and women)

        If a man who needs to compare himself thought about it, the more he should be proud of himself if he snared a woman who has a lot of experience, it means he stood out above all the others.   More likely he is worried that he doesn’t measure up or this means you are more likely to cheat on him and leave.   I think these last two fears are generally unfounded.

        At least they are not any stronger than the fear if you are only one of a few, how do you know she may not wonder if the grass is greener somewhere else?  After all she doesn’t have the experience to know if you are a rare find or just run of the mill.

        Of course it is how and when you convey your past.  Man or woman, too much too soon can be a problem.  Also if you sexual past is very different from theirs they may worry if you will stay with them (man or woman) so better to build a relationship first before getting into too much detail about ones past.

      2. 8.3.2
        Sylvana

        I don’t think it’s so much the value of the woman that depreciates as the competition that rises. If a woman is sexually experienced, she might just have been lucky enough to have had mind-blowing sex a few times in her life.

        We all know that most women are  hard to truly pleasure in bed. The less experience a woman has, the more value she puts on emotional connection over physical pleasure, the more likely it is she’ll never complain about not being pleasured as well (she might not even know how it feels to be truly satisfied).

        On the other hand, if she’s had a lot of fantastic sex in her life (even if only with one partner), it’ll be that much easier for her to become unhappy with her current relationship sex life if it doesn’t measure up.

        Nothing threatens men like not being able to please a woman in bed. (Don’t worry guys, women have the same concerns, although you at least still reach orgasm for the most part, no matter what).

        A more experienced woman is much less likely to tolerate not being pleased. She’ll either cheat or end the relationship. A less experienced woman, or a woman who has been conditioned to put more value on the emotional connection of sex on the other hand, is way more likely to tolerate an unfulfilling sex life. At worst, you’ll find her husband cheating because she is no longer interested in sex (can you blame her?)

        So the more experience a woman has, the more sexual partners she has had, the more a man has to worry about keeping her happy. And she’s also more likely to have had some hot “alphas” in her past, since they are generally the more sexually aggressive men. Therefore, the man is constantly “competing.”

        It comes down to a threat, and a confidence issue for men. It only gets hidden behind the so called “value” of a women. I don’t even think there is a true double standard. It’s an insecurity standard. And I know men are going to butcher me for saying this.

        Honestly ladies, just lie. I, personally, would never ask my partner how many women he’s had sex with. I really don’t care, as long as he knows what he’s doing. The only thing that matters is that he is faithful and committed now. Likewise, I wouldn’t even bother to answer if I was asked. That was before, and doesn’t matter.

        To a lot of guys who care, bedding a virgin is actually scary. Most good men do not want to hurt a woman. And there’s always a chance a virgin will be hurting the first time, especially if she is shy about sex, and therefore a little more tense. It’s a huge responsibility, and the first experience can make or break her future sex life.  And caring men are fully aware of that.

        Those who want a virgin or only lightly experienced woman are either brainwashed by religious believes, or have severe insecurities about their ability to perform well (and, as such, compete with other males). Men who are confident about their skills or ability to learn do not care.

        Overall, I don’t think many women realize just how much pressure there is on men with sex these days. As women, we have it fairly easy.

        We, as women, are in part to blame. We need to understand that men do worry about performance, and we also need to do our part to make him more comfortable. And do our part to allow open communication about sex – especially in relationships.

        Maybe once men realize they do not need to “compete”, and we do not expect them to be able to blow our minds in bed right away (yes, porn also puts insecurities in men, not just women), there’d be a lot less value placed on how experienced a woman is.

         

         

         

        1. Emily, the original

          Sylvana,

           If a woman is sexually experienced, she might just have been lucky enough to have had mind-blowing sex a few times in her life. … On the other hand, if she’s had a lot of fantastic sex in her life (even if only with one partner), it’ll be that much easier for her to become unhappy with her current relationship sex life if it doesn’t measure up.

          I think there’s some truth to this. It depends on how much importance the woman places on emotional connection, but if a woman has had fantastic sex, the problem is that the difference between that and even pretty good/good sex is really hard to ignore.

           

           

        2. Jeremy

          Sylvana, why would you think men would butcher you for saying that?  A person whose goal is pleasure is going to seek pleasure.

           

          Just realize that other people have other goals and for some, believe it or not, the pleasure of sex is only of secondary value.  Weird, I know.

        3. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          A person whose goal is pleasure is going to seek pleasure. Just realize that other people have other goals and for some, believe it or not, the pleasure of sex is only of secondary value.

          I can’t speak for Sylvana, but just from a personal perspective and from what friends have told me, when a woman talks about “hot sex,” it isn’t just the pleasure aspect or physicality of it she is referring to. It could be the level of attraction or the intensity or that the man did something without being prompted she’d always fantasized about, i.e. making a bold move without asking for permission. It’s not always about sexual acrobatics or number of orgasms.

        4. Jeremy

          Hi Emily.  No doubt.  Each of us “gets” something different out of sex, something that makes it meaningful/pleasurable to us.  From the comment above which emphasized technique and orgasm, I made the assumption that pleasure was the goal.  But sure, mix and match that with the validation that comes from a man making a bold move, thereby showing that he is high-quality, sexually aggressive, and into you, and triggering the notion that you are worth being into, triggering an increased sexual response in you.  Been there, done that.

           

          I just thought it was interesting how Sylvana pointed out that in her mind, a woman who is not being satisfied sexually will either cheat or leave.  She is taking her experience and extrapolating, but not being universal.  The universal thing to say would be a person who is not being satisfied by having their goal met will be unsatisfied, and will respond with protest behavior that fits their system of values.

        5. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          I just thought it was interesting how Sylvana pointed out that in her mind, a woman who is not being satisfied sexually will either cheat or leave.  

          It’s possible.  It depends on the value she places on the relationship and, frankly, how difficult it would be to get out of it. Will she be happier on the other side?

          She is taking her experience and extrapolating, but not being universal.  The universal thing to say would be a person who is not being satisfied by having their goal met will be unsatisfied, and will respond with protest behavior that fits their system of values.

          We are not all schooled in all this deep psychological research! Give her  a chance to catch up!  🙂    I don’t know if I consider leaving a relationship “protest behavior.” I’m assuming protest behavior is refusing to have sex with her partner because she’s not satisfied … what? Instead of discussing it and working on it?

        6. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          But sure, mix and match that with the validation that comes from a man making a bold move, thereby showing that he is high-quality, sexually aggressive, and into you, and triggering the notion that you are worth being into, triggering an increased sexual response in you.  Been there, done that.

          A bold move isn’t that common. That’s why it gets a woman’s attention. I’ve dated only two men who executed it well.

        7. Jeremy

          Leaving a relationship is the ultimate protest behavior.  Sometimes much healthier than throwing a temper tantrum 🙂  And learning about the psych stuff is so much fun, isn’t it?  Or is that just me?  Is it better to understand why the bold moves triggers the sexual response, or not to?

        8. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          Is it better to understand why the bold moves triggers the sexual response, or not to?

          Idk. Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?  You’re supposed to FEEL it. Not THINK it. Bold moves aren’t planned out in advance.  🙂  Otherwise, yes, the psych stuff is fun.

          And it doesn’t have to be a bold move. Every woman is different, and she often doesn’t know what she really likes until she experiences it. I guess what I meant is that women will have that one partner who makes her think: Ok, now I get it. Now I get what all the songs are about.

        9. Jeremy

          So funny, the broad variations in our perceptions.  Some people want to be overwhelmed by feeling and wash away thoughts.  I can’t handle being overwhelmed by feeling.  Too overwhelming.  Developed thinking as a way of compensating, modulating emotion by understanding it and distancing from it somewhat.  Makes it predictable and controllable, and so prevents me from being overwhelmed to some extent.   It’s like anything, I guess.  My son and 2 of my daughters love neck rubs, but my eldest daughter can’t stand them.  She’s too sensitive.  What makes the other kids relaxed makes her too stimulated.

           

          Oh, and “bold moves are not planned.”  Are you sure? 🙂  My best bold moves were always planned.  Just as long as the recipient doesn’t know it was planned…unless she loves using her intuition to figure such things out and thereby enjoy it more.  See, there’s me over-thinking again.

        10. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          Some people want to be overwhelmed by feeling and wash away thoughts.  I can’t handle being overwhelmed by feeling.  Too overwhelming.  Developed thinking as a way of compensating, modulating emotion by understanding it and distancing from it somewhat.  Makes it predictable and controllable, and so prevents me from being overwhelmed to some extent.

          Everyone is different, I guess. I think 95% percent of life is too controlled, too “appropriate.” “Modulating” and “emotion” should never be in the same sentence.  🙂

           

          Oh, and “bold moves are not planned.”  Are you sure? 🙂  My best bold moves were always planned.  Just as long as the recipient doesn’t know it was planned…

          I know something will happen and that I’ll get him in the room … but my best moves have been a spontaneous, impulsive reaction to the moment. That’s what a bold move is. Jumping over the cliff … and hoping you don’t get slapped!   🙂

        11. Jeremy

          ” I think 95% percent of life is too controlled, too “appropriate.” “Modulating” and “emotion” should never be in the same sentence.”

           

          Ha Ha, awesome!  If you’ve never read it, I’d recommend picking up a copy of “Why Him, Why Her” by Helen Fisher.  She describes personality archetypes in the human population (and is by no means the first to do so), and subdivides us broadly into Explorers, Guardians, Idealists, and Rationals based on how we view the world and how we form judgments.  She steals a lot of this from David Kiersey, who stole some of it from Carl Jung.  Not everyone fits cleanly into the stereotypes, but many of us do.  Your comment was the manifesto for the “Explorer” type.  Reading it made me smile. My first GF was a cut-and-dry Explorer type.  Definitely the most exciting of the personality types.  Doesn’t mesh well with a stodgy Rational, though.  We tend to mix the words modulate and emotion in the same sentence too much  🙂

        12. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

           If you’ve never read it, I’d recommend picking up a copy of “Why Him, Why Her” by Helen Fisher.  She describes personality archetypes in the human population and subdivides us broadly into Explorers, Guardians, Idealists, and Rationals based on how we view the world and how we form judgments. Not everyone fits cleanly into the stereotypes, but many of us do.  Your comment was the manifesto for the “Explorer” type.  Reading it made me smile. My first GF was a cut-and-dry Explorer type.  Definitely the most exciting of the personality types.  Doesn’t mesh well with a stodgy Rational, though.  We tend to mix the words modulate and emotion in the same sentence too much

          I read a bit of her book. I find her research interesting. I wasn’t an Explorer. Maybe an idealist? I can’t remember. I don’t like to jump out of airplanes or anything like that! But I am baffled by people sometimes. Do they actually feel anything? Is there any there there with some of them?! 🙂 If you pick their skin, do they bleed?  I remember coming into work on a Monday morning at my former job and some of my coworkers (mostly engineers) wanted to talk to me about how they spent the weekend mowing their grass. OMG Do we really need to talk about this for 15 minutes?  🙂

          You know, Mr. Jeremy, desire seeks desire, not the path of righteousness. That’s why society has invented all kinds of institutions to modulate emotion. (I read that somewhere. I thought it was interesting.)

        13. Jeremy

          Keirsey does a much better job describing the types than Fisher, especially because he teases out the difference between an introverted Explorer (whom he calls an Artisan) versus an extroverted Explorer.  They both seek adventure and discovery, but the extroverted one seeks discovery of the external (sky diving, travel, etc) while the introverted one seeks discovery of the internal (sensation, expression, artistry).    In the same way as the Rational who extroverts his rationality looks for the “how” of things (eg. Engineering, cutting grass) while the Rational who introverts his rationality looks for the “why” of things (the scientist or philosopher).

           

          The Explorer/artisan seeks experience and sensation.  The Guardian seeks security and community.  The Idealist seeks identity and meaning.  The Rational seeks understanding.

           

          Desire seeks desire and understanding seeks understanding…with a side of desire.

        14. Jeremy

          Of course, all this stuff about personality archetypes can’t be taken too seriously.  All of us are 3 dimensional and none of us fall cleanly into any given stereotype.  But thinking about the stereotypes was helpful to me, and might also be helpful to some of you.

           

          I grew up a duck among swans – never really fit in, and wished I did.  Not an uncommon experience.  Yet it seemed that the other kids didn’t have this problem to the same extent.  The boys who watched baseball on tv and discussed the stats with the other boys never gave a thought to how strange their behavior was or why they would be interested in the things they were.  And why should they have thought it strange?  After all, all the other boys were doing it too.  The behavior of those around me seemed so odd, so unpredictable, that I thought one of two things must be true – either that all other people were one way and I was another, or that every individual is so unpredictably different that we can never make any assumptions about behavior.  I was wrong on both counts.  Behavior can be predictable and can be very systematic if only we understand the underlying ways that people see the world and make judgments.

           

          Emily looked at her former work colleagues and wondered whether they have any feelings – if you prick them, do they bleed?  Where is their zest for life and sensation?  I looked at the world and wondered why everyone is so blind to themselves, why they rush around and make impulsive and emotional decisions without considering the consequences and the errors they are making.  Do you see the underlying assumptions that Emily was making?  That I was?  None of us are caricatures, but for all of our differences, we do tend to fall into certain categories based on how we see the world and form judgments.  Are we oriented to the concrete and seek individualistic sensation as our base motivation?  Are we oriented to the concrete and seek community and security?  Are we oriented to the abstract and seek identity and values from which to form understanding?  Are we oriented to the abstract and seek understanding from which to form identity and values?

           

          Sorry for the long post.  Maybe someone will find it thought provoking.

        15. Sum Guy

          Sylvana @8.3.2

          i can’t disagree that when you’ve had mind blowing sex it’s hard to settle for meh

          yes man and women fear they may not be good enough, especially if their partner is good, or I guess if a woman she is experienced as the ability/performance part implied to be the man’s job

          i really believe mind blowing sex is possible for everyone, especially these days.  There are little blue pills for him to help the equipment, lubricants for her etc AS LONG AS there is compatibility / connection

          with compatibility you want to be with the person out of bed and trust them, so a little forth right talk, guidance and exploration should get two committed open people there

          the key is if you really care you can’t expect the other to intuit what you want in the beginning, being able to ask for what you want without fear or being turned off in the asking is key.    I suspect after a time even the most inept lover will get it and intuit all you desire

        16. Sum Guy

          Jeremy

          it sounds very much like Myers-Briggs personality types

          I’ve found Myers-Briggs to be very helpful and actually work in understanding others.    It provides no guarantees on values, character etc but it does help you understand how people process the world andwhat energizes them so at least you can interact with them in a more effective way

          there are types that are more likely to line up with others

        17. Emily, the original

          Mr. Jeremy,

          My first thought was …. when does Mr. Jeremy sleep?!  Isn’t there a Mrs. Jeremy and two little Jeremys? Also a job? When does he fit in all this reading?  🙂

          Emily looked at her former work colleagues and wondered whether they have any feelings – if you prick them, do they bleed?  Where is their zest for life and sensation? 

          That, and have you never wanted more? You’ve worked at this company for THIRTY years!  Have you never questioned anything? Why, when people who have some authority show up, are you so far up their ass (sorry for being graphic, but that’s what I thought) I can’t even see you anymore?! Have some dignity! But the inner restlessness is mine. I don’t think these people felt trapped as I did after about a year at any job.

          I grew up a duck among swans – never really fit in, and wished I did.

          Now that is a feeling I know well. Which isn’t to say I didn’t have friends but I was never what I call “one of them.” I really like James Altucher’s work. His idea of choosing yourself instead of waiting for other people to choose you.

        18. Emily, the original

          Sum Guy,

          i really believe mind blowing sex is possible for everyone, especially these days.  … with compatibility you want to be with the person out of bed and trust them, so a little forth right talk, guidance and exploration should get two committed open people there

          The thing about mind blowing sex is that it implies there is a certain level of heat and intensity that exists between the two people that’s there or it isn’t. The part that you wrote about — caring for the other person and being open to discussion and communication — is a separate issue. That’s the relationship part of it. It’s great if you have both, but one doesn’t necessarily imply the other.

        19. Jeremy

          Sleep?  What’s that?  And it is FOUR little Jeremys, not two, hence the lack of sleep 😉

           

          “The part that you wrote about — caring for the other person and being open to discussion and communication — is a separate issue. That’s the relationship part of it. It’s great if you have both, but one doesn’t necessarily imply the other.”  Unless your sexual meta-goal is emotional connection, in which case that’s EXACTLY what it implies.

        20. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          FOUR little Jeremy’s! OMG! How do you find time to even shower?!

          I guess my point about the mind-blowing sex … Have you ever kissed someone you found appealing and thought: That was nice, that was pleasant? I like this person. On the other hand, have you ever kissed someone and thought: OMG? You found this person appealing, too, but for some reason, in a way that couldn’t be planned or discussed ahead of time, that person did it the way you really liked and the whole thing just clicked? That’s the difference. Now, this says nothing about any other part of the interaction because the first person could be someone you have more in common with and connect with more in other areas. I know you’ve read Esther Perel’s stuff. She says that love and desire are “parallel narratives,” but that being secure and intimate with someone is different from erotic desire.

        21. Jeremy

          Emily, I’m loving this conversation BTW.  Re: Esther Perel – she says that erotic love and desire are parallel pathways….and she says that because that’s how SHE sees it!  She is an Idealist.  It shines through in all her writing, like it’s the “how to be an idealist” handbook.  She is exceptionally insightful, but so much of her stuff applies only to Idealists and semi-Idealists IMHO.

           

          In the same way, in the book “Come as you are” by sex expert Dr. Emily Nagarski (which I also enjoyed), the author describes all the various “inadvisable” reasons young women may have sex  – to secure a boyfriend, for social approval, for validation, etc – and claims that the only “good” reason to have sex is for your own pleasure.  I had a good chuckle at that.  Imagine posting a sign at a car dealership that the only good reason to buy a car is to get from A to B 🙂

           

          Each of us tends to believe that the way we are is the way all others should be.  Not to beat the archetypes to death, but the Explorer looks at other types and says “man, you’re too boring.”  The Guardian says “man, you are too immature.”  The idealist says “man, you have no spirit!”  And the rational says “man, you make no sense.”  The reason any of us might find a sexual encounter “mind-blowing” are different from the reasons other might.

        22. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          I will do my best to keep you entertained.  🙂

          I think Eshter Perel  has worked mostly with people whose marriages are not going well because of infidelity. She says she can work to bring two people together to be more loving with each other but that doesn’t necessarily bring back sexual desire. In her estimation, that’s why people cheat. To feel desire again.

          Here’s a paragraph from a movie review of “The Deep Blue Sea” by the movie critic Mick LaSalle at the San Francisco Chronicle.

          The most dangerous and addictive aspect of lust is its revelatory quality, the way it makes the whole of life that went before it feel like a wasteland of sleepwalking and tepid emotion. In “The Deep Blue Sea,” Rachel Weisz – in what has to be the performance of her career, and there have been lots of good ones – plays an intelligent woman in the grip of a lust that’s too big to handle or suppress. She can either ride the tiger or be devoured.

          First of all, that’s some damn good writing. Second, it’s true. Is the writer an Idealist? Idk   He definitely writes from the gut.   🙂

          Each of us tends to believe that the way we are is the way all others should be.   … The reason any of us might find a sexual encounter “mind-blowing” are different from the reasons other might.

          Very true. I took Fisher’s quiz and I’m a Negotiator (which I guess is an idealist). My second highest score was Explorer. Problems arise, of course, if you experience a sexual encounter with someone and they experience it completely differently. I’m assuming it’s very common.

        23. Jeremy

          Hopefully I’m keeping you entertained too.  🙂

           

          Perel’s book got a lot of backlash from people who felt it condoned cheating.  One of her points was that cheating does not necessarily mean the relationship should end, or that one spouse does not love the other.  Rather, as you wrote, that desire and love are separate and often contradictory.  Tell that to a Guardian-type 🙂  To someone who prioritizes security and service, Perel’s comments would be incomprehensible.  She would definitely NOT be the right therapist for such a person IMHO, because her assumptions (which prioritize emotion, intensity, and meaning) and theirs (which prioritize security, commitment, and service) are totally different.

           

        24. KK

          Jeremy & Emily,

          I’m not a Guardian-type OR a fan of Perel’s writing.  : )

        25. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          You always entertain me. Sometimes I have to read your posts several times because there are usually a lot of layers to what you write … and I’m a slow reader!   🙂

          Perel’s book got a lot of backlash from people who felt it condoned cheating.

          I know it got a lot of backlash but I don’t agree with her critics that she condoned cheating.

          One of her points was that cheating does not necessarily mean the relationship should end, or that one spouse does not love the other.  Rather, as you wrote, that desire and love are separate and often contradictory.

          This is why she got into trouble. She challenged the cultural narrative that someone must be unhappy to cheat. She wrote that people don’t cheat to get away from the people they are with but to get away from the person they’ve become. To access a part of themselves they either haven’t seen for a while or didn’t know existed. That’s some deep shit, no?

          Tell that to a Guardian-type 🙂  To someone who prioritizes security and service, Perel’s comments would be incomprehensible.  She would definitely NOT be the right therapist for such a person IMHO, because her assumptions (which prioritize emotion, intensity, and meaning) and theirs (which prioritize security, commitment, and service) are totally different.

          Very true, but, then, would a Guradian-type be prone to cheating? If you don’t like being swept away by emotion and you prioritize security, something tells me that infidelity, aside from the moral considerations, would almost make you physically uncomfortable and extremely anxious. I’m in no way implying that’s a bad thing. I just found her writing interesting because I had male friends who I have been extremely fond of and close to but had no interest in sexually. So for me, as a jump-over-the-cliff-with-no-pants-on type, her writing made some sense.   🙂

        26. Jeremy

          Emily, years ago when I was still on the manosphere, I was trying to help the wounded men whose wives cheated on them.  In general, these were guys who felt they had held up their end of the marriage bargain, but their wives changed somewhere along the line and stopped looking at them the same way.  They extrapolated that to mean that women are feral, hind-brain-controlled creatures driven by hypergamy.  Or, at the very least, are so unpredictable that only a fool would sign a marriage contract with one.

           

          One of the things I tried to explain (before giving up) was that the “unpredictable” part of their assumptions was wrong.  If one understands their partner’s personality type, predicting what they will want is not that hard.  The Idealist will need passion – without passion, her life will feel meaningless.  So when she is done focusing her energy on having and raising kids, she will need her emotions nurtured.  And it is for the man to think about how to do that, realizing that idealists are in love with being in love.  The Guardian needs service and community.  When she is done focussing her energy on her kids, she will need to feel part of a greater whole.  She will need other female friends, will need to join a church/synagogue/book group – something where she feels she can play a role – and she will want her husband to pay his role in that life.  The Explorer will need novelty and experience.  If she feels her life is too boring, she will seek out experience.  The Rational will have a series of goals she needs met, and will need a man who sees the value of those goals and can help her execute them.

           

          So while Esther Perel’s reasons why a person might cheat are some “deep shit” when talking about Idealists, they aren’t when talking about other types.  The Guardian-type is most likely to cheat because she feels her husband is a child, not playing his proper role.  The Explorer cheats because she’s bored and craves dopamine.  The Rational cheats because she doesn’t see a reason not to and sees a reason to – or is simply overwhelmed by her emotions.  Perel’s advice will only be useful to one of the types…

      3. 8.3.3
        Emily, the original

        Jeremy,

        Perel’s advice will only be useful to one of the types…

        To be honest, I don’t know what her advice was to couples in which one of the parties had cheated. What I was commenting on was the reason people cheated. She has worked with many, many couples and that is the most common reason given. To feel desire, to feel alive. What personality type they were wasn’t part of the equation, and I don’t think it mattered. I think the reason was universal.

        And if they wanted to get away from themselves and the person they’d become, I think what that means is that people get tired of playing the roles they have created for themselves (or society has created). “The caring daughter,” “the industrious employee,” “the nurturing friend,” the selfless mother.” Desire rips through all of that. Hits a primal** place in their psyches that yes, they could control, but maybe, for the first time in their lives, they don’t want to. You’re boiling it down to something rational. It isn’t rational.

        ** (I raise the white flag, YAG, you win! I’m using your word! )

        1. Jeremy

          Not boiling it down to something rational.  I agree with you (and her) that the reasons people cheat stem from the emotional, not the rational.  Yet for most people, there is a critical inhibitory process in the brain that prevents them from stepping over a certain line and cheating, just like there’s a line that prevents us from stepping over the line and stabbing someone else.  We only cross it when we either lose the ability to inhibit (eg overwhelmed by emotion), or when we no longer find a reason to inhibit.  You are talking about cheaters who are overcome with passion.  I’m talking about people who make the conscious decision to disinhibit themselves.  Very different.

           

          Perel gave therapy to many couples where one spouse had cheated, and reported what you wrote as the most common stated reason.  But please remember the basic thesis behind almost everything I write on this blog, the thing that took me so long to realize…..people don’t always (or even usually) understand their own reasons for doing things.  And when asked why, they MAKE SHIT UP, especially when prompted by a therapist with an agenda.  The stories we make up sound good to us. They make a lot of sense.  And they are usually bullshit.  Not saying that the reason Perel gives was not a factor, but we must understand that while some people cheat for overwhelming passion while still loving their spouse, others allow themselves to cheat because their love is gone.

        2. Jeremy

          In my circles, I hear so much complaining about spouses.  The complaints of the women can usually be subdivided into 3:

          1) We’re stuck in a routine and I’m bored

          2) I feel like he’s one of my kids instead of my partner

          3) Where’s the romance?

           

          Most of the complainers are not cheaters (that I know of), but their reasons for marital dissatisfaction are quite systematic.  If only their husbands would have known what these women wanted years ago, they could have either planned how to give it to them or married other women whose desires they wanted to meet.  Problem was, most of those men thought that what these women wanted at that time was what they would continue to want in the future, instead of accepting how personality trends tend to work.

        3. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          Yet for most people, there is a critical inhibitory process in the brain that prevents them from stepping over a certain line and cheating, just like there’s a line that prevents us from stepping over the line and stabbing someone else.  We only cross it when we either lose the ability to inhibit (eg overwhelmed by emotion), or when we no longer find a reason to inhibit.  You are talking about cheaters who are overcome with passion.  I’m talking about people who make the conscious decision to disinhibit themselves.  Very different.

          Well, let’s be honest. Even if a person is overcome with passion, they still make a decision to cheat. At some point it is a  conscious decision to, as you say, disinhibit themselves. I’m not sure the two groups are that different aside from the reasons they are doing what they do. I would also argue that there are people whose personality is such that they don’t want to be overcome. They don’t experience those types of emotions and have no problem avoiding temptation. There are also people who will cheat for … wait for it … validation. If someone shows interest, they go for it because even a loving spouse can’t give them enough validation.

          And when asked why, they MAKE SHIT UP, especially when prompted by a therapist with an agenda.  The stories we make up sound good to us. They make a lot of sense.  And they are usually bullshit. 

          Yes, people make shit up. They also sometimes have no idea why they do what they do. But Perel’s research hit a nerve and I would argue the reason she determined that people cheat did not make people feel good. For so long, the cultural narrative was that people only cheat if they are in unhappy relationships. Her research said otherwise and it made people uncomfortable.

        4. Kenley

          Esther Perel  is my girl crush so I had to come to her defense and say that what she wrote in her book is  a generalization.  When she actually counsels couples she is very much about helping the couple find their own truth and what is right for them.  She has a great podcast called “And now we begin” in which you hear  her counsel all types of couples with lots of different issues and her approach to all is different.  Not all the couples are there for infidelity, but the ones that are have different reasons which she helps them address.   In addition , I think she would agree that it is important for couples to find a therapist they resinate with.  I don’t believe she claims to be for everyone — no one is.

        5. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy & Emily,

          I’ve enjoyed “eavesdropping” on this subthread.  I have Perel’s book and have attempted to read it a few times.  But I find myself having a hard time connecting to the material.  I wonder if this is because, as Jeremy says, Perel is and Idealist and I guess I’m not 😉

          I do like and respect Fisher’s work and will look up the book you mentioned. I also like the work of Stephanie Koontz on the history and evolution of marriage, and Marina Adshade on the economics of sex and relationships.

        6. Emily, the original

          GowiththeFlow,

          I’ve enjoyed “eavesdropping” on this subthread.

          Damn you! I finally have Jeremy all to myself for one damn thread!   🙂   Don’t make me start competing with you by posting pics of myself in a tank top with no bra!   🙂

          I’ve heard of Koontz’s work. I’ll have to check it out.

        7. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          If only their husbands would have known what these women wanted years ago, they could have either planned how to give it to them or married other women whose desires they wanted to meet.

          Did the women articulate clearly what they wanted? Or did the men check out of the marriage?

        8. Emily, the original

          Kenley,

          Esther Perel  is my girl crush

          She’s European. European women seem so adept at projecting sexy and sophisticated with a hint of mystery.

        9. Jeremy

          Emily, “Did the women articulate clearly what they wanted? Or did the men check out of the marriage?”

           

          Funny you should ask.  If you ask most people, they would consider your question a chicken-and-egg issue – impossible to pin down.  But I consider this question super-important, and have spent a lot of time observing, and here are my observations:

           

          Most of the time, the issue involves changes in the woman’s set of priorities.  A story (and sorry I keep telling stories, but without them the point is too abstract):  My sister’s best friend is going through a divorce – her husband cheated on her and all her friends agree the guy is a scumbag.  After all, what kind of a guy cheats on his wife – the devoted mother of his children and primary breadwinner of the home?  Ahh, but inquire a little further into the story:  Couple had been dating since their late teens.  He has a bombastic, narcissistic personality type that loves attention and craves a woman who will make him the center of her universe.  She is a woman who is insecure and has always wanted a strong man to BE the center of her universe.  And so, the couple made it work because they each wanted to receive what the other had to give.  But as time progressed, they had a few kids and her job got busy, and she found herself prioritizing the kids (#1), her business (#2), her family and friends (#3), her gym and personal pursuits (#4), and her husband (last and least).  He tried speaking to her about it, and her reply was that she would try to make more time for him, but he had to understand that life changes, people grow up, and this is just the way things have to be and why can’t he grow up too?  And when he did not agree, she sought validation from her female friends, who all agreed with her and thought he was being immature.  Frankly, I’m not sure why she was surprised that he cheated.  You can’t change the rules of a game unilaterally, mid-game, and expect your partner to still want to play with you.

           

          In one of my posts above, I gave the 3 most common marital complaints I hear from women.  But there’s just one complaint I hear from men: “What happened to the woman I married?”  Where did the woman who was my GIRLFRIEND go?  The one who laughed at my jokes, thought I was handsome, wanted to have sex with me, and for whom my opinion was the one that mattered most?  Gone.  Because priorities change, and people grow up – except for men, of course 🙂

           

          Emily, you asked whether it was that the women did not clearly articulate their desires or whether the men checked out.  Most often the women DID clearly articulate their desires…..their desires just changed.  Prompting the men to check out, because they didn’t know how to deal with that change, and frankly they didn’t want to.  My point, after this long-winded post, is that if a man could somehow PREDICT those changes, his chances for marital bliss would be much greater than a 50% flip of a coin.  And it IS possible.  But not through asking a person what they will want in the future.

           

        10. Jeremy

          As an addendum, I don’t mean to imply that men don’t change over time.  I’m sure some of the divorcees here have experienced that.  It’s just that the majority of complaints I hear from men are about their wives having changed, while the majority I hear from women are about how their husbands have not.  Regardless, though, how helpful would it be for both partners to predict in advance the likelihood of their spouse changing or not, and predicting the direction of change?  In the example I gave, my sister’s best friend is a very stereotypical Guardian-type personality, and the direction she changed is textbook.  Her ex is an extreme idealist, and his response is also textbook.

        11. Chance

          Hi Jeremy, I agree that you can often predict how a woman will change over time, but I don’t necessarily believe that it is best for a man to spend his time and energy trying to predict these changes without first understanding why these changes occur – and even more importantly – understanding the differences in how men and women love.  I think the first step is understanding the differences between how men and women love.  Then, a man can begin to understand how and why a woman’s qualifications for this love can change over time.  Finally, a man can make an informed decision regarding whether to attempt to qualify for that love in perpetuity and be prepared for how her conditions for love will change over time, or choose to seek a woman who has a propensity to love more like a man (if that is what he prefers).

        12. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          But as time progressed, they had a few kids and her job got busy, and she found herself prioritizing the kids (#1), her business (#2), her family and friends (#3), her gym and personal pursuits (#4), and her husband (last and least).  He tried speaking to her about it, and her reply was that she would try to make more time for him, but he had to understand that life changes, people grow up, and this is just the way things have to be and why can’t he grow up too? 

          I’ve heard the same issue from male friends. That he’s the last priority … sometimes below the dog. I don’t think it’s fair for either party to make unilateral decisions without consulting the other but I know it happens.

           

          My point, after this long-winded post, is that if a man could somehow PREDICT those changes, his chances for marital bliss would be much greater than a 50% flip of a coin.  And it IS possible.  But not through asking a person what they will want in the future.

          I think that’s pretty darn near impossible. What is the average age of marriage in this country? 28? So two people meet in their mid-20s and marry a few years later. Do you think anyone in their mid-to late-20s has a clue what they might want 10 years later, let alone what their spouse might want?

           

        13. Jeremy

          “Do you think anyone in their mid-to late-20s has a clue what they might want 10 years later, let alone what their spouse might want?”

           

          Now THAT’S the question!  And the answer is…..they can’t know for sure, but they can make a good guess of it – but not by extrapolating from their present desires.  By far, the best book on this subject is “Stumbling on Happiness” by Dan Gilbert.  Of of just a few books I’ve ever read that I consider to be life-changing for me.  Put out of your mind thinking that you are the expert on your own future self – you are a stranger to your future self!  Instead, predict based on your personality and by observing others with the same personality who are a few decades older than you.  What did they want, in retrospect?  What worked for them, and what were their pitfalls?  And make the same observations for your future spouse.

           

          Not only CAN it be done, but we would be fools not to do it.  How many of us have been fools?

        14. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

           Instead, predict based on your personality and by observing others with the same personality who are a few decades older than you.  What did they want, in retrospect?  What worked for them, and what were their pitfalls?  And make the same observations for your future spouse.

          Ah, Mr. Jeremy, you have high hopes for humanity. I think what more than often happens is that people change quite a bit, but particularly in their 20s. Let’s be honest, it takes most people (and I include myself in this description) a long time to get their heads out of their own rear ends. In our 20s, we’re just grabbing at what’s in front of us based on what we want and need. It takes a while to realize … there’s a whole separate, autonomous person next to us who also has needs and wants that I need to be aware of if I’m to make this relationship work. I just don’t see a 25-year-old woman spending time finding a version of herself, but older, so that she can chart her happiness and make better decisions. Isn’t the human brain not even fully formed until 25?   🙂         What were you doing at 25? I was hanging out at the clubs and bar hopping.

        15. Emily, the original

          Chance,

          seek a woman who has a propensity to love more like a man (if that is what he prefers).

          I’m not sure what you mean by this. Love … less intently like a man? (That’s comedian Steve Harvey’s theory.) And when I write “love,” I mean “love,” not “need.” Those are 2 different things.

        16. Jeremy

          Emily, “What were you doing at 25?”  Believe it or not, I was planning my future, avoiding clubs and bars, and wondering what the hell my contemporaries were thinking (while they were thinking I was a pretty boring guy).  But regardless of how many young people will actually do this, it is better advice for the older generation to give compared to “have fun in your 20s, then buckle down,” or “find a person you just click with.”

           

          Chance, I disagree that men and women differ.  I see no evidence in differing capacity to love, and expression of love depends on many things which are more dependent on personality than gender IME.

        17. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          I was planning my future, avoiding clubs and bars, and wondering what the hell my contemporaries were thinking (while they were thinking I was a pretty boring guy).

          I didn’t graduate college until I was almost 27. I dragged out my adolescence/early adulthood as long as I could! The best times I had were in m 20s. No one tells you how tedious adulthood is going to be and how painfully serious the people around you are going to become.

          it is better advice for the older generation to give compared to “have fun in your 20s, then buckle down,” or “find a person you just click with.”

          This is where the problem lies in terms of picking a partner. Most people probably aren’t ready in their 20s to make a decision that will affect the rest of their lives, but if you don’t start taking it seriously, the pool of potentials really narrows.

        18. Tom10

          “What were you doing at 25?”  
           
          What a great question – like Emily I was hanging out at the clubs and bar-hopping; but I was simultaneously planning my future, trying to arrange a mortgage, positioning toward promotion, etc.
           
          I think the wisest course of action is to do both; failing to have fun (sow one’s oats?) in one’s 20s can lead to regrets later in life about missed opportunities and/or even mid-life crises. Failing to plan one’s future leads, um, to an aimless, directionless life and/or possible destitution later in life.

        19. Jeremy

          I was 30 when I graduated.  Well, graduated for the final time. Most people on this site would not have chosen to live as I did, living at home with my parents until I graduated (no money for living elsewhere, no desire for further debt), no travel (same reason), free time spent on studies because every subsequent degree was more competitive to get into, but paid greater dividends on completion.  It was a lot of work and not much fun, but future Jeremy (the me of now) sincerely thanks past Jeremy for his sacrifices, as my life now is much easier and more pleasant than my former oat-sowing contemporaries  🙂

           

          Tom wrote, “I think the wisest course of action is to do both; failing to have fun (sow one’s oats?) in one’s 20s can lead to regrets later in life about missed opportunities and/or even mid-life crises. Failing to plan one’s future leads, um, to an aimless, directionless life and/or possible destitution later in life.”

           

          I’ll disagree with you here, Tom.  I think that midlife crises arise whenever one’s expectations fail to meet one’s perceptions of how life has gone.  A wild past can make this worse by increasing expectations and reducing perception of present quality.  Regardless, though, I’d apply what you wrote about finances to marriage – failing to plan properly for one’s MARRIAGE can lead to a really bad marriage in the future.  The question is how best to plan.

        20. Emily, the original

          Tom10,

          I think the wisest course of action is to do both; failing to have fun (sow one’s oats?) in one’s 20s can lead to regrets later in life about missed opportunities and/or even mid-life crises. Failing to plan one’s future leads, um, to an aimless, directionless life and/or possible destitution later in life.

          Very true, but at 25 I thought people who majored in subjects like Engineering had sold out. Follow your passions …. blah, blah, blah. But let’s face it: Doing anything for 40+ hours a week and being told what to do all day long ain’t all that great. You might as well pick something where you can make some money.

        21. Emily, the originala

          Hi Jeremy,

          It was a lot of work and not much fun, but future Jeremy (the me of now) sincerely thanks past Jeremy for his sacrifices, as my life now is much easier and more pleasant than my former oat-sowing contemporaries 

          Easier? You have FOUR kids? How is that easier?   🙂

           

          I’ll disagree with you here, Tom.  I think that midlife crises arise whenever one’s expectations fail to meet one’s perceptions of how life has gone.

          I think it depends on the man. My hairdresser met her husband when they were both about 19. He was a bit dorky and didn’t get a lot of female attention. Now he’s 35 and has developed a level of confidence he didn’t have before. Other women have noticed and he has noticed them noticing. He is extremely obvious about it in front of her. I think there is some danger that he may stray.

        22. Tom10

          @ Jeremy
          “I think that midlife crises arise whenever one’s expectations fail to meet one’s perceptions of how life has gone.  A wild past can make this worse by increasing expectations and reducing perception of present quality.”
           
          It’s funny that you mention that, as this was the discussion my bar buddies and I repeatedly had as our bar-hopping “careers” began to wind down around the age of 32/33 whilst staring down the 50-year barrel of otherness; “so, what happens now?”
           
          We felt like aging footballers not knowing what to do once the game was up.
           
          Is it better to have played and won or never to have won at all?
           
          As you say I guess what matters is whether one’s expectations have been met; luckily I’ve met all of mine so far. As as have you it seems. 🙂
           
          @ Emily, the originala
          I like the appended “a” Emily; Emily Originala has a nice ring to it. 😉
           
          “Easier? You have FOUR kids? How is that easier?”  
           
          I think his *actual* point is that using one’s 20s to sow oats is actually a bad idea? Lol.

        23. GoWiththeFlow

          Jeremy, Emily, and Tom.

          I try to be a bougainvillea and grow and thrive wherever I am planted.

          Planning and executing a life plan certainly doesn’t mean all is drudgery.  Some days or weeks medical school and residency was predominantly misery.  But I made lifelong friends, had amazing and unique experiences (do I ever have stories!) and learned a tremendous amount, and not just about medicine.  I still enjoy my job, though not every day or every situation.  So any sacrifices I made paid off not only financially but in life satisfaction as well.

          What I would tell any young person, is that every aspect of your life is worth the effort of putting some planning into.  Especially your personal life.  The conventional wisdom is you should plan your education and career but love (and a spouse, and a family) is just supposed to happen.  Plan but be open for a few unexpected detours.

        24. Jeremy

          Tom, “Is it better to have played and won or never have won at all?”  It is better to carefully consider, from the outset, what you want “having won” to mean.  Because the implications of that question can be long-lasting.

           

          But as far as what my *actual* point was, it was what I wrote above – that although we each think that our way is the best way (and I’m evidently no exception), others make different assumptions.  It isn’t for me to change the world, it’s for me to understand it. 🙂

        25. Emily, the original

          Tom10,

          I think his *actual* point is that using one’s 20s to sow oats is actually a bad idea? Lol.

          I guess it depends on the person. I have female friends who are married their high school sweethearts and have only been with one man and they are happy. I would think at some point you might wonder what other people would be like unless you hit it out of the park with the first person. But how many people do? (It’s a question; I have no idea of the answer.)

        26. Jeremy

          GWTF, I’d agree with most of your comment, except I’d suggest not getting on a road unless you have some idea where it leads.  Unless your goal is the journey and not the destination…..but even then, you need to have some idea of what your goal is.

        27. Emily, the original

          GowiththeFlow,

          What I would tell any young person, is that every aspect of your life is worth the effort of putting some planning into.  Especially your personal life.  The conventional wisdom is you should plan your education and career but love (and a spouse, and a family) is just supposed to happen.  Plan but be open for a few unexpected detours.

          That’s good advice, but I wouldn’t have listened. I associated planning with my family and was too busy going the opposite direction.

        28. Tom10

          @ Jeremy
          “It is better to carefully consider, from the outset, what you want “having won” to mean.” 
           
          I didn’t phrase my question very well (it was supposed to be a play on Tennyson but I got it all wrong); I was trying to express the thoughts of, say, a retired footballer who suffers from lack of purpose and realizing that nothing he’ll ever do for the rest of his life will generate the happiness or “highs” in his life as a footballer did. Would he be happier now if he’d never experienced those highs in the first place? Or is he happier tripping back down memory lane?
           
          I’ve no doubt that if posed this dilemma not one would hand back their medals but it seems that many former athletes struggle with this very issue, to the point of mental ill-health:
           
          http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/04/11/former-elite-athletes-reveal-mental-health-struggles-after-retir_a_22035114/
           
          Perhaps Passenger might have been more apt to quote: “Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low.”
           
          “It isn’t for me to change the world, it’s for me to understand it”
           
          I like that. 🙂
           
          @ GoWiththeFlow
          “What I would tell any young person, is that every aspect of your life is worth the effort of putting some planning into.  Especially your personal life.”
           
          I agree; I’m amazed at how many people just “go with the flow” ( 😉 ) through life and just assume things will just somehow fall into place with no planning or foresight whatsoever. And they wind up 20 years later wondering what happened to their lives. *facepalm* 

        29. Jeremy

          I got the Tennyson reference, Tom, I don’t think you messed it up 🙂  The confusion, I think, lies in the difference between our experiencing self and our remembering self, as I’ve written about elsewhere.  When most of us seek happiness, we prioritize the present, the experiencing self.  But what determines our perception of how happy we are with our lives is our remembering self, and it has a shitty memory.  It remembers things totally out of proportion, forgets details, emphasizes peak experiences and endings,  forgets the in-between experiences and has no concept of time or perspective…Yet it’s what determines how we see our lives.

           

           

          We can’t change that.  But we can USE it if we understand it.  The doctor uses it when he gives a child a lollypop after a vaccination – the child forgets the unpleasantness of the experience (or at least the magnitude of it) because what we remember most about an experience is how it ends.  The dentist uses it when he gives a needle, realizing that if he does it slowly over longer time but more gently, the experience will be perceived as less unpleasant than if it was short and sharp – because our remembering self has no concept of duration and only remembers peak intensity.  And the former soccer player can use it in reverse.  Understand that his memories are fundamentally flawed, and focus on trying to remember what was unpleasant, what was difficult about his soccer career rather than the dreamy, idealized version his remembering self will cook up.  And he can focus on gratitude for the good in his present life, because gratitude cuts through the haze produced by comparing the past with the present.

        30. Tom10

          @ Jeremy
          “When most of us seek happiness, we prioritize the present, the experiencing self.  But what determines our perception of how happy we are with our lives is our remembering self, and it has a shitty memory.”
           
          “We can’t change that.  But we can USE it if we understand it.” 
           
          Thanks for your response; it’s true, we (my mates and I) tend to forget all the bad nights out and endlessly regale in only the great nights out. Perhaps such reminiscing is inadvertently reinforcing our shitty remembering self.
           
          As it happens I read an article this morning on a former soccer player struggling with this very issue:
           
          “I just miss that chemical that comes out of you. I have not been able to replace it. This is a great way to get that back.
           

           
          Rather than do as you advise [“focus on trying to remember what was unpleasant”, then “focus on gratitude for the good in his present life” ]- he’s decided to go back and become a boxer for another fix instead! I wonder what he’ll do after boxing? UFC?
           
          The original question still remains though; was it the right thing to do to experience the fun days from the bar-scene in the first place, knowing that one might then sense life that follows as tedium? On balance, for me, I think that yes it was.
           
          All I need to do now is implement your technique of controlling my remembering self. 😉

        31. Emily, the original

          Tom10,

          The original question still remains though; was it the right thing to do to experience the fun days from the bar-scene in the first place, knowing that one might then sense life that follows as tedium? On balance, for me, I think that yes it was.

          I don’t idealize my 20s, but don’t you miss the sense of community you had with your friends? And the kind of reckless inappropriateness you got to display sometimes (if only because you had too many shots)? All of that changes once people start getting married and having kids. Everything becomes very … staid.

        32. Tom10

          @ Emily, the original
          “Don’t you miss the sense of community you had with your friends? And the kind of reckless inappropriateness you got to display sometimes (if only because you had too many shots)?” 
           
          Boy do I.
           
          But that’s your remembering self playing tricks on you Emily and affording undue importance to anticipating your experiencing self; do you not also remember the ridiculous alcohol-fueled spats you had with your friends? The times you had a few too many? The times you lost your phone/wallet…the list could go on a bit. If it wasn’t then you’d still be out hitting the clubs.
           
          Er…something like that.
           
          “Everything becomes very … staid”.
           
          I think we need to focus on the pleasant parts of said staidness; the clear head, the boundless energy, the lack of anxiety, the new-found time, energy and money to make productive use of weekends – that’s what we need to focus on going forward. We have to!
           
          That said; I’d love to meet ya for a few shots sometime Emily! 😉

        33. Emily, the original

          Tom10,

          But that’s your remembering self playing tricks on you Emily and affording undue importance to anticipating your experiencing self; do you not also remember the ridiculous alcohol-fueled spats you had with your friends?

          HA! Yes. One time I got so mad at a friend, I threw a drink in his face! He loved it. He was high drama.

          The times you had a few too many? The times you lost your phone/wallet…the list could go on a bit. If it wasn’t then you’d still be out hitting the clubs.

          To be honest, I can count on my hand the times I’ve drunk so much that I got sick. I don’t miss the clubs so much as the sense that you and your friends were this group against the world … It’s quite different now. Now people want to do things like … go to lunch.

            I think we need to focus on the pleasant parts of said staidness; the clear head, the boundless energy, the lack of anxiety, the new-found time, energy and money to make productive use of weekends –

          What do you do that’s productive (no snark intended)? Actually, I’m in a high stress time right now. I quit my job about a month ago and moved six hours away to attend college for one semester to update my skills. Fingers crossed I get a job when I get out because I’m going to run out of money eventually.
          That said; I’d love to meet ya for a few shots sometime Emily!

          LOL    Vodka. Straight. No chaser.

        34. Jeremy

          Emily and Tom,

           

          The Idealist strives for meaning and identity – without these, she feels adrift and purposeless.  The Explorer/Artisan seeks sensation and experience, without which he feels restless.  The Idealist with a side of Explorer seeks Meaning THROUGH experience  (or sometimes experience through meaning).

           

          In order to be happy in life, we need positive affect, engagement, relationships, meaning, and achievement (the PERMA principle).  But depending on our personality, we are predisposed to seek just one aspect of PERMA.  The idealist seeks the meaning.  The explorer seeks positive affect.  The rational seeks engagement and achievement.  But if we only focus on the aspect our personality prioritizes, our remembering self eventually feels like our lives are empty.  The Idealist needs to seek achievement – she needs no encouragement to seek meaning.  The Explorer needs to seek meaning – he needs no encouragement to seek positive affect.  The Rational needs to seek relationships – he needs no encouragement to seek engagement.

        35. Jeremy

          Sorry if that last post came off a bit airy-fairy – I couldn’t think of a less pretentious way to say it.

        36. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          The Idealist with a side of Explorer seeks Meaning THROUGH experience  (or sometimes experience through meaning).

          This pretty much describes my personality, but I find that  meaning comes from experiences with other people, which can often fall short,  particularly if you are hoping for a depth of experience. So I am not focusing on the achievement.

        37. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          Meant to write: I am NOW focusing on the achievement.

    4. 8.4
      Tim

      Marika

      Either date virgins as Alex refers to above, or accept that the women you date have slept with other people, who shock-horror may have been hotter than you! And she may have slept with one of these hotties a week earlier than she’s sleeping with you!!! The heartless creature.

      In that case the ideal relationship ‘equal’ for this woman would be the guy who has had his passionate flings with hot gorgeous model types, but couldnt keep them interested or grew tired because they required constant courting. He thinks of you as the calculated, less hot/attractive, but more stable and trusty choice.

       

      1. 8.4.1
        Sum Guy

        Tim @8.4

        You say this like it doesn’t happen.  There is also so much more than sheer looks to “hotness.”   Your comment also elevates looks to some pinnacle that trumps every thing else, as if your current girlfriend/boyfriend isn’t the “hottest” one to date you are somehow settling.

        I can say the best looking women, by main stream culture standards, have not been the best in bed or the most compatible.  Suspect the same is true for women as well, and so I’ve heard from some of my female friends.  Looks are only one part of chemistry.

      2. 8.4.2
        Alex

        @Tim

        Was this meant to be negative?

        I would have no problem knowing my boyfriend or husband had slept with really hot women in the past that were problem girlfriends. If he actively chose me for qualities beyond looks, then I would be pleased as punch. Obviously, he would still need to be attracted to me, but I’m comfortable with a medium chemistry and great compatibility.

    5. 8.5
      Benjamin

      Either date virgins as Alex refers to above, or accept that the women you date have slept with other people, who shock-horror may have been hotter than you! And she may have slept with one of these hotties a week earlier than she’s sleeping with you!!! The heartless creature..

      As a man I can never understand why a woman would have sex with a man earlier because he was hotter. We are either attracted to a woman or not. I have dated some very hot women and also some overweight plain Janes. In all cases, how early I wanted to have sex with them had nothing to do with their relative attractiveness. The fact that I was going on dates with them already meant that I wanted to have sex with them.

      Can you imagine a man saying this about a woman he is interested in dating for long term?
      I wouldn’t have considered her hot/sexy/exciting enough for a one night stand or a hook up.

      Very unlikely and nonsensical, right? But you surely can find many women all over the world who think this way about their husbands, boyfriends, and the men they are interested in dating for long term.

      Perhaps women need to reflect upon their counter-intuitive mentality regarding sex and understand why its part of the problem.

      1. 8.5.1
        Kenley

        I am one of those women who feels that if I am going to have a one night stand or hook up the guy has to be hot as fuck.  I thought long and hard about why that is.   Here’s my answer…  A one night stand or a hook up is an indulgence that doesn’t meet all of my relationship nutritional needs.  It’s  something that I want on occasion, but it’s not good for me my long term relationship health,  So, when I decide to do it, I want to full on, all out, mind-blowing pleasure.  That means that guy has to have a good looking face, a hot body, and we must share great chemistry.  Let’s be clear — a good face and attractive body don’t always equal great chemistry.  And on rare occasions, sometimes there is great chemistry even if the face and body aren’t great.  But, for a ons or hook-up, I want all three.  The analogy would be if I am going to cheat on my diet and indulge in some ice cream,  I am going for the full fat, all the add-ins I love Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.  I am not going to go for the store brand low fat yogurt.  With these guys, I am under no illusion that a relationship will come out of the encounter.

        While some people seem to suggest that all men will have sex with any woman even ones they don’t find attractive, what I have seen suggests something different.  I think the men who will have sex with any woman regardless of whether he finds her attractive or not are  men who are desperate for sex.   If we use my diet analogy,  these men are starving so yeah, they will eat anything they can get their hands on.  The men who aren’t desperate do insist on having sex with the type of woman they find attractive in both face and body.

         

        1. Tom10

          @ Kenley #8.5.1
          “I am one of those women who feels that if I am going to have a one night stand or hook up the guy has to be hot as fuck.
           
          “one night stand or a hook up is an indulgence that doesn’t meet all of my relationship nutritional needs”.
           
          That means that guy has to have a good looking face, a hot body, and we must share great chemistry”
           
          Thanks for your honesty Kenley; as I suspected so. When it comes to one-night-stands or hook-ups women will prioritize chemistry and attraction – and why wouldn’t you if you’re not receiving any other reciprocal benefits? Lucky for the guys with good looking faces and hot bodies. Not so lucky for the guys with neither.
           
          But, conversely, this means that when considering romantic relationships other than one-night-stands or hook-ups you’re prepared to relax your hotness quotient? And this is the cause of the anxiety Jeremy and YAG refer to; so you want to have your one night stand with your “hot as fuck” guy, and then come to me for your other needs? No thanks.

        2. Benjamin

          Kenley

          No where did I suggest that men dont have standards and will have sex with any woman including ones they dont find attractive. I was only saying that for men; relationship-worthy women are a subset of casual-sex-worthy women. And it makes logical sense because sexual attraction is a pre-requisite and a basic level filter for potential relationships.

          As for your casual sex = indulgence argument; it is clear that you have a special ‘reverence’ for the men who you have casual sex with. Clearly you rank them very highly in terms of desirability and the only ones worthy and deserving enough for the ‘precious gift’ of no strings sex.

          Men often come under fire for judging formerly promiscuous women. But when it comes down to it, its not having x number of partners that most men have a problem with. It is the indulgence mentality that you have described.  Otherwise men would stop caring about women’s past altogether before deciding to emotionally invest in them. Doesnt matter if she has hooked up with one guy or 50 in the past.

          For me personally, the realization that I am not wanted for sex alone (not a big ask) and that the sex in a relationship is a by-product for the woman, is not a good one.  Its not a healthy view of sex either.

        3. Katie

          Tom10 said “…so you want to have your one night stand with your “hot as fuck” guy, and then come to me for your other needs? No thanks.”

          No. I think most women want a real partner to bang. But if that’s not an option and we’re horny, then fine. Maybe a casual encounter, but the physical requirements are way higher if there isn’t the relationship factor.

           

        4. Callie

          Tom – Kenley is just one person. I’m not sure if you’ve read any of my posts here, but I’ve seen quite the opposite with many of my female friends. That one of the biggest driving factors for them is how attracted a dude is to them, not how attracted they are to him. Of course this applies to a very particular kind of woman: one who is rejected a fair bit, or who has her eye on someone who is not interested in her, or one who is just out of a break up etc. Basically a woman who is seeking the feeling of being wanted. Being wanted is huge when you’ve felt so low and rejected so much. I know many women who have been with guys they have not been particularly attracted to just to have that feeling. Even if it’s only for a night.

          Not saying it’s healthy, in fact I think Kenley’s version is much healthier – having ONS because you are hot for someone in an animalistic way is so much healthier than wanting to have a ONS with someone to feel like you have value. But nonetheless this is a very common thing.

        5. Emily, the original

          Tom10,

          But, conversely, this means that when considering romantic relationships other than one-night-stands or hook-ups you’re prepared to relax your hotness quotient? And this is the cause of the anxiety Jeremy and YAG refer to; so you want to have your one night stand with your “hot as fuck” guy, and then come to me for your other needs? No thanks.

          But men do this, too! Everybody compromises. A 7 chemistry, as espoused on this site, isn’t someone a woman necessarily takes one look at and says, “Wow, he’s hot as fuck!” That doesn’t mean the woman doesn’t find the man appealing. It’s just not to the same degree. She’s weighing his other attributes. Expecting a woman to only consider men she regards as hot as fuck for longterm partnerships is the equivalent of the woman on the previous post who wanted her boyfriend to think she looked better than Angelina Jolie.

        6. Alex

          @Tom10 & Benjamin & Jeremy

          I once had a month long tryst with a really really hot guy. Like a genuine 10 in looks -chiseled jaw line, broad shoulders, six pack. In fact, he was recently featured in a beer commercial as a generic hot guy on a beach. Basically, I slept with him right away and I don’t regret it at all. But! He was an asshole. He was totally self absorbed, wasn’t funny and spent more time on his hair than me.

          I would happily, HAPPILY date someone who is not nearly as good looking, but is kind and funny and very much into me. Yes I will probably go on at least 4 – 6 dates with this man before sleeping with him. But I think it will be a much better relationship for me as well as the guy. I also don’t believe this man should feel at all threatened by the beer model guy.

          Does this at all make you guys feel better? Because this is generally what the women are trying to say – yes, some guys are hotter than you, but that doesn’t mean we’re blind to your amazing qualities. And we’re looking for them! And if you can stand to wait a little bit, you’ll probably be sleeping with a woman who likes you a lot more than she likes random hot guy.

        7. Tom10

          @ Katie
          “No…Maybe a casual encounter, but the physical requirements are way higher if there isn’t the relationship factor”
           
          I think the three of us (you, Kenley and I) are actually saying the same thing. Yes?
           
          @ Callie
          “Tom – Kenley is just one person. I’m not sure if you’ve read any of my posts here, but I’ve seen quite the opposite with many of my female friends”
           
          Good point. One thing that seems to be clear from the various female contributors on this thread is that there are as many different reasons women have casual encounters as there are different women.
           
          And that men tend to only look the few particular reasons (as listed by Kenley) that we don’t like. As it dents our ego. 🙁
           
          Typical guy: “What? You mean I’m not the best-looking, smartest, most-talented, funniest man you’ve ever been with?!”
           
          Wife: “of course you are honey” *while secretly rolling her eyes*
           
          Ultimately, as Shaukat noted, how a man feels about these matters is more a matter of how we secure we are with ourselves. If we’re secure in our own attributes, qualities and sexual prowess then we shouldn’t be bothered.
           
          @ Emily, the original
          “But men do this, too! Everybody compromises”
           
          True. Do you know Emily, your list of reasons you have casual encounters the other day was illuminating for me as I’d never considered many of them. And I thought I had it all figured out.
           
          I have a tendency to synthesize dating into broad black-and-white paradigms; the wonderful reality of dating is that it’s actually more like a few billion shades of grey. 😉

        8. Callie

          Tom – totally! And I mean I don’t fault people for their insecurities, we all have them! I just think it’s super important for some of the guys here to really take in what so many of us female posters are saying because I think it’s helpful. I think it can help assuage certain fears and yet again demonstrate how, just like men, women are unique individuals too. We make choices for so many different reasons. Just like you guys. 🙂

        9. Emily, the original

          Tom10,

          Ultimately, as Shaukat noted, how a man feels about these matters is more a matter of how we secure we are with ourselves. If we’re secure in our own attributes, qualities and sexual prowess then we shouldn’t be bothered.

          Can I ask you something? If it’s just a one-nighter and you’ll never see this woman again, why would you care if she thinks you lack sexual prowess?Have you never hooked up with a woman and the encounter wasn’t all that great for you?

          Do you know Emily, your list of reasons you have casual encounters the other day was illuminating for me as I’d never considered many of them. And I thought I had it all figured out.

          That’s what I’m here for. Illumination.  🙂

        10. Katie

          @Tom.

          No. You snipped my post so that it seemed to support your assertion. You only quoted this:

          “No…Maybe a casual encounter, but the physical requirements are way higher if there isn’t the relationship factor”

          When I actually said was that we usually want a relationship and we want to get sexual and emotional support through that. BUT if that’s not an option, then some would be more likely to consider a hot fling.

          Your statement here…

          “so you want to have your one night stand with your “hot as fuck” guy, and then come to me for your other needs? No thanks.”

          …suggests to me that you think in a perfect world women would have a GQ model to fuck and more reliable guy to have a relationship with. This is simply not the case.

          Speaking for myself, and I don’t think I’m in the minority here, the best sex I’ve had hasn’t come from the most conventionally attractive. In fact the best sex I’ve had has come from some of the more BELOW average in looks guys. But ones that were confident, and shamelessly kinky and exploratory in the bedroom with great communication skills.

          That’s what makes my panties drop.

          Super hot guys are kinda at a bit of a DISADVANTAGE in my book, because they often have this attitude like all they have to do is show up, pound away. They often don’t learn about themselves or their partners sexually, and don’t push boundaries or explore their kinks.

          Just my humble opinion.

           

        11. Tom10

          @ Emily, the Original.
          “Can I ask you something? “
           
          Of course you can Emily; you can ask me anything 🙂
           
          “If it’s just a one-nighter and you’ll never see this woman again, why would you care if she thinks you lack sexual prowess?
           
          For a one-nighter her opinion of my sexual prowess indeed doesn’t matter; therefore I don’t care if she thinks I’m awesome or lousy.
           
          The issue was how a guy feels when he finds out his relationship-partner slept with other guys quicker than she has with him; this can make *some* guys feel inadequate. Shaukat’s point is that if he’s secure in his own prowess he shouldn’t care.
           
          “Have you never hooked up with a woman and the encounter wasn’t all that great for you?”
           
          Nope never. I always enjoy hookups. 😉
           
          @ Katie
          “we usually want a relationship and we want to get sexual and emotional support through that. BUT if that’s not an option, then some would be more likely to consider a hot fling.”
           
          Well lucky for those who have the option of considering a hot fling. The guys who have an issue here simply don’t have the option of having hot flings: they either have ugly flings or no flings. Hence their insecurity I suppose.
           
          “suggests to me that you think in a perfect world women would have a GQ model to fuck and more reliable guy to have a relationship with. This is simply not the case.”
           
          Yes this is the fear that some guys have; that women want to bang their studs and then date Mr. Reliable once Mr. Stud moves on to his next conquest. However, most of the female commenters, except for Kenley and Alex )to an extent), have been at pains to deny that this is how they operate.
           
          “Super hot guys are kinda at a bit of a DISADVANTAGE in my book, because they often have this attitude like all they have to do is show up, pound away.” 
           
          Well most guys would take that disadvantage if they could, lol: if they can achieve their goals without learning about themselves or their partners why bother?

        12. Katie

          Tom says “Well most guys would take that disadvantage if they could, lol: if they can achieve their goals without learning about themselves or their partners why bother?”

          Most guys wouldn’t turn down a beefy stud body if it was offered them, no. But I DO think most men WOULD turn down a mentality of uncreative and uncurious sexual philosophy. 

          To be clear, I’m not saying all Channing Tatum types are sexually unimaginative. But I am saying that extreme physical attractiveness does not promote sexual self discovery and exploration, so they would have to work hard at that if they wanted it, I think.

        13. Katie

          But hook-ups with super sexy strangers are a bit like communism. Great in fantasy. But disappointing when you do try it. I think after the initial kink of stranger sex wears off, most people, men and women, find hot stranger sex a bit on the dull side.

          But sex with a partner that you have an intellectual and emotional connection with and mental attraction to? That’s hot  as fuck.

           

        14. Tom10

          @ Katie
          “But I DO think most men WOULD turn down a mentality of uncreative and uncurious sexual philosophy”. 
           
          Well this point is a total non-sequitur really isn’t it?
           
          As ALL men already have the potential to adjust their sexual philosophy so that it’s creative and curious, if they actually want to: if they don’t have it now it’s because they don’t want to/aren’t bothered in the first place.
           
          However, NOT all men have the potential to be super-hot, no matter how hard they try. So they have to examine other ways to achieve their goals.
           
          Therefore, the fact that the super-hot guys don’t often have this attitude is proof that the creative and curious sexual philosophy only becomes an issue with men who aren’t super-hot.
           
           
          Quod erat demonstrandum: most men would take that disadvantage if they could.

        15. Katie

          Tom said “As ALL men already have the potential to adjust their sexual philosophy so that it’s creative and curious, if they actually want to: if they don’t have it now it’s because they don’t want to/aren’t bothered in the first place.”

           

          Acknowledged.

           

          At this point I’m just talking about me, but speaking as a healthy and MODERATELY attractive woman who’s by no means a stunner, I’ll take the experiences and dating challenges and successes and failures that I’ve had over those of a more perfect looking woman. I like how they’ve shaped me and shaped my sex life and shaped my general outlook. I wouldn’t change it for anything.  But I’m speaking in anecdotes now.

           

          Basically, I hate seeing guys feel like because they don’t have a perfect jaw they are disadvantaged. For the most part, the only disadvantage they have is in their own heads.  I think that’s NOT always the case with women though. A below average looking woman faces ALOT more dating challenges than a below average man.

           

          But I’m just speaking for myself at this point.

        16. Tom10

          @ Katie
          “At this point I’m just talking about me”
           
          Acknowledged. 😉
           
          “I hate seeing guys feel like because they don’t have a perfect jaw they are disadvantaged. For the most part, the only disadvantage they have is in their own heads.  I think that’s NOT always the case with women though. A below average looking woman faces ALOT more dating challenges than a below average man.”
           
          I disagree; you’re forgetting that men, in general, are attracted to a far broader spectrum of women then women are men.
           
          Therefore, in my opinion, below average-looking men are severely more handicapped dating-wise than below average-looking women.
           
          Read Sum Guy’s comment #27.3.1:
          “Maybe I’m easily aroused, arousing, (picky to begin with) or all three, but I don’t find 8-10 chemistry dates rare, in fact about 1 in 4”
           
          And Emily, the original’s response:
          “That’s because you’re a man!  🙂   I think I can count on both hands the number of men I’ve felt a 10 chemistry with in my life. I went out with 3 of them. An 8 level is still difficult to find in terms the options you have of who is asking you out. Not impossible, just not easy.”
           
          Ultimately, it’s kinda a moot point discussing who has it worse as nobody can change their genetics; all we can do is accept our reality, acknowledge that some people have it better than us and some have it worse, adopt a positive attitude, then make the most of what we’ve got 😉

        17. Emily, the original

          Tom10,
           
          Ultimately, it’s kinda a moot point discussing who has it worse as nobody can change their genetics; all we can do is accept our reality, acknowledge that some people have it better than us and some have it worse, adopt a positive attitude, then make the most of what we’ve got 😉

          Well, Mr. Thomas … how many women have you felt a 10-level chemistry for? And by 10, I’ll define it by a Prince song:

          I get delirious whenever you’re near
          Lose all self-control, baby just can’t steer

          I get delirious when you hold my hand
          Body gets so weak I can hardly stand

          Are you getting it? The person makes you drool-level goofy. All reason and logic go out the widow. You can barely remember your own name. By 8, I mean that I think the guy is really cute and I’m definitely feeling an attraction and an energy and thinking there could be, in the not-to-distant future, an extended throw-down. But if nothing materializes, I’ll be disappointed but not crushed.

          So that’s the range. How many of the 8 to 10 chemistry women have you gone out with (she has to have said yes) or hooked up with since the first of the year?

        18. Tom10

          @ Emily, the Original
          “Well, Mr. Thomas … how many women have you felt a 10-level chemistry for? How many of the 8 to 10 chemistry women have you gone out with (she has to have said yes) or hooked up with since the first of the year?”
           
          Well Emily, I had just written a lengthy reply replete with numbers and statistics to prove my point, and then YAG posted this in comment 27.3.1.3:
           
          “I have dated the better part of 100 women since re-entering the dating pool, and I have not had true, full-on sexual chemistry with one”
           
          which kind of invalidates what I was gonna say about male sexuality being more indiscriminate than female sexuality.
           
          But to answer your question I’ve only felt that intense delirious chemistry (limerance?) once in my early 20s. I’ve met women with whom I’ve equal or more chemistry since; however, I don’t feel that intensity/excitement/rush anymore, with anyone.
           
          I have a theory (with no evidence) that that feeling is a drug like any other; you remember your first hit the most then spend the rest of your life trying to recapture it, although biologically you can’t. Now, with other drugs you can just move onto harder and harder drugs; not so much with people. 🙁
           
          Maybe I’m wrong though Emily; you seem to have felt that intense “10-level” chemistry a few times…   🙂

        19. Emily, the original

          Tom10,

          But to answer your question I’ve only felt that intense delirious chemistry (limerance?) once in my early 20s. I’ve met women with whom I’ve equal or more chemistry since; however, I don’t feel that intensity/excitement/rush anymore, with anyone.

          I’m confused. How have you felt an equal amount of chemistry that you did with this woman you meet in your early 20s but not felt a rush of excitement? What do you feel, then? Awakenings in the undercarriage?

           Maybe I’m wrong though Emily; you seem to have felt that intense “10-level” chemistry a few times…   🙂

          A handful of times in my life. One in the last six years. Even the back of that guy’s head turned me on!  🙂

      2. 8.5.2
        Emily, the original

        Benjamin,

        I wouldn’t have considered her hot/sexy/exciting enough for a one night stand or a hook up. Can you imagine a man saying this about a woman he is interested in dating for long term?

        Yes. What you look for in a long-term partner is different than what you look for in a hook up, if you are in fact looking for a high-chemistry, super-sexy hookup. However, that same man may make a horrible long-term partner.

        Very unlikely and nonsensical, right? But you surely can find many women all over the world who think this way about their husbands, boyfriends, and the men they are interested in dating for long term.

        Attraction is important in a long-term partner but it’s juggled with a lot of other factors. I have two male friends who have implied they in no way married the women they were most attracted to. One said his wife was a good person and a good mother. The other said his wife helped him get stable financially. They’re both happily married but it’s not a passion fest.

      3. 8.5.3
        Sum Guy

        Benjamin @8.5

        “As a man I can never understand why a woman would have sex with a man earlier because he was hotter. ”

        Really?  This is exactly how men think.  It’s the whole crazy-hot matrix thing.  The idea a guy will sleep with any woman (or try), at least once, if she is hot enough not matter how crazy she is.   The idea that hotness can make a man or woman take more sexual risk should not be a surprise.

        Not that I really think it is that simple when people make the decision to sleep with someone quickly.

        1. Alex

          @Sum Guy

          Thank you for this comment! It really is crazy how the men are so surprised to find that women are taken in by good looks. Men are famous for judging women on their looks only!

          In all seriousness, it really is much more complicated than this – people are all different and chemistry is a strange thing, but yes, women do like to sleep with hot men sometimes. No, it’s not the only thing we consider for our entire lives.

  9. 9
    Marika

    Emily said:

    And why are all your answers so Machiavellian? I’ll be honest: It’s creepy, and if I can feel it over an anonymous internet post, I’m imagining it may come off in person.

    It’s more than creepy, it’s downright predatory. Among other dodgy things, you trick women into revealing their sexual past by creating intimacy that doesn’t exist, so then you can hold it against them: scary stuff. It’s like women are subhuman, so any unethical behaviour towards them is okay (oh, unless they’re your daughter).

    Adrian, hopefully this is a lesson in what not to do.

    1. 9.1
      Emily, the original

      Marika,

      It’s more than creepy, it’s downright predatory.

      I feel like I need to send out an all-points female bulletin!  🙂

  10. 10
    Marika

    GWTF:

    It’s TMI and these women would probably do better in the dating and mating world if they kept their personal information personal, i.e. exercise discretion about whom you share your sexual info with.

    While that’s a fair point, in a long-term relationship I wouldn’t want to feel that I had to hide my past so as not to ‘upset’ an insecure boyfriend. Example: my ex freaked out when he found a photo album on my shelf with photos of my ex-boyfriend before him. He wanted me to destroy all the photos and get rid of the jewellery he had given me. I once mentioned that said boyfriend had won the university medal, and because my ex was insecure about his academic skills, he couldn’t handle that and it caused a fight. This type of stuff smacks of that level of insecurity and pretence that no past existed prior to the current relationship. While it’s good not to overshare, I think it’s silly to be so overly concerned about what someone did before they even met their current partner. I recall Evan talking about how his wife went through a period of ‘sowing her oats’ after her divorce. They probably talked about it briefly and had a good laugh. That would be preferable to all sorts of interrogation about how many people she slept with and how fast etc., and why was it faster than me, that affects my smv…it’s a waste of energy to care so much.

    Also, as YAG pointed out, a woman can get lulled into a sharing session with a man and divulge more than perhaps she should, because she feels (falsely) comfortable with the man. Such things can happen, I can imagine that could potentially happen to me as I’m a fairly trusting person. It would be nice if rather than having to be on your toes you could share with a partner without being all concerned that it would come back to bite you.

    1. 10.1
      Gala

      It would be nice if rather than having to be on your toes you could share with a partner without being all concerned that it would come back to bite you.

      It’s a win-win situation, Marika. “Tricking” a woman with false comfort into oversharing so that you can judge her for it? That’s sick, twisted behavior, i would want to know early on about such deep personality issues, so that I could make an informed decision to dump such guy.

    2. 10.2
      GoWiththeFlow

      Marika,

      We’re not talking about photos of an ex, jewelry received, or talking about an ex’s academic or business awards.  We’re talking about sexual acts you’ve engaged in with other people.  BIG difference!

      I also talked about using discretion within the context of a discussion about the men on this blog reporting that women are spilling the beans in the early stages of dating/being in a relationship or with co-workers or casual friends.  That is a completely different scenario than “. . . in a long-term relationship I wouldn’t want to feel that I had to hide my past so as not to ‘upset’ an insecure boyfriend.”  Evan and his wife having a good laugh over her having sown wild oats after her divorce is a way different scenario than a woman telling a man on date #2 that she used to sleep with men on the first or second date, but now she’s looking for a commitment so she wants to hold off.

      It’s not about having to be on your toes and vigilantly guard yourself all the time.  It’s about laying down boundaries and truly believing that there are areas in your life that no one HAS to know about.  You don’t have to disclose everything up front in the name of building a connection or trust.  All a man needs to know from me at the beginning of a relationship is that I’m not a virgin (the child I birthed should tell them that), I find them attractive, and I’m interested in sex with them in the near future.  If down the road it turns into a wonderful relationship or marriage, sure details will come out organically.  But that is after they know me and we’ve built up a well of trust and a rapport that allows us to both be vulnerable.

      1. 10.2.1
        Marika

        That sounds lovely, GWTF and I could easily get on board with what you’re saying. But from what the guys are saying (even Tom who in my mind is pretty hip & happening), that isn’t the case. They could never deal with knowing that you slept with some guy faster than them. Even after being married for 10 years, finding out some aspect of your sexual past that bothered them could mess with their self esteem and niggle away at them.

        That’s what concerns me. My ex was so insecure I was constantly walking on eggshells to protect his fragile ego. My past wasn’t my past (& was pretty vanilla anyway), it all somehow reflected back on him.

        The concept that most/many men are a bit that way is highly depressing.

        1. Tom10

          @ Marika #10.2.1
          “But from what the guys are saying (even Tom who in my mind is pretty hip & happening), that isn’t the case. They could never deal with knowing that you slept with some guy faster than them”. 
           
          Lol, what an unusual compliment Marika.
           
          Actually, like Shaukat, I don’t really care at all about a woman’s sexual history and am amused rather than threatened when women regale me with their past sexual escapades. Nor am I bothered when I find out that women I date have slept with other men much quicker than they have with me.
           
          However, I haven’t always been like that. When I was a young man I viscerally felt the sensation that YAG and Jeremy refer to – it really can eat at a man’s core if he’s in any way insecure about his sexuality/sexual prowess.
           
          It took some work and time to deal with this insecurity though, to the point now where I don’t care. So women I date don’t need to hide their history because it doesn’t affect me.
           
          My personal theory is that this insecurity is an instinctive mechanism inbuilt into the male psyche to prevent being cuckolded; an evolutionary fear of raising another man’s progeny. So we fear women who have quick sex with (hot) men with high-quality-genes, then date chumps for their resources once the hot guy moves on to impregnate other women.
           
          No guy wants to be that chump; we want our genes passed on. Lol.
           
          Nowadays, however, with DNA testing and contraception, this rationale has become obsolete, therefore, by extrapolation, this fear should also become obsolete. Which is why I no longer care.
           
          Getting to that point can be difficult for some though…

        2. GoWiththeFlow

          Marika & Tom,

          FWIW I have never have a man make inquiries into my body count, or how quickly I’ve slept with other men, or asked me for a list of acts I’ve participated in.  I think they either didn’t care or they weren’t going to ask questions they may not have liked the answers to.

          In return, I don’t quiz the men I have been in relationships either.  For me it’s both a combination of don’t care and maybe I really don’t want to know.  I don’t think that a man who has had a lot of sexual partners is a bad relationship risk.  Nor do I think a man who has a low N is low value or will be “bad” in bed.  People are multidimensional and I’ve found that things like self-awareness, a sense of empathy, and a sense of curiosity are more predictive of whether a man will be a good relationship partner or whether the sex will be good.

        3. Emily, the original

          GoWiththeFlow,

          FWIW I have never have a man make inquiries into my body count, or how quickly I’ve slept with other men, or asked me for a list of acts I’ve participated in.

          That’s funny you write that because I also read Susan Walsh’s blog “Hooking Up Smart.” This very topic came up several months. The younger women (the millennials) had exchanged partner number and sexual history with their current significant others. They used the information to determine if they would be a good fit sociosexually (meaning: did they look at sex the same way?). Us “women of a certain age” balked at the idea of revealing that to a longterm partner.

        4. Selena

          It’s been my experience that serious relationships tend to get mentioned over time naturally as two people get to know each other. Short term  relationships, casual situations, one-offs and how long one waited to have sex with particular individuals? Rarely, if ever. Why bother?  Bleh.

          When I am with a man I want him to be focused on being with me, not thinking about me and other men I knew and am no longer involved with.  And I don’t want the picture of him doing sexual things with other women in my head either.  Has nothing to do with “hiding” a past.

          My takeaway from this discussion is if a woman tells a man she is dating she doesn’t have sex without exclusivity…LEAVE IT AT THAT. There is absolutely no good reason to go on about how she didn’t used to have that policy and now she does.  And save the “That one time, at band camp…” stories for the people who know you well, not your dates.

           

  11. 11
    Jeremy

    @Emily, Alex, Marika, GWTF re: the conversation above.  My approach is different than YAG’s (surprise?).  Can we talk for a moment about validation?

     

    Imagine dating a man who was doing everything right.  He was planning, paying, was good-looking and made good conversation.  And because you like him, you want him to court you.  And you want him to WANT to court you – because having a high-quality man WANT to court you is validating, no?  Now let’s say you discover that this guy has had multiple first-dates in the past with women and on the very first date, he spontaneously bought them flowers, jewelry, and asked them to be exclusive.  What would you think of this man?  Would his “quality” perhaps go down in your eyes?  And more importantly, would his *wanting* to court you seem less validating to you?  I bet it would.  Because most women derive validation from being courted – and the higher quality the man who wants to court them – and not other women – the more the validation.

     

    Women do not court men.  Men do not want to be courted by women.  Men derive validation, generally, from sex and admiration by high-quality women.  And not just from the sex and admiration, but from the fact that this high-quality woman wants to have sex with and admire HIM, and not other men.  And just as a woman who discovers that a man has offered commitment very quickly in the past might view such a man’s commitment as less valuable, so might a man who discovers the same about a woman’s sexuality.

     

    I am not writing this to be prescriptive to presume to tell women what to do.  I am writing this so that people will understand how other people derive validation.  Because one can not have a successful relationship with another human being and consistently undercut their primary validation pathway.  When I entered a long-term relationship with my (now) wife, I threw out the old picture albums of my old girlfriends because they bothered my wife.  I did not judge her as immature, I understood her.

     

    Evan’s mantra is “understand men, find love.”  Mine is “understand yourself, find love.”  The two go hand-in-hand, and the one does not work unless you also do the other.

    1. 11.1
      Marika

      Jeremy, while I understand what you’re saying, would you suggest a woman lie about her past to keep a man happy & feeling validated? Is that healthy? All us ladies are making the point that you can’t change the past. That’s the bit that seems to be getting lost on you guys. You can throw out photo albums, but you can’t change what you’ve done with other people.

      Also, in your example, if a man said to me that he used to go overboard on first dates, but he realized over time it was better to go slowly and get to know the other person, rather than lavish them with gifts, I would completely understand. I wouldn’t insist he lavish me with gifts or track down all his or other dates and ask for them back. If I did I would be crazy & insecure.

      Sorry, I think you’ve completely lost me on this one. I really think the expectation that a woman treat every man she’s ever been with exactly the same no matter what, or risk damaging his pride is completely unreasonable.

      1. 11.1.1
        Tom10

        @ Marika #11.1
        “Also, in your example, if a man said to me that he used to go overboard on first dates, but he realized over time it was better to go slowly and get to know the other person, rather than lavish them with gifts, I would completely understand.”
         
        I think Jeremy touched on the nub of the issue here but didn’t parse it exactly.
         
        Let’s say you meet a guy you really like Marika but you suspect, through his behavior, he wants “just sex”; you’re not completely sure of his level of interest.
         
        And then you subsequently found out he courted the last few women he went out with nice dinners and weekend trips away in the first few months of dating them.
         
        How would that make you feel that he sees you good enough for “just sex”, whereas he saw other women good enough to court? Would that make you feel less special than the women he saw good enough to court?
         
        That’s what it feels like to find out women we’ve courted have previously slept with men who have invested nothing; less special than those guys. And we don’t want to be seen as your “less special” choice; we want to be your number one choice.
         
        This, as YAG points, can niggle away at the back of a man’s mind and ultimately kill the relationship from the get-go.
         
        “would you suggest a woman lie about her past to keep a man happy & feeling validated? Is that healthy?”
         
        Just don’t talk about it. Keep all your past sexual escapades to yourself; future partners don’t need to know. If they push for details obfuscate or change the topic. Feel free to mention previous committed relationships though.
         
        Feeding a man’s ego, even if it pains you to do so, can achieve wonderful results. 😉

        1. Jeremy

          I think that whether or not women can understand men’s reasons for this, they should understand that most men do feel this way.

           

          I might catch a lot of hell for writing this, but whatever.  In my city, there is a yearly event called a “slut walk.”  It is organized by women’s groups who want to prove the point that women should be able to wear whatever they want without fear of being assaulted.  I TOTALLY agree that women should be able to dress however they want, and that dressing in a certain way is not asking to be assaulted.  100%.  But I also think this walk is an example of blind stupidity.  Because actions have consequences – and just because we don’t like them doesn’t mean they don’t exist.  Men are attracted to the female form.  99.9% of men who see a scantily-clad woman might appreciate her, but would never dream of assaulting her.  But that tiny 0.1% with poor impulse control?  They don’t care what the law says or what the right thing to do is.  They will act on impulse if temptation strikes, just as they might if they saw someone walking down the street with money hanging out of their pants.  So my advice to my daughters is – wear whatever you want, but understand the power of your clothing – it conveys a message.  If you want to be seen a certain way, dress that way.  And if you don’t want to be seen a certain way, don’t dress that way.  Think of the future!

           

          Why is this relevant?  Because in our conversation above, people are stating that a woman’s past “shouldn’t” matter.  Why do they think that?  Because they don’t WANT their past to matter.  But pasts definitely matter!  Anyone looking for a committed relationship who does not consider their partner’s past is a fool.  Now, what aspects of the past are important?  Depends on the priorities of the person.  The men here are telling the women that something matters to them.  Whether or not you agree, whether or not you can or would change anything, understand that this is not about immaturity but about differing priorities.  And just as people with differing sexual meta-goals can only have a relationship if they meet each other’s goals, people with differing priorities can only have a relationship if they meet each other’s priorities – NOT if they try to change each other’s priorities.

           

        2. Alex

          @Tom “Just don’t talk about it”

          I think that’s what most of the women here are saying. Sure, we all know that it’s bad for our dating lives to be perceived as “loose” so we just don’t talk about it. What’s triggering the outrage is YAG and (possibly) Jeremey’s insistence that men find out about a woman’s past in great detail before dating her.

          No man is going to go around explaining exactly when he decided to exclusively court each of his past girlfriends. Likewise, women don’t usually explain (or even keep track of) exactly when they decided to sleep with each guy.

          @Jeremy

          With regard to a man getting serious about each woman he dates immediately, I would think he simply didn’t have he self esteem to be on his own. I would t assume this had anything to do with me. Likewise, I assume that women who go around sleeping with tons of guys typically also have lower self esteem. This usually doesn’t have anything to do with how she feels about each guy.

          I think everyone would do better at dating by not automatically assuming everything is about themselves.

          Also, this is quite exhausting. Thank you everyone for reminding me why I avoid the comments.

        3. GoWiththeFlow

          Tom & Jerry,

          I totally get that men think this way.  That’s why up above in an exchange with Emily I wondered why in the world women are giving men the full detailed list of their past sexual activities, and discussing their sexual strategies with men they are in the early stages of dating.  Or, as I believe Adrian once said, women co-workers “bragged” at work about having had hookups with hotties while making their husband’s wait.  Discretion is a key concept to know how to use in life.  Maybe it’s a generational thing.  I have a sixty-something woman friend I’ve known well for 15 years.  She just recently told me about a ONS she had after her divorce decades ago.  She’s not ashamed of herself or wracked with guilt.  She just doesn’t freely share that information, she considers it highly personal.  She would never regale coworkers with this story.

          My point in this discussion is that women don’t punish men when they give them validating behavior.  If a man courts me and willingly puts off having sex with me until we are exclusive–follows my timeline–I don’t then value him less, much less assign him pejorative labels like slut or whore.  One of the reasons behind Evan’s “sexclusivity” advice is that men don’t value what’s easily achieved.

          So men receive masculine validation from a woman who’s just so turned on by him that she sleeps with him soon after meeting–follows his timeline.  But then he also holds it against her that she gave it up so easily.  “If she did it with me that easily, how many other guys has she done that with?”  A woman can’t ever do it “right” because in a sense we are being set up to fail.

          Jeremy, I agree that how a person dresses can send a negative message.  Two docs I work with, one a man who goes into the pre-operative area in dirty jeans and rumpled t-shirts.  The second a woman who walks into pre-op area in stilettos and glittery clothes.  In surveys, patients have expressed concerns about the doctor who looked like he just rolled out of bed in dirty clothes or the one who must be on her way to a party.

          Where I vehemently disagree with you is that revealing clothing inspires rape.  Stranger rape isn’t about overwhelming lust.  It’s about anger, hatred, feeling powerless and wanting exert control by inflicting, fear, pain, and humiliation.  Whether she is in heels and a mini skirt or sweat pants, what will make a woman a target for rape is opportunity.  It has more to do with whether she is alone in a poorly lit parking structure at night than what she’s wearing.

        4. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          The men here are telling the women that something matters to them.

          And that’s fine. If a woman’s casual-sex background is a deal breaker for some men, that’s ok. Everyone has a right to deal breakers. You know what would be one for a me (or at least cause for alarm)? Men who’d always had serious girlfriends. Gone from one to another with no break in between. I would wonder if he had any sense of independence.

        5. Shaukat

          Just don’t talk about it. Keep all your past sexual escapades to yourself; future partners don’t need to know. If they push for details obfuscate or change the topic.

          Perhaps I’m an outlier here, but as a guy I’ve never once been bothered if a woman I’ve been dating has mentioned she’s had ONS’s. In fact I prefer it, because it indicates to me that she’s not a prude.

          It doesn’t bother me because  a woman’s decision to have a ONS is usually based on two factors: how attractive the man happens to be (almost always has to beat average looking); and whether the woman is sexually available at that time. The latter is extremely important, and most men never even consider it. It depends on her emotional state, her headspace, how long it’s been since she’s had sex, is trying to get over a relationship, etc. In other words, her hooking up for one night with some rando while making you wait 3 dates or 3 weeks doesn’t necessarily mean she finds you less attractive (though it could).

          On the other hand, if she tells you that she hooked up with the last guy she had a relationship with on the 1st date and is making you wait, that’s a huge red flag. It means she’s hoping her attraction to you grows. NEXT.

          Also Tom, if you don’t mind sharing, could you tell me how often you hook up with 8 and 9s vs 7s and below? I only ask because you throw the numbers around so much that you’ve really piqued my curiosity;)

        6. Tom10

          @ Shaukat
          “Perhaps I’m an outlier here, but as a guy I’ve never once been bothered if a woman I’ve been dating has mentioned she’s had ONS’s. In fact I prefer it, because it indicates to me that she’s not a prude.”
           
          Well, actually, I don’t really care about a woman’s sexual history at all, whether that be extensive or conservative; I actually see it as none of my business.
           
          “It doesn’t bother me because  a woman’s decision to have a ONS is usually based on two factors: how attractive the man happens to be (almost always has to beat average looking); and whether the woman is sexually available at that time. The latter is extremely important, and most men never even consider it.”
           
          Interesting point and something I never considered before. You are correct; it’s an important consideration.
           
          I find my solution is the best for all these issues; don’t tell her about your history and don’t tell ask about hers. Can’t go wrong with that!
           
          “Also Tom, if you don’t mind sharing, could you tell me how often you hook up with 8 and 9s vs 7s and below?”
           
          Lol, not nearly as much as I’d want to Shaukat.

    2. 11.2
      Alex

      @Jeremy @YAG,

      I think the men and women here are talking about two totally different scenarios.

      In the men’s scenario, he is making a genuine effort with a woman for, say 3 weeks. During that period this woman is out having sex with random men regurlarly. I agree, that is very terrible for a woman to do. In fact, it’s also crappy for the man to do that. I would advise any man in that position to walk immediately.

      What the women are trying to say is that in the course of dating in general (looking for a serious boyfriend) most of us will have or have had casual sexual encounters for any number of reasons. Sometimes we think they’re super hot, sometimes we get confused and believe they care about us and sometimes we’re just bored. In the second scenario we don’t know when the next great relationship will come along so we’re just acting in our own interest. If a great guy starts treating a woman well, it’s pretty unlikely she’s going to go looking for strangers to have sex with. But her having a one night stand before she met you, even the day before, has nothing to do with you.

       

      1. 11.2.1
        Jeremy

        Alex,

        “Most of us will have had sexual encounters for any number of reasons.  Sometimes we think they’re super hot”  Ah, so the guy who waits is NOT super-hot.

         

        “Sometimes we get confused and believe they care about us” Ah, so you don’t believe that the man who courts you cares about you?  Or he just has to prove it more?

         

        “And sometimes we’re just bored.”  Ah, so you have sex when you’re bored…so why are we trying so hard to interest you?

         

        I agree with you that there are many reasons why a woman might have had a one-night stand with a man, but made another man wait.  None of those reasons will matter to the man.  Men don’t mind being made to wait, by and large, unless they know someone else didn’t have to.  This is a basic principle of behavioral economics – the issue of “framing.”  We see everything in context.

        1. Alex

          “Most of us will have had sexual encounters for any number of reasons.  Sometimes we think they’re super hot”  Ah, so the guy who waits is NOT super-hot.
          — possibly. I assume this guy has courted women who are hotter than me. Should I be freaking out? Does that mean he can’t possibly like me because he bought a hotter girl flowers? I don’t think so.

          “Sometimes we get confused and believe they care about us” Ah, so you don’t believe that the man who courts you cares about you?  Or he just has to prove it more?
          — Not “prove it more.” Just means I moved too fast and had to slow down. Has this man ever immediately gotten exclusive with a woman only to find out she doesn’t care about him? Seems like a pretty normal human experience to me.

          “And sometimes we’re just bored.”  Ah, so you have sex when you’re bored…so why are we trying so hard to interest you?
          — do men not also have sex when they’re bored/lonely/need attention? Is that really so hard to have empathy for?

          I assume that every man that I go out with has seriously courted (bought flowers, jewelry, committed early, went to family dinners) with:
          1) women who are hotter than me
          2) women who they believed were their soul mates/loves of their lives
          3) women they didn’t care much about but they were bored kinda bored at the time

          That’s part of being an adult, learning that your are not the center of the universe. Any man who could not at least empathize with me on these points is not mature enough for me to date. I understand feelings crop up that you can’t control (like when I feel bad because my date checks out another woman – even discreetly) but being an adult means parsing your feelings and deciding which ones are important day to day. Worrying about who your girlfriend slept with before you is not one of those things.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Alex

          If you take one thing away from this blog, it should be that sex and love are disconnected in men.  Sex is just sex to men.  That is why a man cheating on a wife is usually not a sign that the marriage is over like it is most of the time when a woman cheats.  The only thing that differentiates one woman from the next sexually is the price that a man has to pay to gain access to her vajayjay.

          As Jeremy alluded, a man will wait for sex as long as he knows that all men have to the pay the same price to know a woman in a biblical way.  However, if a woman has a bi-modal approach to sex where some men receive a rapid green light while others have to wait, men with options will balk.  That is why it is assumed within the male social hierarchy that a guy who has to wait for sex is less hot than a man who receives a rapid green light.  The greatest compliment that a woman who is selective can give to a man is to sleep with him on the first date.  A man leaves feeling like a special snowflake.

          As you can clearly see, the male mind does not work remotely like the female mind when it comes to sex.  Whether it is with a one-night stand or his girlfriend/wife, sex is just sex to a man.  Love is a related, but totally different experience. A man does not have to protect his heart because he does not engage it before, during, or after sex.   That is why men can have sex with women to whom that are not remotely attracted if they are horny enough.  Men will seriously date down if they are horny enough.

        3. Alex

          @YAG

          And also to watch out for “false intimacy” because that’s a thing now?

      2. 11.2.2
        Fleurdl123

        Exactly. Women are not using a potential boyfriend for dinners, gifts, ego boosts, etc. if a woman is excited to be courted by you, she isn’t having sex with other guys while making you wait.

    3. 11.3
      Gala

      Jeremy,

      just as “female form” will still be there if a woman cover up, her past will also be there is she chooses not to discuss it. So what you are essentially saying, is that women should “cover up” their past in order for a guy to feel validated. Which is ok, whatever. I think most women know that already. But let’s call a spade a spade: you are asking the woman to lie to you. To present the version of her past that would make you feel better about yourself. That’s fine. As long as you can own up to this for what it is. “Lie to me.” Then, I am sure, you’all understand why women need to be “lied to” on some other issues that are important to them as well. Can’t have it both ways.

      1. 11.3.1
        GoWiththeFlow

        Gala,

        It’s not a lie to NOT tell someone specifics about your past sex life.  Lying is saying you’re a virgin when you’re not.  Not telling someone information they aren’t asking for is not lying.  My grandmother who was married for over 65 years used to say that there were corners of her mind my grandfather didn’t need to see.  They were for her alone.

      2. 11.3.2
        Jeremy

        Gala, I think that white lies are important in any relationship.  The man who answers the question “do these jeans make my ass look fat?” honestly is an idiot.  But there are white lies and then there are big lies – the difference being the result if the lie is discovered.  My advice actually matches what Emily the Original wrote above – everyone has deal-breakers.  Decide what yours are, and honor them.  If it is important to a certain man to find a wife who has delayed gratification until she had a serious boyfriend because that would indicate that her values were on par with his, he should find such a woman, not a woman who lies about her past.  In a similar way, if a woman wants a man to whom her sexual past does not matter, she should find such a man, not a man she has to lie to.  Such men exist.  They are the ones whose sexual meta-goal is not validation.

        1. Gala

          The man who answers the question “do these jeans make my ass look fat?” honestly is an idiot.

          Thank you. I agree completely. So is the woman who honestly answers the question “so…. how many men have you been with?”

          As one of the SATC characters so pointedly remarked, “All the relationships I know are based on the foundation of lies… and mutually accepted delusion”. Amen to that.

      3. 11.3.3
        Marika

        I was trying to understand why this bothers me when I have a pretty conservative sexual past, and some of you phrased it better than me. Thank you ☺

        It’s because: you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Be honest and regret that honesty. Don’t be honest and later down the track something slips out: horror, you lied to me!

        I also think a few men on here think it’s their right to know a woman’s sexual history (even though they don’t really want to know): bit creepily paternalistic.

        Also: the double standard. The male sluts weighing in here, so it’s absolutely fine for you to sow your oats all over town in your days before settling down, but the woman better not have.

        We’ll try to protect your ego if you like, guys, but maybe, just maybe see that you have a role to play here in managing your own emotions and judgements.

        1. Jeremy

          @Marika, I can’t speak for the other men here, only for myself.  I am the farthest thing from a male “slut” that there is.  My “n” is absurdly low, and numbers exactly the number of serious girlfriends I had, which was not that many.  That is because I have certain views and beliefs about sex, which I adhere to.  And I searched for a partner whose values mirrored mine.

           

          For a promiscuous male to judge a promiscuous female – yeah, hyprocrisy would abound….but then, when has that stopped anyone?

        2. KK

          Yes, there is a double standard. Most of us learned this by the time we were in junior high.

          That being said, YAG’s comments are still absurd. How many times has he mentioned his 50+ partner count? He thinks this makes him a stud. Not to me. I also find it pretty hilarious that on another post he said divorced men shouldn’t getting involved with never married women. So… Maybe he shouldn’t get involved with women who have a partner count under 50. Lol.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @KK

          Why do women always have to turn this type of conversation into slut-shaming bitch session?  For me it is not partner count, it is the bimodal approach to sex that women believe is okay.  I have slept with women who have slept with more men than I have women.  They did not make me wait for sex.  The problem is occurs when a woman sleeps with some men without a commitment while making others wait.  That is the point of contention.  A woman cannot have it both ways and not expect a man who she made wait to lose it when he discovers that she did not make a recent encounter wait.

          If we want to talk about protecting hearts, this one cuts deep.  I have lost count of the number of guys that I have had to talk down from a ledge after they discovered that a woman for whom they waited and put up on a pedestal recently had NSA sex with other guys before she met him.  That is one of the worst insults that a woman can unknowingly levy on a man.  The man who had to wait feels emasculated.  In essence, a woman is telling the man who she made wait that he is less of a man than the man with whom she had NSA sex.   It does not matter how she feels.   That is what he feels.

    4. 11.4
      Emily, the original

      Jeremy,

      Imagine dating a man who was doing everything right.  He was planning, paying, was good-looking and made good conversation.  And because you like him, you want him to court you. Now let’s say you discover that this guy has had multiple first-dates in the past with women and on the very first date, he spontaneously bought them flowers, jewelry, and asked them to be exclusive.  What would you think of this man?  Would his “quality” perhaps go down in your eyes?  And more importantly, would his *wanting* to court you seem less validating to you? 

      This makes sense. Good analogy. But please, please, PLEASE understand … you and the other men on this blog … A woman having a ONS or a sex-only interaction with a man does not necessarily mean she’s really into the guy. A man could be mistaken if he thinks a woman who propositions him quickly after meeting him really digs him. She may .. but then she may not.

       

       

      1. 11.4.1
        Tom10

        @ Ms. the Original #11.4
        “please, please, PLEASE understand … you and the other men on this blog … A woman having a ONS or a sex-only interaction with a man does not necessarily mean she’s really into the guy”
         
        I really think you’re an outlier amongst women on this topic Emily; it’s my belief that the majority of women have to genuinely like a guy, on some level, to sleep with him.

        1. Emily, the original

          Tom10,

          it’s my belief that the majority of women have to genuinely like a guy, on some level, to sleep with him.

          You is wrong. Do you honestly think that every time a woman goes to bed with a man, she’s gaga over him? Have you never hooked up with someone for practice or because it’s been a while and an opportunity presented itself to you? Maybe you could see the effort you’d have to expend for it to happen would be low or maybe you enjoyed the seduction of it more than the actual sex.

        2. Tom10

          @ Ms. the Original
          “Do you honestly think that every time a woman goes to bed with a man, she’s gaga over him? “
           
          Not necessarily gaga, no, however, I think she has to be either:
           
          –          attracted to him physically,
          –          and/or attracted to his mind
           
          and for the majority of women, when they do have an ONS, they’re open to the possibility of (if not secretly hoping for) seeing him again with the potential of a relationship.
           
          “Have you never hooked up with someone for practice or because it’s been a while and an opportunity presented itself to you?”
           
          Yes of course (the opportunity bit, not really the practice bit), but I’m a guy; men relate differently to sex than women do.
           
          The only way we have of resolving this is for a few more female contributors to back you up or lend credence to my claim. 🙂
           
          So, ladies, any takers?

        3. Emily, the original

          Tom10

          Not necessarily gaga, no, however, I think she has to be either:
          –          attracted to him physically,
          –          and/or attracted to his mind
          and for the majority of women, when they do have an ONS,

          No. I mean, those things are nice, but not necessary. Haven’t you read Evan’s other posts about a woman who MARRIED a man she wasn’t attracted to? Read the posts form that. There were a lot of women chiming in that they’d tried to give a guy a chance (or were in a relationship with) a man they weren’t into physically.

          I’m not trying to sound mean, but who cares if women don’t have to be that into a guy to hook up with him? Does it challenge the idea that the women who you hooked up with all liked you? People are motivated by many different things. There’s no one answer to any of this, and women aren’t a monolithic blob. You have no idea what another person is thinking and they often don’t experience a situation (like a ONS) the same way. My last ONS? I did it for the sketch factor. I hated my job (have since left) and was bored … and an opportunity presented itself. So I thought: Why not?

        4. Tom10

          @ Emily, the original
          “Haven’t you read Evan’s other posts about a woman who MARRIED a man she wasn’t attracted to? Read the posts form that. There were a lot of women chiming in that they’d tried to give a guy a chance (or were in a relationship with) a man they weren’t into physically.”
           
          Well some women really want to get married, to the point where they’ll compromise (hugely) on attraction in order to do so. Just like some guys (like your ol’ buddy Mr. Magoo) really want to have easy sex, to the point where they’ll compromise (hugely) on attraction in order to do so.
           
          So those women are making a compromise on attraction in return for marriage; it’s a fair exchange.
           
          However, when it comes to one-night-stands what reciprocal benefit is the woman receiving for compromising on attraction? If she’s not receiving any form of commitment why would she compromise on attraction? Therefore, when it comes to casual sex, *most* women will only do so with guys they’re actually attracted to.
           
          “I’m not trying to sound mean”,
           
          Lol, your comments are never mean Emily so don’t worry about coming across that way. 😉
           
          “but who cares if women don’t have to be that into a guy to hook up with him?” 
           
          I don’t think anyone cares; however, I just don’t think that, on balance, it’s true for most women.
           
          “Does it challenge the idea that the women who you hooked up with all liked you?”
           
          Lol – the total opposite in fact; I’m flattered when women I’ve hooked up with don’t want to see me again. It’s actually a compliment for a man to be used by women for his body!
           
          However, again, men and women relate to sex differently. *Most* women, in my humble opinion, aren’t flattered to be used for their bodies.
           
          “People are motivated by many different things. There’s no one answer to any of this, and women aren’t a monolithic blob”. 
           
          Agreed, and I’ve met many women with your outlook, however, I think you’re in a subset.
           
          I really wish another woman would contribute on this one. GWtF? Marika? Anyone?

        5. Emily, the original

          My Dearest Thomas10,

          However, when it comes to one-night-stands what reciprocal benefit is the woman receiving for compromising on attraction?

          1.) The fun of the seduction. (What am I going to say to him? How am I going to get him back home? How am I going to get him into my room, etc.)

          2.) Practice (It’s been a while and she wants to be ready when the guy she really likes shows up. It’s much easier to practice with someone if you aren’t overly concerned about whether he likes you. )

          3.) Revenge (I know, it’s bad. But women have been known to hook up with a guy to stick it to an ex.)

          4.) Proximity/ease of pick up/lack of expended energy/opportunity

          5.) Her first choice isn’t available or interested

          I’ve met many women with your outlook, however, I think you’re in a subset.

          A subset of sketch … I’ll take it.  🙂    I’m not saying that women aren’t ever attracted to their ONS partners; it’s just not a requirement. But this idea that a woman meets some guy and she gets a huge lady boner and she’s in bed with him an hour later … yes, it happens, but it’s rare.
          I really wish another woman would contribute on this one. GWtF? Marika? Anyone?

          Alex wrote similar things to my posts. She even listed boredom as a reason.

        6. Marika

          Tom10

          Why do only some comments have a reply option?? Anyway… in terms of weighing in on Emily’s comments, I can’t relate to her relationship with ONS’s, as I’ve never had one. Not because she’s an outlier, I actually thought I was! I can’t imagine a scenario in which I’d have a ONS (a little Catholic guilt goes a long way!), but the guy would definitely need to be hot, hot, hot.

          I have many friends who’ve had plenty of ONS and they were for various reasons, not some traditional garbage about tricking an unsuspecting dude into a relationship or whatever.

          The closest thing to that for me was making out with the hot Brazilian an hour or two into our (only) date. Like I said, though, that was because he was both hot & tediously boring & self involved. It was either me keep trying to hold up both ends of a boring conversation or enjoy a good makeout session. So I went with the latter! I can imagine a ONS could be the same, if I were that way inclined.

          Although, from this convo, that would mean throwing away any hope of having a decent husband ask my father for my hand in marriage…so I’d better continue to keep it in my pants….;)

          Sorry, couldn’t resist!

        7. GoWiththeFlow

          Tom10,

          Speaking for myself and for my close female friends with whom I’ve had such discussions, yes we have to be physically attracted to a hookup guy.  That and we have to be certain they are safe.  No guys who give us the newbie-jeebies or, back in the day when I was in college, are blabber mouths.

          A guy doesn’t have to be movie-star good looking, and different women have different preferences.  But whatever attractive means to us as individuals, there has to be some zing there or it’s not happening.

          As for the reasons some women will hookup without honestly having any expectations of a relationship growing out of it?  Women get validation from sex too.

        8. Tom10

          @ Emily, the original
          I really enjoy our back and forths Emily; thanks for thinking up a few tasty answers to my last query:
           
          “1.) The fun of the seduction. (What am I going to say to him? How am I going to get him back home? How am I going to get him into my room, etc.)”
           
          Surely if you’re trying to seduce a guy for casual sex, who’s less attractive than you, all you need to say is; “so, my place then yeah?” and he’ll be there like Jack Flash!?
           
          “2.) Practice (It’s been a while and she wants to be ready when the guy she really likes shows up. It’s much easier to practice with someone if you aren’t overly concerned about whether he likes you. )”
           
          Okay, that’s a first for me; I’ve never heard of practicing sex with one guy as preparation for sex with the guy you really want to sleep with!
           
          I guess guys do a similar thing though; we just call them “sex-on-standbys” to use YAG’s terminology. Although that scenario isn’t so much about practice as much as relieving sexual tension, thereby defusing any possibility of desperation; if our sexual needs are already been taken of we can then date the women we really like in a more relaxed fashion.
           
          “3.) Revenge (I know, it’s bad. But women have been known to hook up with a guy to stick it to an ex.)”
           
          Okay, I can see that.
           
          Although, speaking about revenge, once the initial sting has worn off this only convinces a guy that he was definitely right to move on in the first place. A sweeter “revenge”, imo, is to behave magnanimously at all times; it just leave that little crumb of doubt that they made the wrong decision to move on, therefore possibly regret the decision for years to come.
           
          “4.) Proximity/ease of pick up/lack of expended energy/opportunity”
           
          “5.) Her first choice isn’t available or interested”
           
          Okay.
           
          Thanks for all those reasons Emily; you really have put a lot of thought into it! 🙂
           
          “this idea that a woman meets some guy and she gets a huge lady boner and she’s in bed with him an hour later … yes, it happens, but it’s rare.”
           
          Aw 🙁
           
          It feels so much better for our ego to assume that it was down to our sheer animal attractiveness, masculinity, wit and charm that overwhelmed your defenses and cast you into such a spell that you simply had to sleep with us in spite of your natural reluctance to. You mean that’s not necessarily always true? (Just kiddin’)
           
          @ Marika
          Thanks for your input.
           
          “I can’t imagine a scenario in which I’d have a ONS (a little Catholic guilt goes a long way!)”
           
          Lol, would you believe I was raised devoutly Catholic too! There’s a magic trick for Catholics to behave how they please sexually though; regular confession. 😉
           
          “Although, from this convo, that would mean throwing away any hope of having a decent husband ask my father for my hand in marriage…so I’d better continue to keep it in my pants….;)”
           
          Haha. Kissing is fine Marika. As long as your date was chaperoned of course.
           
          @ GoWiththeFlow
          Thanks for your reply.
           
          “No guys who give us the newbie-jeebies or, back in the day when I was in college, are blabber mouths.”
           
          Actually blabber mouths is an interesting one; it’s not something I’ve considered before but I can see why women, in a closed environment such as a school or college, would worry about it.

        9. KK

          “I really think you’re an outlier amongst women on this topic Emily; it’s my belief that the majority of women have to genuinely like a guy, on some level, to sleep with him”.

          Tom, I don’t think Emily’s necessarily an outlier amongst women. It’s very difficult to know because so many people lie. Lol.

          I have a friend who decided at a young age she wanted to remain a virgin until she was married…. and she did (at age 26). I have another friend who slept with the entire football team before she graduated from high school. Lol.

          I think most women are somewhere in between… meaning one or two serious boyfriends, then marriage, or a couple of serious relationships plus a fling or two and then marriage.

          Of the more permiscous women I’ve known, I believe Emily is on point. If a woman is completely okay with casual sex and views sex similarly to men, of course she doesn’t have to be super attracted to someone for a little roll in the hay.

          I’ve also known women who were quite permiscous and their husbands have no clue.

        10. Emily, the original

          Mr. Thomas, Surely if you’re trying to seduce a guy for casual sex, who’s less attractive than you, all you need to say is; “so, my place then yeah?” and he’ll be there like Jack Flash!?

          I’m not responding to this, Thomas. We’ve been over the appearance-is-all-that-counts-in-sexual-dynamics topic before.   🙂 Okay, that’s a first for me; I’ve never heard of practicing sex with one guy as preparation for sex with the guy you really want to sleep with!

          You’re less nervous for your first choice. Practice gives you confidence … and an idea of what works!    Although that scenario isn’t so much about practice as much as relieving sexual tension, thereby defusing any possibility of desperation; if our sexual needs are already been taken of we can then date the women we really like in a more relaxed fashion.

          Understood, because desperation kills attraction. Although, speaking about revenge, once the initial sting has worn off this only convinces a guy that he was definitely right to move on in the first place.

          I don’t recommend this strategy. It’s a waste of time. I did it once, years ago, and then I couldn’t get rid of the second guy. (I think because I came at him like a freight train. But from what I’ve read from the male posters, you have a tendency to think a woman is mesmerized by you if she comes on to you.  🙂  ) It feels so much better for our ego to assume that it was down to our sheer animal attractiveness, masculinity, wit and charm that overwhelmed your defenses and cast you into such a spell that you simply had to sleep with us in spite of your natural reluctance to. You mean that’s not necessarily always true? (Just kiddin’)

          I can count on my hand the number of times it has. And I’m 46. But, yes, it’s possible.

        11. Emily, the original

          Hi KK,

          Of the more promiscuous women I’ve known, I believe Emily is on point. If a woman is completely okay with casual sex and views sex similarly to men, of course she doesn’t have to be super attracted to someone for a little roll in the hay.
          Being attracted is certainly preferable, but, let’s be honest, they can’t all be first draft pics.

      2. 11.4.2
        Jeremy

        I get it Emily.  Honest.  I totally understand the point that you and Alex and the others are trying to make.  Having a ONS with a man does not mean anything to you.  Doesn’t mean you like him more or find him hotter or whatever.  You might just have had an itch he could scratch.  The question we are trying to address is not what it means to the woman, but what it means to the man.

         

        It comes down to differing priorities – what people perceive as validating and what people perceive as onerous.  What people seek in relationships and what people perceive as payment for what they seek.  My point is not to say that you are wrong – you aren’t.  It is to say that different perspectives exist – and those perspectives do not make people immature.

         

        When I was having marital difficulties, my wife was mystified by my complaints.  “How can you say we don’t have a great marriage,” she asked, “We have everything we want.”  “No,” I replied, “YOU have everything you want.”

        1. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          I read your other post about the analogy with the man who offers commitment too easily. It makes sense. And I did not say a ONS always means nothing. It just doesn’t always mean a woman is really hot for the guy. I mean, sometimes it does. Depends on the situation. Sometimes it means the man has knocked the woman over and she’d do anything to get up on that!

        2. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          By the way, I think there’d be an awful lot of women who would be turned off to know a man had hooked up casually with tons of women. I don’t mean a handful in college but someone who pretty much slept with anyone. It implies he has no discretion and that would lower his value in her eyes. If he sleeps with everyone, why should I feel special?

        3. Marika

          But see this is your version of a double standard, Jeremy. You searched for a woman with conservative sexual values, but then didn’t like when the natural consequences of that didn’t benefit you. You can’t have it both ways. If she’s conservative in the bedroom, she’s not going to become a tiger when it benefits you.

          If a male slut (not you) wants a virgin, but then doesn’t want to have to teach her how to please him (because that’s invalidating), well that doesn’t work either.

          You guys want to have your cake and eat it too (and for the woman to pretend she hates every cake other than yours).

        4. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          You guys want to have your cake and eat it too (and for the woman to pretend she hates every cake other than yours).

          I was going to say something like that, too. If a man wants a woman with a bit of skill … well, that skill had to come from somewhere.

        5. Jeremy

          Marika, you know that is a non-sequitur.  There is no association between a person’s past promiscuity versus their sexual appetite once married.  I checked.  In fact, those who desire novelty most often lose interest once married.  The problem in my marriage was not sexual conservatism – if it had been, the solution that ultimately worked would not have done.

           

          Your point about self-improvement is well-taken.  Ultimately, people need to decide what qualities need improvement based on their system of values and what works for them, and then work toward those improvements.  But remember one important thing – dieting doesn’t work.

           

          What I mean by that is that trying to dictate one’s behavior based on what one “should” feel when what one actually *does* feel is substantially different – is bound to fail.  The best strategies, IMHO, involve channeling one’s internal feelings into a solution that serves one’s purposes.  So if validation is important to us, we shouldn’t tell ourselves not to need it.  We should decide how best to derive it.

      3. 11.4.3
        Sum Guy

        Emily @11.4

        “A man could be mistaken if he thinks a woman who propositions him quickly after meeting him really digs him. She may .. but then she may not.”

        Truer words were never spoken.

  12. 12
    Tom10

    @ YAG
    “guys base a lot of their self-esteem on their sexual prowess.  Unlike women, men have to work for sex. The amount of effort a man has to exert to obtain sex determines how other men see him”
     
    Here’s an interesting thought experiment YAG.
     
    Let’s say, hypothetically, that you’re a 7 guy and actively dating. So you can hook-up regularly with 6 women with no investment. However, with some investment you can occasionally date and sleep with 7 women. Now, let’s say you have the opportunity to date a solid 8 woman (not just in looks, but the complete package), but you know that in order to do so you’ll have to play your cards exactly right and court her properly.
     
    Now, let’s just say you somehow subsequently found out that she’s been previously hooking-up with 9 guys, who are much better-looking and richer than you are (hence why they’re a 9 and you’re a 7), but she’s willing to date you because you’re prepared to court her properly, whereas the 9 guys only want her for “just sex”.
     
    Would you take the deal?
     
    Would you rather court and date the 8 woman (knowing that she’s previously hooked-up with 9 men so sees you as her number two choice) or would you rather date the 6 woman (knowing that she sees you as her number one choice)?

    1. 12.1
      Emily, the original

      Mr. Thomas,

      I thought you had moved the number system. I know this is going to rack your brain, but the woman might have had hotter sex with the 7. PSHAW!   Hot sex isn’t always about who is the hottest-looking.

      1. 12.1.1
        Tom10

        @ Ms. the Original
        “I thought you had moved [past?] the number system”
         
        I’m trying Emily, but it’s just so engrained into me that it’s gonna take some time!
         
        Besides, sometimes it’s a necessary shortcut when discussing dating; it’s quicker to write 7, 8 or 9 rather than say how one individual is “higher or lower quality” relative to another individual.
         
        (PS. I was actually chuckling after our last thread when I coined Complete Package Value [CPV], as it’s just another term for “league” really, isn’t it?)
         
        We’re just never going to see eye-to-eye on this Emily!
         
        “I know this is going to rack your brain, but the woman might have had hotter sex with the 7. PSHAW!”
         
        Lol.
         
        Maybe, but unlikely. So, by your rationale, could a woman have hotter sex with a 5? How about a 3?
         
        Somewhat controversially my belief is a that a woman’s interpretation of what constitutes “hot sex” is almost entirely a function of how much she actually likes the guy and his overall confidence/attractiveness/intelligence etc., and very little to do with his actual technique or sexual prowess per se.
         
        So if I’m dating a woman who’s very interested in me, but I’m ambivalent about her, I can be the laziest most-selfish lover ever and I can guarantee that she’ll keep coming back for more.
         
        Conversely, if I’m dating a woman whom I’m very interested in, but she’s ambivalent about me, no amount of effort and technique on my part will make her feel that the sex was “hot”.
         
        YMMV! 🙂
         
        @ GoWiththeFlow
        “Tom & Jerry”
         
         
        HaI chuckled at that 😉

        1. Jeremy

          @Tom.  Google the “halo effect.”

        2. Emily, the original

          Mr. Thomas,

          Somewhat controversially my belief is a that a woman’s interpretation of what constitutes “hot sex” is almost entirely a function of how much she actually likes the guy and his overall confidence/attractiveness/intelligence etc., and very little to do with his actual technique or sexual prowess per se.

          Hot sex is based on two things (if we remove the emotional component of it): How attracted you are to your partner (neither party has any control over that) and if you have what’s called a similar erotic blueprint (or style). If a woman is a romantic and really likes a man to run the bath, get the chocolates, be gentle with her, etc., and that’s what he does, she’ll love it. If a woman likes an aggressive man who throws her up against the wall, and that’s what he does, she’ll love it. Are you getting where I’m going with this? A woman who likes an aggressive man won’t like the romantic man who asks if he can kiss her. That will turn her off, but the romantic woman might hate aggression and slap the aggressive guy for making a bold move. It’s all about personal preference. Two people with different styles can have hot sex if they learn to understand and work with the other person; it’s just that it’s a lot hotter if they like the same thing from the get go.

          So if I’m dating a woman who’s very interested in me, but I’m ambivalent about her, I can be the laziest most-selfish lover ever and I can guarantee that she’ll keep coming back for more.
          No.  See above.
          Conversely, if I’m dating a woman whom I’m very interested in, but she’s ambivalent about me, no amount of effort and technique on my part will make her feel that the sex was “hot”.

          Not, not if her attraction for you is low.

        3. Malika

          MM most definitely V!

          The best lovers i ever had were all attractive to me, but unlikely to grace the cover of Vogue Homme. And a few of them i had zero intention of dating long term. Hot sex is 90% technique and 10% chemistry, but that doesn’t per se mean we want a meaningful relationship with you outside of the bedroom.

        4. Sum Guy

          Tom10 at 12.1.1

          “Conversely, if I’m dating a woman whom I’m very interested in, but she’s ambivalent about me, no amount of effort and technique on my part will make her feel that the sex was “hot”.”

          My experience varies, after the hot sex (read mind blowing sex) her ambivalence towards sex will decrease but that is no guarantee that what you have will last.

    2. 12.2
      Marika

      Brethren Tom10

      I *almost* wrote something like, as you know a bit of Catholic guilt etc… but then I thought, he might be from Northern Ireland! I’d better not. I once got into a very uncomfortable ‘discussion’ with a couple of Irish lads in a bar here in Sydney. The ‘troubles’ came up in conversation and I mistakenly assumed they were on one side of the fence, when actually they were on the other. They did not take it well…

      We’re probably distantly related. So, you get yourself to confession, laddie, or else I’m telling Mum!!

       

    3. 12.3
      Yet Another Guy

      @Tom10

      Would you rather court and date the 8 woman (knowing that she’s previously hooked-up with 9 men so sees you as her number two choice) or would you rather date the 6 woman (knowing that she sees you as her number one choice)?

      The thing is that it does not matter if I am dating a 5 or a 10.  If woman has a bimodal approach to sex (i.e., a rapid green light to NSA sex for some men while others have to commit), I am not going to be one of the guys who makes an investment.

      1. 12.3.1
        Marika

        While you quiz her about her sexual past are you also cool with her quizzing you on things women care about, like whether you use women for sex, whether you’ve had sex-on-standby partners & how many, how many women you’ve told you’ll call & then didn’t, if you make disrespectful comments about women on a regular basis…?

        If you need to know about her ‘bimodal’ attitudes so you can make an informed decision about whether you should invest your heart, does it go both ways? Or is it all about you?

        1. Tom10

          Don’t you get it Marika; it’s only okay for YAG to be “bimodal” (he has repeatedly stated that he dated “down” for casual sex) however, it’s not okay for women to be “bimodal”! haha.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Tom10

          I am not bi-modal.  I do not have one set of rules for women I only want to shag and a totally different set of rules for women I want to date.  To be completely honest, I no longer seek casual sex.  If it happens, it happens, but it is not something that I go out of my way to make happen like a lot of single men.  That does not mean that I will wait for a woman who does not make all men wait.  Sex as a bargaining chip no longer works with me.  My ex withheld sex for a decade.  She had a bargaining chip that no other woman will ever possess; namely, my children.   If a woman wants a commitment from me, sex is not a path to that goal.  If a woman wants to play that game, it will be her that begs for sex because I can live without sex a hell of lot longer than most people.  I have already proven it.

        3. Alex

          @YAG

          “If it happens, it happens, but it is not something that I go out of my way to make happen”

          This is how most women (myself included) treat casual sex. You seem to be saying that you would judge a woman who operates in this way. You don’t have to be so suspicious of women.

          We don’t consciously say “oh, if I like him a little, I’ll sleep with him now, if I like him a lot I make him wait this much and if I like him even more I make him wait longer” We’re just going with our feelings at the time and seeing what happens. Many of us have jumped right into bed with a guy we liked (only because we liked him) and found that this doesn’t work out long term. So we adjusted our behavior. We didn’t decide to become “bimodal” with men. I promise you, what you see as “bimodal” behavior is much less nefarious than you assume.

        4. Yet Another Guy

          @Alex

          Many of us have jumped right into bed with a guy we liked (only because we liked him) and found that this doesn’t work out long term.

          I have news for you.  Evan’s premise is based on a man believing that you are a special snowflake when you make him wait.  Making a man wait does not automatically make a him value you more than if you had sex with him on the first date.  It is the belief that you make all men wait that makes it special to him (i.e., you are not an easy catch).  No guy wants to wait for sex.  Without the possibility of having sex with you, no man would pursue you.  It is called the primal urge to pursue and conquer females for a reason.

          There are two reasons why I no longer seek casual sex, neither of which have anything to do with my heart.  The first is that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 5 men are genitally-infected with one of the herpes simplex viruses (either HSV-2 or HSV-1 from oral sex). HSV infection is a tricky STD when it comes to transmission due to viral shedding.  A condom does not protect against HSV.   The second reason is that I will never allow a woman to use sex as bargaining chip.  It no longer works with me.  A woman who makes commitment a condition for sex will find herself questioning her ability to arouse a me because I will passively withhold sex until she starts to question her ability to seduce a man.  That is not a game a woman can win with me.   I went without sex for a decade.

          Where women go wrong in relationships is believing that they can set the terms for commitment.  Women do not control access to commitment, men do!   If a woman wants a commitment from me, withholding sex is not a path to that goal.  She is going to have to earn commitment from me by being a good girlfriend.  That means remaining in her feminine 100% of the time we spend together.  If I get a whiff of her masculine, I am out of there! I am not competing with the woman in my life.  I spent the better part of two decades locked in that battle, and I not going to repeat that mistake.  I am a man who loves being a man.   I want a woman who loves being a woman.  I do not care what she has to do to compete in her career, but her masculine has to be checked at the door.

        5. Evan Marc Katz

          “Evan’s premise is based on a man believing that you are a special snowflake when you make him wait.

          YAG, don’t misrepresent what I say on my own blog.

          I’ve written a treatise about my thoughts if you care to understand my actual point. It has nothing to do with “snowflakes,” and everything to do with self-respect.

        6. GoWiththeFlow

          Thanks for the link Evan.  I haven’t read that post in a long time.

          My opinion only, the most pertinent section for YAG is in the section where Evan responds to comments on his sexclusivity advice.

          Commenter:  “What I want to challenge you on is this notion that women ought to be bartering sex for commitment.”

          Evan:  “I would like to challenge that notion, too. Because my clients who hold out for commitment are not bartering sex for commitment.”

          “My clients are taking enough time to see two things: 1) whether HE is potential boyfriend material – kind, consistent, communicative, relationship-oriented and 2) whether SHE likes HIM enough to make him her boyfriend. Because as you know, it’s easy to have sex with someone out of attraction. But attraction is not a good predictor of compatibility. So if my clients take a little extra time to get past the initial lust phase and start to see a man clearly, they can usually tell if he is making enough effort to be a boyfriend AND if she likes HIM enough to commit to him.”

          “This is coming from a place of POWER, not weakness. In my world, women are the CEO’s and the men are the interns applying for the job. And if you’re an intern who can’t call regularly, has given no indication that you’re looking for commitment, and refuses to wait a couple of extra weeks before having sex, my clients don’t want you working at their company. The petulant interns who think that they deserve to have sex with women without commitment because it’s been three dates are not going to get the job. They will feel righteous, as if the woman is being a prude or playing a game. She is not. She is putting herself first because she has determined that sleeping with a man and waiting by the phone for him to call sucks and she doesn’t want to have to go through it again. I believe that’s her right. Just as it’s his right to bail. In my book, it’s more his loss than hers.”

          By YAG saying he wants a woman to be a girlfriend to him before he makes a commitment to her (she has to buy in before he does) and he’s going to play games with her if she doesn’t follow his timeline “If a woman wants to play that game, it will be her that begs for sex. . .” he’s essentially saying no woman should be the CEO of her own love life.  Only he gets to be in charge and dictate the terms of the interaction. “Where women go wrong in relationships is believing that they can set the terms for commitment.  Women do not control access to commitment, men do!”  A woman with power and a say in the relationship she is in scares the bejesus out of YAG.

          YAG is exactly the type of guy Evan’s advice allows a woman to avoid.

        7. Yet Another Guy

          @GWtF

          A woman with power and a say in the relationship she is in scares the bejesus out of YAG.

          I am not afraid of women.  It is just that the party that seeks commitment has a weaker hand.  Whether women want to admit it or not, men control access to commitment.  Commitment is ridiculously easy for desirable men to obtain. We are looking to leverage commitment for the best possible outcome, so to speak.  If I wanted a commitment, there are currently several women who would sign up that job in a heartbeat, including a couple of sexies-on-standby; however, what they are offering is the worth forfeiting choice.  I am not saying that no woman is worth the price of my freedom.  What I am saying is that I have yet to encounter her in the large number of dates that I have had since re-entering the dating pool.

          YAG is exactly the type of guy Evan’s advice allows a woman to avoid.

          Guys like me represent ninety percent or more of the desirable male pool. The guys who allow a women to control commitment do so because their options are limited.  Does a woman really want a guy that few other women desire? From my experience (e.g., the infamous “girlfriend test” to see if a man is hot enough to date), the answer to that question is a resounding “no.”  As long as eighty percent of available women continue to chase the top twenty percent of available men, women will never be in control of commitment.

          I neither have to settle, nor do I have to give up control of commitment.  I am member of a pool of available men that represents one percent of the male population in the United States, and that is before race, religion, income, and subjective factors such as attractiveness are factored into the equation.  Please tell me why I or any man should turn over control of access to commitment when women already control access to sex?  In my humble opinion, that is a foolish move because the accesses balance each other.  Sex in exchange for commitment is a quid pro quo arrangement.

        8. GoWiththeFlow

          YAG,

          You are hyper-focused on control.  Specifically that only one person gets to control one element of a relationship.  What you are missing is that relationship commitment and sex are not simple one directional buyers or sellers markets.  It’s much more complex.  Because both people in the inteaction are both simultaneously sellers and buyers.

          Whether it is sex or a commitment, there are going to be be people will “buy” what you are selling or will pass depending upon a variety of factors.  The you have to layer on top of that whether you want to buy what they’re selling or if its a no go for reasons that are unique to you.  Just on the parameter of sex, you have stated several times that you have turned down women for sex.  That is a perfect example of how women DO NOT have complete control over sex.  I walked away from a man who was ready and willing to get married and my niece has repeatedly said “no” or “not right now” to her boyfriend of three years who wants to marry her.  Those are examples of how men don’t have complete control over women.

          “YAG is exactly the type of guy Evan’s advice allows a woman to avoid.”

          “Guys like me represent ninety percent or more of the desirable male pool.”

          Though I have no doubt you get a decent share of female attention, as someone who actually dates men, you are not representative of the desirable men out there.  You are one drop of water in the pool.

          Maybe to come to the determination the 95% of guys in the dating pool are just like you you are only going through a checklist on paper.  Job, check!  College education, check!  Attractive and fit, check!  Financially stable, check!”  It’s not those things that ultimately lead to whether individual women you are interacting with will have sex with you or want to be in a relationship with you.  It’s a man’s personality, attitudes, and behavior that gets him to a yes.  As you mentioned, it’s a pool.  And you are one man among many who is financially stable and meets an attractiveness threshold.

          On this forum, we only have peoples’ words to hear.  No photos to let the physical determine what we think of people.  Don’t you think it’s interesting that on the basis of those words, many women commenters have expressed that men like Jeremy, Karl R, ScottH, mgm, Adrian, and Nathan are just the kind of guy they would like to find?  And we love Tom10.  He may not ever be ready for the marriage and family thing, but damn he just makes us smile.

          All of these men have jobs, support themselves and their kids if they have them.  They’ve all been in relationship, some are or have been married, which says they are good looking enough to attract a mate.  But here on the blog, what is attractive about these men is their attitudes, beliefs, and behavior.  What comes across is that they actually like women and give them the benefit of the doubt.  Of course they have standards and are assessing the women they meet/have met for their potential to be good girlfriends and wives and make them happy.  But nowhere ever do you ever get the sense that they think it’s all about them.  They realize it’s a mutual process, a dance if you will.  Not one person sitting on the chair with their arms crossed across their chest saying, “Okay now YOU perform for ME.”

        9. GoWiththeFlow

          EDIT:  “Those are examples of how men don’t have complete control over commitment with women.”

      2. 12.3.2
        Selena

        I thought it was tacitly understood that if 2 people are dating non-exclusively, either of them could be dating and perhaps sleeping with others. That is, just because a woman is waiting for one man it doesn’t mean he isn’t seeing/ getting sex from someone else.  If a man is making a woman wait for exclusivity what makes him think she isn’t seeing other men?

        It’s been my experience that the men who were really excited about me became exclusive quickly. Those who were only casually interested  never did.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Selena

          The key difference here is that a man usually does not establish the rules of engagement when it comes to sex in a  relationship.  As Jeremy mentioned, sex is easy to obtain for women whereas commitment is easy to obtain for me.   It is a quid pro quo situation (i.e., the price a man often has to pay for sex).  If you cannot see the logical fallacy in the fact that a woman is continuing to date and sleep with other men while waiting for the man in whom she is truly interested to commit before granting him access to sex, I cannot help you.  This behavior is one of the things about women that makes no sense to a man.  Men have one set of rules when it comes to sex; namely, if she invokes the primal urge to pursue strongly enough, he will do so until he conquers her.

        2. Selena

          YAG,

          As you noted it is -in general- easier for women to get sex than it is for men. And as you also noted,  if she invokes the primal urge to pursue strongly enough, he will do so until he conquers her.

          Because of this, it is prudent for men not to wait too long if the woman wants exclusivity. The longer he drags his feet about that, the more opportunity she has to meet someone who doesn’t. Someone who’s primal urge is to claim her so she won’t be out giving other men what he wants. 😉

          Also YAG, I think you may be over-estimating the number of women who are engaging in hook-ups whilst making the men they are more interested in “wait”.  When women are really interested, waiting is as frustrating for them as it is for men. Randos they are meh about – unsatifsfying.

           

           

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @Selena

          Because of this, it is prudent for men not to wait too long if the woman wants exclusivity. The longer he drags his feet about that, the more opportunity she has to meet someone who doesn’t.

          That knife cuts in both directions.  The longer she holds out for a commitment, the greater the probability that he will find another woman who does not demand commitment in exchange for sex.  This game is one a woman will lose when dealing with an assertive man with options.  Men are the pursuers.  An assertive man with options is pursuing all of the time.

          There are better ways to obtain commitment from a man other than sex.  The number one way is to be a good girlfriend.

        4. Selena

          YAG: The longer she holds out for a commitment, the greater the probability that he will find another woman who does not demand commitment in exchange for sex. 

          Sure. And he might already be having sex with other women – that’s what non-exclusivity allows. Part of the appeal in reserving sex for exclusivity I see, is that a man who does not want to be exclusive with a particular woman will move on to easier pickin’s.  And the fellow who would rather have “options” than an actual girlfriend may as well.

          Exclusivity is an agreement between 2 people that they like each other enough to stop dating others and see where things go with each other.  It may lead to a commitment, it may not. Dating exclusively allows each person to demonstrate they are a good girlfriend/boyfriend rather than just an “option”.

           

           

      3. 12.3.3
        Selena

        YAG:  Where women go wrong in relationships is believing that they can set the terms for commitment.  Women do not control access to commitment, men do! 

        Eh, no.

        First of all a man has to find a woman who WANTS to commit to him. Many women he dates won’t want to for whatever reasons.

        If he finds a woman who wants a commitment, the longer he delays giving her one the  better the chance that:

        1- she gets tired of waiting and dumps him

        2-  she finds he’s not a good match anyway and dumps him

        3- she meets another man who wants to commit to her  and dumps the one who wouldn’t

         

        The notion that “men are the gatekeepers of commitment” applies only for as long as a woman is willing to date a man without one.

        1. Emily, the original

          Selena,

          Eh, no.

          First of all a man has to find a woman who WANTS to commit to him. Many women he dates won’t want to for whatever reasons.

          I agree. No one side hold all the power. Even if a woman really likes a man and feels he’s holding all the cards and taking too long to commit, she can still walk, difficult as that may be. And women don’t hold any more power in terms of sex. If a man is frustrated that the woman he’s seeing isn’t sleeping with him, he can walk.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Selena

          If he finds a woman who wants a commitment, the longer he delays giving her one the  better the chance that:

          1- she gets tired of waiting and dumps him

          2-  she finds he’s not a good match anyway and dumps him

          3- she meets another man who wants to commit to her  and dumps the one who wouldn’t

          You do know that you just confirmed my assertion? Women generally seek commitment.  Men generally seek sex; therefore, women are the gatekeepers to sex whereas men are the gatekeepers to commitment.  This difference is painfully obvious when the difference between how separated men and separated women are treated on online dating sites is examined.  Separated women meet very little resistance whereas separated men generally have to jump through hoops to secure a date.  I found this blog while searching for data on this phenomenon.  The difference lies in the fact that most men date for sex first, a relationship second whereas most women date for a relationship first, sex second.

           

    4. 12.4
      Sum Guy

      Tom10

      maybe it is better to question this:

      “The amount of effort a man has to exert to obtain sex determines how other men see him”

      not so much that other men may judge you this way but so f***ing what

      first my sexual life is none of other men’s business and second I could care less about impressing men

      other men should judge me by what matters, my character and what I’ve made

      to use the whole alpha/beta BS isn’t seeking validation through other men a very beta thing?

       

      1. 12.4.1
        Sum Guy

        Tom10. Know you were quoting YAG

      2. 12.4.2
        Emily, the original

        Sum Guy,

         

        not so much that other men may judge you this way but so f***ing what first my sexual life is none of other men’s business and second I could care less about impressing men

        Good for you for saying this. Be your own person.

  13. 13
    Jeremy

    Sorry to post yet again, but the question that the women are asking over and over is, “Ok, we get that men are bothered by this, but what are we supposed to DO about that? We can’t change the past!”

     

    The answer is, you are supposed to UNDERSTAND.  Understand that this is how men feel, even though women don’t feel that way.  Understand, rather than trying to change behavior, change perception, explain or ridicule.  If you understand, then all sorts of understanding behavior will naturally follow.  Because the type of behavior that follows the statement “You shouldn’t be bothered by this!” is very different from the behavior that follows “I understand how much this bothers you.”

    1. 13.1
      Malika

      So should we just accept that we as women need to obfuscate about the past?

      For the record, no dude, zero, i have ever dated (and there have been a few!) has ever asked outright about my sexual past. Any information they got was of my own volition, and i finally learnt a couple of years ago that it was better to just leave it out of our conservation and to limit anecdotes of the past to men termed ‘boyfriend’ (though in reality a few of whom i term them as this were not a terribly serious or committed relationship).  I understand that it makes men feel better, and it’s no biggie for me, but obfuscating does sometimes feel the same as lying. It feels inauthentic.

      1. 13.1.1
        GoWiththeFlow

        Malika,

        Reframe it.  You’re exercising your right to privacy.

        If your partner doesn’t want to know something, that something has no bearing on your relationship, and not knowing that something won’t hurt them, what’s the point of disclosure?  Bond over stories about skinned knees, the musical recital that went horribly wrong, or the camping trip where it rained the whole time.

        1. Malika

          What you say makes great sense, and after doing a massive overhaul on my dating game, that is exactly what i do. When I decided to step off the casual sex train, i realized that in order to qualify as girlfriend material in a man’s eyes, i needed to rebrand myself and to be way more selective and discreet in my dealings.  It helps that i live in a big city, and that most of the men in my past don’t even live here anymore, so a lot of digging would have to be done to find out about my more promiscuous period. Zero men have asked me about my sexual past, they seem if anything more interested in asking about any committed relationships i had in the past. They get an honest answer about that as there is nothing shocking in that department.

          It can just feel rather inauthentic, and i remember dating a man who had sowed his wild oats in his twenties who was trying to impress me with his wild past. I widened my eyes and said ‘how eventful’ while on the inside thinking ‘my past looks a bit wilder than that.’ I don’t hink he would have given the same reaction towards me.

        2. Emily, the original

          Malika,

          I remember dating a man who had sowed his wild oats in his twenties who was trying to impress me with his wild past.

          One guy I dated did, that, too, and it failed to impress me. It turned me off. The theme in all his stories was about how all these women wanted him, but, of course, him having to TELL me that lost all impact. I felt like saying, “I’m a woman. Trust me. If other women want you, I’ll notice.”

    2. 13.2
      Alex

      I think we’ve all pretty much agreed that women divulging intimate details of their sex lives is pretty stupid. I don’t know what percentage of women are doing this. By the men’s comments, maybe it’s absurdly high and all the women commenting just don’t know about it. If that’s the case, then I’m really sorry for the guys.

      Can we also agree that if a man goes digging and finds something he doesn’t like, it’s not the woman’s fault? Women need to understand that men don’t like that you’ve had a sexual past. But men also need to understand that most women have one.

      1. 13.2.1
        Jeremy

        @Alex, sounds fair to me.

      2. 13.2.2
        Malika

        If they go digging, it’s on them to deal with the results! I think it’s more of a case that they don’t want to know and that they like it if you just talk about the odd ‘boyfriend’, unless they are YAG most men don’t do go actively digging around for data. In my mid-thirties, i have had quite a few ‘boyfriends’, but they appreciate it if you just obfuscate about the nitty gritty quantity of men hiding underneath that umbrella term. I always think any man with a bit of nous would surely sooner realize that if i talk about wildly disparate experiences, time periods and traits and keep referring to ‘boyfriend’ that it refers to more than a few guys, but they seem to be in bliss with obfuscation, so i let it be.

    3. 13.3
      Marika

      Hmm, not entirely sure Jeremy. This is a bit like the post when the woman wanted her boyfriend to think she was the hottest woman ever. Evan’s advice wasn’t that the boyfriend should understand and be accepting of her need for this reassurance & validation: it was that the LW should get over herself.

      I completely sympathize with lots of things men have to deal with in dating, but this particular issue is a mindset and it’s something you guys can work on to be less overly sensitive to the past and to making things personal when they aren’t.

      The point of this blog is twofold: understanding/ acceptance, yes, but also personal growth. This could be an opportunity for the guys to do a bit of growth! Because this double-standard mindset is very unhelpful to you, particularly in 21st century dating. If you for any reason re-entered the dating world now, and went around judging women on their sexual pasts, that would be a shame.

      Or maybe that’s why Evan is a dating coach for women! Men don’t want to examine their own behaviour or make any changes…hope not..

      1. 13.3.1
        Gala

        Hey Marika,

        perhaps the better analogy to understand men’s mindset on this would be luxury goods. For example bags. Women pay upwards of $2000 for something like a Gucci or a Prada bag. Why? Because they are status symbols. They are not just satchels to carry your stuff in, they convey your social standing and whatever… make you feel special. People pay for that feeling, not the functionality of it or even the aesthetics. If Prada suddenly flooded the market with cheap $50 bags, nobody would want them. Perhaps, even women who owned Prada bags would no longer want to be seen with them.

        It’s the same exact thing with this.. a man who discovers that what he worked so hard to get through courting (sex) presumably was once “on sale” for a price of a one beer of 1/2 of a netflix movie, will not see his “possession” as that valuable. I get it. It is just one of those games people play.

         

        1. Yet Another Guy

          Bingo!

  14. 14
    Adrian

    Marika, Alex, and Emily,

    I apologize in advance that I have not read all the comments (my schedule is too busy right now for even causal reading), but I need to ask how did you get that a woman could not share her past from my comment?

    I re-read it and I clearly stated (at least to me) that I was talking about a new relationship not one where the couple has been together for some time and a women still could never share her past.

    Also since you all disagree with me (which is fair) than do you also disagree with Evan’s advice on keeping personal things to yourself until an emotional connection is established (the example of his story about his wife waiting to tell him about her debt or the man who was in the metal hospital… he even did a podcast on it); so why is there so much dislike from me saying a person (I included the letter writers boyfriend so men to) should hold off on telling certain things in the beginning “IF” (yup go back and re-read my original post I did put a condition with my statement); so if he or she could not handle it?

    Now if other male commentors said something different I can’t speak for that.

    … and of course if I felled to clearly articulate what I truly meant then…. Opps! (^_^) My bad! (^_^)

    …    …   …

    Alex,

    I personally witnessed the results of a woman telling her guy twice. Once was in front of a group of friends, once was because one of her friends let it slip.

    The third time was the guy confiding in me because she admitted it mistakenly. She said something that made him ask what do you mean “I was the first guy or you usually”, or something like that… I don’t remember exactly. I told him he NOT she was wrong because at that point they had been dating for 8 months so why disregard 8 months of great qualities that she had shown him for something that happened before she even knew him???? (O_o)

    And though I do disagree with YAG letting a woman get comfortable and then using it against her, I have heard of that being the main way a guys finds out that a woman made him wait for sex unlike another guy.

    All that being said, I don’t think a woman should date a guy who she has been with for over a year and she still is afraid to share her history with him, that is who she is and what made her the woman she is today.

    …   …   …

    Marika,

    I personally feel that 99% of the commentors who came here are not here  to “understand” the opposite sex if what they are being told don’t feel good to them regardless if it is factual or not.

    That being said, I do not want to be like that, I truly want to learn and that is why I have no problem saying thank you. I agree with you that I was wrong and that a man is foolish (even in the short-term and even if it hurts his ego) to hold against a woman how fast she slept with a guy;  your reference to the women who got jealous about the Angelina Jolie post made me remember the post after it about dating short guys.

    In the comments section of that post a female commentor was really angry and hurt by the fact that a guy would not see her as the most beautiful woman if he “truly” loved her. I remember thinking… WOW! So I don’t want to be like that. Again I was only talking about a guy she just met not a guy she had been dating for over a year, but I still agree with your point and will change my way of thinking on the matter.

     

    1. 14.1
      Emily, the original

      Adrian,

      Where have you been?! You’re started a revolution!  🙂

      “Also since you all disagree with me (which is fair) than do you also disagree with Evan’s advice on keeping personal things to yourself until an emotional connection”

      I agree to keep things private and to yourself.

      “All that being said, I don’t think a woman should date a guy who she has been with for over a year and she still is afraid to share her history with him, that is who she is and what made her the woman she is today.”

      Not afraid. Just don’t want to. And I wouldn’t want that information from a man. General information about past relationships is fine, but NOT a detailed sexual history, unless the guy is into some things that are outside the “normal” range (for lack of a better word), such as swinging. I would need to know that. Not everything he’s done. Just that he’s into it. But that’s probably something to bring up really early on so the other person can make an informed decision about staying.

    2. 14.2
      Alex

      @Adrian

      you and Shaukut have made me feel a lot better. I think secretly we all actually agree with each other 🙂

      I may have jumped the gun in answering your question. I assumed you were saying it was a frequent occurrence to go on a few dates with a woman who would tell you all about the men she’s slept with in the past. That behavior seems like dating suicide to me.

      After 8 months of a good relationship, I don’t see how past actions should matter.

      I also think your other comment got to the heart of what Emily and I (and Marika I believe) were trying to say, which is that if you feel badly about your partner’s past, that is more about your own insecurities. It’s important to work through those rather than blame women for your feelings.

  15. 15
    Adrian

    Hi Jeremy and GoWithTheFlow,

    I was just at a seminar that had jon birger the writer of date-onomics speaking. He made a comment about a woman losing years and wasting time on a man who does not want to get married to her.

    This made me think about a book I once read where a celebrity spoke about his divorce and said that it was NOT a waste because they both had plenty of good years together and they had wonder children together-I like this positive mental reframing.

    So here is my question to the both of you Do you agree with Birger and the millions of people who give this same advice about dating a person who does not want to get married is stealing a woman’s years and should be dumped IF (and here is the caveat) she is happy and he is making her happy he just does not want to get married.

    I get that marriage is this person’s goal but millions of women are single and would love a happy relationship so how could being in a happy relationship be a waste of time?

    I don’t understand that logic of thinking especially since there is no main (non-legal difference between a married couple and a non married cohabiting couple).

     

    1. 15.1
      GoWiththeFlow

      Hey Adrian,

      I have mixed feelings about Birger’s book. Evan has a blog post about it.  Coming from a family where it’s typical for the women to have more education than their husbands, I just don’t buy this the-sky-is-falling panic over trends that show millennial women are way more likely to be college graduates than millennial men, therefore college educated women have no men to marry.  Plumbers, electricians, truck drivers, firefighters, police officers, and career military men don’t need university degrees to enter their professions but they still make the same amount of money or more than teachers, nurses, and social workers with bachelor’s degrees and most people would slot them into equivalent SES categories.  In any event, there are strong biological and psychological forces that draw men and women to each other so I have no doubt that both genders will make whatever adjustments they need to to be with each other.

      As for whether a woman who wants to get married is wasting her time by continuing to be in a relationship with a man who has demonstrated that he does not want to marry her, oh heck yes!  After age 38 a woman’s ability to conceive a child starts rapidly dropping.  That’s reality.  So if she starts dating a man when she’s 28 and five years later he still doesn’t want to get married, what would spending another 5 years in limbo change about that?  Getting married and having children in a nuclear family is a big deal, and for many women the main thing they want in life.  If that’s a woman’s main goal, I can guarantee that she’s NOT happy in a relationship with a man who does not want that.

      Think of this using Evan’s 80/20 example.  The relationship may be good 80% of the time, but the 20% of the time it’s bad, that’s often a deal breaker.  The issue isn’t the proportion of good to bad, it’s how bad is the bad.  So it doesn’t matter if he brings her chicken soup from her favorite deli when she’s sick, or if they have a great time going to comic-cons together several times a year.  If he doesn’t want the marriage and kids, that bit of unhappy in a BIG DEAL area cancels out the happy in the sum of all the little deals areas.

      “I don’t understand that logic of thinking especially since there is no main (non-legal difference between a married couple and a non married cohabiting couple).”

      Au contraire, Adrian, marriage is a social, religious, and cultural institution that has meaning for many people that goes way beyond what’s in the legal contract.  For many it’s a big life stage and a goal they strive for, a rite of passage, a statement that they have fully arrived in life.  If that all didn’t mean anything, why do so many cohabitating couples get married?  And the legal stuff IS a big deal.  The social security benefits my dad received after my mom died helped cover the more than 50% reduction in family income that happened.  If my parents weren’t married, my father would not have been eligible for those benefits even though they were together for 20 years and had three kids.

      I have a niece who will turn thirty at the end of the month.  She has been with the same guy since she was 19.  Out of my three nieces, she is the one who most wants to get married and have kids.  It has always been her primary life goal.  My other two nieces want to get married and have kids, but they also have other goals they want to achieve as well.  My niece’s boyfriend has broken up with her more than a few times.  She never moves on and dates other people, and they get back together pretty quickly.  He had a rough childhood and has repeatedly told my niece he does not want to have kids.  He’s in his late 30s by now.  EVERYONE in the family knows and agrees that he will never marry her, and she should leave him and move on.  But she more than stays, she clings.  It’s sad.  If this goes on much longer she may wind up in her 40s never having had the family she’s dreamed of since she was a young girl.  But I wouldn’t say he’s wasting her time.  She’s the one who’s screwing herself.  No one can do anything to you without your permission.

      1. 15.1.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @GWtF

        And the legal stuff IS a big deal.

        For once, I find myself agreeing with you.  I lived with two women before I married. Marriage and cohabitation are not remotely close analogs.  Marriage is an institution that has far reaching social and legal ramifications, especially after children arrive.  Breaking up with someone with whom one is cohabitating is an affair the heart where the actual separation is relatively simple to execute.  On the other hand, divorce can be a nightmare if one has an uncooperative spouse.  Marriage causes people to become intertwined in ways that cohabitation avoids.

  16. 16
    Marika

    Many many thanks to Shaukat, Adrian and Tom10 for their recent views on this. Greatly appreciated. I was starting to feel like men were all living in the 1950s!

    I’m particularly happy that Tom was able to change his mindset on this topic, to his own benefit and that of all women he dated since then. Showing it is possible!!

    Also, Adrian, you’re completely right. You didn’t say it’s not something you could never share, just not be all TMI in the early stages of dating. It was other male commenters who got on the bandwagon afterwards who said that, not you. Also very happy you’re here to learn; the more the merrier in that regard!

    And Shaukat, you finally explained this in a way that makes sense (to me). If a woman generally sleeps with men quickly, but not you, your concern is she’s ‘just not that into you’ and trying to force herself to feel something. You don’t want to be that guy. Now, that makes sense.

    1. 16.1
      Chance

      Hi Marika,

      “I was starting to feel like men were all living in the 1950s!”

      I haven’t read all of the comments so I apologize if this has been addressed somewhere in the thread, but I think it can be helpful to explore the root of the man=”stud”/woman=”slut” generalization associated with promiscuous people because it can help us be more sympathetic with the opposite sex.

      I don’t believe this generalization came about due solely to societal conditioning driven by some 1950s-era, hyper-masculine “rat pack” mentality.  Rather, I think it is rooted in our biomechanics.  Men generally want and prioritize sex much more than women, which naturally results in sex being much harder for men to obtain than it is for women.  When you couple this with the fact that men are (and are expected to be) the pursuers, there will always be some sense of accomplishment whenever a man is able to successfully seduce a woman.  Our biomechanics aren’t set up for women to ever feel this same sense of accomplishment because if a woman desired and pursued sex in a manner that is as equally indiscriminate as men, she could have a different partner every night if that’s what she wanted.  Not so for men.  This is how it’s always been, and it’s how it will always be.  This is why I think sexually “accomplished” men are more likely to be seen as “studs”.

      Likewise, I think the reason that promiscuous women are more likely to be viewed as “sluts” isn’t primarily driven by some fossilized notion of how “women should be”, but rather it is due to insecurities on the part of the man as it relates to his sexual prowess (e.g., fear of not being able to measure up to past lovers, fear that such a woman relies on sex as a form of validation that he will not be able to satisfy in perpetuity – and as a result-  she will eventually seek that validation from someone else, etc.).

      The difference between the nature of male and female sexuality is the reason why I think that men are, in general, relatively more likely to judge a woman for having many past sexual partners.  This difference is also why women are, in general, relatively more likely to judge a man who has had no (or very few) sexual partners.  These two double-standards share the same roots.

      This isn’t intended to give anyone a biological excuse for having these feelings.  No doubt that we should be consciously overriding such feelings, but if we can understand the root of why men and women tend to feel the way they do, the urge to point fingers subsides.

       

      1. 16.1.1
        Marika

        Perhaps that is the case, Chance, it may well be. Thanks for your perspective.

        Pointing fingers certainly isn’t helpful. But if you read what some of the more um, vocal, male commenters wrote on this subject, you may understand why this topic has caused a fair bit of disbelief over the expectations of (some) men, and the idea that as a woman, when it comes to sex, you can’t win.

      2. 16.1.2
        Emily, the original

        Hi Chance,

        Likewise, I think the reason that promiscuous women are more likely to be viewed as “sluts” isn’t primarily driven by some fossilized notion of how “women should be”, but rather it is due to insecurities on the part of the man as it relates to his sexual prowess (e.g., fear of not being able to measure up to past lovers, fear that such a woman relies on sex as a form of validation that he will not be able to satisfy in perpetuity – and as a result-  she will eventually seek that validation from someone else, etc.).

        Is this true? A woman goes after a man and propositions him for a sex-only situation (yes, her finds her appealing) and this causes him anxiety?

        1. Chance

          Hi Emily,

           

          I’m not sure that I understand the question.  If a woman propositions a man for a sex-only situation, that wouldn’t necessarily be indicative of a woman who seeks validation through sex.

        2. Emily, the original

          Hi Chance,

          I guess I was asking if no-strings sex is offered to a man, does the thought of what you wrote about — not being able to please the woman sexually — bother him? I guess I assumed that if a guy is propositioned, he’s thinking more if he likes the offer than if he’ll do a good job.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          I guess I assumed that if a guy is propositioned, he’s thinking more if he likes the offer than if he’ll do a good job.

          All guys inherently want to do a good job.  It is the primal instinct to please.

        4. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          All guys inherently want to do a good job.  It is the primal instinct to please.

          Where do you live? I will send you $50 if we can go a week without you mentioning the “primal urge.”

        5. Chance

          Hello Emily,

           

          “I guess I assumed that if a guy is propositioned, he’s thinking more if he likes the offer than if he’ll do a good job.”

           

          I think that’s often true in very short-term NSA situations such as ONSs or when a guy brazenly asks a woman for a sex-only arrangement.  In those cases, he likely doesn’t really care what the woman thinks of him.

        6. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          I will send you $50 if we can go a week without you mentioning the “primal urge.”

          I mentioned “primal instinct,” not “primal urge.”  While primal urge is a primal instinct, the instinct to please a woman is also primal in nature.

        7. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          I mentioned “primal instinct,” not “primal urge.”  While primal urge is a primal instinct, the instinct to please a woman is also primal in nature.

          Ok. I ban anything “primal” for the next 7 days. Also “men aren’t wired that way.”

        8. Yet Another Guy

          Fair enough

  17. 17
    Adrian

    Hi Jeremy,

    As a fellow validation person what advice do you have for dating a shy, or introverted, or not to talkative person?

    I am currently talking to a girl who is like this and even though she says with her words that she really likes me but she is shy and not much of a talker, her actions makes me feel she doesn’t like me.

    How do you tell the difference as a validation person from someone who does like you but they are just too shy to show it overtly with their actions and a person who does not like you for more than anything than just a friend?

    P.S no matter what I ask she always says yes to but she never initiates or ask so I can never tell if she is just going out because she is bored or because she likes me (I remember you mentioned a similar situation with your wife about sex).

    1. 17.1
      Marika

      Adrian

      I don’t think it’s about you. A shy person tends to be ultra shy with the opposite sex. And from the above discussion you can see why a woman, particularly a shy woman, would be unlikely to initiate.

      As long as she’s happy to see you and says yes to your date suggestions, I would keep seeing her. If you’re enjoying her company and are attracted to her, of course.

      As a indirect lady, the ‘red flags’ I would look out for are if she starts to take an uncharacteristically long time to return your calls, or is suddenly busy or won’t commit to plans or whatever. I don’t know any woman who happily keeps seeing a man because she’s ‘bored’, but I can imagine such a woman would be more likely to subtly fade than tell you directly if she’s not interested. Also remember that the most attractive thing on earth is confidence. If you act with confidence that she likes you, then she’s even more likely to like you 🙂

  18. 18
    Marika

    Jeremy

    You’re usually quite a self -aware guy, but sorry, in this instance I think you’re just trying to justify an outdated view that doesn’t serve you by trying to find corroborating evidence for why it’s okay to hold onto that view. Like women justifying only dating 6 foot men, for instance.

    Obviously I don’t know the ins and outs of your marriage, but your views stated on here show that you highly value sexual purity in a woman, perhaps overvalue it, now it’s not a problem now that you and your wife have sorted through your difficulties, but if you’re ever back on the market, that mindset could well hinder your search for a woman, particularly in the middle age & above range.

    Anyway, enough said on that subject as it pertains to you. I get that some mindsets are too tough to budge.

    1. 18.1
      Jeremy

      Marika,

      I enjoyed your response to Adrian about confidence.  I’ve written time and again about how and why confidence is a lousy heuristic for attraction, yet none of those posts have ever found traction among a female audience.  Because regardless of the logic behind them, women DO find confidence attractive.  I can tell women that they should work on not finding it so, that they should focus on self-improvement and using better heuristics, or I can understand why they find it attractive and work with the world in which I find myself.  I feel exactly the same way about the topic of conversation here.

       

      So I believe you are right that men who become insecure when considering a woman’s past should consider the thoughts behind their feelings and judge whether those thoughts are valid – and if not, change them.  I believe you are right when you write that women can not change their pasts, and have a right to a past, and that their past does not necessarily dictate their future.  That a woman’s sexual history is not necessarily a valid heuristic for her quality as a future partner or parent.  And that people need to be very careful with the heuristics they use, because they are prone to bias and may be wrong.

      1. 18.1.1
        Marika

        Thanks Jeremy.

        I don’t think confidence necessarily makes for a good partner. But it certainly makes for a successful date, which will help get to the next one (and so on). I also think we all know that Adrian will make a wonderful partner, but he also doubts himself. Being around someone who doubts themselves is less enjoyable than being around someone who doesn’t. A date is supposed to be fun! And as this lady seems to lack confidence, to get this thing off the ground, one of them has to show some get up & go!

      2. 18.1.2
        Malika

        Hi Jeremy,

        Lots of men let judgment completely go if they find a woman good looking. That also doesn’t necessarily correlate with the qualities that would make her a good girlfriend or one night stand. Rationally they know this, but they still often fall into the looks trap. Just as much as women fall into the confidence trap.

        While i do think it’s good to talk about better heuristics and developing a more discerning taste when dating (you are not wasting your breath! It’s made me think!) we  need to accept that most of us will never let go of their blind spots completely.

  19. 19
    Marika

    Selena

    That’s fair enough and I agree. However, unfortunately it moved weeellll beyond that to this idea that if a man is threatened by your sexual past, it’s your fault. Anyone who’s been with someone who plays the blame game on a regular basis will know the dangers of blaming your feelings on your partner.

    Some people have this idea that the intensity of their feelings must reflect the depth of the ‘fault’. So if something really bothers you, the other person must have done something really bad. That isn’t always the case. A person’s past isn’t the other person’s concern. If they find out about things which bother them, it was their issue for probing in the first place or thinking that what happened in the past in any way reflects on them.

    1. 19.1
      Selena

      ” If they find out about things which bother them, it was their issue for probing in the first place or thinking that what happened in the past in any way reflects on them.”

      Agree.  But I wonder how many people past college-age are actually probing, or putting up with being probed.

      If I were on a date with a man who started asking questions about my sexual history, I would think he was being inappropriate. And I would think there was something wrong with him. Turn off.

      If I were on a date with a man who started telling me things about his own sexual history, I would think he was being inappropriate. And I would think there was something wrong with him. It’s one thing to tell me you were engaged at 21, that’s okay. But I really don’t care to hear that you dated a woman for awhile who came over and gave you a bj every morning before she went to work. Turn off.

      Old, old phrase: “A gentlemen does not kiss and tell.” Neither does a lady.

      Those of us who practice that avoid  probing.

    2. 19.2
      KK

      “A person’s past isn’t the other person’s concern. If they find out about things which bother them, it was their issue for probing in the first place or thinking that what happened in the past in any way reflects on them”.

      I’m not so sure about that, Marika. There were many things in my ex husband’s past that I wasn’t privy to until we were on the verge of separation. Had I known those things from the beginning, I never would have married him in the first place.

      When “dating”, you are well within your rights to only disclose what you are comfortable with. But when a relationship starts to become serious, I feel each person should be completely transparent. That’s obviously just my own personal opinion but I happen to feel rather strongly about it because I feel like I was duped before.

      1. 19.2.1
        Selena

        If I were dating a guy who was into bisexuality, 3 somes, swinging, S&M…I’d hope he disclose that early on.  Why not establish that kind of compatibility /lack thereof  early on?

        I don’t see those things in the same category as number of sexual partners, or how soon one had sex with a particular individual. Do you?

        1. Emily, the original

          Selena,

          I don’t see those things in the same category as number of sexual partners, or how soon one had sex with a particular individual. Do you?

          I agree.

        2. KK

          Hi Selena,

          I’m not sure if you were responding to me or Marika…

          “If I were dating a guy who was into bisexuality, 3 somes, swinging, S&M…I’d hope he disclose that early on.  Why not establish that kind of compatibility /lack thereof  early on?”

          Agreed.

          “I don’t see those things in the same category as number of sexual partners, or how soon one had sex with a particular individual. Do you?”

          I think someone’s sexuality is their business alone until they get into a committed relationship. Each individual is entitled (in my opinion) to their own standards for a partner whether anyone else agrees with it or not.

          For instance, Jeremy mentioned he hasn’t had many sexual partners. So if he were to reenter the dating scene AND also wanted someone who hasn’t had many partners, that is 100% his prerogative and I believe it would be very deceptive for a woman that has had more sexual partners than him or was very promiscuous at some point not to reveal that.

          On the other hand, someone like YAG, who has had lots of sexual partners won’t receive that same level of respect for his wishes to be with someone who hasn’t been around the block because he’s a hypocrite.

          I feel like someone’s sexuality is an important part of who they are. Leaving that piece of the puzzle out doesn’t allow a potential spouse to make an informed decision on WHO they’re marrying.

           

        3. Emily, the original

          KK,

          For instance, Jeremy mentioned he hasn’t had many sexual partners. So if he were to reenter the dating scene AND also wanted someone who hasn’t had many partners, that is 100% his prerogative and I believe it would be very deceptive for a woman that has had more sexual partners than him or was very promiscuous at some point not to reveal that.

          But where do you draw the line at how much information someone should provide to a potential long-term partner? How much information is the other person entitled to? I agree that the swinging/bisexual/S&M stuff should be divulged early. Really early. If it’s (I’m not sure of any other way to say this) outside of the normal bell curve of activity, the other person has a right to know. But what if someone has been married for years and then divorces but had a promiscuous past before marriage? I don’t know how old you are, but I  have found that the older I get, the further away in my subconscious some of the events of my 20s and 30s recedes. There are men/relationships that had an impact on me but a lot of the casual interactions I can barely remember. They just aren’t important.

           

        4. Selena

          I was responding to you KK. You are the one who wrote she felt duped by an ex husband. And that you wouldn’t have married him if he had disclosed some things about himself when you were dating.

          You don’t say what those things were, so I listed some that *I* would wish to know about someone early on.

          You have me thinking though; if I am the one who doesn’t prefer to date someone who is into something I am not, maybe I should just drop that chip and see where it falls.

        5. Yet Another Guy

          @KK

          On the other hand, someone like YAG, who has had lots of sexual partners won’t receive that same level of respect for his wishes to be with someone who hasn’t been around the block because he’s a hypocrite.

          Once again, it is not a slut-shaming exercise for me, nor I am looking for purity (I prefer to be with a woman who has had more than a handful of partners).  What I  am looking for is a singular set of rules when it comes to sex.   To use Gala’s analogy, I will not pay full price for something that the man before me obtained on sale.

          For the women who have brought up leaving the past in the past. Well, past behavior is the greatest indicator of future behavior.  When was the last time that you made an investment without doing your homework?  No one would purchase a home without checking to ensure that toxic waste dump was not located nearby.   The mere act of making a man wait is due to the desire to glean more information.   Well, a man has a right to know if the wait is worth it.  That is why I do my homework.  A woman’s past absolutely does have an impact on what is possible with her.  It is called baggage for a reason, and everyone has it.

           

      2. 19.2.2
        Marika

        KK

        You missed the earlier part of the conversation. Some of the guys were saying they would want to know how soon you slept with previous men, so that if it was earlier than you slept with them, they could dump you (or exercise their right to be highly offended).

        I can’t imagine an aspect of the past (no longer occurring) that is so completely important to you that you need to know about it, because if it’s that crucial to who they are it will come up at some point in the present. If it’s well in the past and not still happening, I personally think leave it there and move on. There could be exceptions. But certainly I think it’s absolutely no one’s business who you slept with when.

  20. 20
    KK

    Emily, Selena, Marika,

    What I take issue with is someone else (a date, a boyfriend, a fianceé, a husband) making an executive decision to leave me in the dark about certain things based on HIS morals or values OR his fear of losing me.

    Emily asked, “But where do you draw the line at how much information someone should provide to a potential long-term partner”?

    I think everyone has deal breakers that will remain deal breakers whether you find out on the first date, after 2 years of dating, or even after marriage. Selena brought up good examples. If I discovered my boyfriend/ fianceé/ husband was bisexual or had ever had sex with another man, that would be a deal breaker FOR ME.

    I also think everyone has potential deal breakers based upon the timing of when they’re revealed and the context. If I was dating someone and he told me the best sex of his life was a threesome with two women, I would be turned off to the point of not wanting to go out with him again. But if I’m engaged and my fianceé said he had a drunken threesome with two women Spring Break of 1993 and it was stupid and not all that it’s cracked up to be, I wouldn’t give it much thought.

    And for me, it goes both ways. Not only do I want what I consider to be important information revealed to me, I also want to reveal important things about myself EVEN IF I don’t feel they’re all that important, knowing that my significant other might feel certain information is important to him. My reasoning is two fold: (1) It’s fair. (2) I want whoever I’m with to accept me totally. I don’t ever want to feel like someone loves me but wouldn’t IF he knew x,y,z.

    1. 20.1
      Marika

      KK

      I don’t really want to rehash this whole thing. If you read what some of the guys wrote, maybe you’ll think it’s completely fine. Some of us felt what they were suggesting was either an invasion of privacy, yet another example of guys’ double standards to do with female sexuality, or trying to make your partner responsible for your own insecurities. I was married to a man who made everything I’d ever done all about him. That kind of thinking doesn’t sit well with me and I don’t want an insecure detective for a boyfriend/husband. Like lots of these things, it got taken, in my view, into the realms of the ridiculous. There’s being empathetic to the opposite sex, then sometimes what’s more appropriate, is tough love: at which point you say sorry but this is your issue, not mine. Particularly if you asked a question you never really wanted to know the answer to.

    2. 20.2
      Emily, the original

      Hi KK,

      If I discovered my boyfriend/ fianceé/ husband was bisexual or had ever had sex with another man, that would be a deal breaker FOR ME.

      That’s one for me, too, although sometimes bi/gay guys are so impossibly hot.   🙁

       I want whoever I’m with to accept me totally. I don’t ever want to feel like someone loves me but wouldn’t IF he knew x,y,z.

      Ok. Here’s one. I have a guy friend (in his 40s) who told me he’s had 2 previous partners who are the women he remembers as having his hottest sexual experiences with. Neither one of those women is his wife. Is that something you’d want to know? I think he’s happily married and he is faithful, but that is NOT information I’d want to know if I were the wife. Some things should shared with friends (I don’t necessarily mean me. Could be his other guy friends). Not spouses.

      1. 20.2.1
        KK

        Hello Miss Emily!

        “Is that something you’d want to know?”

        Nope.

        I think that would fall under the over-sharing category. LOL

        Not only would I never ask that question, I would have a serious problem with my husband volunteering that information.

        I think sharing explicit details of past sexual experiences is completely unnecessary and differs completely from basic information like how many relationships you’ve had or if you’ve ever had a one night stand, etc.

        I’ll go one further though. I think your guy friend is being disrespectful to his wife by telling you or anyone else that. I think some things are best kept to yourself. Although, if you’re single and share certain things with your friends, that’s fine, in my opinion. But once you’re married, I think you owe your spouse a certain level of respect and telling your buddies about your hottest sexual encounters with other women doesn’t meet that criteria. Again… Just my opinion, of course. 😉

         

        1. Emily, the original

          Hi KK,

          Not only would I never ask that question, I would have a serious problem with my husband volunteering that information.

          Ok. We’re on the same page. You wrote you wanted someone to really know you, and I didn’t know how far that extended. I agree. Explicit sexual details are somethings a man can keep to himself and vice versa.

          But once you’re married, I think you owe your spouse a certain level of respect and telling your buddies about your hottest sexual encounters with other women doesn’t meet that criteria.

          With that, I will disagree. People need another outlet sometimes besides a spouse. And what do you think guys talk about with each other?  🙂   At least the guys I used to work with. They’re not talking so much about what they do with their wives but sort of bragging about what they did before. Plus, you don’t talk to your married female friends about intimate stuff, past of present? I do, but the conversation of course stays with me. It depends on how close the friendship is.

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