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How Not to Get Laid

April 25, 2012

I’m on OkCupid. Overall, the site’s been really good for me. I’ve met several good friends, a couple of lovers, and one of my husband’s girlfriends through the site. Every now and then, though, I have an experience that leaves me feeling squicky and angry. The most recent one of these started me musing on an important topic: how to find someone for casual sex, without being an asshole.

First I’ll tell you what this guy did. Then I’ll tell you al the reasons why what he did was wrong. Then I’ll offer some tips on the right way to go about soliciting someone for sex.

I was staying at L’s place and he was going to bed early. I still had a lot of energy, and wanted to go out. I got on OkCupid locals–a smartphone pp that connects you to matches who are online and nearby–and started looking for someone to have a drink with.

Now my profile says very clearly at the very top that I am not looking for hookups. It also talks throughout about love, and how I need to get to know someone for awhile before I become attracted to them. Usually this is pretty effective at keeping the swingers and NSA guys away. (Not that I have anything against that, mind you, it’s just–usually–not for me.) So when I set my broadcast to say “Let’s meet for a drink,” I think it was pretty clear that I wanted, well, to meet for a drink. (Note to skeptics: this has actually worked really well for me in the past.)

I got five or six messages within about fifteen minutes. I responded to the one who looked the most interesting. He was a low match, but we weren’t going to date, so who cares? And he seemed to have a lot of shared interests, and to be involved in some cool projects. I messaged him back, with the name of a nearby bar and a request to meet at 8:30. He said he wanted to meet, but didn’t want to drink. I said ok, you don’t have to drink, or we can meet somewhere else. He said somewhere else. I said, I don’t live here, so where? It went on like this for almost an hour, and he steadfastly refused to name a place. In the meantime, I’d turned down the other guys. Finally I called his bluff and said ok, name a place or we’re done. That was when he finally told me he just wanted me to come over to his house. I told him that wasn’t what I wanted, and he said ok, no thanks.

I am, for the most part, not into casual sex. Usually physical attraction is pretty well entwined with intellectual attraction and emotional connection, and so it takes me a long time even just to figure out if I’m attracted to someone. On rare occasions, though, it does work out for me that it’s what I want and there happens to be someone I’m into enough, physically speaking, to enjoy it. I don’t go looking for it, though, and the vast majority of guys (it’s always guys) who ask for it aren’t going to get it. But there is one guy right now, D, who I’m having a very casual sexual relationship with (am I? hard to tell with these things; maybe I’ll see him again, maybe I won’t). I didn’t go looking for it, but it found me, and I’m taking it for what it’s worth. It could happen again. Obnoxious OKC Guy’s chances with me were low, but they were not nonexistent–but he fucked it up.

Now the way D ended up in a casual, mutually beneficial, no-strings-attached arrangement with me was that he treated me like a person. He met me at a bar, bought me a drink, and treated me like I was interesting to talk to. He came with no expectations–and ultimately it was I, not he, who raised the possibility of a fuck-buddy arrangement. (I wasn’t expecting this, and wasn’t really sure I would say it until the words were out of my mouth. But as we talked, it quickly became obvious it was what I wanted.) Had I not, we would have likely not seen each other again, but the only price would have been a pleasant evening and a good conversation.

Obnoxious OKC Guy, on the other hand, decided that if I was not willing to commit to sex, in advance and sight-unseen, I wasn’t worth the price of a drink or a couple of hours in the bar. For him, it was sex or nothing. Setting aside the obvious safety issues of going to a stranger’s house in a strange city for sex, his treatment was frankly  dehumanizing: he would fuck me, but he wouldn’t talk to me. And the risk of only having what could have been a pleasant and interesting conversation and then going home alone was too great for him to bear.

To say nothing of  the blatant attitude of entitlement, that my explicitly stated wishes (that I wasn’t looking for hookups) didn’t matter in the face of what he wanted from me.

Guys: If you want a one-night stand with a girl, act interested (edit: be interested). Make her laugh, ask her questions. Make her feel safe with you. Don’t expect anything, be prepared to take no for an answer, and be ready to go home alone, without bitterness or regret. Decide, at the outset, that it’s going to be a fabulous evening, one you’ll be glad you had regardless of where it leads. Have a good time, and for heaven’s sake, make sure she has a good time–whether you end up in bed with her or not.

What do you think? Do you enjoy casual sex, and if so, under what circumstances? What works for you when initiating a fuck-buddy situation, and what turns you off?

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 25, 2012 11:02 pm

    And coincidentally enough, today’s Savage Love is about the ethics of hookups: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?oid=13454495

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