Wednesday, April 27, 2005
eotw: putting out
This "Email of the Week" comes from Sarah in DC:
Jason,Ah, what a loaded and difficult question: when should you ladies put us for us guys? I'd like to go on record to say that I am in no way qualified to answer this question as I exude the same sexuality as a pile of used syringes and have the same sexual prowess as Benedict XVI, yet that won't stop me from putting in my 2,000 words on the topic.
I've only recently begun reading your blog at the prompting of my friend, Tyler (of Washington, DC "pregnant strippers at the bachelor party" fame). I know that you’re done discussing sexual topics (for at least three days), but I wanted to ask your opinion on an age old question (and hope that I don’t regret asking in the first place).
I’m a 23 year old single woman in DC, as are most of my friends. While I’m perfectly happy hooking up casually at the moment, a lot of my friends are looking for relationships, but to no avail. We often go round and round about the ideal scenario for meeting and dating guys in DC, and there’s always lots of hemming and hawing about how “it’s so hard to meet nice guys, guys are only interested in sex” etc. It seems to me, when my friends do meet guys out, through mutual friends, etc. and actually get the call and go out on a date, it never works out. Oftentimes I’ll blame this on my friends choosing to have sex with the guy too soon, which leads to my question. When is the right time to have sex with a guy that you’re dating?
I’ve had discussions with my male friends about this and it seems that there’s no right answer. I mean, I personally show no restraint, but that’s because I generally never want to see the guy again. However, if you’re looking for things to progress with the dude you’re dating, how long do you hold out? I realize that guys do not want to date girls that they meet at a bar and fuck later that night. That’s not exactly the makings of great romance. On the other hand, I’ve had male friends tell me that they will go out on two of three real dates with a girl, sleep with her, and never call her again. So is there any way to tell if a dude is into you or just looking to get laid? I realize that all dudes are just looking to get laid, and I can respect that. But, you know, people fall in love and get married and shit, and that has to start from something.
I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this.
P.S.- Tostitos are really fucking up there in my book as well. And the queso dip is even more awesome when you mix some salsa in with it.
[And by the way, the first person to send me $100 gets Sarah "I personally show no restraint" from DC's email address.]
Short answer: there is no correct answer. I know this may sound like I'm skirting the issue, but I'm really not. I'm simply saying that each circumstance is different. People do meet in a bar, go home and fuck, and get married and live happily ever after. Some people also meet at church, go out to movies, and never fuck until they get married and live happily ever after. And some people have a normal sex life, especially considering their weight problem, and then inexplicably stop having sex altogether and in a moment of weakness and insecurity start a blog about it that becomes an international phenomenon (at least that's what that person tells himself when he's drunk and it's 4 in the morning and he's waiting for his leftover Chinese food to finish heating in the microwave as he wipes the tears from his eyes). The point is that though you say your female friends go out on dates and “it never works out” or that your guy friends will date a girl, fuck her, and stop calling her, people do get together and fall in love. I promise.
Now that the sappiness is out of the way, I see three questions in your email:
1) When is the right time to have sex with a guy that you’re dating?
2) If you’re looking for things to progress with the dude you’re dating, how long do you hold out?
3) Is there any way to tell if a dude is into you or just looking to get laid?
Let's start with #3, since #1 and #2 are related. You are correct when you say all dudes are looking to get laid. The trick is to differentiate guys who are looking to get laid and those who are just looking to get laid. There is a big difference.
Every guy, when he first meets a girl, is just looking to have sex with her. Any guy who tells you differently is just trying to play the sensitive card, when deep down he’d stick a candle in your ass if you passed out on his couch. No guy ever meets a woman and says, “I would like her to be my girlfriend” in a way that a woman can size up a man's husband potential in three to five minutes. While a woman who meets a guy for this first time thinks, "I wonder if he has any history of disease or retardation in his family, because he could be the one!", a guy thinks, “I wonder how good she is at giving blowjobs?” or "I bet her bush is very well-trimmed".
But the good news is that obviously men are capable of developing feelings for women. And this gets to the crux of the issue: when do genuine feelings wrest the controls away from lust? Hmmm...
Men are not very emotionally intelligent. We know this, and, to be honest, we’re kind of proud of it. We know that we like to have an attractive girl to have sex with, but we also know that we like a cool girl to enjoy the company of. Everything else we’re either not sure of or don’t care to find out about.
And so it follows that when we do come to the conclusion that we have feelings for a girl, we can have a very difficult time expressing these feelings. I needn't get into the culture of manliness and about how feelings are for "pussies", but the result is that men are often not up front with their feelings.
For example, most of my guy friends, if they like a girl, will try to "play it cool". They could be giddy with joy that such a lovely lady is interested in them, but having been scarred by the movie "Swingers", they will still act as though it doesn't really matter and wait prescribed amounts of time before returning calls, initiating dates, etc. After all, one of the best relationship rules taken from a movie that I would rather not name says "We pursue that which retreats from us." Play hard to get, act cool, and the chick will totally dig you more (I'm not saying just guys act this way; women are just as guilty).
[I, on the other hand, can't contain my excitement when a woman seems interested in me. Since it's such a rare occurrence, it's like Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, my birthday, rolled into one, celebrated on a Caribbean island with lots of pina coladas and busty women of ill-repute everywhere. I remember once I went out with a girl to grab some drinks, had a great time and ended the night with a small smooch. That night, I made her a mix CD which I gave her the next day. I was 24 at the time. Needless to say, it didn't work out. God I am so pathetic.]
So here's a novel idea: if you want to find out how a guy feels about you, why don't you ask? Now I'm not saying you should ask a la "Blind Date" during the first date, nor am I saying that you should come out and inquire, "So, um, do you like me?", but there is a time and place for this type of discussion. You have to remember two things about guys: 1) we're clueless; 2) we're impressionable. Take initiative and we will follow where you lead. It's ok to talk about the status of a relationship even if it's in its incipient stages, as long as you do so without sounding crazy (i.e. "I love you" or "Do you think we could get married?" or "Our kids would have beautiful eyes", etc).
But that doesn't answer the question of figuring out if a guy likes you or if he likes having sex with you. For that, I've got nothing. No idea. If I had the answer, I'd be a millionaire. Instead, I have a blog. So let's move onto the sex...
No matter what a guy will say to you, sex changes everything. Everything is immediately different in a relationship (or in an evening) once you have sex with a guy. "Different" doesn't mean bad, though it could be. And "different" does have to be drastic, though it could be. "Different" just means not the same as it was before.
And I'm not going to diss one night stands here. One night stands can be a magical thing really; two people, in a moment, filled with cheap booze, going for it all. There is something sexually empowering about the one night stand in the "we both know this isn't going to go anywhere, but I'm attracted to you, you're attracted to me, so let's just fucking rock out." It happens, it's fun, whatever. I'm not gonna say that it makes guys cooler or women sluttier if they have a bunch of one-night stands, but I will say that my wife will not have had many one-night stands. If I have to hire a private investigator to find this out, I will do so. And I imagine this will cost me a fortune, as the PI will have to fly to Uzbekistan to trace my wife's first 19 years on earth, but I'm really getting off track here...
The bottom line: if a guy likes you, he'll wait. And here's another crazy idea: instead of me saying, "Well you should wait six weeks or six dates before sleeping with him, whichever comes first", I think that if you actually like the guy you should wait until you feel comfortable before you sleep with him. Why rush? If he's a good guy, he'll be willing to wait a little bit.
[Please note: this does not apply to me. I can't wait, frankly because I'm not in very good health. So if you and I start dating, it's very important that you put out as soon as possible, because that might be the last time you see me alive. Last night while watching TV my roommate Brian noticed that I was turning blue and, long story short, turns out I was dead for 28 minutes. Had it not been for my incredible will to get up and get some more jello out of the fridge, I might still be dead now.]
I know that guys are probably pissed at me for saying that a girl should wait and I know that I'm a little conservative, but hey, it's my fucking blog. And so a short story: once upon a time, long, long, ago, I really liked this girl. We had an long courtship, and finally we went out to dinner. We had a great date. We then got some drinks. The girl didn't go to BC (where I was at school) and so lived reasonably far away, so toward the end of the night I put on my best "I really, really would love to sleep with you but I'm gonna pretend like I don't want to" voice and said, "It's late - instead of traveling all the way home by yourself, why don't you just crash at my place?" Sure, it took some convincing (and a fifth of gin), but she agreed. We got back to my place and started smooching, and she said almost immediately, "All right, I'll stay, but no serious making out."
It was a strange thing to say, but good LORD it made my crush on her 10,000 times worse. That one sentence (followed by her actions following through with her statement and not allowing any "serious" making out) made me completely hooked on her, because she wasn't like the other skanks that my roommates and I would bring home, have our way with, and then completely disregard. It was refreshing, not because she, unlike the previous girls I had been with, had morals and self-esteem, but because she was honest and straight-forward. We both knew what was going on but neither of us had the balls to verbalize it until she spoke up. I was very, very impressed. And so I followed her around like an overweight puppy dog for the next month until she realized that I suck and cut things off with me. Also I had a long-distance girlfriend at the time, but that's neither here nor there.
And so that's all I can say: if a guy likes you, he'll wait until you're ready to make the dance of love. Is it unreasonable to make him wait six months before sleeping with him? Oh good lord yes. Hell, after six weeks I'd be asking you questions like, "Seriously, are you gay?" or "I know that you're not attracted to me, but can we please just have sex anyway? I'll buy you stuff!" But F him and only F him when you're ready.
And you're welcome for a very long-winded and mostly unhelpful response.