I want to hook up. Trying to hook up is becoming exhausting.
January 13, 2016 6:12 PM   Subscribe

Trying to hook up/get laid and failing. Hard.

So I'm a mid 20's male in a large US city and would really like to have more sex. Or even just make out with someone. You ask a question like this to Metafilter and they'll go "Get on some dating sites! Go on dates, go to bars!" Ok, so I've downloaded pretty much all the dating apps and I have successfully had sex on two tinder/OKcupid dates in the past two years, and have easily been on over one hundred dates. This seems like a really weak "success rate" given everyone I talk to seems to very easily be hooking up/getting laid via apps like Tinder, OKC, Bumble, etc and I'm genuinely confused how people are able to achieve this.


Clearly my issue is not getting actual dates, but progressing into any kind of physical contact from there. Here is what my progression looks like, though:

1. Match on Tinder (or OkCupid, or some other dating app)
2. Have conversation, ask them out
3. Meet at bar, woman is extremely closed off - not making much eye contact, not fully turned toward me. Body language "closed" - arms cross/legs crossed. Fair enough! I'm an internet stranger after all.
4. Conversation is otherwise easy and totally fine! Please believe me here - I ask lots of questions and we even share a lot of laughs. There are not awkward silences and I'm careful not to talk about myself too much or say shit that could be construed as weird or off-putting. We open up a little bit more, but the "closed off" body language and non-reciprocating remains.
5. Because the lack of any actual flirting feels like a roadblock, I don't try to make any "hard" moves ie go for the kiss
6. ...So we consume two drinks each over the course of 1.5 hours, and share an awkward hug before leaving for our trains home. 100 times. I have walked away from over 100 dates with this outcome.
7. BONUS: Sometimes there is even a second date! So it's not like I'm some kind of monster here. But there is no progress - it goes right back to step 1. Meet up, no flirting, awkward-hug goodbye.


Here are some things I've made sure to troubleshoot:

Problem: I might not look like my profile pictures?
What I've done: Checked with some friends and coworkers to confirm that my pictures are indeed accurate. I'm also very upfront about my height (I'm on the smaller side) so it's not like they're expecting Channing Tatum and getting let down.

Problem: Bad breath or bad hygiene?
What I've done: Am sure to wear deodorant and swish some mouthwash before every date

Problem: I need to show interest, so that my date feels desired and knows I'm interested
What I've done: I try to initiate touch in REALLY small ways like a light touch on the hand or shoulder when emphasizing a point, but it's never reciprocated and they stay there like a statue and I'm not going to be a creepy jerk who pushes forward with the touching when there are no-touch-vibes being sent back my way. I also try to compliment them in casual ways like "you look really nice" or "I really like that bracelet" but it doesn't amount to much.


I'm not sure what else there is. The few times I HAVE managed to have sex using these dating apps, my date was fully engaged, turned toward me, touch was reciprocated, eye contact, leaning in, playing with their hair and giggling/flirting a lot. Things flowed naturally. So I know that I'm capable of picking up signals and achieving this. But jesus, over 100 dates that amount to nothing at all, not even a kiss, and you start to feel really demoralized.

Especially with so many conversations with male and female friends alike who are like "yeah so I was on this date last night and it was fine, we made out a little bit and blah blah blah etc" as though these are things that just naturally happen on dates. I'm just clueless as to how this all goes down. I want to be one of these people where that sort of thing happens to me but it looks like it's not really an option, like I'm officially in the Category of People Who Are Not Attractive Enough to Have That Life. Like I naturally lack the je ne sais quoi . And it's like if I "stop trying so hard", then nothing happens. And if I "put myself out there", still nothing happens. I totally understand that the world owes me no hookups at all, but is there nothing more I can do here?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (69 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

Is it possible these women can tell you are only try to get into bed with them and you aren't really interested in getting to know them? Is it possible you are meeting women who want relationships when you're just after sex? What if you tried being honest in your profile that you want to hook up? I don't think most women go for that, but probably at least some do and you would avoid wasting time with the women who don't?
posted by AppleTurnover at 6:17 PM on January 13, 2016 [47 favorites]

Hi, I am a person who likes to progress to the sex part quickly in dating. I put a lot of effort in on the front end before I meet someone for date one. I go into every first date expecting to meet a person I would potentially be interested in dating long-term--I'm a woman, lots of things can go wrong for me. I don't want to get naked with somebody I can't extend at least some level of trust to, hence the work on the front end. This means lots of messages back and forth, getting to know them as a person, being interesting and interested, planning to do something interesting and engaging during the date, etc. Even though I am
totally cool with never having a second date, I still put in the effort and treat it like it's a real thing. Yeah, it's work. But woo yay there's sex at the end, go me. It's almost...it's almost like people enjoy being seen as a whole person and not just a dick to ride. Huh.

So my tips:
-date for substance
-plan interesting dates
-be subtle but lol not really

For that last one, one of my "stock" dates was to spend a few hours walking around a museum. If things are going well, then I say, "hey, are you getting hungry? I could eat" and then letting them decide they're hungry. And then I suggest a place to eat that's an easy bus/train away from my apartment. And then if that goes well then as dinner is winding down I mention how I should probably get home to feed my dog, hey, you're welcome to come, we can watch a movie...and so on. This is how the sex happens. It is VERY CLEARLY inviting them over to my place without bashing them over the head with it.

Basically, dude, if you want to get laid you need to work smarter. 100 dates that go nowhere is just as hard (harder?) as 10 really good dates where somebody touches your penis. Make smarter choices and step up your game.

posted by phunniemee at 6:31 PM on January 13, 2016 [76 favorites]

All I can think is that you're indicating that you just want sex from someone, anyone and your date can tell she's one of hundreds. If these women feel like one of the herd and that they are immediately replaceable, no one will want to connect with you in anyway. Do you think there might be something to this?
posted by Jubey at 6:46 PM on January 13, 2016 [8 favorites]

I'm sorry to say this but you know, as a straight dude looking for sex with women, the odds are very much not in your favour. A lot of straight men are looking for casual sex.

There are a lot of reasons why a lot of straight women don't want to have casual sex. One big one I can think of is that its not often that great for the woman and especially for women who dont get off from penetration since the heterosexual narrative means that casual sex tends to be pretty PIV focused.

But that's besides the point, if you're going on dates because you explicitly want to have sex with someone, anyone, women can totally sense that. Also, from a previous comment i remember reading here,, if you are seeing women as sex dispensing machines where a combination of saying and doing the right things will lead to the procurement of sexual activity... I dunno, maybe you're doing it wrong?!
posted by twill at 6:48 PM on January 13, 2016 [38 favorites]

Ya know, people do lie.... they lie a lot, and one of the things people (guys especially!)really lie a lot about is how much sex they're getting. As in, bragging "oh yeah, I got lucky again last night!", when in reality they went home early and alone, again.

One of your problems might be with how you initiate all that touching on a first date. Honestly, this would put me right off.... it's a little creepy, and it basically says right up front that you're only there for sex. Not a relationship, just some fucking. And that makes a lot of women feel like you see them as nothing more than a sex toy. How many of the women you've had those hundred dates with would agree that they knowingly met up with you for nothing more than sex between strangers, and how many were under the impression you were looking for a real relationship?

Frankly, if that's all you want, just hire a professional sex worker. At least that way there'd be no doubt for either of you about why you were meeting.
posted by easily confused at 6:49 PM on January 13, 2016 [38 favorites]

What kind of women are you going out with? Perhaps you are being too picky and looking a bit out of your league. Being short as a guy tends to be a dating handicap. So look at women who have dating handicaps, such as being overweight or older. If you're only targeting the conventionally attractive, young, thin women, you don't really get to complain when you strike out.
posted by mysterious_stranger at 6:53 PM on January 13, 2016 [11 favorites]

So weirdly enough, the guys I dated from OkCupid wanted long term relationships, and the guys I dated from Match were explicitly looking for fuck buddies (please don't ask how I missed this aspect of them in their profiles, it still makes me feel crappy). I later learned from many friends that Match is more of a hookup site than any of the others out there. Maybe putting some money into a Match account would be worth your time, especially if you're willing to be upfront about wanting to hookup or to light dating?
posted by Hermione Granger at 6:53 PM on January 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Most — in fact, I'd wager, nearly all people — aren't hooking up as often or having as much sex as you think they are. You don't hear about all the people, both men and women, who strike out over and over again; it's not nearly as compelling to talk about how you had a ho-hum date the other night versus the whirlwind date that got you laid.

I have to wonder, though, how you're choosing people to go out with. Are you just going out with whoever's available? You need to consider that women aren't as into casual sex as men (unfortunately this is indeed true, for a lot of reasons, including safety, stigma, etc.) However, you may have more success if you become a bit pickier, and screening out all but those prospective dates with whom you have some kind of common interest, and/or with whom you really click with over text. The latter isn't a great predictor, but as you accrue more experience (100 dates is small potatoes!), you'll learn to read between the lines and figure out how you two would mesh. Try giving things more time to develop as well. You may have more luck on date 2 or 3 as the trust and rapport between you and your dates builds.
posted by un petit cadeau at 6:56 PM on January 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

If your priority is getting laid, do you have some verbiage in your profile that clearly indicates that? You don't need to write, like, "I'm just looking to bone," but perhaps "I'm not looking for anything serious right now, but if you want to have some fun, hit me up," will serve you well. Because if your number one priority is getting laid, and you say as much, you will automatically weed out the women who don't want to -- for a variety of reasons -- sleep with someone right off the bat.

Because I think you've also hit on something you need to really grasp, here: I'm an internet stranger after all. Yes! And you will not become NOT a stranger, to a lot of people, in a mere 1.5 hours and 2 drinks. There's a reason that Date Three = Sex is a cliche. I kind of think you need to slow your roll, to be honest. People DO have sex on the first date with someone from the internet, but I think that's much much much more rare than the old Two Drinks, Awkward Hug dance. Because y'all are still strangers. Online dating isn't, like, a Hook-Up Buffet. People come into it with a lot of different wants and desires, no pun intended. Which is why, I think if your priority is sex, you need to just say so. Save yourself -- and these women! -- the time and meet up with people who are ALSO just looking to get some.

PS: Just FYI, "I like your bracelet" reads, to me, like a bullshit line where you are just buttering me up because you want something from me. Unless my bracelet is a marvel of engineering or a piece of historic value and you're a jewelry historian, you don't care about my bracelet. You want to get into my pants. Regardless of what your profile says, you will have more luck trying to connect with these women as people rather than just saying stuff that you think will be effective because you're dying to get a leg over anyone.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 7:17 PM on January 13, 2016 [43 favorites]

Two things you could do, just from a logistical standpoint.

1) End bad dates sooner. You spend several hours with someone who you already feel is not interested in you. Why? To be polite? Just make up an excuse to end the date early and leave if you're getting bad vibes. You are not obligated to continue the date if the person across from you is looking at their phone or avoiding eye contact or being really cagey the whole time.

2) Be more selective in who you message and meet up with. It's possible that you are just contacting women who are not looking for a casual relationship. There are women out there who are, but they are very unlikely to spell it out in so many words, since that would invite harassment. There is some finesse in communicating this but it's not impossible to glean from someone's profile that they are not looking for a future husband. This is harder to do on Tinder and the like because their profiles are so short and low-quality.

Basically just try to filter out the uninterested people as quickly as possible to preserve your scarce resource -- your time.
posted by deathpanels at 7:20 PM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

phunniemee had really good tactical advice about logistics above. Make sure you are set up for success.

Also, it seems like from your post, you are looking for hookups, not relationships. This is totally fine, but many women who are looking for relationships will not want to be physical early. I'd advise making this clear in your profile.

Last thing, you are in you mid-20s in a large US city and probably dating women in your own age group right? Like it or not, generally speaking, many women find tall men attractive (just like many men find women who are pretty attractive) so you are working from a smaller pool of ladies if you are on the shorter side. And, the reality is that women in this age demographic have a lot of options. You may have to go on a lot of dates before finding someone you click with.
posted by seesom at 7:22 PM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think phunnimee is on to something- you are not asking any of these people back to your place, and you should if that's ultimately what you want. Why wait until they're falling all over themselves giggling and carrying on? Are you looking for adoration or sex? Focus here. If you're interested, make the offer. If they say no, oh well. But maybe more would be into it than you'd think and are just waiting for the opportunity.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:24 PM on January 13, 2016 [9 favorites]

Be straight up, and open it up. "I am looking for a hookup with an attractive woman, 18 to 45. I don't want to meet you until we establish some rapport. Note that I am not a basketball player."

I believe that your photo is an honest representation of you. But in that profile also put a photo of yourself standing next to a soda machine, or maybe one of those markers at the door of a stop-n-go that are used to let the clerks know how tall the robber was.

If I live to be 110 years old -- and I'd rather like to -- I will *never* understand the prejudice against men that can't reach the top shelf. One of my nephews is super-cool, he's good-looking, has this great smile*, plays guitar in bands both electric and acoustic and sings and writes songs, too, but he's 5'7" and I'd bet that he's cut out of most women's searches on those sites. They're losing out. Unfortunately, so has my nephew.
*I mean, really, I want to kiss this kid myself.

On preview:
(100 dates is small potatoes!),
posted by un petit cadeau at 8:56 PM on January 13

Holy shit!
posted by dancestoblue at 7:29 PM on January 13, 2016 [3 favorites]

I try to initiate touch in REALLY small ways like a light touch on the hand or shoulder when emphasizing a point, but it's never reciprocated and they stay there like a statue and I'm not going to be a creepy jerk who pushes forward with the touching when there are no-touch-vibes being sent back my way. I also try to compliment them in casual ways like "you look really nice" or "I really like that bracelet" but it doesn't amount to much.

Odds are this is happening with some kind of unnatural timing. As in it's not happening during a moment that's mutually felt to be fun or close; you're waiting all night for an opportunity to impose that touch, and that intention can be felt, and is creepy because it's objectifying and one-sided. Suggestion is, 2nd others, you're not engaging with these women as individuals.

I don't date, because that's like a formal interview, loaded up with expectations (for something as fierce as love, or light as sex, whatever - it's just such a heavy beginning to anything good), and it's a huge time investment for something that can be determined (at least in terms of initial interest) in less than a minute. So I can't offer insight wrt that.

But I do sometimes have fun. It happens like this: I am out, doing something that I enjoy, with people I enjoy, not for any reason beyond that, like I'm not out to hook up, particularly. I want to dance, or see something interesting, participate in an event, visit with friends and their friends. Like I'm in a positive and sociable but sexually neutral frame of mind. I like talking to all kinds of people, whether they're the genre of person I'm typically attracted to or not (I'm just interested in people, and, usually want to try to pass the time in an entertaining way). If someone's attractive and/or amusing, and there's some kind of spark, maybe I'll pursue it, or see where it goes. Maybe I'll want to touch them and vice versa. 100% of the times that occurs, both people know when that moment happens, at the same time. It's mutual.

If someone were to place a hand on me before any kind of genuine (even if light) connection were established, I would not be thrilled, I'd probably recoil.

So maybe, try not dating for a while, and just go out with no expectations. Maybe that will help you loosen up so you can get comfortable talking, getting to know people, asking questions, answering them (honestly), and establishing connections.

I guess for online dating (again no idea about that), makes sense to me for you to just say you want casual sex up front.
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:29 PM on January 13, 2016 [8 favorites]

I'm thinking that perhaps it may come across that you just want to get laid and for women that's usually a major turn off and really risky. Casual sex is so easy to come by for women they can be choosey and they have reason to, there all sorts of things that can go wrong: pregnancy, abuse, STDs. So I have two suggestions the easiest is to pay a sex worker. Since all you presumably want is sex and nothing else just pay someone to do it. If you're uncomfortable with that, ask yourself if your reasons are valid and if the women you want to hook up with may be have the same reservations about you.

Mention in your profile that you just want hookups, you may get less interest but at least when you do the women and you will know what's on the table.
posted by CosmicSeeker42 at 7:30 PM on January 13, 2016 [4 favorites]

It seems way more important to you to be known as a "Casual Sex Guy" than to actually have a lot of sex. Give up on the pretense that casual sex should be an important part of your personal identify. Are you dead set against being in a relationship, or even just dating, for some reason? Because you would probably get way more sex by going that route than continuing on with your current casual sex scheme. Or hire a sex worker, as someone above mentioned.

The men I know who are good at getting casual sex are very good at treating women like individuals who are worthy of respect. They're not pushy, they're positive. They also love women, love sex, don't have hangups about women's bodies, and will happily have sex with a wide variety of women. They are genuinely appreciative of the women they have sex with and are very giving. Try being like them. Treat the women you date like individuals, not grist for your sex mill.
posted by scantee at 7:31 PM on January 13, 2016 [52 favorites]

Do not try to lure or coerce women looking to date into hooking up. She is leaving her house already decided whether she is going to have sex with you, and you are not making it clear enough up front what you want to do.

You will go on significantly fewer dates, but they will be more aligned with your interests.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:32 PM on January 13, 2016 [3 favorites]

One thing to do is make the offer as ThePinkSuperhero suggests, and if they turn you down, ask them to go on another date, more low key. They might then be flirtier.

My guess, is that you basically have nothing going on that says to a woman "yeah sure let's take the risks that come from a casual hop on the bone train."

The casual sex decision comes from either a guy that I have an incredible connection with (rare, as you can see in your case it's 1/50), a guy who is otherwise worth it (meaning, if this gives me a small shot of another date I'm all for it because he seems out of my league), or--and this doesn't just mean looks--a guy who is smoking fucking sexy hot.

Your big mistake here is fucking the two women who were into you once and then just...peaceing the fuck out. You should have kept having intermittent sex with them (ethically). Knowing that you can have sex and that people enjoy sex with you generally makes you act way sexier.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:35 PM on January 13, 2016 [17 favorites]

Also if you're starting the date with women with really seriously closed off body language, that means they aren't attracted to you. When you see it, move on immediately.

Do you have something on your profile that would make women want to chance being attracted to you? Like, a traditionally high-paying/high-status job? B/c it's weird that you're getting so many dates with people, but that they don't find you attractive.

The other thing I would suggest is going to a hotel bar. Ideally next to an airport. You will get some sad, sad casual sex.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:38 PM on January 13, 2016 [7 favorites]

It seems way more important to you to be known as a "Casual Sex Guy" than to actually have a lot of sex.

Yeah, for what it's worth, finding someone to date more than one time has a much better ROI than "hooking up." If you go into your dates open to actually dating, you could have sex with the same person a whole bunch of times. Much more efficient than having discrete sexes with many casual partners.
posted by phunniemee at 7:39 PM on January 13, 2016 [19 favorites]

Things flowed naturally.

Yeah, that's what you're after. That happened because you and that person connected. That is just not going to happen with everyone.

So I know that I'm capable of picking up signals and achieving this.

It's not a thing to "achieve" or a skill. It is a connection, between two people. Focus on the person, not on "scoring".
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:48 PM on January 13, 2016 [24 favorites]

So, honestly, I have to disagree with people who say there's no skill here. There definitely is. But you're not going to get enough practice like this. The thing to do is to just go out all the time and just try to sleep with as many people as possible as efficiently as possible. Right now, you're trying to do the assembly line thing but with all the downsides of trying to actually date people. Just cut out the middleman where these people think you're going on actual dates, and just go to bars and try to hook up. You'll fail a lot but it'll only take like 30 minutes instead of 2 hours + the time you spend arranging the date.

You will get better at it. Whether it will make you a better person (or a happier person) remains to be seen. I would suspect that ethically it will be better to do this instead of going on dates where you don't talk to women you connect with after having sex with them one time (which is probably pretty depressing to them since it's a dating situation (vs a bar hookup)).
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:53 PM on January 13, 2016 [3 favorites]

I'm sorry to say this but you know, as a straight dude looking for sex with women, the odds are very much not in your favour. A lot of straight men are looking for casual sex.
I'm not so sure about this. Yes, there are a lot of men who want casual sex, but there are also quite a lot of women who do. Men are just far less artful about seeking it out.
posted by deathpanels at 8:01 PM on January 13, 2016

I guess there's a skill? But I think it still basically comes down to talking to people and having some kind of actual rapport. That woman you got along with - did she make you laugh? Did you feel relaxed and comfortable around her? Did you find out you had stuff you care about in common? Did you feel basically good around each other? Was the conversation smooth? Was there some kind of chemistry? I think that's the sort of thing that either happens or it doesn't, and it's just more likely to happen if you're out and are doing things you enjoy for their own sake. You're probably more likely to run into someone you'd get along with if you do that. But it is all still just talking, imo, like scantee said.

And then yeah, maybe the skill part is stepping it up from there - I guess that involves a willingness to take risks.

Not sure about being "efficient" about it, if it means knocking on every door in front of you; I think that is just as objectifying as the "date everyone" plan, even in a bar scenario.
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:11 PM on January 13, 2016

I'm surprised that people are suggesting you ask them to your place - the tricky thing is that you need them to invite you to theirs. Given how risky bringing a guy home even is, some strange guy's place that you don't even know your way around is a big risk if something goes wrong...there's also a risk in having them know where you live, but to me this is smaller.

That's kind of hard if you're not reading that they're into it - but like phunniemee's whole thing about feeding the dog, you can come over, etc. is what the woman needs to come up with on her own. You can't bracelet-compliment your way into it.

My read from the standoffish closed ness on dates is that they don't like the way you look in person or your personality is offputting. Are you nice to waiters and such?

Aziz Ansari had a bit about how he'd asked women friends what they were looking for in a guy and they said "just someone nice and clean" and he was shocked how low the standards are. But it's true, lots of guys are not nice and they are not clean.

Nice: Actually be interested in the other person. Just be in the moment, don't try too hard. This is a bit hard to learn but you don't need to be like, fascinated with them. Practice this on non-sex related people - coworkers, coffee shop employees. Just be interested in them, try to have an interesting connection with them - obviously don't touch or flirt with them.

Also go on more dates with them before the sex and be really clear about wanting to see them again and when. "I had a really great time. Are you free Tuesday?" Like pick out the next time you are free before the date so you can suggest it.

Clean: Smell like soap or aftershave and nothing else. No perfume, cologne, no sweat. Trimmed facial hair. No frayed edges on clothes or stains. Clean trimmed fingernails with cuticles pushed back. Get a facial every so often. Seriously women go through 100x more than this, even the ones who aren't that "girly."

Also, the bracelet thing - I have a tattoo on the inside of my wrist, and like 90% of guys notice it, grab my wrist and ask about the tattoo. It's so obvious that they're like "oh, great in to touch her!" It would sort of be cute if it weren't the 100th time, or if it were a few weeks in to dating and they were like.."you know, I've been wondering about your tattoo." That would be cute. Grabbing my wrist ten minutes after we meet and turning it over...tired.
posted by sweetkid at 8:12 PM on January 13, 2016 [30 favorites]

Oh also I think 2 sexytimes/100 dates is a pretty bad record, I agree with you there. I know people on Metafilter say it's a numbers game, but those are some bad numbers, I think you're seeing that correctly (I don't mean that in a mean way, just saying I understand the frustration).
posted by sweetkid at 8:15 PM on January 13, 2016 [4 favorites]

I have a male friend who has run his numbers and has almost the same success rate as you. You are not alone in this. Really other posters made good points, if you want something casual picking people up in bars is likely going to be a more effective use of your time. If you keep doing something over and over and it doesn't work you should probably stop doing it.

If you find someone things do flow naturally with its worth remembering how rarely that happens and try to keep the flow going.
posted by lepus at 8:16 PM on January 13, 2016

Oh my god, are you making it clear in your profile you just want to hookup? I'll bet you're coming across fake as hell in person.
posted by jessca84 at 8:56 PM on January 13, 2016 [26 favorites]

I am a pretty conventionally attractive lady, and I have absolutely no dating prejudice against short guys. And I know lots of other women who don't either. This could be a little bit of your problem, but it's far from your main problem, I'm sure.

I internet dated quite a bit because it's pretty fun and I like meeting people and I like drinking beers. I don't even consider the first meetup off an internet site to be a date. I wouldn't sleep with someone on our first meetup, because all we're doing is seeing if we actively look like neither of us lied about anything in our profiles and seeing if we can carry on a comfortable conversation before we spend an actual date together.

If you want to hook up, go to a club or something. Most women are on internet dating sites because they want to meet someone they're interested in, and who is interested in them. They want a relationship, or at least some dating. Be super clear that you're only interested in hooking up, when I was online dating I got tons of messages about just meeting up to have sex. I said no to all of them, but I appreciated not wasting my time on a date with someone who didn't care about me as a person or our potential as a couple.

I know lots of people who have hooked up off tinder, but I think they invested a lot in prior conversation, and I also think they went somewhere and got kinda drunk. My guess is, you're initiating something that feels like it's supposed to be a real "get to know you, my future possible girlfriend" date, and then you're giving off weird hookup vibes when the date is on and they're picking up on that, either consciously or unconsciously.
posted by euphoria066 at 9:24 PM on January 13, 2016 [14 favorites]

I think you are trying too hard on the one hand and as phunnimee pointed out, not hard enough on the other hand. In my 20s, I was never comfortable making the first move on a woman. I would go on dates like you and try real hard to make a connection. At some point, I decided to stop trying to meet the woman of my dreams, to stop trying to get laid and just go out and have a good time then ask them in a socially acceptable roundabout way. Go to dinner, have a bunch of drinks, ask if there were any good bars near where they live, have a drink or three more there and if all was still going well, offer to walk her home or accept an invitation to walk her home or have a hot chocolate at her place before heading home. Then, when there, go with her cues. An invitation to her apartment is not yet a yes. But it is a hell of a lot closer than a goodbye hug. Make your goal to have a good time, and put your efforts into that, not have a goal to meet someone for dating or for a hookup.

And, in one case, I was so clueless that she blurted out, "I am asking you back to my apartment." This after she mentioned how she only liked to go home alone after midnight via taxi rather than on the subway alone and I cluelessly tried to give her $20 for the taxi.
posted by AugustWest at 9:50 PM on January 13, 2016 [3 favorites]

If you do put in your profile that you are open to hookups (and I think you should, though I'd probably phrase it differently), please remember that you still need to act as though you're on a date. I know lots of women who are interested in hookups, but the vast, vast majority of guys just totally ruin it by leaving their manners and charm at the door if they think they're good to go for sexytime. From guys who straight up just ask to come over for sex even though you've never met them in person and get pissy if you say no, AS IF women are generally a-ok with strangers they've never met and hardly spoken to coming to their home, their safe place for a quick bang. Sometimes, if we're lucky, the guy may meet us in a public place for a cursory drink and rushed conversation before asking if we should leave now to have sex. Again, no.

Women not only need to feel safe and secure, but we're also, you know, people, and like to be treated as such, rather than a sex object. There's nothing that will kill a woman's libido more quickly than a guy who can't even manage to treat her with common courtesy. I'm not saying you do this, OP, I'm saying this because there are a shitload of guys that do do this and if they're reading, I sincerely hope they recognize themselves and change their ways.

The men I know who are good at getting casual sex are very good at treating women like individuals who are worthy of respect. They're not pushy, they're positive. They also love women, love sex, don't have hangups about women's bodies, and will happily have sex with a wide variety of women. They are genuinely appreciative of the women they have sex with and are very giving.

I could not agree with this more. I agree with it so much I put it in bold and italics. I can't stress enough how important it is for me (and lots of other women) to feel safe and comfortable with a guy and this is doubly so if I'm going to agree to casual sex. It's not just my physical safety (though that is obviously extremely important!), it's also feeling that he won't judge me for liking sex, won't judge any aspect of my body or looks and won't treat me like garbage when sex is over or become a crazy stalker. There are lots of things that go into women's evaluations in these respects. For example, you can tell me I'm beautiful or sexy all night long and it will all be wiped out if you make one negative comment about any other woman's body or looks. Even if it's meant to be a casual joke, it communicates a lot to me about how you view women and I extrapolate from there that you'll be just as critical of me and from that point on it's pretty much a no.

I guess my point is that you should state what you're looking for in your profile, still treat women with the same respect you would on any other date (even if she straight up says YES LET'S HAVE NSA SEX ASAP, you still need to do this - not negotiable) and be prepared for it still not to happen that night. Even if a woman says she's down with a hookup, that does not mean that any man is entitled to nor should he expect it on the first date. She still needs to feel comfortable and that may take more than one date. This should always be respected.

So basically, even if everyone is explicitly on board with casual sex, you still need to treat it like a date - because it is! Maybe not what a lot of men want to hear (not addressing you specifically here, OP), but if you can manage to do this well, I think you may be pleasantly surprised at the results. There are plenty of women out there who want sex as much as you do, but they're just not going to have it with guys approaching it the way that so many guys tend to approach it.

(also, I hope everyone goes back and read's sweetkid's comment about nice and clean, because that's also very true)
posted by triggerfinger at 10:29 PM on January 13, 2016 [36 favorites]

Thella's 99% solution for getting sex when you want it.

Pay for it.
posted by Thella at 11:27 PM on January 13, 2016 [13 favorites]

I am a woman who enjoys casual sex sometimes, and has even had it on various first dates. As a few other posters have said, I am really curious what happened with the women you did have sex with. If you find someone that you enjoyed sex with, keep having sex with her! I have had some really great ongoing casual sex partner relationships, particularly in my 20's. Anyway, here is my advice:

1. Be up front on your dating profiles that you are not looking for anything serious, but make sure you phrase it in a way that doesn't make it sound like you are solely interested in women for sex. Maybe something like "I am not looking for a serious relationship right now, but I am interested in going on dates and getting to know some new people (PEOPLE, not women. Your profile presumably says you are straight. This lets potentially interested women know that you view them as people, not "females" or "ladies" or "vaginas". You do view the women you go on dates with as people, right?)." On OkCupid, you should make sure you've checked "casual sex" and possibly "short-term dating".

2. Be interested in who she is. Make sure you read her profile, if it's a dating site that has long profiles. Mention things in the profile. Have a conversation. Listen to what she says and ask follow-up questions. Remember things she's said earlier in the conversation that shows you were listening. Do not view this as work; it should be a pleasure to get to know someone, not a box to be checked so the sex prize comes out.

3. Be interesting! Do you have hobbies? Do you go do fun activities? Do you read and think about what you've read and form your own opinions? Are you willing to have those opinions challenged without being defensive or refusing to consider that you might be wrong? Do you have new stories every date you go on, because you're busy doing exciting stuff with your friends and by yourself when you aren't dating?

4. I agree with the not-touching if she has really closed-off body language. I can also read body language. I can tell if someone is interested in me without them casually touching me in possibly awkward ways that telegraph how much they Want Me To Know They Are Interested. Engage in the conversation and make eye contact and smile and turn your body towards her, too.

5. Don't view a date as only a means to have sex. A date is a chance to get to know someone and some new information and to learn a little more about humans and how they human. Sometimes you also get to have makeouts! Maybe even sex!

If all of this seems like too much work, follow internet fraud detective's advice and go to bars and try to hook up there. I don't have advice for that, it's totally not my scene, but it seems like it works for a lot of people.
posted by Illuminated Clocks at 11:54 PM on January 13, 2016 [6 favorites]

Oh, and for another perspective, I personally do not decide before I leave the house whether I'm going to have sex with someone. I meet up with them and see if I find them attractive and if we're having a good time with each other, and then decide what I want to do.
posted by Illuminated Clocks at 11:56 PM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

A friend of mine joined up with adultfriendfinder. Oddly, he met his now wife through them.
He had a number of dates with women on that site, the majority of which didn't turn into hook ups because chemistry, but he said it was nice that the common goal was clear to both parties.
posted by Omnomnom at 2:31 AM on January 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

Honestly, nearly every time there’s a question like this, it strikes me that the problem is the asker defining themselves in terms that are entirely negative, as if being attractive to other people was a question of minimising errors in order to pass a test.

Like, you say “There are not awkward silences and I'm careful not to talk about myself too much or say shit that could be construed as weird or off-putting.” Everything here is about avoiding negatives, but you need to start thinking of talking to women you wanna date as actually potentially pleasurable, and a chance to show off a little. I mean, you certainly sound very polite, but do you have anything funny to say? Are you really excited about anything in life?

Again, “Am sure to wear deodorant and swish some mouthwash before every date” is just about managing not to be offensive. Do you try to look GOOD though? Do you have any sense of style at all?

Or “I try to initiate touch in REALLY small ways like a light touch on the hand or shoulder when emphasizing a point” - I may be misreading you here, but it sounds like you interact with these women a bit like a robot, and you look at them as robots too ("my date was fully engaged, turned toward me, touch was reciprocated, eye contact, leaning in, playing with their hair and giggling/flirting a lot”). It doesn’t sound sexy.

When people go on dates they are usually hoping for something/someone that makes this day different from the other days. They want someone who stands out from the great shapeless mass of general humanity and offers anything that’s a little exciting. To me, it sounds like you’re trying for the opposite: everything about your approach seems to be about making you indistinguishable from all of the other dates. Your ideal date would be one in which you made no mistakes, and then (you hope) the woman would have no reason not to have sex with you. It doesn't work like that.
posted by cincinnatus c at 3:44 AM on January 14, 2016 [20 favorites]

I was thinking of Aziz Ansari too - he has a whole book called Modern Romance that is partly a sociological analysis of how people are dating now, and part discussion of how people can date successfully and ethically. It might be a good read for you.
posted by escapepod at 3:54 AM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Sex tends to be way better when it's a connection with a specific person. I can tell the difference between when a guy just wants "sex", and when a guy wants "sex with ME, specifically". And I'm much more into the latter.

It sounds like the way you are thinking about these dates as, like, a video game that you need to figure out, and that if you do these specific set of behaviors, it will Unlock The Sex Level. You're just after sex, and women can tell that. What you want is to find the kind of connection where you are so into someone that if she were to say "no" to sex, but a totally different woman were to proposition you out of nowhere five minutes later, you'd turn that second woman down because "sorry, I just had my hopes set on HER."

It is indeed possible to have that be casual, too.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:00 AM on January 14, 2016 [8 favorites]

I think you are trying too hard on the one hand and as phunnimee pointed out, not hard enough on the other hand.

This says it really well.

In terms of the numbers thing, I am not so surprised by the low date : sex ratio, but I am surprised by the incredibly low second date numbers, and apparently there have been no third dates at all? That says something is terribly wrong to me -- either you are making some major errors or when sex isn't instantly proffered you give up and move on.

People have covered the possible errors you might be making really well above. The "nice and clean" thing is absolutely true, and it's worth noticing how many men you know socially or through work fail one or both of those on a daily basis. So over and above that, my suggestion is to look at the question of why you are basically never advancing past the first date.

Your profile is obviously working since you are getting those dates, but the follow-through is equally obviously failing, suggesting a mismatch between what you are presenting in the profile and what is on offer when you meet. That might be physical, or it might be the issue mentioned above of your profile offering a relationship and your body language screaming "hook-up."

The men I know who are good at getting casual sex are very good at treating women like individuals who are worthy of respect. They're not pushy, they're positive. They also love women, love sex, don't have hangups about women's bodies, and will happily have sex with a wide variety of women. They are genuinely appreciative of the women they have sex with and are very giving.

This is true in my experience. The three biggest casual sex guys I have ever known genuinely liked women and it shows through in their actions and words -- the casual sex was an outcome of that, not a driver, if that makes sense. (And they were also not just willing but happy to be with women of a variety of shapes and ages, and that also communicated itself loud and clear.) For most guys, if they are being honest, casual sex can be fraught and anxious -- it takes a lot of effort to make it happen, there is a lot that can go wrong (like miscalibrating your drinking just slightly and having performance issues), and overall it can be a lot more fun to talk about than to do. Be careful you are not comparing yourself to people's fantasy versions of themselves rather than reality.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:19 AM on January 14, 2016 [8 favorites]

Do you like women? Do you appreciate us as a sex? I'm sensing that you don't have much respect for us intellectually or in any other way really. Sex is about chemistry for both parties. Clearly for most of the women you meet, there's something off-putting about you. You're picking up on this. Frankly if I thought I was going on a date with a dude and some guy showed up with a bunch of stock lines and some half-assed neuro-linguistic programing stuff, I'd be looking for the door too.

Casual sex isn't supposed to be only a step up from vibrators and latex dolls. It's about two people who love sex and who love people. They're into enjoying each other's bodies and giving enjoyment.

If what you're looking for is one-night-stands, you'll have better luck at dance clubs. Do some dancing, get a rhythm with someone, vibe with them, enjoy each other. You might end up with sex. No guarantees, but chances are good.

But for most of us, men and women, we like feeling a connection with our partners, we like knowing the actual person, not just the penis or the vagina. And frankly, casual sex with some rando from Match isn't that appealing.

Sometimes we get horny, and we say to ourselves, "you never know, maybe this guy might be good for a romp." So we put on a nice outfit and our Fuck-Me Pumps and we haul our carcasses to the bar to meet you for a drink. Then you show up and there's no connection. For whatever reason, you're not doing it for us. Maybe it's your appearance, maybe it's your completely fill-in-the-blank patter, maybe it's that you're exuding desperation, but MAN this was a bad idea.

I'd recommend going to a sex worker too, as Larry Flynt once said, "it's not paying for sex, it's paying for her to leave after the sex." I'm just ambivalent about sex work these days with human trafficking, etc.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:14 AM on January 14, 2016 [9 favorites]

What kind of women are you going out with? Perhaps you are being too picky and looking a bit out of your league. Being short as a guy tends to be a dating handicap. So look at women who have dating handicaps, such as being overweight or older.

Don't do this unless you have a genuine interest in the person. We "dating-handicapped" people figure it out very quickly when somebody thinks we'll be easy pickings and man, is it offensive. I find that phrase "dating-handicapped" pretty offensive as well, frankly.

As many commenters have suggested, for quick sex, try a sex worker. I have a feeling, though, that even if you were getting all the (emotionally empty) sex you wanted, sex worker or not, you would exhaust the relief pretty quickly. You may have to go that route, though.

You'll be better off looking for a solid emotional and spiritual connection with a woman. Try meetups or hobby clubs rather than Tindr etc. Good sex may come with that if you're willing to do the work to get there in terms of a satisfying experience for both partners. And guess what, that might be with someone not very conventionally attractive. Who knows.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 5:34 AM on January 14, 2016 [23 favorites]

Online dating + being extremely upfront in your profile is the answer. Use OKCupid. Choose "casual sex" as the thing you are looking for. Put in your profile that you are looking to go out on a date and then have a great time in bed. If you live in a big city, you will be surprised how many women are also looking for that.

(Data point: I have a male friend who realized in his early 30s that he was a dom. What he wanted to do was have a woman come over to his apartment, and dominate her. Tie her up, etc. He's an extremely straightforward person, and I had to admire him: he made an OKCupid profile that put it all out there: what he wanted to do, and how he wasn't particularly looking for a relationship. And he got TONS of responses. And tied TONS of women up. And I do believe his desires appealed to a smaller percentage of the population than yours.)
posted by millipede at 6:36 AM on January 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

I am not so surprised by the low date : sex ratio

Another way to think about the numbers is that if you went to a nightclub tonight and talked to 100 women and two of them offered to go home with you, you would be ecstatic.

In other words, you would be doing great if these were random people you encountered somewhere, but the whole idea of dating sites is that there is a level of pre-screening from people's photos and profiles as well as a few messages/emails to confirm a mutual interest. Even if almost no one happened to want sex on the first date, the screening and contact should be leading towards a lot more second and third dates, and that obviously isn't happening.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:41 AM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think it's important to know what parts of the world you are accurately perceiving. Yes, some people have much, much higher ratios - though you don't mention how many of the 100 you were making out with but not getting to sex, or if it was just those two ladies.

I dated online once upon a time and honestly I kissed a majority of dates because we had a good connection. The one guy I didn't even kiss good night also didn't have any obvious deal breakers. He took me to places that would have been a great date with somebody else. He wasn't unattractive . Just...he was like the uncanny valley of dates. He was obviously doing what he thought was good on dates and it wasn't organic and felt weird as fuck.
posted by corb at 6:42 AM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Also how much are you messaging women before you ask them on a date?
posted by corb at 6:43 AM on January 14, 2016

Wow, I would rather die alone and never have sex again than go on 100 first dates in two years (although I would really really hope those weren't my only options). I'm amazed how many people think this sounds normal!

I think you need to look for more adventurous/free-spirited women, because in my experience these are the kinds of people who are more likely to meet a person and say, "I'm not sure I'm interested in pursuing a relationship with this person, but I would still be interested in kissing on/sexing this person." I am not that kind of person myself (it sounds nice but I overthink!) but I know such people (women people, even). And you might need to be more adventurous (or present the more adventurous side of yourself) in order to attract these women.

Also, how many of these women did *you* actually *want* to have sex with? If your answer is "all of them" then... I wonder if women might be picking up on the fact that you are mostly interested in "sex with a woman" and less interested in "sex with YOU, specific woman in front of me tonight." Knowing someone is attracted to me, specifically, is a turn-on for me. Even when it's for dumb reasons, honestly!
posted by mskyle at 7:23 AM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Mostly just reiterating everyone else's advice, but:

Do all of the below, and if it doesn’t work I will eat my hat:

1. Go to bars. If there is any one piece of advice I recommend you follow, it’s this. Bars naturally weed out people who aren’t up for hook ups (well, to some extent) more than any other locale. And there is dancing, drinking, etc. It’s much more likely to lead to what you want.
2. Try being honest up front that you are looking for hook ups. It will lead to less first dates, but more “successful” dates.
3. Try going out with friends-of-friends. The vetting factor is huge in making women feel safe. Some of your male “player” friends can surely introduce you around, invite you to parties, etc?
4. Lower your standards. Especially with looks.
5. Don’t expect sex on the first date from OkCupid/internet dating. Treat the “first date” as a pre-date interview in which you merely establish that you’re both real humans.
6. Make your touching more natural- I recommend doing something naturally physical like mini-golf (oh, let me help adjust your swing!) or dancing.
7. Leave dates earlier if you can tell you’re not getting anywhere.
8. Invite women over to your place to “watch a movie” or “feed your dog.”
9. If a lady sleeps with you once, try turning it into a FWB thing.
10. Realize that a lot of your male friends are bullshitting you about how much casual sex they have. Realize that you can “up your status” with them as a player by bullshitting them right back (without actually putting in the time, so to speak.)
11. Consider hiring a sex worker.
12. Take this comment from scantee really seriously, because s/he is dead on: “The men I know who are good at getting casual sex are very good at treating women like individuals who are worthy of respect. They're not pushy, they're positive. They also love women, love sex, don't have hangups about women's bodies, and will happily have sex with a wide variety of women. They are genuinely appreciative of the women they have sex with and are very giving. Try being like them.”
posted by quincunx at 7:42 AM on January 14, 2016 [4 favorites]

Okay, this is a very narrow, specific thing, but with your breath, mouthwash alone won't do the trick if you have bits of food stuck between your teeth. For that, you need to floss. You may have that covered, but I thought I'd mention it just in case. Also, maybe ask a really close friend about whether you have a problem with your breath. Then you can relax about this one issue.
posted by merejane at 7:47 AM on January 14, 2016

I don't think it's a problem to invite women to his place. Statistically speaking, it's much safer to go to a stranger's home than it is to take a stranger home. If they're going to murder you, they don't want to have to get rid of a body.

Let me give the gay perspective (and no, most gay men are not having nearly as much casual sex as most straight people think):

1) Up-to-date pictures. Ideally these should be updated every couple of months.

2) A profile that explicitly says what you're looking for. I have hook-up apps on my phone and they all say something like "Let's take off our pants and see what happens." That might not work for women, but I'm sure there's some variation of that that will be fun and lighthearted and not make women creeped out.

3) Don't do anything too involved when you meet them. Drinks, walking around the city, a cheap or free museum, etc. Basically nothing that either of you will feel strong social convention to finish (dinner, for example.)

4) Agree with everyone else: you have to invite them over if you're having a good time! They might say yes, they might say no. Either way, go you!
posted by Automocar at 7:50 AM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Over one hundred (!) dates that follow basically the exact same script? Two drinks, 1.5 hours, and an awkward hug. It sounds like Groundhog Day. But you, in fact, are not stuck in a time loop.

Mix it up, my friend. I mean, despite your bull-headed determination to get laid, aren't you getting bored?
posted by Leontine at 8:19 AM on January 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

1. Match on Tinder (or OkCupid, or some other dating app)
2. Have conversation, ask them out
3. Meet at bar, woman is extremely closed off - not making much eye contact, not fully turned toward me. Body language "closed" - arms cross/legs crossed. Fair enough! I'm an internet stranger after all.

Your response to #3, "Fair enough! I'm an internet stranger after all" is wrong. People on dates are specifically there to open up. Extremely closed off body language should be a rare exception. So something is going wrong with you almost immediately.

Maybe you dress poorly. Maybe you don't look like your pictures (I know you said you confirmed this, but still). Maybe you smell bad. Who knows.

I don't think anyone here can help you with what the specific issue is. But you are dead on arrival, something is going wrong in the first two minutes of these dates, something that you can't recover from, and that's why you are rarely kissed.
posted by Kwine at 8:39 AM on January 14, 2016 [11 favorites]

Are you unattractive? Why don't you flirt? Are you basically interviewing her rather than having a conversation? Like this? You may lack charisma. People who are methodical in their approach come off very, very calculated. I don't think you're as subtle as you think you are.

Also why don't you just use a prostitute if you're not actually interested in the woman and just want to get laid? Is it a game where you have to feel that she wants you for you?

And yes, don't touch people unless you are amazingly sexually attractive to them and have known them for some time with them having given you major hints that they want that. If I am not attracted to someone and they touch me then my vagina is closed for the evening.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 8:52 AM on January 14, 2016 [6 favorites]

I have given this question a lot of thought. To be frank, and I hope not rude: if you come across on dates the way you are coming across in your question, I regret to inform you you might be creeping women out. This is not a condemnation of your character; I'm just saying that there might be a problem in how you're coming off.

If a woman is creeped out there is basically zero percent chance she will want to sleep with you, even if she is normally down for casual sex. She will be friendly during the date because creeps are unpredictable and women are socially conditioned to be pleasant, so women will probably not say this to your face. Some may even see you again because we are also taught to question our instincts about men if they lead to a negative assessment of him.

The creep factor I'm talking about has little to do with height or mouthwash. Those are shallow things which count of course, but not as much as you seem to think. Here is just some of what encreepens me, a woman who is not opposed to casual sex in the right circumstance with the right partner, about your question. And if you telegraph any of this in person, I think that's where your problem is:

-The way you described a set of steps that you've heard lead to sex that you need to "troubleshoot," instruction-manual style. This fails to acknowledge that all women are different, all flirting looks different, and sexual chemistry is not a science experiment like in actual chemistry. People aren't equations to solve.

-You don't see physical touch as something that arises naturally when people want to be near each other. You describe it as a series of events to initiate in order to get sex. This is creepy because touch is wonderful, spontaneous, borne of a connection and attraction, and you are turning it into something selfish and cold. Even if the connection is purely sexual, it's still not as cold and calculated as all this.

-The way you seem to treat dating apps as a catalog of pussy but you are not up front about what you are looking for. Why would you expect a woman to have casual sex on a first date with a stranger if she is interested in meeting a partner? There are women who are up for casual sex; seek them instead. Still not a guarantee because they will want a connection and are allowed to be creeped out too, but your odds will be better if you are honest about what you want.

-The way you don't describe at all what you like about women. Do you have any woman friends?

-The way you don't describe any sort of human connection at all.

-The language you use. It feels very detached and calculated, and there's no heat or fun. It also comes across a little entitled. "Fair enough!" is an example of that-- it's ALWAYS "fair enough!" if a woman doesn't want to sleep with you.

I don't know if any advice can help with the creep factor because I fear you would just see it as more steps to enact to obtain sex which only ups the creep factor.

What do you have to offer a woman? If you are in your 20s-30s, women your age, especially conventionally attractive ones but pretty much all of us, have a LOT of opportunities for casual sex if we want it. You're in competition with pretty much every other man. What makes you special?

I think generally if you truly are only interested in having a lot of sex with women you don't care about, then there are sex workers for that. But if you want to emulate that mythical guy who "gets laid" a lot (which is not possible for most men) you would need to drastically change how you view and interact with women. Relax a little. Lose the expectations, the entitlement, the manual. Let it all go. Make some women friends. Listen to women.
posted by kapers at 9:36 AM on January 14, 2016 [20 favorites]

What do you have to offer a woman? If you are in your 20s-30s, women your age, especially conventionally attractive ones but pretty much all of us, have a LOT of opportunities for casual sex if we want it. You're in competition with pretty much every other man. What makes you special?

I just wanted to emphasize again what kapers has said - I think it's spot on. As a young woman, I can honestly have casual sex if I wanted to at any time. It's really easy - and it's not because I'm so incredibly attractive or amazing or anything like that, it's simply a numbers game. There's way more men looking for hook ups than women, based on my experience. Also there was that study done, I can't find it now, but basically it showed that men almost always say YES to sex if offered by random women, but it's not the same for women. There's way more risk for us - STDs, pregnancy, men being dicks and mistreating us, etc.

I mean no offense, but you do come across as creepy in your Ask, for the reasons kapers gave above. I recommend you work on yourself - what makes you so special and interesting? Do you have cool hobbies? Etc. And then - when you go on dates with women, treat them as individuals, and not just a hole to put your dick in. Forming a connection with someone takes time and it also takes time for a woman to be comfortable with you - be willing to put in that effort to get to know someone. Also, DO NOT RANDOMLY TOUCH THEM. I can't emphasize that enough. If someone fucking touched me, even like, brushed me lightly, I'd be instantly turned off because that's creepy as fuck and pushy (I mean, you are a stranger, we don't know you at all). I mean, even if they got all up in my personal space! Without the touching! I'd be creeped out and be saying Nope Nope Nope. Touching should happen organically and naturally, as part of us forming a connection. Not forced.

And as everyone else said, be super upfront in your online profile that you only want casual hookups so that you don't waste anyone's time, including your own. Good luck.
posted by FireFountain at 11:38 AM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

First of all, you are Tindring for hookups wrong. You're using it as a dating app when what you want is not a date but to get laid. Why am I sure of this? Because 100 dates is way too high a positive response rate for what you're looking for. I'm betting your profile is smudging your true desire, and those women turn up looking for someone to date only to find that you've turned up looking for someone to fuck.

I would suggest you instead go directly to one of the many, many sub-reddits devoted to explicit casual hookups if for no other reason than that it will force you to be absolutely transparent about what you're looking for.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:40 AM on January 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

1. Stop reading PUA material. All of it.
2. Compliment who they are, not how they look. Yes, it's harder.
3. Your expressed standards for your personal hygiene/appearance sound way too low.
4. Be explicit about, and vet better upfront for, your openness to casual relationships / your disinterest in serious ones.
5. Are you conveying why casual sex with you would be FUN? Not just getting-laid-for-getting-laid's sake?
6. Stop reading PUA material. I mean it.
posted by argonauta at 11:49 AM on January 14, 2016 [11 favorites]

FireFountain mentioned a study where men were much more likely say yes to sex with random people. In that study, or a follow-up, they also found that that women were equally likely to say yes if two things could be guarenteed: safety and enjoyment.

I am totally willing to have sex on a first date and I do casual hook-ups more than dating. Despite that, I don't do random hook-ups very often because the sex often ranges from average to meh to terrible. As a general rule, in a casual hook-up, guys are much, much more likely to enjoy it and have an orgasm. Probably as a result of women often having more individual turn-ons (so if it's a one-night stand thing, why should he bother figuring it out? Ugh.) and patriarchy (women are taught not to prioritize their own pleasure, his orgasm ends it). Orgasms aren't the be-all, end-all of sex, but I do want to enjoy it.

I think you're probably not screening for women who are interested in casual sex but also, you're not giving them any reason to expect sex with you would be any less boring than the boring conversation you're having. Things that signal sex might not be terrible: being interested in me as a person and not just for sex, good positive sense of humor, lots of energy, connection with non-sex things, genuine interest in what I say, good at reading body language, knowledge of and positive feelings about female things (media created by women, feminism, female characters, etc). You don't have to have all of these, but they really, really help. And they will probably help you in a lot of other situations.
posted by raeka at 12:05 PM on January 14, 2016 [7 favorites]

Getting laid on the regular takes some pretty advanced social skills and/or some serious good looks. If you are totally reliant on dating apps, my guess is that you lack at least one of those.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 12:08 PM on January 14, 2016 [7 favorites]

Like many said about, you have to genuinely like women and like people and think of women as people. Also, attending to hygiene is the bare bones minimum. Like, bare bones, things you should do anyway and not expect some woman to get excited over.

I know media would have you believe that tons of guys have game and they're getting laid every night of the week and then some. Quite a number of men lie a lot about stupid and serious stuff, and not just to whoever they're trying to bed, but to everyone, especially when the truth challenges their ego or idea of themselves. They lie to themselves, they lie to other people, sometimes they believe their own lies and check out of reality.

There are guys desperate AF for sex, trolling for sex online and in bars and pretty much anywhere and everywhere. They're frustrated because they watched a lot of tv and believed bullshit about this or that guy getting laid (never mind that magnetism and charisma are characteristics that you either have or don't have, and are a kind of giftedness that come when you're comfortable with yourself versus something you can turn on and off to get what you want, usually)

Doing x,y,and z like you're checking off boxes won't work. You have to be sexy---not your idea of what you think girls find sexy (because most if the time it's laughable and if you've ever seen pictures of regular guys trying to look cool or sexy, they usually are way off) and not even what we women say we find sexy to magazines or what angry, jaded, lazy, dumb guys want to believe women find sexy (money, abs, cars, asshole personality). It's a certain something, a certain ability to connect and vibe and it's not something you can fake.

Basically, the current state you're in (desperate for sex) isn't going to be sexy. Women will pick up on it and desperation doesn't suggest you're going to be a good lover, that going home with you will be worth it when she might have a better time with a vibrator and her imagination than with awkward sex with a guy who is calculating every single move, overthinking every single little move versus being someone who is comfortable to be around, and someone she can envision being a good lover vs someone who looks like he's on the verge of begging for sex.
posted by discopolo at 12:10 PM on January 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

Btw, I know guys like to believe that if they were taller than they'd get laid all day long by all women, but there are so many sexy, sexy guys under 6 ft tall who are comfortable with themselves, not rich, not assholes, and they are successful with women because they are easy to be around. If you believe the bs about height, that we women are that calculating and would rather a 6 ft guy who is an asshole than a guy who is 5'7 and genuinely kind and caring, then it's because you want to believe it. Probably because then you don't have to put in any effort in developing the social skills or emotional depth you need to be able to connect with women.

It's not fun being around guys who blame all their problems on not being 6 ft tall and wallow in bitterness about how they got dealt a bad hand. It's exhausting to be around these kinds of men who don't try to be genuinely better people and prefer to pretend they're a victim because their favorite supermodel is now dating a guy closer to her own height and so all women must be swiping left or rejecting leaving with the guy because of the height thing (it's not that the guy is so awkward or that she's feeling ambivalent about having sex at all or that she just isnt feeling the guy or anything else---it must be the height lol.)

It's nice to be around people who are easy and comfortable to be around. People who are easy to be around usually feel good about themselves. Maybe consider that before thinking all women somehow can automatically tell how tall you are to the inch.
posted by discopolo at 12:42 PM on January 14, 2016 [9 favorites]

In addition to being honest, interested, and fun, you might try getting into amazing shape. I've heard it helps. Is the help is due to the confidence boost, the endorphins from exercise, or the looks themselves? Maybe all the above.
posted by PlannedSpontaneity at 1:40 PM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

A lot of good advice here. But one piece of bad advice: buying sex/hiring a prostitute. Women seem to think this is easier/safer than it is. Prostitution is ILLEGAL in the United States and you are taking all kinds of risks if you engage in it. You might get lucky and find a good hookup where all is clear and all parties or satisfied, but you might also get 1) arrested, 2) robbed, 3) find yourself in a morally compromising or deeply unpleasant situation. There are countries where prostitution is legal, if you want to buy sex, go there. It will be much easier and more satisfying (but continue to keep an eye out for the 'morally compromising' part).

Also, go easy on yourself. It's not easy seeking casual sex if you are a man. There are a lot of people in the thread saying that you can be an appealing casual sex partner if you 'love women', give the impression of being fun/respectful/into them as people, have a good vibe, etc. All of that is true enough, but that set of qualities is known as 'being naturally good with women' and if it doesn't come naturally it is not simple to get there. If it doesn't come easily to you to have that kind of relaxed, fun, welcoming charisma then it doesn't mean that you are a misogynist or a creep or actually don't like women. Just relax and have faith that you will find compatible people, focus on the positive, and don't set yourself a near-impossible goal for an ordinary guy like having a ton of casual sex with a ton of different people on a ton of first dates. Trying to force it too hard will make you embittered and then you may actually become a creep. Women just are choosy, much choosier than men. (E.g. the post above saying 'no frayed edges on clothing' as a qualification for 'cleanliness'...I wonder if a man has ever decided not to have sex with a woman based on whether the edges of her clothing were frayed).
posted by zipadee at 2:51 PM on January 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

I think that maybe some of the commenters are being a little hard on you. I don't get from what you've written that you see women as objects...I get this impression of a reasonably attractive guy, maybe a little socially awkward, in a dry spell. I have been there (tho I am a woman). So I can most definitely sympathize.

Definitely no casual sex expert here. But for that very reason, maybe my thoughts will help?

1. How to get into the "right headspace." Have you ever been in a relationship, maybe not a Serious Relationship but definitely attached, and had a woman come on to you for no apparent reason, like just when you're watching TV at a friend's or whatever? I include high school. Have you ever thought, "gee, honey, where were you all those years when I was single?" This is probably because you were relaxed and mellow and had an all-but-guaranteed sexual outlet at the time. Can you try to fake this feeling in your mind? If you haven't had this experience, can you remember the morning after these two recent women that you did sleep with? That feeling of hey, cool, I can do this.

2. I actually find the numbers helpful. Because if you can get 100 first dates online, but 98 of these involve closed-off body language from the get-go, then it is probably (sorry) something concretely wrong with your in-person presentation. This is a job for your oldest and best friends. They need to tell you what it is. Heck, if you have a straight female DEFINITELY platonic friend of many years, take her out for some friendly beers and say "listen, Lois, you gotta help me, I go out on dates and I'm sitting here just like this and the women aren't into me. What is it? I need you to spell it out." (I emphasize definitely platonic so she won't think you're coming on to her.) It could be that you're kind of an asshole when you're nervous--I know I can be--or it could be that you're a lot nerdier than you appear in your pictures, or any number of things that a casual friend or coworker (like the ones who vetted your pictures) won't necessarily say. I myself am definitely on the nerdy side, though I am reasonably attractive and occasionally test the waters. So what I do with profile pictures is have one or two that just show me standing around in default moderately nerdy mode. (This may or may not be your problem; I am just giving examples.)

3. As others have said, the secret code on profiles is "I'm not really looking for anything serious, but let's go out and have some fun for a change!" But handle #2 first before going back online.
posted by 8603 at 3:14 PM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

From your reference to the train, you might be in a very large city? Along with others' remarks on safety, try to make sure that you're easy to find and ultra-kosher online. From what you write, it seems like it's something about you in person, but it certainly can't hurt to be very, very verifiable on Google. I google everyone before dates and I am even more thorough if I'm "not looking for anything serious."
posted by 8603 at 3:23 PM on January 14, 2016

I am firmly of the opinion that you should stop. Just stop.

Based on your question, you come off as somewhat reserved, methodical, and bad at flirting. People who fit this description seldom have much casual sex. The men I've met who've had substantial amounts of casual sex generally fit into one (or more) of three categories:

-They have a certain something that I truly cannot describe that helps them with women. I don't even really know what this thing is - men who fit this category come in all shapes and sizes, from different walks of life, they look different, act different, talk different. There is an element of je ne sais quoi at work here, as you call it.

-They, usually without intending to, found themselves in a situation which facilitated their meeting women and put them in a position to appear desirable.

-They work an angle. Like, if you met them you could fairly easily pin them as a certain "type" of guy. This probably narrows their pool, but it sends a signal to women who like that particular type.

I suppose you could try to engineer the final two things, but it sounds kind of exhausting - you're already exhausted - and I'm not sure it would work. As I said, people who are reserved, methodical, and bad at flirting seldom have much casual sex. This is doubly true for men, for a number reasons quite well-summarized by other commenters.

Anyway, here's what I think you should do: Stop. Stop using dating apps (at least for awhile), stop going on dates all the time (100 dates!? Sheesh, I'd have lost by now if I were you), stop thinking about getting laid and comparing yourself to other people. I know those last two are much easier said than done - sex is a basic human desire, after all - but you should try, for your own sake.

See, we live in an oversexualized culture in many ways, and society never tells you that not getting laid isn't that big of a deal. There are plenty of things you can do while not getting laid. You can make new friends, or bond further with existing ones. You can travel and learn new things. You can take up a hobby or advance your career. You can even meet women, because plenty of cool people also happen to be women! You just probably won't have sex with them, is all. In the grand scheme of things: so what? Nobody is staring at you saying "that guy doesn't get laid." You're not wearing a sign around your neck.

I'd also like to note that I'm not suggesting that you will never have sex again. You almost certainly will. You will also probably fall in love. You will probably have a satisfying emotional and/or sexual relationship with a woman at some point. You might even have casual sex somewhere along the way. But probably not right now. Right now there is a whole world of other things you can do.

I'm saying all this, because I'm a little older than you and at one point in my early 20s, I felt similarly to how you do now. At some point, I just decided to let it go, and focus on other stuff. Some people will tell you this will help you get laid - it probably won't, at least in the short term. It didn't for me, anyway. I'm not going to say I was never frustrated after I let it go, but I was happier and I led a fuller life for mostly forgetting about it. Just accept this aspect of your personality and move on. I promise your life will be better for it, and I promise that five or ten years from now this is going to seem remarkably unimportant.
posted by breakin' the law at 5:18 PM on January 14, 2016 [10 favorites]

I have two answers for you.

The first is about me: In the past, I have had so much casual sex. I universally had it with people I already casually knew, and who seemed like they would be So Much Fun. So, parties with the same group of friends and people on the peripheries of those circles. Sort of vouched for, and let me see that they were fun people to be around.

Fun, in this case, means: they never ever kissed and told, they laughed and told jokes on the same wavelength as me, they never said anything cruel or mean about anyone, they were generous with everyone, and they were lightly flirtatious with most of the women because it was just part of their personality. They showed genuine interest in people across the board and made an effort to remember little details about people. You don't have to be an extrovert or loud or gregarious to meet this standard, although that's what people think of most readily. You just have to deeply love people. Be in the moment, and be emotionally present.

Show that you like making other people feel good, and that's a pretty good sign for a fun time in bed.

The second is about men I know who have an "easy" time getting sex: they have put in a ton of work on themselves. They do emotional labor. They have spent time deprogramming the patriarchy from their insides. They make women feel safe because they truly and genuinely in every way respect them and their autonomy. They do not go looking for casual sex, but do participate in activities and groups where that's common. (You can memail me for ideas, but we're gonna have a conversation before I divulge.) They are real feminist men who treat women like people.

So, it wasn't easy for them to get where they are. It was a lot of work, and they didn't do the work to get laid. They did the work to be better people. And they are. And it makes them stand out in a super desirable way. There's not a shortcut to being someone worth having casual sex with. You have to be worth it. It's not about removing reasons /not/ to; it's about adding reasons /to/.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:46 PM on January 14, 2016 [11 favorites]

I also want to echo what a few people above said: you come across as creepy. 98 out of 100 women immediately have closed body language? You are creepy in person. I'd guess, from the phrasing of your question, that you come off like a predator. You view women as a homogeneous group that either gives sex to you or doesn't, and you're trying to figure out how to get sex from them.

I think it's because you have clearly figured out how to get women to go on first dates with you, which not everyone can do! See all the askmes from people wondering where they're going wrong in their dating profile. And now it seems like you're trying to crack the second part of the sex dispensing machine. Because there's nothing in your question that comes across as actually liking and respecting women. Just wishing you were better at preying on them for sex. Part of this comes from you phrasing it as "achieving" which makes it sound like a prize.

Women are good at picking up on the signals that they would be a notch in your bed post, and are not generally interested in that kind of unsatisfying, and unsafe feeling, sex.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:57 PM on January 14, 2016 [5 favorites]

3. Meet at bar, woman is extremely closed off - not making much eye contact, not fully turned toward me. Body language "closed" - arms cross/legs crossed. Fair enough! I'm an internet stranger after all.

Several people have picked up on this point - if they have closed body language, then there is something wrong immediately. Closed body language means they're wondering how they can get the hell out of there.

I don't know if it's your hygiene or appearance or if you come across creepy or something else entirely - but I think you should hire a dating coach to tell you. Because something is not right, and none of the other advice will help until you fix whatever it is.
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:06 AM on January 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

People have definitely covered the bases here but my gut feeling is that something about you IRL is incongruous to virtual you. Maybe you are socially awkward? Or maybe, like others have said, these women are picking up on the fact that you're trying to do the correct string of behaviors that will win you a sexual encounter. I online dated a way, way, lot, and it always surprised me how different someone could be from their online persona. Not just "wow that must have been an older photo because you look different" but "wow you seemed so cool online but in person you are really hard to talk to and have a weird smell". I would get an honest friend of yours, preferably female, to give you feedback on your profile as it relates to you in real life.
posted by masquesoporfavor at 1:41 PM on January 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

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