My parents raised me sex positive long before “sex positive” was a term.
My mom told me that “making love is a beautiful act between people who are in love.” My parents didn’t hide that sex was pleasurable; in fact, my mom used to say, “Why do people say ‘fuck you?’ They should say ‘unfuck you’ because fucking feels good.”
I’m grateful for the positive attitude about sex and my body with which they raised me. I’m sure these messages in my childhood are why as an adult I have relatively few inhibitions and am sexually confident.
However, what I never understood growing up, and have discovered over and over as a grown woman, is the massive double standard men have about sex – how the way they treat you completely transforms once you have sex with them, especially if you don’t play games and make them wait for it.
It’s a sad but true reality that girls in more conservative families have drummed into their heads from a young age: Boys won’t respect you once you put out. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?
I always found that cow/free milk metaphor incredibly insulting. I heard that shit growing up, sure, even if I didn’t hear it at home, but I completely discounted it. And the older and more sexually empowered I became, the more I knew it to be a fact that women want sex just as much as men, if not more so, and all of the societal myths about men being driven by sex and women not having as much of a libido are just that, myths.
I can line up 10 women within 10 minutes to tell stories of wanting sex more than their male partners.
But I can line up 100 women within 10 minutes to tell stories of being fucked and forgotten.
That’s right: fucked and forgotten.
What I’ve learned the hard way (no pun intended) is that when you have sex with a man who has not wooed and pursued you for a lengthy period of time – and when you do find a man in 2016 who will woo and pursue a woman for a lengthy period of time, please give him my number – once he fucks you, he usually forgets you.
I call it the Fuck and Forget. F squared.
Every time I think this guy will be different, this guy is actually into me, I get fooled again. You know the saying: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me countless times, I’m a fucking idiot to believe anything a man ever says to me on a date.
I know I need to practice what I preach. I’ve said repeatedly to believe nothing a man says on a date. I now need to clarify – believe nothing he says on a date BEFORE you’ve had sex with him. At this point, the man is in the wanting to conquer – aka fuck you – phase. He will say and do almost anything in order to get you to give him access to that magical jewel nestled within you.
You think that he wants you to have sex with him. He tells you he does, how much he likes you, how smart, interesting, funny and beautiful you are. How he’s never met anyone like you. You’re so confident. You’re so open. You’re so direct. And it all turns him on like crazy and makes him want you all the more.
If you truly are direct, as I am, you will tell him your concerns about having sex too fast, let’s say at the end of the second date. You like him too, you tell him, and in your experience, having sex too fast usually ruins the chance of it going anywhere. You don’t want to do that with him because you like him so much.
He will reassure you a dozen different ways that if you have sex with him now, it will not in any way affect how he feels about you or change his behavior. He may even tell you a story or two about sleeping with a woman right away and then getting into a serious relationship with her.
“It makes no difference,” he’ll say, “whether we have sex now or after 10 more dates.”
When you hear this line, remember that while the man is trying to conquer you, you are in Bizarro World – what he says is the exact opposite of what is going to happen.
No matter how openly and honestly you express your concerns that having sex too fast will change things for the worse, it makes no difference – it will change things for the worse. In fact, you will probably never go on another date with this man again.
If he has manners, and the slightest hint of a conscience, he will text you the same night (if he leaves post coitus, making the typical male sprint for the door immediately after coming) or the next day and tell you what a great time he had.
After that, you will hear from him less often, and start to realize that though he responds when you contact him, he doesn’t initiate contact.
After about a week, all communication from him will cease. He’s moved on.
He’s fucked you and forgotten you.
On to the next conquest.
Meanwhile, you feel disappointed, but more than that, confused. The sex was good. Hell, it might have been great. It doesn’t matter. What he is judging you on – and maybe it’s on a subconscious level, but he is judging you nonetheless – is how fast you gave him access to your magical jewel. If he can have it that easily, he doesn’t want it, no matter how mind-blowing it was.
I know this sounds incredibly old fashioned and sexist, and it is. I am not a believer in The Rules or any of those dating systems that teach women to withhold their sexuality in order to manipulate and control men. Books with titles like Find Him, Catch Him, Keep Him sound sad and pathetic to me.
Then again, being lied to, opening myself up both physically and emotionally to a man I think there is some potential with, and then being discarded like a used condom feels sad and pathetic too.
After 25 years of being sexually active, this is what I finally know for sure:
You give men what they want by denying them.
As counterintuitive as that seems, remember that we are in Bizarro World. He says he wants you to have sex with him on the first date or the second date or the supposed societal norm of the third date, but he really wants you to make him work for it. And if he doesn’t want you to make him work for it and just wants quick, easy sex, he certainly isn’t going to make any effort once you sleep with him.
I have much more evidence for this truth than I would like to admit publicly. And I’m not saying that every guy I slept with in three dates or less forgot about me. But almost unfailingly, their behavior changed, even if they stuck around. The one significantly older man I dated stopped taking me out on nice dates to dinner or brunch and just came over late at night, so that dating devolved into booty calls. And when we did have actual plans, something always came up and he cancelled.
Guys in their 30s did without exception blow me off after semi-fast sex, except of course for the Walking Red Flag, who began a two-month pseudo relationship with me after amazing sex on the first date, which lasted roughly 16 hours. But anyone who seemed like he wasn’t a Walking a Red Flag – who had a good career, didn’t live with his parents, and wasn’t in the midst of not-his-first divorce – F-squared me like clockwork. It didn’t matter if he was 39 or 32, and it certainly didn’t matter how much I told him beforehand that I was worried if we had sex too quickly it would mess things up. He would reassure me, tell me how awesome I am, and perhaps even act annoyed that I was going on and on about my fears. Why would I assume that about him? He isn’t like other guys, he’d assure me.
The moment you hear “I’m not like other guys,” you can rest assured that he’s just like every other guy.
So what’s the solution? As someone blessed and cursed with a libido on the far end of the bell curve, I want to have sex just as bad as the guy does when we’re in the moment. And not because I am using sex to “get him” (obviously that doesn’t work) or trading sex for feeling loved. I know he doesn’t love me that fast, and I don’t love him. But I would like to be able to have sex when I feel like it and know that we can continue to date, get to know each other more and see where it goes.
However, that hasn’t worked. Ever. And I know I’m not alone in this from talking to countless other women.
From now on, I’m not going to have sex with anyone I like at least before the fifth date. I should probably aim for 10 dates and then hopefully I’ll make it to five, like if I say I’m going to work out every day, I work out five days, and if I say I’m going to work out five days, I work out three. Shoot for the moon, and if you miss, at least you’ll reach the stars.
I hate that this double standard exists.
I hate that men can lie so easily.
I hate that this behavior is so predictable and well proven that I have this much to say about it.
But it is.
Please don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying there is anything wrong with having sex fast because you want to. Just don’t expect to be treated well afterwards.
As someone who is tired of being fucked and forgotten, I can change what I do more than I can change men. Changing what I do may be difficult, but changing men is impossible.