Not tonight, honey, the dog is watching my headache.
January 3, 2010 5:31 PM   Subscribe

What are the best (or worst) real-life excuses you've heard or used to avoid sex?

I've been assigned to write an article on excuses for avoiding sex. In an attempt to cast the net wider than my friends (and avoid embarrassing the more prudish of the lot), I'm appealing to the Metafilter community for examples of excuses you've encountered as either avoider or avoidee.

(Feel free to MeMail me if you don't want to post here).
posted by Felicity Rilke to Human Relations (45 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I'm allergic to perfumed toilet paper. Generally not a problem since hypoallergenic toilet paper is readily available but staying away from home can make it one. Allergic reactions, um, down there are a great reason to avoid having sex. Or a really awful one, but effective either way.
posted by shelleycat at 5:35 PM on January 3, 2010

posted by dfriedman at 5:35 PM on January 3, 2010

Well, one girl I was dating had to repark her car. And managed to crash it while reparking. That was a pretty good excuse.
posted by musofire at 5:40 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

"We have to be quiet, and that makes it more work for me."
posted by Night_owl at 5:40 PM on January 3, 2010

Recently my boyfriend and I went out to eat at Big Star, a taqueria & bourbon bar in Chicago. He slathered the housemade salsa all over the incredibly spicy poblano rajas tacos and ate them with his hands. Later that night, I gasped and leapt out of bed like I was electrified when he touched my ladybits, and begged off until the chile oils left his hands or the burning stopped.
posted by Juliet Banana at 5:41 PM on January 3, 2010 [16 favorites]

I totally agree about allergies. If you wash with Irish Spring, you will be denied (I am allergic, and you may be awesome, but no one is awesome enough to warrant a vaginal infection).

I'm sore/tired/not feeling well/screwed up my birth control are all good excuses. I can't think of a poor excuse, really, because if you don't want to, well, you don't want to, and that is completely valid.
posted by katemcd at 5:43 PM on January 3, 2010 [2 favorites]

The question isn't clear: is an "excuse" by definition illegitimate? (As in: I told him I had an allergy but it was just an excuse!") or could excuse mean a real "reason" for not having sex? ("We couldn't have sex last night--her excuse being that I was covered in spicy hot pepper sauce!")

A female friend tells the story of telling a guy she couldnt sleep with him because she was distraught about the 2008 election--she then had to break it off with him before he learned she was a staunch democrat.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:52 PM on January 3, 2010 [3 favorites]

I was once told "No, I can't, because I'm in training for a triathlon, and my coach has banned it".

(Seemed like a challenge to me. I guess the coach could hold me responsible for the poor triathlon result.)
posted by malibustacey9999 at 5:57 PM on January 3, 2010

Honest excuse: I'm four months pregnant, and I sometimes have to tell my husband that I can't have sex because I just took my prenatal vitamin and if I don't go to sleep right after I take it, it'll make me nauseous (I take it right before bed so I can sleep through the nausea it always causes).

I've never used a dishonest excuse to get out of sex. If I'm too tired, or too stressed, or not in the mood, I just say so.
posted by christinetheslp at 6:04 PM on January 3, 2010

The top ten excuses (from a study of 4,000 British adults):
1. Too tired

2. I'm not in the mood

3. I've got a headache

4. I've got to get up in the morning

5. I'm pre-occupied with work

6. I'm angry with you

7. I can hear one of the children

8. You need a shower

9. I've got a bad back

10. Too soon in our relationship
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:47 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Former boyfriend to me: "I can't because I'm afraid it would reopen this cut on my finger, and I'm nauseated by the sight of blood."

Me to (different) former boyfriend: "Are these the same sheets you had on the bed when I was in town last July? You haven't washed them since, have you?"
posted by timeo danaos at 6:48 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

When my ex and I were in (athletic) training last summer, he brought up the fact that sex during training for our sport is considered to provide worse results for guys - like the triathlon that mailbustacey brings up - but better results for girls. Ironically, he did much better than me results-wise, despite our breaking the no-sex guideline at every opportunity we could!
posted by hepta at 7:25 PM on January 3, 2010

"I can't have sex, I'm training to be a nun." I know the girl better now; she is not and has never been training to be a nun.
posted by JackarypQQ at 7:43 PM on January 3, 2010

In one relationship, I heard:
"But I've just rolled this joint."
"But I've just made this cup of tea."
"But I've just lit this cigarette."
"But I was just going to run a bath."
"But [my favorite sport] is going to be on TV in a half-hour."
posted by pammeke at 7:47 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

"I just started this new chapter of my book".

(I don't get a lot of quiet reading time. I cherish what I do get. When a book turns out to be really compelling, you'll need to take care of your own business, sorry.)
posted by padraigin at 8:34 PM on January 3, 2010 [2 favorites]

"Some weirdo is hiding behind that tree, watching us."

More of a reason than an excuse, really.
posted by halcyon_daze at 8:39 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

"My period is due to come any time now, and I really don't want to bleed on you."
posted by SisterHavana at 8:55 PM on January 3, 2010

Her: "Your thing is too big."
Me: "Since when?"
Her: "Since two minutes ago when I started rubbing it."
Me: "But that is what happens when you rub it!!"
Her: "Maybe tomorrow when I rub it, it won't get so big or I won't be so afraid."

What a way to say no to a guy. Tell him he is too big. Flattery, however false, eases the pain of rejection I guess.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:57 PM on January 3, 2010 [4 favorites]

To clarify, the excuse can be a legitimate reason or a made-up one. Thanks for all the answers so far, keep them coming!
posted by Felicity Rilke at 9:05 PM on January 3, 2010

Quite early on in a relationship when one is still quite hot for the other I got from a guy "I can only shower once a day as my skin is very sensitive" (he had just showered). Should have known right there & then it was destined to be doomed.
posted by sequin at 9:08 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

"Well, you obviously don't want to, I guess I'm not doing it for you anymore, it's okay, it happens to all couples"

This was about fifteen minutes after having sex, because she wanted to go again and I was slow to start.
posted by Zorz at 9:11 PM on January 3, 2010

"Privacy curtain or not, I'd prefer to wait until I've recovered from surgery just a little bit more."
posted by HFSH at 9:31 PM on January 3, 2010 [3 favorites]

The best one I've ever heard:

"I don't want to have sex right now."
posted by koeselitz at 9:59 PM on January 3, 2010

All 100% true, and from the same girl:

"I have to get up and wash my clothes"
"We waste so much time in bed"
"I have housework to to do"
"It's all you ever think about"
"I only feel aroused every week and a half"
"What *IS* it about guys and breasts" (completely killed the moment)

On the subject of masturbation (for her):

"It just doesn't compute".

As sequin says, I should have known then that it was doomed. In fact, I really feel like emailing all this to her new guy.
posted by flutable at 10:14 PM on January 3, 2010 [3 favorites]

"We're both far too drunk for it to be any good."
posted by The Whelk at 10:59 PM on January 3, 2010

These are from a poster who wants to remain anonymous:


"It's too hot and we will stick together."
"It's too cold and the blanket might fall off."
"The children might hear us."
"I have less testosterone than a woman."
"I always last too long."
"I've got a raid planned."
"Do you really want to?"
"Do I have to?"
"I haven't really been interested since I pressured you into sex with my friend (10 years ago), and when asked, you admitted that his large penis pleasantly stretched you."
posted by Felicity Rilke at 11:13 PM on January 3, 2010

"I'd forgotten how rough men's skin is."
posted by benzenedream at 11:56 PM on January 3, 2010

"I'm too tired, and it takes you forever to come..." said by very lazy partner.
posted by dzaz at 2:26 AM on January 4, 2010

"HOLY CRAP! I didn't know it got THAT hard!"
then a pause and look of suddenly realized terror.
"...oh god..."
posted by cmchap at 2:35 AM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

"Oooo! A 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' marathon!"

How my husband put off what I'd intended to be our first time.

Yet, I still married him. Go figure. :)
posted by Jacqueline at 5:18 AM on January 4, 2010

The "too hot, stick together" excuse is very real. We don't have air conditioning and it gets unpleasant. I've had the chili pepper issue numerous times also.

Possibly the best excuse I've ever given is "I'm laughing too hard." Wasn't laughing at HIM--he'd just said something really funny, I riffed off him, we both got the giggles and couldn't stop. YOU try inserting tab A into slot B if you're laughing really hard--trust me, it doesn't stay put. We just let it go and resumed in the morning.
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:36 AM on January 4, 2010

Last night...

Me: Snooze or snuggle?
Her (pulling 'yeah-but-no' face): Snooze. First day back at work tomorrow.
Me: That's cool. [Settles down to watch the Knicks completely obliterate the Pacers]
{5 minutes later}
Her: Can you stop shaking the bed so much please?
posted by i_cola at 7:50 AM on January 4, 2010

"My period is due to come any time now, and I really don't want to bleed on you."

In my case, this isn't an excuse actually - my partner is EXTREMELY nauseated by blood and there's nothing worse than stopping sex so he can run into the shower and start to gag. (Happened once. Never again.) (Let's not discuss whether or not this is "reasonable" on his part. It's just how it is. For one week of the month, vaginal penetration is off the sexual table.)

Other great moments in not-having-sex:

"The Office is going to be on in ten minutes!" (See also: Stargate Universe.)
"You need to shave first."
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:01 AM on January 4, 2010

stomach ache, constipation, or nausea = huge turn-offs
posted by Neekee at 11:16 AM on January 4, 2010

I have on many occasions gotten off the train to sextown because my boyfriend's (female) cat will stand in the doorway and STARE at us.

Last night he begged off sex because I had mentioned the day before I suspected I might be getting a UTI.

I've turned him down before because his pubic hair was too prickly.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 11:26 AM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

"You'll wake up the cat(s)."
posted by vickyverky at 11:28 AM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

I have on many occasions gotten off the train to sextown because my boyfriend's (female) cat will stand in the doorway and STARE at us.

Oh, we have one that really likes to be in the bed with us during sex. It took us a while to figure it out, because she'd never been like that with my husband's former wife, but we started wondering why she never seemed unsettled or jumped down from the bed during our efforts, and we finally realized that she WANTED to be there. As long as we don't outright kick her in the face, she's good to go, and she'll purr most of the time during. Neither of our other cats will have anything to do with this.
posted by dlugoczaj at 2:18 PM on January 4, 2010

I gave a blowjob once after eating a LOT of flaming hot Cheetos. Sex of any kind ended within 45 seconds.

I swear it was an accident!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:39 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

"I've got a cat on my lap & don't want to disturb him/her"
"I want a cup of coffee"
"My ass is dragging!" (ie. too tired)
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 4:30 PM on January 4, 2010

Ah, so many good ones. Thanks, folks!
posted by Felicity Rilke at 8:38 PM on January 4, 2010

Friend of mine once had a girl answer a cell phone call during sex, and then leave to go complete a drug deal. He's got a lot of stories like that. He's had kind of a crazy life overall, it seems.
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:09 AM on January 5, 2010

YOU try inserting tab A into slot B if you're laughing really hard--trust me, it doesn't stay put.

Feels great though.
posted by vbfg at 7:03 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Pap smear in the morning - it would skew the results.
posted by krikany at 7:41 AM on January 5, 2010

"I don't want to ruin my mood."
posted by chana meira at 7:53 PM on January 5, 2010

"But it's Saturday!"
posted by tyedie at 5:32 PM on January 13, 2010

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