"Sooo... can we have sex now?"
February 15, 2012 6:58 PM   Subscribe

Second hookup/date tips for a girl who likes to pick up guys? (How to encourage said guys to make a move the second time around).

I'm an early-20s, bar/club/party-hopping kinda gal who enjoys my share of boy-chasing. After living for a while in a place with gender dynamics such that girls-hitting-on-guys is just as common (actually, more common) than the opposite, I realized it was fun and refreshing compared to waiting around for someone to approach me. I'm also pretty attractive, confident, and love talking to and meeting new people. So, with guys in the pub/club, I tend to be the one to make the approach -- eyeing the guy, walking up to him & his friends, chatting with them, maybe dancing with him, touching, kissing, asking for his number, etc., and if things are going well by the end of the night, often we end up hooking up.

My troubles start when the hookup goes well (oooof course). Since I made most of the moves during the first encounter, I pay attention to signs of interest or lack thereof (body language the next morning, texting/messaging conversation over the next couple of days, whether he suggests to meet up again), since I want to make sure he's also into it.

Second dates are still way flirty, but involve more in-depth conversation, slightly less booze (varies though), and are maybe a little more casual / less intense. The problem is that on this second date/thing, the guy, almost universally, does not make a physical move himself. I realize he's probably shy, and since I made the moves the first time, it's reasonable to expect that I will do so again. However, since I *feel* like I'm being super flirty again it feels really odd how much of the afternoon/evening/night can pass by without him trying anything, despite lots of dirty-talking-build-up before the date. Two instances of this in the past month involved:

1) spending ~4 hours barhopping, just the two of us, talking the whole time, ending up in his apartment, sitting IN HIS BED with him, talking about nothing for 20 minutes (the way you talk when you're both just thinking about sex) until I say, in the most playful way possible, "Sooo... can we have sex now?" -> sex ensues.

2) (different guy) an hour or two in his apartment, hanging out on the couch and me leaning on him, and him making zero moves, then me leaving since I'd had a prior engagement (which he knew about, I didn't just suddenly run away unexpected), followed by the guy messaging me later, "man, I should have kissed you on the couch, why didn't I!??!" and expresses lots of regret that we didn't hook up again.

So what's the deal with these guys? I am trying to distinguish between "just shy" and "not that into it", so isn't it best not to come on super strong the second time? In case I end up dating or FWBing the guy down the line, I don't really want to so quickly assume the role of the sex-initiator, either (I'd prefer it to be relatively equal). Guy #2 above mentioned he didn't even know whether I wanted to do anything or not during that second hangout, so maybe I am stepping back too far and unintentionally doing a hot/cold thing?

I guess the meat of my question is: how can I make guys feel more comfortable making a physical move on the second date, and how can I avoid whatever potentially confusing/mindfucky thing I might be doing here?

Both guys 1 and 2 live on opposite sides of the country/world from me, so they're not currently available for further... experimentation. Sorry, hivemind :(
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (18 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

Part of making the first move is that you're going to end up selecting for a pool of guys who are less likely to make the first move ever -- even on a second date. Not all the time, but more often than if you were having second dates with guys who picked you up in the first place.
posted by telegraph at 7:03 PM on February 15, 2012 [5 favorites]

You're doing all the rowing. You might try leaning back and letting him man the oars for a while.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:06 PM on February 15, 2012 [3 favorites]

Time 1: Met awesome girl, did next to nothing, had great sex.
Time 2: Man: {Don't screw this up. Remain absolutely still.}

You have inadvertently made your men into sex possums.

Next time, after the first hookup, say: "Next time, it's your lead, fella. Call me."
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 7:11 PM on February 15, 2012 [115 favorites]

I agree with Clyde...

and want to nominate "sex possums" as the internet phrase of the year!
posted by HuronBob at 7:20 PM on February 15, 2012 [14 favorites]

I think you're over-thinking and over-planning things. It sounds like you have a script for how you expect your first and second dates to go, and then you spend the whole time worrying about whether the guy will meet your expectations. I think you need to relax a little, focus more on having fun and getting to know the guy then making him jump through hoops. If you find that impossible, consider that you might be giving too much, too soon. You don't have to push things all the way to end point all by yourself; you can eye a guy and wait for him to approach you, you can dance with the guy and wait for him to ask for your number, you can go on a first date with a guy and not "hookup". If you need to see a certain amount of initiative from a date, it's OK to screen for that quality and not just assume that every guy you pick up will be able to do things the same way you do just because they saw you do it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:21 PM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Clyde is right--a lot of guys can be stunned into inaction by a woman who comes on strong.

It occurs to me that you probably don't have to work so hard to hook up with a guy the first time. It sounds like what you're doing is setting the stage for a night of NSA sex, and then when the idea of the second date comes up, he's a little startled and has to recompartmentalize your relationship. He might also feel a little bit snared when you come on strong the second time, too, and wondering if you're really into him as a person, or him as a supplier of sex. So he backs off.

Maybe try making the second date relaxed, with NO expectation of sex. Talk, get to know each other. Flirt your brains out, if you like, but don't suggest going anywhere after (brunch is a great time to do this--everyone will have lots of other things going on Sunday afternoon, even just laundry and grocery shopping, so it's an easy way to end the encounter without awkwardly standing on someone's front porch, trying to decide whether or not to go in). Then, if there's a third date, let him drive. Let him choose the place and make the first move. If he doesn't, well, enjoy your evening.

Another thought is that two promising hookups that don't pan out in a month is not unusual, so you may not be doing anything wrong at all. It's a weird world, and there is no formula for this sort of thing.
posted by elizeh at 7:34 PM on February 15, 2012

I am this guy. The first time you meet them they are drunk. Next time they are sober. Sober them is miles apart from drunk them. This is what you are seeing.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:49 PM on February 15, 2012 [12 favorites]

Its refreshing to see someone who is going out there and breaking the gender rules that seem to be getting in the way of late.

Let them know if they are interested in meeting up again they need to give you a call.

As for the second date, it doesn't have to be like the first.

One woman I met on the plane to Vegas literally told me at the baggage claim that sometimes people think they are into this but they're not--and asked me if I was really into it.

She dumped her stuff off at her hotel and came to mine. I still was shy despite this bold statement until she put both legs across my lap. I got the hint. So do something like that.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:16 PM on February 15, 2012

1.) They may not be into you enough to put a lot of effort into getting to know you better/seduce you more proactively. Since you're pursuing them, they are taking what they can get and may or may not like you enough to justify doing their share of the sexual heavy-lifting. Why would they even bother when not trying with you seems to yield sex? Give a guy a free lunch and consequently he won't pay for dinner, you know?

2.) If you want to attract more proactive men, you have to set the tone for this type of interaction from the beginning. If you like guys who generally take the lead, you have to be a girl who *doesn't* take the lead as a matter of course. If you want to switch back and forth, well, try hanging out sober and in the daylight to give yourself an idea of how to play it.
posted by devymetal at 8:38 PM on February 15, 2012

Yeah tell them that they have to step up to the plate the next time round.
posted by mleigh at 8:44 PM on February 15, 2012

Also... I think trying to do quality-control on second dates with dudes you meet via NSA hook-ups is kind of a perma-fail strategy. You've already set the bar for drunk/NSA sex with you as the aggressor, and that's what they associate you with, and plan on getting.
posted by devymetal at 8:48 PM on February 15, 2012 [3 favorites]

Part of making the first move is that you're going to end up selecting for a pool of guys who are less likely to make the first move ever -- even on a second date. Not all the time, but more often than if you were having second dates with guys who picked you up in the first place.

Or, as was suggested just below that, sex possums.

Are these super young guys? I can remember being in my early 20s and having many deer-in-the-headlights moments where I was afraid to make a move ("What if she says no?") and afraid not to make a move ("What if she says yes?"), and therefore managed to not do anything, which is always way worse than making a move or being honest about not making that move.

So part of it is age-related, but part of it is going to be what I quoted above -- that you are selecting for somewhat more passive guys, so you shouldn't be surprised when they turn out to be, you guessed it, passive on the second date, too. Women with the confidence to make a move are totally awesome... but somewhere in your evening, make sure there is a moment where he provides a bit of initiative. If he can't provide that even with SEX and SEX and MORE SEX just a few minutes away, he's not going to be much use on a second date, is he?
posted by Forktine at 10:07 PM on February 15, 2012

Sex possums.

I was going to say it maybe had something to do with them, having had their immediate sexual curiosity satisfied, wanting to get to know you in more depth and enjoying some depth of conversation. But then I read the detailed description of their behavior a little more closely.

Sounds like sex possums.
posted by ead at 10:17 PM on February 15, 2012

Well I'm a guy and if I had gone on these two dates with you I would be confused. Your behavior on the first date would set my sensors for reading your level of interest. I assume different people show interest in different ways, from the shyest girls just smiling and being friendly, to the most aggressive girls like yourself just going for it. Once you go from level ten aggression to five, it would seem to me like you were not into me. I'd be thrown off and would probably miss an opportunity for an awesome night.

In other words, the first date is kind of like foreplay. You are learning each other's behaviors, figuring out what makes each other go and how you show it. What I recommend (and I would have never imagined suggesting this for reasons mentioned below) is that you act less aggressive on the first date. If a guy has any interest and understanding, it should only take a string (maybe a long one) of positive signals to encourage him to make some moves of his own. You can make some first moves -- maybe say the first words, first complement, or first physical contact -- but save some for him. Let him know that this isn't all your show. *That* will set the expectation that you want. And, later on when you've established this, you can feel more free to be level ten aggressive without confusing him, instead exciting him!

I've got to say though that I appreciate and thoroughly encourage your attitude about dating and sex. I live in a pretty progressive area yet am frustrated by how many women feel that men should always be the ones to make all the moves. How old-fashioned! Trust me, a man's willingness to make the first move has NO positive correlation to the quality of his character. I know a lot of really great guys that are just shy with women they don't know.

So good for you!
posted by cman at 12:48 AM on February 16, 2012 [4 favorites]

I'm with Clyde. They figure the first time was just that everything went right. The second time, you've backed off a little on the 'ok, start kissing now!' indications, so they're waiting for some kind of sign it's OK, since the second date was a little more 'serious.'

Men are fools and fairly stupid. And typically don't want to blow something they think is a good thing because they make a move at the wrong time. I blame political correctness.
posted by rich at 6:55 AM on February 16, 2012

Slip him a note early at the beginning of the second date that says "This time, it's your turn to kiss me first!"
posted by yohko at 4:11 PM on February 16, 2012

as a guy i've been in a similar position - not often, but the time i'm remembering started off with the girl making all the moves, for maybe the first few dates, i mean that was the dynamic we started with, right? then, after a few "dates" that pretty much went straight to the awesome sex (her idea), i realized she was also really brainy and fun to hang out with, and *i* started calling and making the moves, at least some of the time. there was always a bit of the her-in-the-drivers-seat element to that particular relationship though, but since in most of my other relationships i'm more of the instigator, i couldn't quite say if it's cause she was just an exceptionally aggressive, knows-what-she-wants kinda gal, or cause that was the dynamic set up at the start. probably a combination of the two.

does it really matter? it was fun for both of us (lasted months), so who cares right? if you feel at the bottom of your heart that this kinda behavior isn't really you, you might need to reappraise your pickup strategy. but if you're having fun being the instigator, why not just roll with it? you get to choose if the guy is worth hanging out with again, he gets to sit by the phone waiting. if you decide to call him, there's no reason the hookup couldn't blossom into a relationship if that's what you want. he went home with you once already, so he can't be completely freaked out by the concept of you calling the shots, even if it might not be what he's used to.

that said, suddenly switching up styles on date 2 and expecting the guy to read your mind about what you want probably won't always work well - guys in general aren't great at reading girls' minds. most of us are just kinda dumb that way. slipping him a note instructing him on how he is to behave on your date seems a little off; i'd lean towards just accepting your position as captain of the love boat, at least to start off with. if he's a complete milqueoast and you don't like that, you'll figure it out soon enough. if he's more used to being assertive in general, eventually that will start to come out too, and you wont *always* have to be the one who calls.
posted by messiahwannabe at 6:03 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

As a guy who's terrible at making first moves for a variety of reasons, I concur that you're seeing a mixture of 1) selecting for guys who don't make the first moves, and 2) turning guys who might make the first move into sex possums (wow, I love that).

If I had been a guy picked up by you, and you were acting with less initiative on the 2nd date, I'd be thinking that I screwed something up, and be even less likely to push things forward thinking that clearly you aren't feeling the mojo, and I don't want to push against your boundaries.

I think the only thing you can do is to be forward early on and say, "You know, our last time together / date was pretty great, but just so you know, this time I'd like you to push the tempo / set the pace / do the heavy lifting / make the first move / ... " Say that while giving a sultry look, and then lean back, and see how things progress.
posted by nobeagle at 7:56 AM on February 17, 2012

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