Sate Horniness, Sidestep Hurt
April 3, 2009 12:10 PM   Subscribe

I am 20 years old and male. There is a girl (19?) in my circle of friends who really, really, wants to have sex with me. She hangs on my every word, and I get the impression I can do no wrong in her eyes. She's a nice enough person (and pretty smart to boot), but I'm not interested in a romantic relationship with her (or at all, really). She asked me out, and I politely declined, and a few weeks later she straight up offered to have sex with me no strings attached (again, politely declined). That was a month or two ago, and now I'm thinking of taking her up on it. I've never had sex, despite situations like this having played themselves out two or three times before. I find her quite physically attractive. My fear is that no matter how bluntly I say "I just want to have sex with you", she'll pine for a relationship, and I'll be leading her on. Should I do this? How?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (61 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Don't do it. She will pine for a relationship and you will be leading her on.
posted by Sheppagus at 12:12 PM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

Was it this girl? Yeah, don't do that.
posted by zoomorphic at 12:15 PM on April 3, 2009 [7 favorites]

My fear is that no matter how bluntly I say "I just want to have sex with you", she'll pine for a relationship, and I'll be leading her on.

Are you not in control of your own actions? If you don't want to lead her on, don't lead her on.

If you're clear up front that you don't want to have a relationship beyond sex, and she still pushes for a relationship, well, that's her problem isn't it?

Just be clear up front, in fact tell her how concerned you are about the fall out... if you're on the same page it'll be fine.

Also make sure she is of age before you boink her.
posted by wfrgms at 12:16 PM on April 3, 2009

I disagree that you will be leading her on if you explicitly state beforehand that it is completely casual, no-strings-attached sex. However, I agree that, given her past attempts to kindle a relationship with you, she will probably see your acquiescence to sex as a "maybe we could have a relationship", regardless of how you actually frame it. So, to that end, you should probably not do the sex.
posted by owtytrof at 12:16 PM on April 3, 2009

She's in your circle of friends. Don't do it.
posted by amanda at 12:17 PM on April 3, 2009

Do it. Youre fucking 20 years old. Be a 20 year old, dammit. As long as youve been perfectly clear that all you want is sex and you do not want a relationship, why not?
posted by ElmerFishpaw at 12:18 PM on April 3, 2009 [19 favorites]

Sounds like if you do it you'll both learn a lesson. I guess it depends on how you feel about lessons.
posted by jon_kill at 12:19 PM on April 3, 2009 [46 favorites]

If she doesn't seem like the crazy girl type, I say just tell her straight up you want to do the NSA thing and go for it. Who knows, you might even have a stalker afterwords.
posted by nickerbocker at 12:22 PM on April 3, 2009

'Okay, but don't get upset when you see me screwing someone else.'
posted by kldickson at 12:23 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Do it; be clear about your intentions, and if she gets hurt it's her own fault.

For you, it's a good opportunity to enjoy your first experience, and maybe more. This will enable you to become good at it (everyone is awful at sex their first [and second, and third] time). That way, when you meet someone you want to have a relationship with, you won't be awful at the whole sex thing.

Look at this as a learning experience, where a girl is offering herself as a tutor.
posted by Simon Barclay at 12:26 PM on April 3, 2009

It might be useful to know why you've been showing such self restraint (props on that btw) before we can work out whether it's a good idea to abandon it all.
posted by fearnothing at 12:27 PM on April 3, 2009

Yeah, you're 20, go for it. It might be a mistake, it might not, but if you go through life trying never to make mistakes, it'll be pretty boring.

You want to go have sex with her. She's willing to have sex with you. Make sure she understands you only want to have sex, bring condoms and then go have sex.

You may be over-thinking this.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:31 PM on April 3, 2009 [6 favorites]

You're over thinking this. Just do it & WRAP THAT RASCAL!!!
posted by torquemaniac at 12:32 PM on April 3, 2009

No strings attached? Uh-uh, it's more complicated than that.

I compliment you on your consideration for her feelings thus far.
posted by eritain at 12:35 PM on April 3, 2009 [3 favorites]

Do it, but be absolutely clear - without being brusque about it - that you don't want anything but a casual hookup, no matter how long it goes on. By the way, now would be a good time to evaluate your own feelings - friendship plus sex has a weird way of evolving into a relationship, and you can't give her that speech and then decide in a few days you DO want to date her.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 12:36 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I would agree with amanda--since she is in your circle of friends, you shouldn't (or, at least, I wouldn't). One thing that I've learned from hooking up in my early twenties is to not do so in my circle of friends. It seemed like a harmless way to go because it meant that I at least knew a bit about their character, but I didn't like how other people would gossip about what we were up to.

And I do feel that her offer for no-strings-attached sex was cloaking a secret hope that something more would develop later on (been there, done that...oy). So to avoid any unnecessary drama and hurt feelings, you probably shouldn't go for it.
posted by blithecatpie at 12:38 PM on April 3, 2009

So far her approach seems respectful enough -- agreeing with others who say that as long as you're very clear as to what happens, what it means, and how often you want it to happen (even if that's only once), then you can move on with a clean conscience even if she starts to romanticize the connection. You probably should avoid giving any mixed signals (such as saying no to something, then saying yes like you want to do now), but you can only control what you do and say, not how it's interpreted.
posted by hermitosis at 12:39 PM on April 3, 2009

Here's the thing. Yes, she's an adult, and she should be responsible for her own feelings and what-not. So if you say "Hey, let's have no-strings sex," she should be grown-up enough to understand that you mean what you say and not turn the whole thing into a huge fucking dramabomb, right?


a) she's 19; and
b) she's grown up in a society where pop culture sends the message that you can make someone fall in love with you by having sex with them.

So it's up to you. If you don't mind detonating a huge dramabomb, go for it. Otherwise, go to an 18+ dance night and pick up someone who's also looking for no-strings sex.

Having what you think is no-strings sex with someone who has a crush on you is a recipe for horrible, horrible disaster. Especially if they're in your tight circle of friends. I have been there and done that and I swear to god there are still hard feelings and awkwardnesses with these guys at weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, and college reunions 20 years later.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:41 PM on April 3, 2009 [26 favorites]

If you do it and are up front that you are only physically attracted to her and don't want a relationship then you should be fine. It may create some drama, but so does everything, and it sounds like a great way to lose your virginity.

Moreover, you may find you actually do like her and want a relationship. Be open to the possibility that doing it with someone strangely and forever can change the way you look at them.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:43 PM on April 3, 2009

I'm 35. When you're 35 you'll look back and think, "you know what, I'm glad I never had sex with that young attractive girl with the firm breasts". You're 20 - its YOUR JOB.
posted by daveyt at 12:43 PM on April 3, 2009 [12 favorites]

Sounds like you have reason to believe that sex with you is going to be an emotional thing for her, and it sounds like you'd feel bad about having sex with her if it ended up being an emotional thing for her, even if you were very up front about your intentions. Plus, she's in your circle of friends. I think you should take a pass.

On the other hand, what's with all the not having sex or romantic relationships? Gotta start sometime. Better to have your heart broken a few times when you are young than to be afraid of having it broken when you are older.
posted by Good Brain at 12:45 PM on April 3, 2009

Well, she already pines for a relationship. So having sex with her won't make the situation worse (except, I suppose, in magnitude).

Just be honest with her and explain what you just told us and see if she still wants to do it. Young girls sometimes want to have sex with a close friend in order to try it out, rather then in a complicated romantic situation with lots of pressure, etc.
posted by delmoi at 12:46 PM on April 3, 2009

Trust your instincts here, which are telling you that no matter what she says, she will likely harbor a hope that sex will lead to you having deeper feelings for her. Casual sex isn't so casual with this baggage hanging over you. It sounds like it could be pretty awkward, in this case. If you want casual sex, look for someone on the same page as you; this ain't it.
posted by JenMarie at 12:46 PM on April 3, 2009 [3 favorites]

People that think you can do no wrong, frequently flip to thinking you can do no right. They don't seem to be able to inhabit a middle ground. What does this mean? If things go south she will likely tell everyone in your circle, and possibly everyone she meets, what a complete douche you are. Crush flipped to hate, and it happens instantly. Getting involved with someone that only sees extremes is really dangerous stuff. If you loved her it might be worth it, but for a little friction the drawbacks seem to outweigh the benefits.
posted by jester69 at 12:48 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Also, keep in mind that not having sex with her will hurt her feelings too. It will make her feel unattractive, like something is wrong with her.
posted by delmoi at 12:49 PM on April 3, 2009

Hmmm, please forgive my bluntness because I am skeptical of the question. I mean really, a guy is writing in and asking if he should have sex with someone who allows him to have no strings attached sex, is considering it and wants our blessing? Is this a real question or is it bragging? If this is for real it would have been done already- either in turning it down or in doing the deed. This is the classic "she wants my hot bod but I don't want to seem easy but I really want the notch on my belt" Are you trying not to look like an unprincipled cad? Consider that using a person for a booty call, in spite of knowing her feelings for you, is being a cad if you have no plans in reciprocating those feelings and do not care about her feelings when you get your rocks off.

If you are waiting for the right girl to pop your cherry, that is your prerogative and your right as a human being. Tell her that the spark isn't there for you and she's not the one, and that you wish her well on her search for love. She'll have to deal with the rejection one way or another.

If you really wanted to have sex, you'd have stopped wasting your time by consulting the oracles of Me-Fi and have dropped by Walgreens for Trojans
posted by agentsarahjane at 12:50 PM on April 3, 2009

The only time it's "no strings attached" is when she's a prostitute. And even that can have complications.

Don't do it. You'll be leading her on, and she knows your friends. It won't be worth the awkwardness later.
posted by JuiceBoxHero at 12:51 PM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

Hi, former teenaged girl here.

She's in love with you. Or she thinks she is anyway. Spare her feelings and future drama for you.
posted by jerseygirl at 12:52 PM on April 3, 2009 [15 favorites]

If you really wanted to have sex with her, you would have done it already. Also, what sidhedevil said. I am generally a proponent of not overthinking and leaping before looking and all that kind of thing - hey, it's sort of worked for me for all these years - but in this case I think you should go with your first instincts, which were, clearly, not to do it. Besides, how is this going to work out, exactly? You're a virgin; you're going to sound a little odd all, like, on the phone saying "Yeah, no strings attached, baby" and then not being exactly sure how to follow through when she actually shows up. Picture this: if she doesn't get offended by the bootie call, which she might, she'll come over to your place and it will all be ridiculously awkward unless you both get really drunk in which case it will probably also be awkward but with added vomit. Then, in the morning, she will cry. I would skip this one.

Also, you're twenty. Another girl will come along in no time and you'll really want to hop into bed with her and it will happen naturally without all this planning.
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:55 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

If I were in your shoes, I'd go through with the sexing, but steel myself for the drama bomb. Whatever happens, its probably not going to be the end of the world.
posted by craven_morhead at 12:55 PM on April 3, 2009

Also, keep in mind that not having sex with her will hurt her feelings too. It will make her feel unattractive, like something is wrong with her.

He's already rejected her--she asked him out twice and he said "No" both times. So this would be a specious rationalization for him.

It's not like "you're hot enough for a booty call but not for an actual date" is a giant boost to anybody's ego at 19.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:01 PM on April 3, 2009 [4 favorites]

Nthing Sidhedevil's HUGE FUCKING DRAMABOMB. Go with your gut, which is clearly telling you to keep your dick out of the drama.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:08 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

she's grown up in a society where pop culture sends the message that you can make someone fall in love with you by having sex with them.

Also, keep in mind that not having sex with her will hurt her feelings too. It will make her feel unattractive, like something is wrong with her.

You know, maybe, just maybe, this girl knows what she wants and will be ok when she gets it. Can we give the girl some damn credit?

I fooled around in my circle of friends at 19/20, and there was no awful gossiping. I also was forward with my intentions many times, and I turned out just fine. She's young, yes, but we have no idea whether or not she's a fragile little thing with her ego hanging on whether or not this one dude sleeps with her. He's the only one who can know that.

If you trust her enough to not make a big mess, then do it. If you think she's doing it in order to make you fall in like/love with her, then don't. But at least give her the benefit of the doubt that she's a woman of sound mind. Not all 19 y.o. girls are crazy.

And listen to jon_kill:
Sounds like if you do it you'll both learn a lesson. I guess it depends on how you feel about lessons.

posted by anthropoid at 1:15 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Sex is not a precious commodity. Find it somewhere else.

Yes, it would be good for you to experience sex. Just not with her.

A while there is certainly a somewhat dubious value judgement in making mistakes to later learn from them, it appears your mistake was already made, and learned from: your decision to refuse to date her.

Learn from it. Don't do it.
posted by trotter at 1:22 PM on April 3, 2009 [3 favorites]

Sounds to me like you're afraid -- reasonably -- that having sex will make you fall in love with her. It's projection to make it about her.

And you might be right. If you've never had the experience, sex can make men fall in love just as easily as women.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:25 PM on April 3, 2009

File under "rly bad ideaz'... This is the sort of thing people look back on later in life and cringe about. I've been that girl, and she's lying to herself to say 'no strings attached.' This isn't about morals so much as it will probably be really awkward and end badly for you both. YMMV.
posted by wowbobwow at 1:36 PM on April 3, 2009

I wasn't going to say anything, but after reading the same basic advice a few times, I'm starting to feel compelled. The folks who are saying 'hey, you're twenty, do a bunch of selfish and stupid shit, because that's what twentysomethings do'? You don't want to be like that.
posted by box at 1:51 PM on April 3, 2009 [12 favorites]

Hi, former teenaged girl here.

She's in love with you. Or she thinks she is anyway. Spare her feelings and future drama for you.

uuh? another former teenaged girl here - she just wants to have some freakin fun!

Seriously, it all depends on your local culture/ circle of friends/ etc, but I was most definitely not looking for serious relationships when I was 20, and did not know anyone who was - I had one friend who ended up in a serious relationship during college, and at the time it seemed kinda weird, because the rest of us were not at that stage yet. College was for lots of late night talks and a few flings and experimenting and exploring and road trips and all-nighters and theme parties and silly games that sometimes got out of hand...

You should judge this based on your own assessment of what you actually want and what you think she actually wants, but it is entirely possible for a young woman to enjoy sex with you without hoping for a long term commitment of some kind.
posted by mdn at 1:51 PM on April 3, 2009

I think you should go ahead and do it.......and I also think that after you have sex with her there is a possibility that you might like her for more than sex (instead of the other way around).......If you do think she is physically attractive and she has the hots for you, you should go ahead and do it.....or 5 years later you will be regretting it

(trust me I WOULD KNOW)
posted by The1andonly at 1:56 PM on April 3, 2009

I've been in this situation before. It has worked out well a couple times and been a disaster a couple of other times. The problem is that even if both parties are honestly in saying all they want is a physical relationship, things can change after the deed is done. And then the phone calls start and the jealousy... Makes you feel like complete jerk. IMO, it's probably best to avoid the situation if you work with or are close to the person.
posted by batou_ at 1:58 PM on April 3, 2009

Maybe you should ask someone in your circle of friends who you trust, because there are a lot of angles we could be totally missing.

Another issue is you could develop feelings for her after sex, and find she might have moved on.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:05 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

She's in love with you.

He didn't say she was in love with him. He said she wanted to bang him.
posted by Zambrano at 2:32 PM on April 3, 2009

Former teenage girl here.

It is really and truly entirely possible for a woman to actually want no strings attached sex when she says she wants no strings attached sex.

I am (at 30+) still friends with guys I slept with when younger.

You sound like a considerate guy. Just make it very clear to her beforehand that you don't want a relationship, use a condom, and have fun.
posted by trunk muffins at 2:40 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

yes, you are quite likely lining yourself up for a huge fucking dramabomb. maybe not. more assuredly, there is a finite period in your life where you get to bone 19-year-old girls. weigh your risk vs. reward. but this 30 yo dude agrees with daveyt. make your intentions clear & go for it.
posted by gnutron at 2:42 PM on April 3, 2009

Do it and make sure you dispose of the condom properly
posted by Redmond Cooper at 2:44 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think there's no possible way to do this without conveying the truth that you like her enough to sleep with her, but not enough to, you know, hang out with. Which means you're telling her, Hey, your personality is lacking, but -- free sex! Can't turn that down!

Of course women can want no-strings-attached sex. This particular woman you're talking about, however, has proven that she wants more than that.
posted by chowflap at 2:47 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Hi there. I lost my virginity in a situation very like this one, more than 15 years ago. We hung out & slept together for about a year before we both figured out that we wanted more, specifically that we wanted more with someone else (fortunately not the same someone else - that would have been awkward). Ending the physical side of our friendship was difficult, and we spent a few years out of contact. But we're in intermittent contact now, and I - and I think he - look(s) back on the fun times we had together with fondness.

When I first met him, I wanted to sleep with him and - being young and naive - thought that meant that I wanted him to be my boyfriend. When that wasn't forthcoming, I was like... "Yeah, um, I really want to sleep with you. A lot. Let's do this. Now." It can work, there doesn't have to be drama. That being said, he was always very clear with me, very honest with me, and very considerate of me (as a person, friend, and sexual partner), as I was with him.

As for the "hanging on your every word" thing, I had to smile when I read that - where I come from, that's hardcore flirting. I don't mean to burst your bubble, but she may not actually think that you can do no wrong - she may just really want you to take your clothes off. Just my two cents.
posted by pammeke at 3:01 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

but I'm not interested in a romantic relationship with her (or at all, really)

Losing your virginity might just change this attitude, is that what you are afraid of? You seem intelligent and thoughtful, i'd say losing your virginity will change everything. Go for it!
posted by twistedonion at 3:56 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I wasn't going to write anything, but I think this is important.

You don't want to shag her.
So dont do it.

Dont overanalyse, or bind yourself up with what you think you could do or what you might get out of it or all the strenghts, weaknesses, oppotunities and threats of the situation. You know exactly what you want. So be true to yourself.

Life is full of shit like this. The ability to resist shagging the wrong person at the wrong time is a greatly underrated strength. Dont listen to all this crap about "you're 20, so dont give a shit!". You're 20, you're 30, you're 99; it doesnt matter. Sometimes you have to do the right thing, even when there's every reasonable excuse not to.

You'll lose your virginity when you are ready to, and it'll be all the better for finding someone you arent being half-hearted with.

You'll have no-stings-attached sex, knowing that you'll never see the person again or have to worry about them mis-interpreting it.

As for your friend; the nicest thing you can do is show her some real respect by not taking advantage of her and not letting her break her heart on you.

Written in haste, I hope things work out.
posted by BadMiker at 4:14 PM on April 3, 2009 [5 favorites]

Don't do it. I was in a similar situation once, and I also happen to be closer to your age than most of the repliers urging you to bone her damn the consequences. MeMail if you want details.
posted by Ndwright at 5:04 PM on April 3, 2009

I'm taking it she's a virgin, too? And she's asked you more than once? And after you refused, she threw in the "no strings attached" bonus?

She's in love (or something roughly equivalent) with you, and hopes that having sex with you will somehow magically awaken your love (or something roughly equivalent) for her as well. Bail. She'll be hurt, either in the short, no-sex run, or the long, sex-but-no-relationship-she-secretly-really-wanted run. You? You have to decide for yourself if this is how you want your first time to go. Now, our society makes a BIG THING out of losing your virginity (of course, I'm jumping to the conclusion that you're an American), but really in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't have to be that.

And if you want a "tutor" for your first time, as someone above mentioned, look for a more experienced woman. Unless, of course, this 19-year-old has been around, in which case, she has another thing going on entirely.

As for "give the girl some credit!" -- I *am*. What she's doing / likely feeling doesn't make her bad, or wrong, or screwed up. It makes her a 19-year-old girl.
posted by tzikeh at 6:32 PM on April 3, 2009

Please, for the sake of your mutual friends, do not do this. There is nothing worse than being caught in the middle of a dramatic emotional trainwreck that your dumbass of a friend SAW coming and did anyway.

Yes, she's an adult (maybe? that question mark by her age is making me nervous for you) and she's the one that offered the no-strings sex. Casual sex between consenting adults only works with experienced partners who both hold clear expectations and boundaries, and even then half the time it falls apart spectacularly.

I guarantee there are better ways to lose your virginity, and sex is a million times better when you respect your partner. That doesn't mean that you need to fall in love with some girl, and it doesn't mean that you can't have some casual fling. It means that you never start something with someone who clearly wants more than you are able to give them, especially not if they are friends. That's what assholes do.

So don't be an asshole. You won't look back on this in your eighties and wish that you'd trampled some girl's heart, lost some friends, and gained some emotional scars in exchange for losing your virginity a few months earlier.
posted by jnaps at 6:40 PM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

It is really and truly entirely possible for a woman to actually want no strings attached sex when she says she wants no strings attached sex.

Of course it's possible; I hardly think that is worth arguing.

However, given this set of particulars the OP has described, including his own seeming reluctance, the girl's apparent feelings, and that she is a part of his circle of friends, it doesn't seem like a kind or smart thing to do. You don't have to then make a broad generalization that because casual sex won't work in this case, with this girl, that women are completely incapable of it. That's pretty ridiculous.
posted by JenMarie at 7:25 PM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

You don't have to then make a broad generalization that because casual sex won't work in this case, with this girl, that women are completely incapable of it.

Exactly this!

Women can and do enjoy no-strings sex.

When one human who has a big crush on another human offers him or her no-strings sex, no-strings sex almost never happens due to the big crush.

In a group of young-adult friends who aren't used to handling awkwardness and conflict, this almost always results in a huge dramabomb.

I am (at 30+) still friends with guys I slept with when younger.

Yes, me too, at 44.

However, the guys who had a big crush on me and then I thought we were having no-strings sex? Still a little bit awkward, even though decades have gone by and we're all married to other people and everything.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:51 PM on April 3, 2009

You know what she's going to do with no-strings attached sex? After you've gone and done it with her, she's going to pretend she's not emotionally attached to you or pining for a relationship by gossiping with her friends (and it will circulate among your mutual friends) and say bad stuff. She'll degrade you to get over her hurt and say things about you that will embarrass you. She'll say things like, "He had a small dick," or "It took about five seconds and then it was over." Then she'll laugh at you as a means to develop disdain for you so she doesn't like you anymore.

Trust me. I went to college and heard all kinds of talk from girls who wanted more than sex from a guy and couldn't get it talk in a way that objectified the guys they slept with. If you want to be the laughingstock of your circle of friends, then go ahead and believe her when she offers no-strings attached sex. But I recommend you wait until you find someone you want to date and have an actual relationship with. When that relationship goes sour or whatever, then go on the rebound and have casual sex with girls you aren't friends with.
posted by anniecat at 8:03 PM on April 3, 2009

...never start something with someone who clearly wants more than you are able to give them, especially not if they are friends. That's what assholes do.

Repeated for emphasis.

Casual flings are mostly a crapshoot. Some work out just fine, and neither party has any regrets. Just as often, though, they become lopsided: one person ends up wanting more than the other. Even in cases where you both honestly and intentionally go into it with the attitude that it's just a fling, or a friends-with-benefits situation, it's still entirely possible for either or both of you to be blindsided by strong feelings of attachment, jealousy, etc., after you've had sex.

In this case, it sounds like she's already made it clear that she wants more than you do (though she seems to be willing to settle for less). That means the odds are heavily stacked against you getting out of this without drama, and her getting out of it without emotional scars. I'm with Sidhedevil - this is a recipe for hurt feelings and heaps of drama. I don't think it's worth the risk.
posted by velvet winter at 8:06 PM on April 3, 2009

Really it depends on how you feel about complications. There is a good chance that a situation like this is going to end up getting complicated, probably by the young woman getting attached. Even if you are down with the morally questionable idea that as long as you cover your ass with appropriate disclaimers, it is fine to get into something with someone who is clearly vulnerable to making unwise decisions about putatively casual flings, it's not like if she gets hung up on you (or is convinced that if you just have sex you'll come around) you just say ah, but I clearly identified the limitations of our encounters and she'll just say "yes of course, that is logically unassailable" and leave you be.

You should also consider that even if a person has decided they will take sex if sex is all that's on the table, it can be quite damaging for a person to really be faced with the reality that someone is willing to have sex with them, but not interested in a relationship of depth. I take your statement that "I'm not interested in a romantic relationship with her (or at all, really)" to mean that you don't want to be in a relationship at this time, but if the right person came along, you might reconsider that, and if you've softened your rejection of her as girlfriend material with the idea that you're just not interested in a relationship at all, that is also pretty hurtful.

Finally, she might not be the only person who ends up getting led astray. If you've never had sex you have no idea of what sort of emotional entanglement it may involve for you. Not everybody is wired to be able to remain emotionally aloof with someone they are sexually involved in - even if they are a bad fit for a relationship with that person. Boy I sure wish that were a hypothetical situation I was describing and the only other thing I can say about it is I'll never get that year and a half of my life back.

If you decide to go for it you can't assume the offer is still on the table if it hasn't been repeated so tread carefully in pursuing it. If it does end up seeming to be lopsided don't stay in it for the sex, cut things off completely. Be excruciatingly careful about birth control. If I were you I wouldn't do it, but of course I'm 37 and married.
posted by nanojath at 9:13 PM on April 3, 2009 [3 favorites]

Current teenage girl here (hi!).

Honestly, this depends a lot on details about the girl (and you, and your friends) that you haven't given here. We really can't tell if she's a possible virgin who's totally in love with you, or a more experienced girl (in relationships and otherwise) who just wants to bone you. Only you can say which situation is more likely, but even your best guess won't necessarily be accurate. Society teaches girls to be kinda weird about sex. I have friends who see sex as something that can only happen with an emotional connection, and can't understand that a lot of guys can and do separate them.

If your friend agrees with my friends, then she is absolutely using the offer of sex as a way to get you emotionally involved with her, because she thinks the two go together- after all, how could you have sex with her if you didn't like her? And you're already friends, and you're having sex, so basically you're going out. Right? And oh man, if she's a virgin? That's a whole other set of complicated issues that unless you know her reaaally well, you can't know her feelings on. And even if she says she wants to lose her virginity with you, and says it's no big deal, well, I can predict that this situation (first time with dude she had a huge thing for, threw herself at, and who doesn't want a relationship with her) has a high chance of not ending well.

Could you not perhaps feel out this situation by say, saying that you don't want a relationship, but also don't want to jump into sex in case things get too intense (for either of you)? Better than "I want to hedge my bets in case you turn out to be crazy" and hey, you don't know how having sex will affect you. Assuming you haven't already, try just making out and messing around. See how your feelings, and her feelings and actions, develop. There's no reason you have to jump into a full-on sexual relationship just because she's put it on the table. And if at some point she does try to pressure the relationship thing and you aren't cool with that, you can put on the brakes with a little less potential drama. Tell her you can't give her what she wants, and stop whatever you've been doing, and for serious dude do not keep hooking up with her, even if she wants to, if y'all end things because she wants a relationship. This can be a learning experience and a good experience at the same time, but be honest, be kind, and don't talk yourself into letting a bad situation continue.
posted by MadamM at 10:31 PM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

"People always told me 'be careful of what you do
And dont go around breaking young girls hearts'
And mother always told me 'be careful of who you love
And be careful of what you do cause the lie becomes the truth'"
- Michael Jackson
posted by salvia at 12:06 AM on April 4, 2009

If she wasn't infatuated with you she would have never said she wanted a relationship.

Leave the girl alone, her feelings may be hurt now but down the road she will respect you for not taking her up on the sex.

Sex is great, but it isn't love, and therefore not worth ruining a bunch of friendships over.
posted by trishthedish at 8:23 AM on April 4, 2009

Go for it. A drama-free life is a fun-free life. Your friends will be fine.
posted by R_Nebblesworth at 12:32 PM on April 4, 2009

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