Awkwardette’s Ill-Advised Guide to Getting it On: Playing the Waiting Game

There’s been one issue looming over my mind for the past month or so, which runs counter to probably everything I’ve ever said about sex before – When is it appropriate to begin a sexual relationship with someone? If you asked me two months ago, I would have probably said five minutes into meeting someone. The antiquated, Puritanical concept of “waiting” couldn’t get in my way. But after a few encounters with the oxytocin monster and watching my friends deal with guys who bail the second after things get physically intimate, my outlook on the situation has changed.

This all depends on what you’re after, of course. If you’re looking for quick sex with absolutely no promise of friendship or relations after the fact, then don’t bother even thinking about this. Chances are, the guy will be game; but don’t expect to hear from him again. As AskMen (who are clearly the experts in all things douchey that men think), “A woman who beds you before you even discover that she has a cat named Bubbles and a huge crush on Adam Sandler is probably not going to end up being the ball to your chain.”

Sorry. That secret crush you have on Adam Sandler means you're not wifey material.

But why? One male friend seems to think that men want to feel the chase, whether or not they even realize it. “I know it sounds terrible,” he says, “but the second I sleep with a girl, I lose interest”¦If you act aloof, men will be like putty in your hands.” So basically, I need to not sleep with a guy and ignore him in order for him to like me. I hope we go to a sandbox on our first date so I can give him a proper wedgie and call him a booger face, you know, to set the tone right.

AW is a friend of mine who has been recently jilted by the do ya then ditch ya variety. I love AW dearly, but my recent skeptical outlook is neither comforting nor complimentary to her cheery, optimistic point of view. I asked if her she thought there was a connection to this guy not texting her back for a week and the fact that she put out the last time they hung out. “I keep wanting to think there isn’t [a connection] because I don’t want to think people are that old fashioned anymore,” she says. “If I have a really good night with someone, I don’t want to think I’ll end up paying for it or regretting it.” I don’t think any of us want to think that. I think we want to think our judgment is so astute that we can just tell when a guy is going to be sleazy like that. But here’s the deal: it’s not.

VF is another friend who is pretty savvy with this dating stuff. I asked her what her usual policy is. VF said, “If a girl goes on a date with a guy, the girl should be able to sense if the guy is into the idea of a relationship or just wants to bone. If she gives it up to the guy who just wants to bone, he’s not going to call her again because he got what he wanted.”

But how do we assess this? What sorcery can give us these powers of observation? It’s kind of simple, actually.

I heard somewhere that doing things together with your clothes still on can also be fun.

Get to know the person.

You know, like take the time to hang out with someone and find out their intentions and what kind of person they are. There’s been numerous examples in my past of a guy who I thought was better than that. They weren’t. And I’ll never get to know them well enough to know that for sure because I slept with them and they bailed.

“Most of the time I go for the three or four date rule,” said VF. “A guy who just wants to bang you isn’t going to shell out the cash for that many dates if a girl doesn’t put out. That’s also why I always make them pay.”

Sometimes though, I wonder, if the guys who do this even realize what they’re doing. Is it possible for a guy to be a normally reasonable person, a normally intelligent bro, an outwardly not-sexist guy, and yet do these really sexist things unconsciously? Is it possible for him to express some unchecked misogyny when it comes to sleeping with women? I am only being kind of cheeky in asking this question. Are all these douchebags exhibiting signs of the Madonna-virgin complex? I feel like, sometimes, my sex life is trapped in a women’s studies cautionary tale.

But what the fuck, right? What the fuck is up with these dumb ass games that we all have to play? What about what I want? What about just going with the flow? What about me just getting my rocks off for a change? Lena Chen, former blogger for Sex and the Ivy League, was quoted as saying to Betty Confidential, “If you make your decisions based on someone else or how you hope they’ll react, that leads to a lot of disappointment. Your sexual decisions should be based on what’s right for you and your body.” I know, right?!

AW struggles with the waiting concept almost as much as I do. She says, “I have a hard time waiting. It’s not because I’m a crazy slut, but I’m kind of like a “˜If it feels good, do it’, kind of person.” (I, on the other hand, am a crazy slut).

Sure, sex feels goods in the moment. Ehhh, maybe not always. Actually, sometimes sex is terrible in the moment. But when we’re making out, getting hot and heavy, it’s sometimes just as difficult for us ladies to say no. We know we want to get off. And I am honoring my body by sleeping with this dude, right? Sleeping with assholes whenever I want is exactly why our mothers burned bras and shit, right?

While immediate sexual pleasure is important and vital to many of us, it is also important to think about how we’re going to feel after. A week from now, when I possibly don’t hear back from this guy, how am I going to feel? Probably shitty. Probably shittier than 15 minutes (if I’m lucky) of fun is worth. My sexual decisions should be based on what’s right for me, but what’s right for me should not be focused only on the moment; there are emotional ramifications for sexual decisions I make.

I guess sometimes what is right for us is to say no. Sometimes it’s okay to wait, and I am not a bad sex-positive feminist for saying so. Sometimes what really honors us, in a totally unmorality-related way, is waiting. It pains me to say.

On that note, does anyone know if Babeland sells stock?

Apropos indie rock soundtrack to this article provided by Sloan, “If It Feels Good Do It”

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Michelle M. aka awkwardette is a multi-disciplinarian. She moonlights as an activist while earning her big bucks making the internet easier to use. She also writes about pop music on and aspires to be Amelia Fletcher when she grows up. She prefers listening to The Jesus and Mary Chain when doin' it.

18 thoughts on “Awkwardette’s Ill-Advised Guide to Getting it On: Playing the Waiting Game”

  1. I think there’s also a push-pull aspect between initial attraction and long term attraction. If I only go on one date with a guy and find myself extremely attracted to him, it’s usually 100% visual/sexual attraction. If I’ve seen someone more than once then I tend to find deeper reasons I’m interested beyond sexual attraction. If sexual attraction is acted on immediately, there’s sometimes not enough there to keep me interested. I feel like this can happen to guys too, even guys who think they’re nicer than that.

    Or they could be douchebags. There’s always that possibility as well.

  2. From just anecdotal evidence, I’m wondering if the main issue is men buying into the idea (consciously or not) that if they want to just have sex without commitment with a woman, they have to put promises of commitment out there in order to get her to sleep with them. And then this means that they pretend to be more interested in more than they actually are.

    Which is, of course, an incredibly douchey, sexist thing.

  3. Haha! I slept with my beau three months before actually getting with him. And I’ll do it again too. I’m not ashamed to Fuck-N-Go. Anyone who tells me otherwise is being ridiculous. Like wtf? So sex is only fun when you [a man] admit to enjoying it and I cosign (all the while feeling extremely shameful)? Well that certainly makes sense.

  4. I’m kind of with Dr. Song – I think it says a lot about the guy (like probably he’s a guy you don’t want to be with) when he doesn’t call you back, and not much about you.  I mean, I’ve done this to guys I’ve slept with before, and it’s because yes, I really was just interested in getting in their pants and not much more.  But if you guys are both interested in each other, it’ll work out.  I offer super-scientific anecdotal evidence(!):  I slept with Boyfriend after a party before we even went on a date, and after only a couple weeks of very brief chats at work preceding this party.  We went out on a real date later that week, and over six months later, I’m in the best, most serious relationship of my life.  Because he’s not a jerk, he didn’t think less of me for jumping right in the sack with him, and there was the added bonus of being able to go straight to the fun naked parts without having to wait or be awkward about it.

    I do understand that my super-scientific anecdotal evidence does not apply to all situations, and that it’s not precisely what you were getting at in the article.  I mean, I think Boyfriend and I would have ended up together anyways, so waiting wouldn’t necessarily have been a bad choice anyways.  So in conclusion: I see what you’re getting at, you know yourself best (for instance, I know myself, and myself is completely able to have sex without emotional attachment, so it’s generally emotionally safe for me to engage in immediate sexytimes,) but take heart that not all guys subscribe, whether consciously or not, to the idea that a girl who sleeps with them right away is not “girlfriend” material.

    1. But if you guys are both interested in each other, it’ll work out.

      I think that’s completely it. If they weren’t going to call after sex on date one, they probably won’t call after sex on date three or whenever you get around to it, if you even get to that point.

      My policy is just not to have sex with someone I’m really interested in (like, as a person/mate) right away, but that’s just because I know I’ll be super bummed if we do it and he’s not as interested as I am. If I don’t really like him… well, it’s gone the other way for me before, and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or get crazy texts later. So I just skip the whole thing.

    2. It obviously says volumes about the person when they don’t call you back after banging you. I get the response “If he doesn’t call you back, then he wasn’t worth it after all” a lot, and I think to some degree it misses the point. The whole point is yes, the guy is not worth it. But how was I supposed to know that after seeing him once? Regardless of whether or not he’s worth it, I slept with him and I was hurt. You know what I mean? As someone not in a relationship, it’s not a good idea for me to go around sleeping with dudes until I find the guy that doesn’t mind and sticks around. That’s only going to be harmful in the end, and my point is, for me, and I suspect for many people I know, waiting to have sex can be the best way to protect ourselves.

      I’d even argue finding out that you’re hurting over someone “not worth it” only makes the hurt that much worse. I’m trying to prevent that b.s., haha.

      1. It does make sense – my comment was definitely tangential to what you were getting at.  I am perfectly capable of having sex without attaching emotions to it (frankly romantic emotions without sex are much harder for me than sex without romantic emotions) so it’s a low-risk game for me.  I didn’t even know how interested I was in Boyfriend until after sex/dates/etc.  I liked him enough that I would have been kind of bummed if it had gone nowhere, but y’know, at that point, it wouldn’t have been a big deal to me.

        Strangely the only times I’ve really gotten upset about guys not calling is when I’ve been interested, deliberately waited on sex for this reason, and THEN they don’t call/lose interest/whatever.  Then I just feel like I missed out on the opportunity to at LEAST get some sex out of the rejection.  Again, that’s me though – I actually do see what you’re getting at.  My comments are more random musings inspired by your posts.  What it really comes down to is what works for you and makes you happy, so more power to you for figuring it out and sticking with what’s right for you.

        1. I apologize if I sounded defensive in that first comment. I didn’t mean in that way–oh tone and the internet do not mix.

          And I guess keep your eyes out for the article where I bitch about not getting any in a few months because of my deliberately waiting. Haha.

      2. I think it’s good to know when you’re looking for a little more closeness or an emotional connection. It’s totally okay to enjoy unattached sex for awhile and then move on to something else, and the point at which you’re feeling hurt is maybe time to reevaluate. Which is what it seems like you’re doing, which seems smart!

  5. That “probably shitty” line speaks volumes. Seriously, if he/she don’t call back, they weren’t worth it. It’s not like you can use up all those occasions to have sex. There will always be another one. We need to stop thinking of our Sex Occasions as a finite resource, and start thinking of them like expressions of self.

    1. I do consider sex occasions an expression of self, and thus when I express myself to that way and am then subsequently rejected, it doesn’t feel good. Sure, I can do it again, but there’s a lot more to sex for me than feeling good. There’s a whole emotional element of it that makes it a very complicated, messy situation. Someone might not be worth the hurt, but the hurt is still there, and realizing your hurt exists for someone who isn’t even worth hurting over is frustrating and possibly hurts even more.

  6. “I feel like, sometimes, my sex life is trapped in a women’s studies cautionary tale.”

    THIS! THIS!!! I constantly have this debate with myself. Am I buying into the (lame) Game by making a guy wait, does that make me an ignoramus? Shouldn’t a guy like me no matter how much or how little of my vajayjay he’s been privledged to meet? Not only that, but I get all caught up in my own head and worry that if I do wait, the guy is going to judge me as one of Those girls, that Plays Games and Makes You Wait (why I care if they see me that way or whatever is beyond me but I do).

    And wheN I get caught up in the moment, I’ve never been the girl that slows a guy down on principal, on the idea of waiting. If I am into what is going on, I’m going to keep at it until one or both of us are satisfied in some kind of way. But I hear what people say, about how they lose respect for a girl that is so “easy” and it makes me mad and makes me self concious at the same time. I’m hoping as I get older/more mature and meet more different types of guys this will become less of an issue ….. Wish me luck!


    1. The guys who I’ve experienced this with first hand are not the kind of guys who would ever say outloud that they would lose respect for women this way. They call it “losing interest” and most of the time cite completely different reasons. I honestly don’t even think they’re aware of how they’re being douchey.

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