Dating Without Sex: Why It Usually Doesn’t Work
On Ricardus's post "How to Make Her Want You: Lessons from Marketing," a commenter named Garrett reports being conflicted over a few aspects of what's taught here. In particular, he asks why physical intimacy is needed with romantic partners, and if dating without sex isn't also just as possible.
Here's the part of his comment dealing with this topic:
“Out of curiosity, I've spent a lot of time researching this topic, and there are a few things I fail to understand. Firstly, to get a girlfriend, why must you sleep with them? If you can prove me wrong then I'd be interested to know, but I feel indifferent about this. I feel that everything in life requires balance and in order to get a girl to like you, you should be yourself, be mindful of ways to improve yourself, and strike a balance between acting like a jerk and on the contrary, a 'wet noodle' who is no challenge whatsoever.”
Garrett also goes on to say that he feels like other aspects of what's discussed on Girls Chase feel to him like "manipulation," though this is a topic already addressed in depth in " Is Seduction Wrong?," the basic premise of which is that people who lack the drive to improve themselves fear others who do who become conscious of their own actions and strive to perfect them, typically working to censor them and stop them to prevent competition and declining options for themselves (e.g., you will rarely have a successful career woman who's had to tooth and claw her way to success and improve herself dramatically stand and accuse you of being manipulative for learning seduction, though you will often have a girl who dropped out of high school and works at the local taco shop fly into a frenzy over how "manipulative" men like you are, presuming of course that she doesn't actually know you and is instead setting you up in her mind as some diabolical "other").
I won't cover whether seduction is manipulation and whether I ought
to censor myself here or not again, although I will note that it does
partly come down to
where you draw the line - there are certain "dark arts" of seduction,
like October Man and like Sexual Power Reversal, that I simply don't
teach because it's too easy to do harm to women by wielding these
clumsily. So, I do have an "ethical limit;" if I really honestly think
it's something that can lead to
the average man doing more harm than good, I don't teach it.
What I will talk about here today is if it's really necessary for you to have sex with a woman you want to pursue a romantic relationship with. Can you skip this step and get by with just waiting for marriage?
It's a question I've been asked a number of times on the site, and haven't addressed yet... at least on here.
But, as it turns out, this is actually one of the very first questions I had to discuss - and debate - on a public scale that has to do with sex.
So come with me, and let's have a look at what happens when you do not have sex.
One of the things that annoys me a great deal is getting cornered by Christian zealots who try to convert me and assume that they know more about the Bible, and Jesus, and the Christian God than I do. I don't so much mind that they're trying to convert me... I mind that they think they know more about my old faith than I do.
I grew up a devout Roman Catholic in a Roman Catholic town, attended a Catholic kindergarten, primary school, middle school, and high school, and was arguably the most devout believer there. I knew the lyrics to most of the prayer songs in the hymnals, and served as an alter boy as early as they'd let me apply. I felt a very deep connection to God and Jesus, and I'd daily drive myself very deep into prayer, to be fully conscious in my conversations with the Lord, and to not run my prayer on autopilot or "zone out" as most of the "faithful" who are doing no more than punch their cards to get their free pass into heaven do. I felt continual disappointment with these "believers in name only" who said they believed but didn't really. If they really believed in God, they would be joyous, I knew. Even years after I quit religion as a teenager (without telling anyone), I still got voted "Most Likely to Become a Priest" in my senior year of high school.
For a time, when I was younger, I actually did feel certain I would be a priest when I grew up. That was until I fully realized that as a priest, of course, I would not be able to have sex. This was one of the things I struggled with as a believer; I'd been a Catholic since the age of 5, but I'd been obsessed with sex since the age of 3. How could those two views be reconciled?
What I eventually realized was that the only place in the Bible that sex before marriage (fornication) was condemned were in the epistles - letters written by the disciples of Jesus to communities of the devout in various cities like Corinth and Thessalonica. These were not the Word of God or Jesus; they were the concoctions of followers.
And while I had great respect for Jesus and his teachings and parables, I had virtually none for the often mad ravings of the epistles. Here was Jesus, preaching hope and joy and inclusion; and there were his apostles, preaching doom and condemnation and terror. The apostles, at least the ones quoted in most of the epistles, didn't get it; they had no idea what the message Jesus was actually trying to convey was.
Much of the Messiah's message fell on deaf ears and got twisted and reinterpreted to mean whatever best served the agendas of those who picked up his tale. I later learned that this very thing happened too to Siddhartha Gautama, the man who became known as "Buddha;" just like Jesus, his direct followers took his message and altered it dramatically, in many places directly contradicting what he himself had said.
Here was Jesus Christ, preaching warmth and generosity and inclusion and love; and there were his disciples, preaching coldness and horror and expulsion and everlasting damnation. Jesus had nothing to say on fornication; only the crazed, controlling writers of the epistles and the mad Book of Revelation had.
So, even as a believer, I tossed aside the dogma of my church in that regard; I was far more interested in listening to Jesus himself, than all the people following him who presumed to speak for him and reinterpret his Word.
Sex and Religion
As you reach puberty in Catholic school, that's the time that the conditioning to have you believe that dating without sex is the norm and the ideal; and that sex outside of marriage is wrong, wrong, wrong.
In grade 8, I was sent, along with all my classmates, to attend a day-long talk by some woman on the dangers of sex outside of marriage. The woman told a story of a girl who, at the age of 16, lost her virginity to a boy she met down near the seashore. In that one night of passion, the girl both contracted genital herpes, and became pregnant. She regretted ever having had sex.
This story, dumped out onto and downloaded into the brains of all of my classmates and I, who could not talk back, could not fight it, and could not engage in dialogue over it, sent me into a rage. I knew the odds on pregnancy; and I knew the odds on contracting a sexually transmitted disease. I had a fairly good understanding of the odds on genital herpes itself. Had the woman come and presented a balanced portrayal, and said here are 20 kids having sex, and 19 of them love it and here's why, and 1 of them regrets having done it and here's why, I would've said fine, let's hear her side of things.
But when I was only being told one side of the story - the alarmist side, and the most UNCOMMON view of those engaging in the practice (in this case, sex) - I KNEW I was being manipulated to believe something that wasn't true the vast majority of the time.
They were using scare tactics on us... and I loathed it.
I immediately went home, took all the free pamphlets and information
they'd given me at the seminar about how sex was bad and wrong and
dangerous, and I flushed them down the toilet. These materials didn't
even deserve to go in the trash; they deserved to go in the sewer. I
didn't just reject what they were teaching; I was incensed at the fear tactics used.
Their argument was so weak, and so non-existent, that they had to shut out the majority and present a small outlier case and distort it into sounding like the norm in order to try to frighten a bunch of children into doing what they wanted them to do.
From then on, for the remainder of my Catholic education, it was war
between me and the "dating without sex" people, and it was personal.
The Shoe Theory
In grade 11, I had a teacher for religion class who was a bundle of energy. He was a pretty charismatic guy, but he also spoke with a strong lisp, and the rumor was that he was very gay but trying to convince himself he was not by hiding behind "no sex before marriage." One of my classmates' sisters had dated him for a year, and broke up with him, professing that, "He's definitely gay." In any event, this teacher was still a nice - if very loud and outspoken and dramatic - guy.
One day he brought a priest in to visit from another church in another town, and that priest gave a talk on why sex before marriage was wrong. At the end, he asked if there were any questions from the class, and I raised my hand.
"Yes?" he asked. "What is your question?"
"My question is," I began, "if you're about to buy a pair of shoes
that you're going to wear for the rest
of your life... I mean, if you're NEVER going to wear another
pair of shoes again, and these are the ONLY shoes you will ever wear,
forever... PERIOD..." I paused.
"Go on," he prompted, waiting for my point.
"... well," I said, "wouldn't you want to try them on, first?"
The entire class burst out laughing; the priest reached for a counterargument, but couldn't come up with one; and as he fumbled with his words, my maybe-gay teacher exclaimed, in his most emphatic voice, "PEOPLE ARE NOT SHOES!"
And then the school bell rung and class was dismissed, a classroom full of laughing 16- and 17-year olds pouring out of the room.
My shoe theory became the talk of the school for the rest of the
week, and people were still reminding me about it a year later. They
probably still whisper it in that school, I bet.
Whom You Take Advice From
I've always been a believer in taking advice only from people who really, really, REALLY know what they're talking about.
Why? Because people who take advice from people who don't know what they're talking about usually end up failing at most of the things they do.
Imagine someone who wants to start a new business, and takes advice from anyone who wants to give him advice, successful entrepreneur or not. You probably wouldn't know it if you've never tried starting a business before, but almost everyone you know is going to have reams of advice to give you, and almost all of that advice is horribly, atrociously WRONG.
So when I was in high school, listening to a priest, who's likely never had sexual relations in his life, tell me that sex is wrong and I shouldn't do it, I threw it out as garbage.
Take hard drugs, for instance. Most people who've never done hard drugs will tell you they're really, really wrong and you shouldn't do them. I didn't care about those people though. What I cared about was what were the people who'd done them saying, and what did their lives look like. And what I found was, some of them said hard drugs are great, and you can enjoy them without any bad effects, and these people seemed to have normal lives. And some people said hard drugs are the best thing in the world, and they seemed to have terrible lives that revolved only around getting their next fixes. And some people said hard drugs are bad, they screwed up my life, don't get involved with them.
So, my final opinion was, some people can do hard drugs recreationally and not get addicted. Some people get addicted and it wrecks their lives. Some people manage to crawl out of addiction to hard drugs, but it's never completely gone and it's always sort of there, stalking their minds. So, for me, I said okay, based on those people who actually have EXPERIENCE with this, it seems like hard drugs are a risky proposition and something it's better just to steer clear of.
No great benefit to your life aside from a boost of pleasure, but scads of potential downside. Not worth doing.
That's how you assess advice based on experience. The same with business success; if a guy's telling you you need to this and this and that, and he's been running a business for 20 years that barely makes enough money to cover his bills, you'd be right to be skeptical of his advice if it goes against what, say, Steve Jobs does in business.
If you've got to choose between running a business like Steve Jobs, and running a business like Uncle Larry who needs to borrow money from your dad every so often just to keep the lights in the sandwich shop on, you probably want to go with Steve Jobs, not Uncle Larry.
So what about dating without sex though? Where do you find an expert on that?
My last year of high school, I had a small study hall period with only three other students. It was an odd time of the day for study hall, so there weren't many of us. Just us four students (the other three and me), and the study hall monitor, one of the coolest and most likable teachers in school.
This teacher was around 30 years old, but he seemed much younger. He was funny, energetic, charismatic, and handsome; most of the girls in school had crushes on him. He'd been, as he told it, a star soccer player in college, and was likely to go on to the professional leagues; but, he'd blown out both of his knees, and now he couldn't play anymore. I asked him if he tried; maybe he could work his way back. And he said he could go out and play fine on any given day; but the next day, he'd be in agony and almost unable to walk. His shot at professional success was over.
He made light sometimes of his faith, and was a frequent user of the phrase "High five Jesus!" whenever something good had happened. But he was a tremendously devout guy; one of the few people in that school who actually knew as much about the Bible and Christian history as I did (or perhaps even a bit more).
This teacher was a believer in the "no sex before marriage" philosophy, and refused to budge on it. And he told me and the other students there, at my urging, the story of him and his long-term girlfriend.
The two of them had dated for two years. He loved her, he said, and she loved him. He'd proposed to her, and they were weeks away from being married, when suddenly she said to him, "We have to have sex before we get married."
She insisted; he refused. She threatened to call off the engagement if he would not have sex with her... and he was conflicted.
One day, sitting under a tree, he asked God if he should make love to his fiancée or not. Then, like Isaac Newton, an apple fell out of the tree and hit him square on the head. He looked up, took it as a sign from God, and decided it was God's way of telling him to stop being a fool and to do what he knew was right; which, of course, was NOT having sex with her.
So, he told his fiancée this was something he simply could not do, and she called off the engagement.
He lamented that girl after girl he met, "It always seems like we make it to the third date, and I tell a girl that I don't believe in sex before marriage, and then I never see her again!" He laughed sadly as he said this, as if resigned to his fate. "Should I just have sex with these girls? Should I just say, 'Sorry God, but I've got to do it?'"
I asked him why, if God forgives you for your sins, and he really believed this was a sin, why could he not just sin, and then ask God for forgiveness in the morning?
He asked, "Is that what you do? You just go have sex with everyone you see... 'Oh hey, you look nice... want to have sex?'"
And I said no, of course not - you can be as picky about whom you want to sleep with as anything else. But if you really like someone, and you want to be with her and you don't want her to leave, then yes - you should probably be intimate with her.
And he just shook his head and said he just didn't know.
One day he went back to see his ex-fiancée, and she told him she still loved him, and she would still marry him, but that he knew what she needed from him first. She just needed to know if they were actually going to work as a couple; they needed to be intimate, and she needed to know if they were sexually compatible.
And they dated again for a few weeks, and again, he simply could not give her what she required of him, and that was that. They went their separate ways.
Why on Earth Do We Have Sex (or
3.8 billion years ago, according to the latest research, an amino acid formed in the primordial soup that had just the right combination of proteins that it was able to both absorb new amino acids required to grow and expand, and to replicate itself. Chances are, there were billions of combinations of other amino acid chains forming and breaking apart; some that could absorb more amino acids, and some perhaps with the ability to replicate, but likely only a few, or even only one, that happened to have just the right mix of aminos that it was able to take in nutrients, and produce copies of itself.
Sometime later, as life became more complex, single-celled organisms began to swap DNA. This DNA-swapping - similar to a technology swap between organizations or nations in today's day and age - let individual microbes upgrade themselves with the latest and greatest biological tech on the market, stumbled across through happenstance by one particular microbe, and quickly dispersed (provided it was an advantageous mutation, and not a deformity or a detriment, as the majority of mutations turn out to be) to the rest of the population.
As organisms became eukaryotic - multicellular - it became more difficult to trade DNA, and eventually largely impossible.
So, to keep evolution happening quickly enough, and to stave off parasites and disease by swapping and mixing up immune genes, organisms began to create copies of themselves not as perfect clones, but from half the genes of one of them, and half the genes of another.
These organisms were the first sexual organisms, and this method was so superior to cloning that it would come to dominate the reproductive practices of almost all higher life forms.
The earliest sexual organisms were hermaphroditic; that is to say, they had both male and female sex organs. Even today, most plants remain hermaphroditic, and some simpler forms of animal do too.
Later on though, animals found it advantageous to separate out the sexes; instead of having two hermaphrodites compete to see which one could inseminate the other first (as in sea slugs), some animals would be exclusively male, and others exclusively female. This strategy proved superior to the animals that had to devote some energy to male parts and behaviors, and other energy to female parts and behaviors, and this specialized approach to reproduction held sway and grew and expanded.
Once males and females had split, they formed their specialized roles. The females, in all cases except a few (e.g., seahorses) had the far higher investment in reproduction; they watched the young, guarded them, taught them. In mammals and some reptiles and even a few insects, they gestated the young and secreted nutritious fluids from their bodies that young could drink early on in their development.
Males had far less devoted roles, depending on the species; in some species, the males stuck around and played the role of father and partner, increasing the odds of their young's survival; in other species, the males immediately struck out in search of new partners after mating, pursuing a "quantity over quality" approach - the more offspring produced, the better the odds of their genes surviving, went the strategy.
Due to the vast amount of investment and risk associated with mating with a male for her, the female needed to be certain that the male she was mating with was the highest quality one for her; that is to say, that he could aptly provide everything she wanted him to provide, be that strong children, able protection for her and her children, support, resources, training, or anything else.
Thus, because of this need for females to be picky, a courtship
process evolved - a way for males to show females how worthy of them
they were, and for females to force the males to work hard to do so... because the harder a male had to work to
prove his worth, the more opportunity the female had to identify and
screen out the males who didn't actually pass muster, leaving her with
only the highest quality mates remaining to choose from.
Thus, dating: your
audition as a male for sex.
Wait, What About All the Romance?
As someone who scores very high in emotions and empathy, I was a very emotional child, and a very romantic one. I often had sweeping visions of the great romances I'd give to women when I was old enough to do so; I would be her savior... her lover... the greatest man of her life.
And, to be honest, I still have some of these ideals, and I carry them out... to an extent. I am viewed by my ex-girlfriends as the great love they lost; these women who've been pursued by their ex-boyfriends, only to repeatedly brush them off, now find themselves pursuing me, only to be told that I cannot go back. What's finished, for me, is finished.
But romance is nothing but emotions and chemicals in your brain and hers, designed by evolution (or God... whatever you prefer) for exactly ONE thing: to get you to mate.
When is the easiest time for a woman to be made pregnant by her lover? During the first weeks or months of being physically intimate with him - when passion is at its height.
And when do their emotions drive men and women to spend the most time with one another, touching, kissing, and making love? During the first weeks or months of being physically intimate with one another - making the chance at pregnancy and reproduction go up dramatically.
For as much as a romantic as I may be at heart, I will not lie to myself, and nor should you: emotions exist because they serve a purpose, and the purpose of the emotions that rush in about dating and romance are to get you to mate.
Without sex, romance is purposeless. Without sex, you might as well have a romance with a puppy dog, or a goldfish, or your best guy friend. Take away the aspect of mating and reproduction, and you don't have a romance... you have a friendship.
Romance and relationships ARE about SEX. That's why every single romance you read about - yes, even the ones in the Bible - culminates in consummation.
Has Dating Without Sex Ever Been
It's common in my home country, the United States, to think that past generations were almost totally chaste, and only our recent society has become so "hedonistic."
Au contraire, mon fraire. History shows us otherwise.
You may not know it, but the flappers of the 1920s were more sexually unrestrained than the women of the 21st century, and they spent just as much time venting about men, too (engagement rings were frequently referred to as "handcuffs" or "manacles").
Casual sex was the order of the day, and the films shown in
Hollywood before the Christian moral codes of the 1930s were imposed
(by the Jewish heads of the Hollywood studios, oddly enough) would be
shocking to modern audiences for their sexual debauchery. We're virtual
schoolchildren in modern America compared to what was going on in the
'20s and early '30s.
Well, okay, that's the 20th century. Let's go back further... how
about the Puritans - surely, they
were more observant of, well,
PURITY... right? They're the
penultimate moralistic tightwads! Nobody
was more conservative than a Puritan... scarlett letter, Salem witch
trials, all that jazz - right?
As it were, in the mid-1700s in Colonial America, and hold onto your socks on this statistic: fully 40% of American brides were already pregnant by the time their wedding days rolled around.
40% pregnancy rates prior to marriage! We're not even close to that in the modern world... the fornicating of our ancestors puts us all to shame. The men and women of today are virtual prudes by comparison.
I've talked to my grandparents about the dating in their days - maybe the history books have it wrong, and casual sex wasn't so common in the 1920s, and '30s, and '40s. Nope, they confirm for me, it was - things today are not so different.
Humans are doing what humans have always done. The same thing as all the other animals, and plants, and fungi, and bacteria, and protozoa, and archaea, and all other forms of life on Earth do; we are reproducing, in our own odd, unique way that involves two organisms making a new one together.
Life just keeps going on, and it keeps making more life. It is
designed to do so... driven
to do so. And that life that does not produce more life simply
disappears from history; like the Essenes of Jesus's time, those
organisms that do not leave descendants have minimal impact on those
organisms who come after them, for they have no part to play in the
life that is to come. And once they are dead, there is no one to take
When you're on the outside of a society, looking in, frequently the cultural contrivances of the society you're observing look a tad... ridiculous.
For instance, in some parts of Africa, males are not circumcised
until they reach the age of about 17 to 20 years of age, at which point
they undergo a ritual circumcision, the foreskin cut off the penis with
no pain medicine or other relief. At this point, the male screams, "I
am a man!" and he has completed the initiation to manhood. Sometimes
things go a little wrong though, and the penis becomes infected and
self-amputates itself from the body. Other times, the penis does not
roll off, and instead the infection spreads to the rest of the body,
and the young man dies. But, men who do not go through this process are
ridiculed; they are considered cowards, and are regarded as "not real
men." So, despite the dangers, pretty much everybody gets cut.
To most of the readers on this site, this seems like madness. Why would you DO something like this, especially somewhere without good anti-infection or pain medicine? It's insanity; it's not even necessary. But in that culture, it is accepted that this is simply how things are done.
You run into that as you travel; strange culture clashes. Ricardus tells me that in Thailand, it's understood that if you have sex with a woman, either you will pay her after, and that's fine, or you will enter into a serious relationship with her, and that's fine too. So long as you either pay her, or commit to her, either of those is fine; but if you don't pay her, and you don't commit to her, the woman will feel as though she's been cheated. But, to a Western male visiting Thailand, paying for a woman is often insulting, and he doesn't know or understand that a woman expects either money or commitment in return for sex. In fact, if he were to hear that those were her expectations, he'd probably think she was crazy, just as she thinks he's cheated her for not giving her either one.
This is culture; there are traditions in a culture, and to people in that culture they of course make sense, and they of COURSE are what you SHOULD DO, and if you DON'T do them then you are a BAD PERSON or an outsider or a rebel.
And marriage is another one of those cultural practices, exactly like these.
Marriage: For Society
Most people in a marriage-based society - which, to one extent or another, is most of the world, although marriage is declining in significance in the West (though still rather significant) - see marriage as this penultimate event: "Once I reach marriage, everything else in my life will change!"
Traditionally in Western society, men wanted marriage desperately, as it was considered a rite of passage into manhood, similar to the circumcisions of those African boys. Meanwhile, women somewhat wanted marriage, but also feared it, as a loss of freedom. Today, marriage is by and large no longer considered a rite of passage for men, and most of its benefits (a wife who cooks, takes care of the household, supports the man at his farm or after he returns from work, etc.) have largely disappeared, replaced with increased responsibilities and liabilities (e.g., financial risks via divorce).
As a result of this, most men have lost most of their interest in marriage in the West - while 50 or 60 years ago marriage was something nearly every man wanted with passion and determination, now it's become something that men try to avoid, and women try to drag men to, kicking and screaming.
The exception for this, of course, is among the minority of religiously devout individuals who believe in dating without sex; for them, marriage remains the ideal, as it lies on the path to sex.
Typically you'll find that people will do what they need to do to get to sex; having grown up in Catholicism, I've watched how quickly the devout tend to marry... they have the earliest marriages, and often the bride is pregnant by the time the honeymoon is over. Why? Because people do what they need to do to get to sex. If they believe they can't have sex without marriage, they'll simply marry a lot sooner (and, often, be divorced before they're out of their 20s, much of the time, too).
So what's the point of this whole marriage thing, anyway? Why's it
Marriage is a social construct that endures because the societies which support it are stronger.
Imagine a society where no one gets married, and everyone stays single all the time, constantly competing for partners, and most men are depressed and fatalistic because a few powerful men monopolize all the women. How much gets done?
Now imagine a society where everyone gets married by age 25, and settles down after that and focuses on producing, producing, and more producing, to provide the best life possible for one's offspring. How much gets done here?
The society that favors marriage leads to greater amounts of production, and thus greater technological and military and economic advances, eventually leading that society to conquer and overtake the other societies with less productive social norms.
Anyway, that's marriage on a bigger scale. How about marriage on a smaller one?
Is marriage for you? Is it for your girl? Do things actually, you know... change now just because you're married?
I've been married. And I can tell you for a fact... no. No they don't. You don't wake up the next day and now she's someone different, or you are. You're still the same exact people, and your relationship is still the same exact relationship.
But if nothing changes when you get married for you... and if nothing changes when you get married for her... then who's the marriage for?
The answer: society. It's for other people. You're doing it to please them.
It's for her friends and her family, so they can stop giving her a hard time and can now say, "Okay, GOOD. I am now CERTAIN that she will be fine forever."
Marriage is a way of giving people a false sense of certainty. It is a promise that you will be together forever, no matter what happens.
And more than 50% of the time now, that promise gets broken.
And every single person thinks that THEIR marriage will definitely be different. Because they are not going to get divorced.
Nobody gets married thinking he or she will ever get divorced.
Yet, the majority of them do. Their marriages end, and they leave each other.
This ritual - this promising of "forever" - this pledge of "certainty" and "absolutes" - is nothing more than a little white lie to oneself and society at large that, because we have dressed this way and done these things and said these words, it is now certain: it is no longer in doubt.
Yet it still IS in doubt, because there is no certainty in the world.
And no amount of manipulating one's own emotions, or one's partner's
emotions, or the emotions of friends and family around you, by making a promise of fidelity,
when you can never know with any certainty what the future holds, can
So on the one hand we have marriage, a social construct that's existed for a few thousand years and is venerated by certain individuals from certain societies as an ideal to be striven for, similar to the rite of passage that African males undergo with ritual circumcision at ages 17 to 20.
And on the other hand we have sex, the entire reason we having dating or marriage or romance or relationships at all in the first place, whatsoever.
Do we really need sex?
There are a select few individuals out there who identify themselves as "asexual." They comprise approximately 1% of the population at large; these individuals have no sex drive to speak of, or do have a sex drive, but it is only directed at ideal images (e.g., cartoon characters, figments of their dreams or imagination, etc.) and not at real, flesh-and-blood people. They honestly, legitimately do not want sex, and have zero interest in it.
Often asexuals remain interested in romance, despite a lack of a sex drive. They find sex confusing, and often disgusting, and wonder why on Earth the other 99% of individuals on Earth are so obsessed with it.
Just in case you're reading this and that seems to strike a chord, I recommend checking out AVEN, the forum and support group for individuals like this:
But for everybody else - those of us with sex drives - yes, we need sex.
Even more than that though, is that BECAUSE romance, and relationships, and dating, and all the rest COME from sex, and CULMINATE in sex, what you'll find is that, as we've discussed amply on this site, and most specifically in "Attraction Has an Expiration Date," when you do not get to sex quickly enough, you lose a woman.
Because dating and romance and courtship is just the mating dance; and a mating dance that is not followed by mating leads to the male dismissed as impotent.
There are countless examples in natural literature of how quickly females of a species move on from males that conduct their mating dances but are unwilling or unable to mate; the male gets a short escalation window, and that's it. Window missed, window closed.
Why's it work this way?
Well, which woman is more likely to pass on her genes - the woman who waits and waits and waits forever before breeding with a man, or the woman who assesses mate value and then mates?
In the ancestral environment (or even the modern environment), a woman who waits for a man to mate for too long introduces all kinds of problems: he may be killed, he may end up mating with another woman, and she throws away precious time she could spend mating on assessing over a long period of time, instead.
And remember that the clock is always ticking on women; the older
she gets, the lower the quality of mate she can get. If she waits for
you for a long time and nothing comes of it, she now has to settle for
a man who's 85% of what she wants, instead of one who's 90% of what she
wants had she gone for him when she was younger and more sought after.
And now she's got to assess someone else all over again.
Women who are better at assessing mate quality and can do it more quickly have a better chance of reproducing at all, and a better chance of producing a higher number of offspring. That means that, if ever there existed women who preferred to wait a year or two years or five years naturally before engaging in sex... those women were outcompeted long ago.
In societies that place a great deal of social and sexual constraints on their members, it's common to see more hesitancy around sex (though, again, think of Colonial America's numbers on pregnancy at time of marriage and don't go thinking this is all-pervasive). This changes the views of individuals somewhat.
For instance, if you travel to India, where the average number of lifetime sex partners for a woman is 1.6, something close to majority of women only ever have sex with the man they marry. That's because the society is so restrictive, and marriage is such an economic necessity, that the norms there are to wait until marriage, and men want to marry virgins and women want to make sure they preserve their virginity to make sure they get a husband.
But even in India, which man do you think a woman will fall in love with more quickly: the man who is sexlessly courting her, or the man who is making passionate love to her? Which man has a better chance of "keeping" her? Which man has a better chance of wedding her, if he so desires?
Of course - the man who has actually consummated his attraction to her, and with whom she has consummated her attraction to him.
Even in India though, where they probably wait for sex longer than anywhere else on the planet, how long do you think a woman is willing to wait for a man? There is a famous Bollywood movie where a man is wrongly imprisoned for 20 years, and his fiancée waits for him, never knowing if she will ever see him again, and finally, after 20 years, he is released from his incarceration and the two lovers are at last reunited, to finally be wed. It was so famous because it was so fantastic - fantastic here meaning the original meaning of the term, as in "of or like a fantasy." That is to say, this is something that does not happen in real life.
The horror, right? That pure true selfless undying love does not exist!
Well, sure. It's horrible that aliens with advanced technology who want to come bring us world peace and eternal life don't exist either, but they don't (at least not in this arm of the Milky Way Galaxy, so far as any of us has seen). Oh well, you move on, figure out how the world actually is, and maximize your happiness and the happiness of those around you within it.
And the fewer social constraints there are on individuals, the fewer social constructs there are to limit and direct and guide their movements, the more people tend to do what they evolved and are programmed to do.
Speed and Mating
If you take a 16-year old girl who's a virgin and ask her how long it will take her to have sex, you'll get anything from, "Instantly, with the right guy," to, "Not until marriage," to, "I don't really know."
But if you take a 26-year old girl who's a virgin and... wait, no 26-year old virgins?
That's right; you simply won't find 26-year old virgins in the West.
Okay, there are a few of them; they will probably post in the comments section of this article, mentioning how they are virgins and proud of it. But the ones commenting here are probably around 50% of the total virgin population of the Western world... something around 97% or 98% of people out there have had sex by age 30, either inside or outside of marriage.
And what happens when a man meets a woman who's sexually experienced and he doesn't want to perform?
Okay, let's talk younger girls though. Let's say a guy meets a conservative 20-year old girl who's still a virgin. What if he starts dating her, and doesn't want to perform?
Either he's going to marry her fast, then perform, or... in a little while, game over too.
Well, perhaps it's "unfair" for men (but you know how I feel about words like "fair" and "unfair"...), but it is the man's role to chase, and the woman's role to resist.
If the man is not chasing sex, he has denied his nature.
Just like the hermaphroditic sea slugs, cousins of man's ancient ancestors, that spar with their penises out, each trying to inseminate the other first, males are the aggressors in sex. They are the dominators, the penetrators, and the inseminators. Crude? Perhaps. But "crude" is often the term used by those who wish to elevate themselves above animals; to make believe they are superior. The universe does not care if you think you are better than a sea slug though; we are all just somewhere between starting out as ashes and dust and ending up back as these again. This is what it ultimately comes down to.
A man is trying to gain access to a woman's body to inseminate her with his seed; she is trying to resist, to give herself more time to assess him, to get him more invested, to make him value her more.
But if the MAN does not want sex...
if the MAN does not want to dominate, penetrate, and inseminate her...
what DOES he want with her?
A woman will call him a nice guy... but in her heart, she will view him as impotent, weak, and not a man.
He is not someone who can help her to reproduce. He is not a sexual creature. Her genes will not survive with this man, who is without desire to do what males must naturally do. He will give her sons who are impotent, and he will give her daughters who are weak.
Remember that women don't care what men say, because they've evolved not to trust words. It's easy to lie with words, and women are very intelligent on most things lie-related. If a man promises that someday he will do this or that for her, a woman's a fool to believe him... women only listen to your actions.
And if you are not sleeping with a girl, or trying to sleep with her when you have the chance, that communicates volumes more to her than anything you can possibly SAY about how you feel or what you want to do.
She cares about your actions,
not your words or your promises. These things mean nothing
Move Fast with Women
My grandfather was a devout Catholic. He met my grandmother one night in a bar. She was the wild one; they went on a few dates, but he would not take her to bed, and soon she lost interest, driving down to Florida to meet a man who could better attend to her womanly needs.
But my grandfather knew what he wanted, and he insisted; he sent my grandmother a letter, asking her to come back home and marry him. She thought about it; and she said "yes." Her mother tried to convince him to marry one of her other, more... conservative daughters, assuring him they'd make much better wives, but he knew which one he wanted, and soon they were wed.
The one exception I see to the "wait for marriage destroys a man's image as a sexual man" argument is when the man is BURNING WITH PASSION for a woman, and cannot WAIT to tear her clothes off and take her, but he is deferring that until marriage because of strong religious convictions. Many women can understand this, and tolerate this if they really like a guy... so long as the man is making the marriage happen as quickly as possible.
If it's long... if it's drawn out... if it's delayed, however... the passionless man who refuses a woman physical intimacy suffers the same fate as those men I've seen in sexual relationships whose sex drives did not match those of their partners - the woman grows tired of being underserved, and moves on.
Because the longer you draw things out, the more you communicate to
a woman that you cannot give her what she seeks; that you are not
willing, that you are not able... that you lack the drive and fire and
passion women most desire in men... and that you will give her sons who
similarly struggle to mate, thereby endangering her legacy... the more
you erase, nullify, and negate your chances with her.
And whether you subscribe to Darwin or Deuteronomy, one thing's for certain: the emphasis, again and again, is placed on passing on your genes (or, in the Bible's case, on having "descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky" - Genesis 26:4).
My old religion teacher was right, of course: people are not shoes. It is foolish to think that, like a shoe, a human will sit quietly by and wait for you to decide if you want to try her on, or not.
Women are not shoes; they are
living, breathing, sentient biological organisms, with wills and
drives of their own. And if you think that you can bind a woman
without the ties of sexual relations... without giving her what she
needs and wants and demands out of a romantic partner, and not a man
she is "just friends" with or neutral
with... you still have much to learn
about sexual relations.
I don't know what ever happened to that charismatic teacher that women loved but who couldn't get them to stick around. I don't know if he ever decided that sex wasn't some horrible thing after all and decided to take his woman to bed; I don't know if he managed to find a woman with the same views as him, in this world where so few people share those views; and I don't know if he's still out there somewhere, still adamantly holding onto his views, and still wishing he could find a girl who wanted what he wanted and nothing he didn't.
But whatever the case may be, remember this: it isn't just what YOU want that's important - it's also what SHE wants, and what SHE responds to.
And if what you want is a committed relationship with a girl, it's
extremely important that you know what 99% of girls need from you in
order to have that -
and it's extremely important, if you really want what you want, that
you give to them what they want too.
(unless, that is to say, you happen live in India. In that case, all
bets are off)
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