This dude probably thinks he’s doing women a service

By auguste
Friday, April 24, 2009 15:24 EDT
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What starts out as a banal lifestyle piece:

You’ve heard it before, but I’m not going to browbeat you about the immorality of going all the way on the first night. I’m also not going to say, as the London Telegraph does, that you’re likely to drive away relationship material if, as the adage goes, the man “gets the milk for free.” (If that drives him away, then be glad you’re seeing the taillights.) No, take it from a man who knows: there’s a hidden reason that—if you play it right—you should never have sex on a first date.

takes a turn for the, well, ugly:

Understand that when you tell a guy that you’re not going to have sex, he doesn’t take it as a literal there’s-no-chance you’re getting in my pants; he takes it as a challenge, a chance to rob the gold from Fort Knox. From that point on, he’ll not only want it, he’ll want to get you to want it—and that will bring out the best lover he can be.


Oh, but it gets worse – at least from my perspective. I mean, I’m privileged here, so there’s always the possibility that I’m misunderstanding the ramifications for women of something like this:

If the evening is still young, he takes your limit-setting as an exciting dare, not a disappointment. The longer you stick to your guns, the more effort, creativity and care you’ll get out of him. Just as he might offer a massage to try to get your shirt off, he might offer a lot more to get the rest. In some cases, you’ll make him a better lover than he knew he could be.

And in other cases, he’ll sexually assault you. It’s like the lottery! Actually, I mean The Lottery, as in Shirley Jackson.

Now, I want to make clear I’m not saying something like “sexual assault is a natural result of limit-setting”; no, it’s the author’s attitude and what he expects menz to get out of this Brave New Tease that is at fault. If he’d stuck with “don’t have sex because withholding has magical aphrodisiac powers for later”, that’d be one thing. Bullshit and virginity-fetishist, but otherwise harmless.

But no, this author is literally instructing women on how to enable rape culture*. He admits up front that the reason he has a fetish for women who say no is that he’s pretty sure he can get them to say yes eventually:

The challenge of course is willpower. I confess to getting a lot of pleasure out of convincing women to go back on their insistence that “there’s NO way we’re having sex tonight.”

The worst thing about lifestyle pieces is the way they invariably bury the lede. I reckon this is the main reason for the article: The author wanted to brag that he’s able to browbeat his dates into an exasperated, just-to-shut-you-up lay. But newsflash, Jack: Even if we’re wildly generous and assume that your whining has never, ever crossed the line into coercion**, your whole article is designed to enable those who are just looking for an excuse. Why didn’t you just title the article “No means maybe”?


* Not that rape culture requires enabling by women. An article purportedly aimed at women, full of dog-whistles for men? I know it seems unlikely.

** If, indeed, there’s a line at all.

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