Am I a prude because I wanted to date for a month before hittin' the sheets?
April 15, 2008 3:27 PM   Subscribe

Am I a prude because I wanted to date for a month before hittin' the sheets?

I hate dating. There. I said it.

In my most recent dating fiasco, New Guy came on pretty strong: we had five dates within ten days. Great chemistry, fireworks, all that.

The final two dates were very handsy and gropey, but I told him I'd like to get to know him somewhat better before hitting the sheets. I told him, Ohyes ohyes, I definitely WANT TO, but that in order to avoid a random, meaningless hook up, I'd like to wait a bit, specifically another week or two.

Now here I am alone. Flat out rejected by this guy.

::sigh::

1. Am I just completely out of the dating loop here (totally possible) because I think three or four weeks is an adequate dating period before sex?

2. Or am I supposed to put out on Date 3 in order to be in compliance with the Third Date Rule?

3. What do guys expect in terms of physical intimacy and timing?

4. Why does he continue to flirt with me (via email) yet turn down an offer for drinks?

5. Am I a c*cktease for engaging in heavy make out sessions with him, but not sealing the deal?

5. Why do I care? (Never mind, don't answer that.)
posted by December to Human Relations (68 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
1-3, 5: It doesn't really matter what the rule is. You shouldn't be with someone who doesn't want the same thing you want.
4. Because he's a douchebag.
posted by roll truck roll at 3:32 PM on April 15, 2008 [7 favorites]


You didn't want to have sex with someone you didn't feel you knew well enough, and he didn't want to wait around to get to you know you, so it ended. Congratulations, you're doing everything right. Your boundaries worked, see- you weeded out a guy who wasn't on the same page as you. It sucks, but that's how it works. Put all that stuff about "expectations" and "compliance" with "rules" out of your mind. Continue to put yourself first, and you will be just fine.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:34 PM on April 15, 2008 [30 favorites]


4. Why does he continue to flirt with me (via email) yet turn down an offer for drinks?

He thinks you're playing games, so he's playing them in return.

Also, from what you've told us here, he does kind of have a point--5 dates in 10 days? Great chemistry? Fireworks? None of that screams "random, meaningless hook up" if you'd slept with him.
posted by cosmic osmo at 3:34 PM on April 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just to be clear--I'm not passing judgment on you. I think it's great that you didn't do something you weren't comfortable with, and it's his loss for not sticking around. Ignore his emails--he's not worth it. But in his mind, you probably were coming off as a tease, unfortunately.
posted by cosmic osmo at 3:37 PM on April 15, 2008


You did the right thing. What are the current societal rules for dating? Hell if I know. The only rules that really matter are the ones that allow you to sleep comfortably at night knowing you've stuck by your convictions.
Also, I disagree with cosmic osmo. Five dates in 10 days with lots of chemistry could very well result in a meaningless hook-up. Don't ask me how I know.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 3:37 PM on April 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


are you here to ask what the "norm" is in this situation so that you can comply—and probably do something you are uncomfortable with?

he asked me what i ended up doing that day and when i said i went to a dinner party, he sounded surprised.

1. Am I just completely out of the dating loop here (totally possible) because I think three or four weeks is an adequate dating period before sex?

2. Or am I supposed to put out on Date 3 in order to be in compliance with the Third Date Rule?

you've made a decision to not sleep with someone before a month. that's your time-table. i'm assuming you made that decision based on what would make you feel comfortable. you need to find someone who is also fine with that. it's blatantly obvious that this guy was really only interested in sleeping with you because he refused to date you after you told him about wanting to wait a month. if he really liked you, if he was really interested in pursuing a relationship with you, he would have waited another week or two—that ain't that long a time! at the very least, his dealbreaker could be that he needs to have sex sooner than that, just as yours is you need to have sex later. again, this just goes back to the fact that this guy isn't right for you.

4. Why does he continue to flirt with me (via email) yet turn down an offer for drinks?

because you allow him to, and he gets off on the attention. he's a jerk, cut out the contact with him if he see you in person.
posted by violetk at 3:38 PM on April 15, 2008


You did exactly right. There are no rules other than what you're comfortable with and he was a jerk. Clearly he was on a different track than you and congratulations for finding that out early on, and before you got over-involved. I wouldn't even return his emails anymore - there's nothing there.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 3:39 PM on April 15, 2008


You have every right to not have sex with someone when you don't want to, and you should not sell yourself short in finding someone who is compatible with your desires.

But as a guy....5 dates in 10 days, great chemistry, lots of making out....I would expect to get past 2nd base.
posted by gnutron at 3:41 PM on April 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


he's a jerk, cut out the contact with him if he see you in person.

sorry. meant to say won't see you in person.
posted by violetk at 3:42 PM on April 15, 2008


Wow.

1. Waiting to knock boots is pretty much standard these days. Lots of people are even making their partners go get STD screenings before they get intimate.

2. You are under no obligation to put out on Date 3. Fuck those 1970s pre AIDs epidemic rules.

3. Guys are all totally different and have vastly individual expectations. Plenty of guys will even want to wait to get to know you over the course of months before having sex.

4. He continues to flirt with you via email possibly because he wants to keep you on the back burner in the event that you randomly decide to call him up late one night to hook up.

5. You are NOT a tease for establishing boundaries. You have the right to be highly selective of your partners, and to wait until you feel totally comfortable with someone before you sleep with them.
posted by pluckysparrow at 3:42 PM on April 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


I don't think you're a cocktease. *shrugs* Your standard for "waiting period" or whatever should be set by your own comfort level and nothing else. There is no rulebook, not even "guidelines". Don't let it bother you too much; different people have different levels and standards and it really just means that you're different, not that you're wrong or anything.

If he did consider you a tease, as your original post (and as cosmic osmo) suggest, that kind of makes me wonder why he's so suspicious of your motives and what he's projecting.

Congrats on standing up for yourself. His loss for not sticking around someone who has enough self-respect to assert boundaries.
posted by Phire at 3:42 PM on April 15, 2008


no, you're not stupid, or wrong.

the three-date rule is bullshit.

he is flirting with you because he broke off with you--therefore, he thinks you are still interested, and he's maintaining the relationship to keep you on standby. don't be that girl.
posted by thinkingwoman at 3:43 PM on April 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


#5 is the only important question here. You're someone who doesn't enjoy having sex with someone she hasn't dated for a while. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and anyone who's tried to make you feel otherwise is a piece of shit for acting as if you somehow "owed" him sex, regardless of what it means to you.

I'm sure there will be other comments along the lines of "no you're not a prude! a month is normal!" or "that's kind of a long time!" but thinking along these lines misses the point: giving power to meaningless labels like "prude," or the practice of caring when most people have sex are just going to to push your thoughts about sex into a more standardized/depersonalized (note to advanced blamers: patriarchal) conceptualization of it. Sex is what it is to you. It means what it means to you. It's not something you owe some asshole (see question #4) just because he bought you three dinners and, hey, it's the 00's!
posted by 1 at 3:44 PM on April 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


If you didn't feel that you knew him well enough, then you were completely right not to sleep with him. And you found out something important about him--he wasn't interested enough in you to wait a couple of weeks for the sex. Sounds like you two weren't looking for the same thing. You're better off.

On the other hand, if you have a hard rule about one month, that could seem just as arbitrary as a 3 date rule. If the amount of time you've known a person is an important boundary for you, then that's fine. But if you ever feel like you know someone well enough before the month has passed, then there's nothing wrong with bending your own rule.

And I totally agree with notjustfoxybrown--meaningless hook up can totally arise in the situation you've described.
posted by Mavri at 3:44 PM on April 15, 2008


No, you are not a tease, and no, you didn't do anything wrong. Speaking as a fellow "I prefer to wait a bit" gal, you want a guy who is on the same page as you regarding sex and values.

This guy may or may not be a libertine looking for a booty call (though the fact that he stomped off after you didn't have sex with him makes me think he wasn't into you for the long-term) - but it doesn't matter, because he doesn't share your values or timing. So he isn't right for you.

Believe it or not, there ARE guys who are willing to take it slow, especially if they are really into you as a person and a friend. And that's the kind of relationship you want, right?
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 3:46 PM on April 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


If he really wanted to be with you -- You as a person -- he would have waited. Anyone not willing to wait is looking for cheap thrills and is not worth your time.

He continues to flirt in hopes he'll either wear down your defenses, or catch you at the "right" time or in a weak moment. He's done putting any real effort into it, though. That's probably why he's only flirting in emails.

No, you're not a cocktease, your just someone who knows their sexual comfort zone and will wait to find someone who respects it.

Cocktease is a term developed to bully women into having intercourse.
posted by studentbaker at 3:48 PM on April 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


You did the right thing. Sleeping with him before you were ready would have brought up all kinds of other issues & problems. Maybe most guys would expect it, maybe most wouldn't. It's irrelevant, because you'll eventually find a guy who respects you and your decisions. (I did.)
posted by lilac girl at 3:48 PM on April 15, 2008


4. Because he is holding out for an offer of "come over into my bed, big boy," rather than the second prize of drinks. It's sort of like sulking and pouting until you get a second cookie -- he wouldn't do it if it didn't often work.

5. Only if you aren't being honest about what you want and don't want. Basically, there is nothing wrong with what you want, and it will certainly serve its purpose as a filter for incompatible guys. You will have some tough decisions if there is a guy you really, really like, and he wants something different -- sex faster, or two years of abstinence, or something involving his rabbit. As long as you can look at yourself in the mirror in the morning and feel happy with what you are or are not doing, you are ok.

3. I can't speak to what most guys want, any more than you are a representative of most girls. Personally, I'm ok with waiting for sex, but not interested in endless make-out sessions with no happy endings, because blue balls hurt. That was ok when I was a teenager, but not so interesting now. I know a guy who fancies himself a real Mr SmoothOperator, and he definitely has a policy where if there is no sex by the second or third date, he is moving on to greener pastures -- and I'm sure he is not alone. But I also don't think that he represents 50% of the population in any real sense.

2. So no, you don't need to put out on the third date unless you and your date both want to. You may, however, need to learn how and when to better communicate what you want, and how to make sure that you are consistent in what you are doing. Post-high school, I think most people (but hardly all) don't do a lot of the making out that isn't leading to sex (if not that night, then at least soon). So if that kind of intimacy is what you are looking for, you will need to A) find guys who are also into that, and B) communicate what you want in ways that produce the results you desire.
posted by Forktine at 3:48 PM on April 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


1. Am I just completely out of the dating loop here (totally possible) because I think three or four weeks is an adequate dating period before sex?

No. (as others have said, you should do whats right for YOU, and follow your own gut instinct. I agree with the other comments here, sounds like you made the right choice and "weeded out" a guy who wouldnt have been right for you. Good guys will respect and work with your expectations)

2. Or am I supposed to put out on Date 3 in order to be in compliance with the Third Date Rule?

There is no "3rd date rule" (atleast in my book). Successful dating means : communicating, treating each other with respect and having fun.

3. What do guys expect in terms of physical intimacy and timing?

Every guy is different. (sorry for the cop out answer, but its true.)

4. Why does he continue to flirt with me (via email) yet turn down an offer for drinks?

Because you told him "I really WANT to..." .... so he's staying in contact with you, hoping you'll "come around" (still be an option)... more blunty: (sounds like) he wants to get laid, and because you said "I really WANT to".. he assumes your a "sure thing". (or as others have said, he's being a douchebag jerk and playing games with you (with the goal of getting in your pants). Or it could also be, he isnt going to invest more energy (beyond txt-msgs) until he's more sure your going to put out.

5. Am I a c*cktease for engaging in heavy make out sessions with him, but not sealing the deal?

That depends. Did you forewarn him FIRST that he wasnt getting any BEFORE the "heavy makeout session" ?.... or did you wait until it got hot and heavy till you cut him off ?. If its the later, then (personally) I would call you a c*cktease. (well, not to your face, but I'd certainly be thinking it.) and YES, I know you didnt intend/plan on it getting "hot and heavy" so I probably wouldnt hold it against you for very long, but I would definitely talk it out with you so a situation like that wouldnt happen a 2nd time.


5. Why do I care? (Never mind, don't answer that.)

Because you know deep inside you are an awesome person and you deserve an awesome relationship? and its frustrating to have to weed through all the b*llsh!t and games to find someone fun and decent. (not being a smartass----I really mean this.)
posted by jmnugent at 3:49 PM on April 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: <>>

Ahhh you all rock. To post here on my own thread, no, I'm not a hard and fast (pun intended) wait-a-month kinda girl. It was more that, in this circumstance, with HIM I figured I needed another week or two to really get him. We just dated so intensely and so fast that my head was spinning and I wanted to give myself some breathing room.

<>>

No, not at all. I'm just wondering what others' thoughts on this are.
posted by December at 3:53 PM on April 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


December - if he was an "intense and fast" kind of guy when you were dating, then dropped you like a hot potato when you didn't have sex with him - it sounds as if you dodged a bullet there. Most times, guys like this are more into the chase than the relationship. Good for you for following your gut instinct.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:02 PM on April 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


It is 2008. Are we still kicking around the ridiculous notion of a cock tease in this day and age? Seriously? Have people's hands fallen off in the last 20 years or something? Did they make masturbation illegal and I just didn't get the memo?
posted by DarlingBri at 4:03 PM on April 15, 2008 [9 favorites]


Prude is relative. In some circles, you're a bit prude, in others, sinfully libertine.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 4:06 PM on April 15, 2008


1-3, 5) All generalizations are wrong, including this one

4) He probably got the impression that you have some unfortunate hangups about sex, or you're husband hunting, and he decided to back away to avoid more awkwardness. He's still being nice via email because he isn't a jerk.
posted by mullingitover at 4:10 PM on April 15, 2008


Response by poster: No, I didn't invite him out after he dumped me. (My invitation was prior to the dumping.) The sequence was this: passionate groping session on Sunday, my Monday follow-up email thanking him for dinner/query re upcoming weekend (this was before I understood he was pissed re the make out session), then a return email from him saying he didn't want to get together. My response was along the lines of ok, good luck, take care, blah blah. THEN he emailed back some flirty thing about my potential nudity - I didn't respond to that one. What drama!
posted by December at 4:13 PM on April 15, 2008


This guy seems like a jerk, so be glad to be rid of him. Generally, I think Forktine is pretty much right about this, though I would add a bit about the Third Date rule. It shouldn't influence when people have sex, but it's foolish to ignore the fact that it influences how people think about sex. It's basically become enshrined in dating culture, like the guy paying for dinner, or the girl taking too long to get ready. That doesn't mean it's not stupid, but whenever you deviate from an established norm some people start second guessing and wondering what the other person is trying to say. All parties should take extra communication efforts to assure people aren't misinterpreting signals.
posted by aswego at 4:21 PM on April 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


1. Am I just completely out of the dating loop here (totally possible) because I think three or four weeks is an adequate dating period before sex?

There is no dating loop, there is only what you want and expect. Nothing else matters.


2. Or am I supposed to put out on Date 3 in order to be in compliance with the Third Date Rule?


There is no date rule. There are the rules you want to follow.

3. What do guys expect in terms of physical intimacy and timing?


It really does vary, you'd have to ask a particular guy and see what he says. Really.

4. Why does he continue to flirt with me (via email) yet turn down an offer for drinks?


Because he's an idiot that prefers playing games as opposed to spending a hot and heavy date with you.

5. Am I a c*cktease for engaging in heavy make out sessions with him, but not sealing the deal?


Nope, not all. You have the absolute right to say no or call it off at anytime, be it before or during. Really.

5. Why do I care? (Never mind, don't answer that.)

'cause you were into him, yet he rejected you, over a trivial matter. Aanother week or two, he just couldn't wait? That's just stupid and shallow and you're better off without him. Really, stop emailing him. Seriously, think about it, that guy probably waits months for football/hockey/some movie/some show and he can't wait two weeks to have sex with you? Instead, he settles for flirting via email when he could at least be having a hot and heavy date that'll lead up to sex in just another week ('cause admit it, you probably could be persuaded if he just acted halfway decent)? How did this guy survive the writer's strike?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:27 PM on April 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


1. Waiting to knock boots is pretty much standard these days. Lots of people are even making their partners go get STD screenings before they get intimate.

This is heavily location or subculture dependent, I suppose. 'Cause around these parts people regularly get freaky on a first or second date, which doesn't even take into account one-night-stands.

OP: I think waiting a month is pretty unusual but that doesn't make it wrong. I'm not sure what is gained by looking at some sort of average. Are you planning on having sex if a month is more than a standard deviation off the mean but not have sex if it isn't? Because otherwise I'm not sure what you gain by looking at what is typical.

Your other questions don't really make sense to me in this context. What does it matter what the average guy "expects", even if we could identify such a thing? Which we can't, because guys are not a monolithic block. All that matters is that you find a guy that has expectations compatible with your own.

There isn't anything wrong with waiting. On the other hand, there isn't really anything wrong with a guy not wanting to wait either. Why does this have to be a case of someone being in the wrong instead of two people just not being on the same wavelength?

You guys had different expectations about sex. So what? Now you can go your seperate ways with no harm done.
posted by Justinian at 4:44 PM on April 15, 2008


But as a guy....5 dates in 10 days, great chemistry, lots of making out....I would expect to get past 2nd base.

2c that hasn't been added yet: it's not so much about 'expectations' of getting past second base, but that level of intensity not leading to sex relatively quickly would probably have me thinking twice about how comfortable a girl is with her own body & sexuality, and whether i'd really want to eventually end up in bed with her.

3. Guys are all totally different and have vastly individual expectations. Plenty of guys will even want to wait to get to know you over the course of months before having sex.

This is also true, notwithstanding what I wrote above. But it's a bit of an either-or situation. You can either spend months getting to know each other platonically, or move onto the sexy stuff earlier on, but a month or more of making out is a shitty sort of no-man's-land. In that respect, I think Forktine hit the nail on the head regarding the "sexual maturity" point I was trying to get at earlier:

Personally, I'm ok with waiting for sex, but not interested in endless make-out sessions with no happy endings, because blue balls hurt. That was ok when I was a teenager, but not so interesting now [...] Post-high school, I think most people (but hardly all) don't do a lot of the making out that isn't leading to sex (if not that night, then at least soon).

on preview: what mullingitover said.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:45 PM on April 15, 2008


Speaking as someone who really expects sex early in a relationship:

If the guy really liked you, he would have behaved differently.

Are you being a cock tease?

Yes you are. As long as you're going to maintain this "rule" of yours, you shouldn't put yourself in a position where the only thing between the guy getting laid or not is your own rule. Nobody likes to be rejected and if you're going to continue this "rule" of yours you need to figure out how to postpone sex in ways that don't involve mid-makeout rejection.

I dated someone last year and quite by accident we wound up seeing each other for several weeks without sleeping together. Why did it go down like that? It was our schedules. Neither of us could commit to a sleep over early on. I liked that, I thought it was fine. It was never that I was rejected, or that she wanted to wait, it was just that neither of us could stay out late, or we had to be up early the next day, or whatever. But, if I had gone over expecting to get some (based on previous makeout secessions) and things were going well before she finally said 'no' I'd feel rejected and disappointed. Of course, I'd deal with it, and would probably keep seeing her, but some guys don't deal with rejection well.
posted by wfrgms at 4:49 PM on April 15, 2008


wfrgms, I'm not seeing where the OP applied any specific "rule" of her(his?) own to the situation. If not having sex with someone until you're absolutely certain and comfortable with them makes you a cocktease, then I'm an Amish comedian.
posted by casarkos at 4:58 PM on April 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm not seeing where the OP applied any specific "rule" of her(his?) own to the situation

She stated it's not a hard and fast rule, but with this particular guy and circumstances, she wanted to wait.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:03 PM on April 15, 2008


Be.

Yourself.

You do NOT owe anyone ANYTHING based on the number of times you have seen him. Period. Frankly, I'm glad I waited until I met Mrs. Doohickie to "hit the sheets."
posted by Doohickie at 5:15 PM on April 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


You are not a tease, you did the right thing. Believe me -- but more important, believe in yourself.
posted by _Mona_ at 5:24 PM on April 15, 2008


I can only answer for myself - a guy who's never moved quite that fast, but would have no fundamental objections to doing so. I place myself in your guy's shoes, and I get this:

If you'd said "no sex for a year" then, yes, I - personally - would call that teasing, given that you had makeout sesssions to that, uh, level.

A couple more weeks? Nah. And certainly, if I was really into you, I wouldn't break things off and reject you. As others have noted, there are other factors to how fast a couple jumps in the sack - if you wanted to hold off until an STD test, for example, I'd just nod and call up my doctor to schedule the bloodwork. This is, of course, assuming I'm really interested in you, and not just hoping to get laid in a hurry.

Now, where that line is - between "a couple more weeks" and "a year" - I'm not sure. I've also had some bad experiences with girls being very not-comfortable with their own bodies/sexuality, and as such I'm a little more likely to jump away at those signs than I'd like. But for the case you've given, I don't think you did anything particularly tease-y or weird.
posted by Tomorrowful at 5:32 PM on April 15, 2008


Another guy weighing in to say you have no reason to feel like a prude. As a practical matter, it might be a good idea not to get as physical as you apparently did if you don't think you'll feel comfortable having sex, because most guys will take that as a sign that you do want to have sex, but they're grownups, they should be able to deal with it. If he's not interested in you unless you're willing to go to bed with him on his schedule, there's no reason for you to be interested in him.
posted by languagehat at 5:37 PM on April 15, 2008


1. No. Wait until you feel comfortable. Anybody not willing to respect that isn't worth your time or attention.

2. No.

3. I don't feel like I have specific expectations as to the timing, I just wait until we're both comfortable with each other. I mean, if it had been a month and we hadn't kissed, I would feel like something was wrong. But a month is certainly not a long time to wait to have sex. It depends entirely on the person.

4. I don't know.

5. No. Heavy makeout sessions shouldn't be viewed as strictly a pre-sex activity. They are fun on their own, whether or not they lead to sex.

The dude sounds like a douchebag to me.
posted by number9dream at 5:41 PM on April 15, 2008


If it's not a meaningless hookup, then well, I have an 'until I'm comfortable' policy. With my husband, that was marriage (largely due to availability of private bedspace). Were I still in the dating game - I can see some guys who I'd be comfortable with after a couple months, others who it might take a year or more. Am I a tease? Nope. (Well, unless they ask me very nicely to tease - but that's a bit different).

I'm not prudish. I'm comfortable in my body and with my sexuality. But a key component for me in enjoying sex is trust - and for me, that takes time to develop. I've always let guys know on the first date (and in some cases, prior) that there is no PIV until I've established a certain level of trust, because I have issues. If they can't deal with the issues, well, too bad, so sad, and we'll just be friends.

That's what's right for me. I've learnt the hard way what is, for me, necessary.

I encourage you to keep the courage of your convictions, and do what is right for you. The right guy will be comfortable with that.
posted by ysabet at 5:49 PM on April 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


He's an asshole, it's really that simple. You aren't on dramatically different different paths here, you aren't asking him to wait until marriage, you're asking him to maintain the status quo for a couple more weeks so that you feel comfortable. Any guy who tries to manipulate you into sex that you aren't comfortable with is an asshole. Any guy who even wants to have sex with someone that doesn't 100% want to have sex with them at that moment is an asshole.

Even if he thought it was totally and utterly ridiculous to wait two more weeks, he would wait two more weeks if he really liked you and wanted to be with you, because it's only two weeks and most people will wait two weeks for anything they really want, if not a lot longer, especially if it's to make someone they like happy.

Honestly, sometimes I think waiting to have sex is just a good idea in general because it has the affect of weeding out guys like this early.
posted by whoaali at 5:51 PM on April 15, 2008


From an economical standpoint as a guy 5 dates is pretty costly, to just walk away with some heavy making out. Maybe you should try taking him/footing the bill on a 3 day weekend someplace fun. i guy has to cut his lost if he is not getting the positive feedback (sex) he needs cause we can only afford to take so many women out on dates a year.
posted by Rolandkorn at 6:09 PM on April 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


As a guy who hasn't really dated, I'd be sort of surprised if I was seeing a woman and we were in bed in less than a month. But that just might be my low self esteem and various other personal issues regarding sex speaking.

If a guy has a policy of three dates and then bed and you've got a one month and then bed policy, then either one person compromises or you go separate ways. Sexual expectations are just one of many possible incompatibilities.

As for what wfrgms said, if two people are seeing each other and based on past actions certain future actions are expected (or assumed), I'd say that not everyone uses the same forecasting methodology. One person might predict another two weeks or months of making out while another person might expect "whose dungeon will be play at first?" and to say that either one of these people is wrong is silly. You're just working at different speeds. If someone is too fast for you (OP's case) or too slow for you (wfrgms' case) then either one or both people can be flexible, or you can part ways.
posted by Brian Puccio at 6:18 PM on April 15, 2008


The story of my current and best relationship is relevant to this question.

I met my current girlfriend last summer. She hadn't had much sexual experience before me. We took things slow. Very slow. I was used to being a fast and aggressive guy, but I was also very in love with her, and made up my mind to respect her and the pace that she desired. We slowly worked our way around the bases and got to know each other so, so well - physically, emotionally, and intellectually. The first time we had sex together (and the first time for her) was at around 4-5 months.

The longest I had ever waited for sex before that was about 2 weeks.

One of the most important things to have in a relationship is respect. If you made it clear to this fuckhead that you wanted him, you really wanted him, just not quite yet, and let's-please-get-to-know-each-other-better, and he bailed on you? How red of a flag do you want, exactly? He just wanted a piece of ass. He's still stringing you along because he can tell you're a little bit on the fence about it. Get off the damn fence. Find a guy who is willing to respect you and WANTS to get to know you before he gets down with you.
posted by crunch buttsteak at 6:27 PM on April 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


And you know, while I'm here and feeling pissy, I'd like to point out that you're not a prude either, except insofar as "prude" means "a woman who won't acquiesce to the sexual request of a partner." Don't put out by date X? Prude. Merrily give blow jobs but don't swallow? Prude. Married for ten years but don't want to let your husband take you up the ass? Well, aren't you just a prude!

Proper, well-adjusted adults call this respecting one another's boundaries. Selfish, immature, demanding self-obsessives call it prudery.

So really, just throw out terms like "prude" and "cocktease." It is your body and you have to live in it for a long, long time. The boyfriend du jour does not.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:02 PM on April 15, 2008 [7 favorites]


I think Rolandkorn's more general point is that dating takes up time, energy & resources, and these are not unlimited. At some point people may decide that they're not getting the kind of return on their energy that they want, so it's better for them to allocate it elsewhere.

For different people, the return might be emotional connection, or stimulating company, or ego gratification, or sex, or any number of such things, in varying combinations of importance.

Whichever way, it boils down to an economic sort of equation of "is this worth it for me?" and in the case of the OP's former date, it may have been that (good) sex might have been the clincher for a deal on which he was otherwise apparently only about 50-50.

Which means, really, that the OP is better off allocating her energies elsewhere.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:16 PM on April 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Let me just echo number9dream and DarlingBri by saying that you can kiss, snog, cuddle, grope, pet, and makeout all you want, solely for its own sake, and stop whenever you want to, without being "prude" or a "cocktease" or "leading someone on." I am so sick of this nonsense that all sexual play exists only as a warm-up or prelude to THE MAIN EVENT of penile-vaginal intercourse and that engaging in any non-intercourse sexual activity constitutes a contract or promise to do penetration at some point in the near future.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:25 PM on April 15, 2008 [8 favorites]


From an economical standpoint as a guy 5 dates is pretty costly, to just walk away with some heavy making out. Maybe you should try taking him/footing the bill on a 3 day weekend someplace fun. i guy has to cut his lost if he is not getting the positive feedback (sex) he needs cause we can only afford to take so many women out on dates a year.
posted by Rolandkorn at 6:09 PM on April 15 [+] [!]


Who the hell says he paid for it all...? ...but even so, sheesh. We all know that sex is the only positive feedback that matters, yeah? Rifuckingdiculous.
posted by Asherah at 7:26 PM on April 15, 2008


The OP did ask for information on what different guys look for and are expecting; I'm not sure arguing with what is, in my experience, not very uncommon of an outlook does the OP much service. Yeah, looking at it like that is kinda scuzzy. But it happens.
posted by Justinian at 7:39 PM on April 15, 2008


I'm going to go ahead and offer a dissenting opinion here. Most seem to be on the "he's not for you if he wouldn't wait for you" bandwagon, and that seems silly to me. I think, were he a guy that probably doesn't have a lot to offer girls, he wouldn't mind waiting for you to come around, i.e. you would be in the power position. But what it seems like is he's a fun guy who is easy to get along with and you turned him down whereas he is probably not very used to that. Which is sad because the natural course of things (heavy making out, etc) would have dictated already sleeping with each other except for the fact that you've imposed an abstract rule (time) and that is interfering with your natural interaction with him.

I mean, if you think it is slutty to start putting out before a month's time is up, by all means, stick to your values. But I think in the end you might just be holding out for a guy with potentially a lot less to offer if you're looking for someone who is a pushover about the timetable things progress when it was otherwise steamy.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 7:45 PM on April 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Mod note: few comments removed - please address comments to the OP and personal comments to other posters can go to email
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:43 PM on April 15, 2008


We all know that sex is the only positive feedback that matters, yeah? Rifuckingdiculous.

Black or white, right?
It's not the only thing. It's one of them, though. I've been in the guy's situation, though it was much longer than 10 days. At some point you have to ask yourself, "WTF am I doing? I'm crazy about this girl, but she's apparently just not that into me." I mean, you can have all the reasonable, you know, reasons for not wanting to be sexual, and I can fully believe them. I'm eventually going to start wondering if really it's me, though, and that point is sooner for some people than for others.

Sounds like for this guy, it was sooner, that's all.
posted by ctmf at 8:45 PM on April 15, 2008


Just another data point, because pretty much everything that could be said has been.

To me it's clear that you should do what you want and what you're comfortable with. So good on you for that. And this particular instance of this particular guy's behavior seems to leave something to be desired. That said, I'd point out two things:

1) Your choices will obviously affect what your dates/potential partners/whatever think of you and your relationship with them. I can think of a number of people in my social circle who would think this would be a long time to wait and would wonder if they were doing anything wrong, if you had some kind of issue, or if you were looking for some kind of strong immediate commitment. They would think the above suggestion that people get STD tests first absolutely psychotic.

2) Some comments seem to suggest that you're lucky to be rid of him because he's not relationship material. Well, that's fine if you're looking for a relationship, but what if you're just looking for a fun fling? I think the guy probably handled things badly and didn't communicate very well, but it's fine if he (or you) was just looking for a good time--or anything else consenting adults might want to do together. You just need to be fair and let each other know what you want.
posted by lackutrol at 8:47 PM on April 15, 2008


If you continue at the pace of a date every other day that's 12 dates and 9 halted makeout sessions before sex. Very few modern men who have other options are going to stick around for that. If you want to keep the month deadline you need to slow down the pace to around 1 date or 1.5 dates per week and maybe throw in a few mid-week phone calls or something. You can't sprint through a marathon.
posted by hamhed at 9:03 PM on April 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


But I think in the end you might just be holding out for a guy with potentially a lot less to offer if you're looking for someone who is a pushover about the timetable

It's a pretty depressing view of human nature you've got, GooseOnTheLoose, to argue that she'll find guys with a lot more to offer if she will just be open to dating the selfish, pushy douchebags out there who don't respect her wish to wait a couple of weeks.
posted by jayder at 9:19 PM on April 15, 2008


Let me just echo number9dream and DarlingBri by saying that you can kiss, snog, cuddle, grope, pet, and makeout all you want, solely for its own sake, and stop whenever you want to, without being "prude" or a "cocktease" or "leading someone on." I am so sick of this nonsense that all sexual play exists only as a warm-up or prelude to THE MAIN EVENT of penile-vaginal intercourse and that engaging in any non-intercourse sexual activity constitutes a contract or promise to do penetration at some point in the near future.

I agree entirely, but that's quite a massive bunch of strawmen. Almost nobody here has been putting forward any of those points.

If anything, the OP herself is about the only one framing the issue in those terms. I think the actual implicit question is "Why did this guy dump me when things were going so well? Is he being unreasonable, or am I?" but the way it's framed turns it into something more like "I'm right, amirite?"

As a moral issue, the result is a foregone conclusion, whereas in terms of what actually happened, it doesn't explain much at all. The guy apparently decided the OP just wasn't worth the wait, even though the wait was a measly few weeks. Whether that's because the guy's a douchebag, or because he had other options he felt were more worth pursuing, or if the OP was punching above her weight, or something else entirely, we can't know.

One more data point, though, on how long guys will wait: I was once in the guy's position for six weeks, before deciding that the girl was just too much effort, too hung up or too crazy (later history revealed her to be batshitinsane). My general working theory since then is that if & when people meet with mutual interest & chemistry, things should naturally progress reasonably quickly, without all this "Should I or shouldn't I?" prevarication.

That kind of reluctance, by either partner, I take as a sign that it's just not meant to be, because it's a form of unconscious emotional resistance which reveals that things aren't actually gelling the way they ought to.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:22 PM on April 15, 2008


Fuck the third date rule. Do what you feel comfortable with. Uncomfortable sex = bad sex.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:31 PM on April 15, 2008


I think,

a) he is doing what in sports is called running out the clock, limiting action (and denying you his physical presence) while you have your additional week or two to obsess and second-guess yourself; and,
b) he has put you on his "hit it and quit it" list.

Dude is playing you hard, no pun intended, expecting that you will succumb due to presumed confusion and frustration within your own imposed timeframe. Follow your instincts, they don't appear to be failing you.
posted by fuse theorem at 9:59 PM on April 15, 2008


Okay, I'm going to stand up for the guy here...okay, no I'm not. There are no rules, just expectations, and so long as you're being up front and setting a guy's expectations appropriately about your needs and wants and boundaries, all is well, Granted, he might leave, but that's presumably because his needs and wants and boundaries aren't compatible, and that's just great, yeah?
posted by davejay at 10:41 PM on April 15, 2008


Don't be so hard on yourself; you've done nothing wrong.
posted by oxford blue at 11:26 PM on April 15, 2008


It's a pretty depressing view of human nature you've got, GooseOnTheLoose, to argue that she'll find guys with a lot more to offer if she will just be open to dating the selfish, pushy douchebags out there who don't respect her wish to wait a couple of weeks.

She was already open to making out with him and seeing him on five separate occasions, so douchebag might not be the right term, at least from her point of view. I think it is admirable for her to have taken a stand for something that she thought was necessary. I also think it was admirable of him to not be strung along by someone who, despite obvious chemistry, rebuffs his sexual advances.

Sex isn't any more trivial/special than the emphasis either party puts on it. The knee-jerk reaction in here is to be comforting to her for defending her boundaries, but I really think the question she is asking is whether or not her boundaries need a little revising. And seeing as how it stopped a relationship that was otherwise progressing nicely right in its tracks, my vote was yes, that I think her boundaries should have been a bit more flexible.

The comparison to guys who are "willing to wait" does come off as disparaging, though, and I apologize for that. I think the main point I was trying to get across was that all she is doing after a certain amount of putting guys on hold is limiting her potential longer-term dating pool. The winnowing process should include more than seeing "how long he will wait," and it seems, to me anyway, like a silly reason to have ended it.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 5:52 AM on April 16, 2008


The winnowing process should include more than seeing "how long he will wait," and it seems, to me anyway, like a silly reason to have ended it.

This is (to me) a bizarre reading of this situation, and it seems like there's some projecting going on. She wanted to wait until she felt comfortable having sex with this guy, not "see how long he'd wait". This wasn't some Crazy Chick Test, she wasn't ready to have sex with him and he didn't care enough about her or the budding relationship to want her to be ready. It ended because he didn't want to wait for her to be comfortable having sex with him. The winnowing process should include weeding out guys who think it's more important that they get their rocks off whether she's ready or not, which is what it did in this case. This is an example of a fundamental incompatibility, and it is MUCH better to learn about this early rather than late.

Being a cocktease is making someone think you're going to have sex with them, and then not having sex with them. If you were clear about this early on, then you are not being a cocktease (unless you are, of course). And you are certainly not a "prude" for wanting to be comfortable before you have sex with someone.
posted by biscotti at 6:44 AM on April 16, 2008


Don't forget that there are plenty of normal, non-religious people out there who graduate high-school, go to college, get a job, get married, and then lose their virginity.

You don't die if you don't have sex, people tend to forget that and think it's mandatory.
posted by whoda at 7:08 AM on April 16, 2008


I think it is admirable for her to have taken a stand for something that she thought was necessary. I also think it was admirable of him to not be strung along by someone who, despite obvious chemistry, rebuffs his sexual advances.

This is my perspective. Really you're both right here. Early hug-and-kiss time in a relationship is for both people to sort of see whether they are compatible, complement each other, or see whatever it is they're looking for in someone else. It's also a good time to sort of flirt and cuddle and grope and wind each other up, if you like that sort of thing. Some people like that and some don't. Perhaps you do, perhaps he doesn't. You can both be looking for different things, so it's just not a good fit this time, but no one is wrong. Words like prude and cocktease, in my world are just hurtful ways of saying "bad fit" and in my universe, no one should say them to you and you shouldn't say them to yourself.

That said, you seem to be asking for normative expectations and assumptions here which I think many people have given you their take on. Mine is that it depends on things like age, opportunity, past experience and more to the point the other person and figuring out for yourself what you want to do. Put another way, in my universe if I'd had a few gropey handsy sessions with some guy I was hot for and ample opportunity to do something else/more that just didn't come to fruition, I'd wonder why. I'd assume there was a reason [actually I'd probably just ask] and then I could see what I wanted to do about that reason. In my universe, again, if some guy was making out with me every other day but putting sex off it would be the exception more than the rule. Just a data point. No big deal, it's still legitimate behavior, everything everyone said about "your body your rules" is absolutely correct.
posted by jessamyn at 7:12 AM on April 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you had different assumptions about whether or not the make-outs would lead to sex, then that is a sign of poor communication, not a sign that either of you is a cocktease or an asshole. Perhaps next time you will communicate your preferences before the make-outs and your partner will either express disappointment right away or will express a similar desire and you will find a good match.
posted by heatherann at 7:22 AM on April 16, 2008


Of course you don't have to have sex in any way, at any time, or with any one you don't want to.

But...

If I were the guy, I wouldn't want any more heavy makeout sessions that didn't lead to sex. You're fully able to set your own limits and time frames, but so is he. The "running the clock" scenario that fuse theorem lays out looks about right--if you want to wait a month to have sex, well, fine, he'll wait a month, but it's not really reasonable to expect him to be happy about it. You're not happy not waiting a month, you know. He doesn't get to do everything he wants to do. You don't either.

Personally, yeah, I'd be a bit leery if we got far into a makeout session, on more than a couple of occasions, then got shut down. I would worry that our sexual appetites didn't align. Your assurances might not be completely convincing--remember, he doesn't know you any better than you know him.

I absolutely have no argument against whoda and others that would say that sex isn't the be-all and end-all, that waiting is good and right, that waiting a month or a year is OK. But I wouldn't want to date them.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:25 AM on April 16, 2008


This is your call. The fact that he couldn't wait boded ill for the relationship. He has every right to his expectations, but they were so different so as to make things not work out.

They'll be more men, trust me.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:25 AM on April 16, 2008


You didn't do anything wrong. I'm a guy. Nothing you do is a promise of something more. (I have a one month rule, btw.)
posted by zeek321 at 11:57 AM on April 16, 2008


The problem with rules: they don't really apply when you have a real connection with someone. This sounds like a case of lusty lust and curiosity. Meh.

Yeah, you were a cocktease, but why is that something to be ashamed of? He was a pussytease, all acting like he was interested in you, going on five dates...

If a guy is into you, and really into YOU, they are not going to go AWOL because you don't immediately get naked and f*$* their brains out. Follow your intuition. Besides, if you were really, really into a guy, wouldn't you get naked and f*$& their brains out whenever you damn well pleased, timetables be damned!?! Your rule saved you from a crappy relationship. Maybe the truth is, you're just not that into HIM.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 8:24 PM on April 16, 2008


As most others said, you set your own rules.

"1. Am I just completely out of the dating loop here (totally possible) because I think three or four weeks is an adequate dating period before sex?"
Forget the dating loop, I would just say I rely on my gut (double check with my head), not a set amount of time, but you say you don't hold to it hard and fast.

"3. What do guys expect in terms of physical intimacy and timing?
"4. Why does he continue to flirt with me (via email) yet turn down an offer for drinks?"
You have to ask him.
It does sound very possible that he's playing you, but it is also possible that given the heated emotions and him perhaps (mis)perceiving you as a 'prude' or 'tease' b/c of his past experience that this is a misunderstanding that you can work through if you communicate directly and clearly about it (or less likely if you ignore it and get drunk together in a few weeks/months).

My simple take:
You set your own rules. The rules about setting your own rules you set too, but two good ones are the golden rule and "is this what you'd advise/want for your best friend/family member?"
If you want to know what's going on with a particular person, ask them.
posted by Furious Fitness at 11:08 PM on April 18, 2008


« Older Help my laptop chill out!   |   NYC Lunch Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.