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Friday, May 6, 2011

101

Sexual Safaris, Sweatiness, and Friends With Benefits

Why on earth are men so sweaty during sex? I am an athlete, and for a girl I get pretty damn sweaty when working out. But unless it's over 80 degrees in the bedroom, I rarely break a sweat during sex (and I participate pretty vigorously, I don't just lay back and think of England).  But pretty much every guy I've ever had sex with has become this sweaty mess as soon as we get going. Doesn't matter if the guy is a weekend tennis player or an Olympic athlete or a marathon runner–my sample size isn't enormous, but it is heavy on the fit guys. I understand that sex is a physical activity, but even when I am on top doing all the work, I usually don't start sweating buckets. But it seems that guys do, even when it's a less vigorous session. I don't have a problem with the sweatiness per se, because sex tends to be messy and I'm going to shower afterward eventually anyway, but I just want to understand if there is some secret effort that men are making during sex or if it just a response to the excitement, or ... what?

The secret truth is this: guys have absolute and total control over their sweat glands. We only perspire on command, and do so mostly in the presence of women, who seem to like us more when we smell like the gym or when we glisten just so. In sex, we like things to be all slippy and slidey, so we open up our pores to lubricate the situation. It’s just a thing we do. We don’t talk about it all that much.

Alright, I made that all up. Obviously. Not sure why this happens, but I bet it’s because guys take a lot of responsibility for maintaining sex positions. When a guy’s on top, for example, he has to hold his upper body up with with arms for a long period of time. It’s a lot like a stress position, one of those workouts where you extend some part of your body and leave it there for a while. One exercise that mimics the on top position, we just call it “forearms.” You get on the ground like you’re about to do a push-up but instead of propping yourself up on your hands you rest on your forearms. Then you hold this position for as long as possible. After a few minutes, even the most yoked among us will start to sweat.

Hitting it from the back is a similar thing. First you get your junk at the right elevation, and then your quads have to maintain that while you go at it. And for most couples, the lengths of each person’s upper leg don’t quite match up, so the guy’s in something of an awkward stance. There’s an exercise that mimics this sensation, too. I know it as “the chair.” You lean back against a wall like you’re sitting in a chair except there is no chair, and your quads are the only muscles making sure you don’t fall down. Again, hold this for a few minutes and you’ll perspire.

Let’s not even get into the more advanced positions, like the one where the guy is sitting upright and the girl is sitting on top of him with her legs wrapped around him. This website calls it “The Jellyfish” (warning: graphic animated graphics), but I’ve never heard that before. Not only is that a stress position, but you’re supporting someone else’s weight too, and –I’m sorry. I’m distracted by that website. What were we talking about?

Right, sweat. Yeah, dudes may not be moving around more than the ladies, but they sometimes do more work holding a position. This makes us sweaty. Also, guys like to flex during sex. That uses energy. It’s another secret truth we don’t talk about all that much.

My boyfriend and I have been together for three years, we love each other a lot, and it's really the best relationship I've been in. Which is great! But there's one issue I could use an outside perspective on. My boyfriend has certain aspects of his body that he is really sensitive and self-conscious about, and he gets pretty upset if I mention one. If it were just a matter of being positive and supportive rather than making fun of him, I'd be golden. But it will be something I love and appreciate about his body, and then I want to tell him that, but he gets upset and doesn't want me to mention it, and then gets more angry if I try to get him to talk about why it bothers him.

I have my own experiences with irrational self-consciousness and not ever wanting to think about something embarrassing. But I've made it kind of a life goal to be less ashamed of myself, and less likely to make myself unhappy for stupid reasons. And my boyfriend totally supports me in this. So I want to return the favor. But as far as I can tell, these are not issues in his daily life, it's just that I remind him they exist. He's a bit of an avoider by nature, and in relationships I am the opposite, and usually we can work it out, but he doesn't think I have a right to disagree with him here. He says that if he thinks his self-image is fine, it's none of my business to try and change it. So, am I being an asshole for not accepting his feelings, and trying to persuade him that he should want to change them? Is my current plan of coming at it sideways and offering him unconditional positive regard that includes these "flaws" without drawing extra attention to them manipulative, or being a good girlfriend? Are there other, slightly more pro-active plans that could still avoid upsetting him?

We're not talking about major parts of his general appearance here, just the kinds of little imperfections and variations most people have. But those are the best parts! The parts that make him unique, that only I get to see. I want to be able to share my appreciation of them.

What, you’re not going to tell us what these “certain aspects of his body” are? I’m imagining all kinds of heinous moles and twisted appendages. I met a girl at a party once who had two different color eyes, like a husky. Is that his thing? Ugh. Please write back. Attach a jpeg.

Seriously, though, just leave him alone about it. Everyone has their weird thing, and people deal with this in different ways. Some people own their flaws, others prefer not to talk about them. Some people want them changed, others don’t. Let’s say his flaw is a scar on his arm. (Is it a scar on his arm? Damnit.) There’s a big difference between a scar he got saving kittens from a fire than a scar he got from a suicide attempt. One of those he’s probably less likely to discuss, and one of them he’s more likely to have removed by a surgeon.

Oh, and by repeatedly trying to get your boyfriend to discuss or accept this “certain aspect,” you might be making him feel worse, because basically you’re saying his unwillingness to confront the flaw is yet another thing that’s wrong with him. You don’t want to do that. Let him deal with it in his own way.

Wait, is it a club foot? Come on.

So I have a date next week! Do I have to tell him about my friend with benefits?

OK, so all things considered, this is an excellent problem for me to have. I have recently (like, six months ago) separated from my husband. We got together when I was 18, I hadn't had a lot of relationships before him so being single is all scary and weird. (I'm 26! It sucks to be me, I'm separated and I'm 26.) My friend with benefits has been great, except that he's also my friend. So, all my other friends know about him. Within the group, this is all cool and stuff, but how do I spring it on someone new?

I mean, on our first date (which is BY THE WAY, my first date since the separation), am I all like: "So, I'm currently sleeping with some guy. But it's fine! We're not emotionally involved." Or just drop it into conversation: "Oh, my friend Joseph said something so funny last week! ...Who's Joseph? He's my friend with benefits. You're auditioning to replace him, except I'm not emotionally involved with Joe, so you can expect less sex and more crying."

Or should I wait until things get more serious? Or just quietly stop sleeping with "Joe" and never mention him to my Date ever? I'm leaning towards this last option, but if Date morphs into Boyfriend he'll probably find out from my friends at some point and then never trust me ever again.

Ugh.

Because my friend with benefits is part of the group, I can't never see him ever again, although I don’t think I'll feel the need to keep hanging out with him one on one (platonically! I mean platonically!). There's a reason I'm not dating Mr. FWB. I'm also not willing to stop sleeping with this guy just because I have the whiff of a possibility of a date because, wow, no sex because I don't have a boyfriend? That seems a bit harsh to me. Although, obvs, I would wind things down with Mr. FWB before sleeping with Date/Boyfriend. Which I probably won't! I don't think Date is right for me and why buy a cow when a friend is willing to bring bottles of milk over to your house at 11 p.m. on a Monday night, amirite?

So, thoughts? Do I need to have a big reveal, and if so, how?

Congratulations on your newfound freedom! You are in for some adventures. I’m so excited for you that I wrote you a screenplay. Think of it as an after school special, but for grownups. I hope you like it! There’s a lesson in there, oh yes.

INT. GIRL’S APARTMENT, NIGHT.

Doorbell rings. It’s DATE, he’s come to take GIRL to the dinner party.

GIRL
(kisses DATE)
Hi there!

DATE
Helloooo.

GIRL
Thank you for coming to pick
me up.

DATE
Of course!

GIRL
Come in, let’s have a drink first.

DATE comes in, GIRL pours him a glass of wine. They sit.

GIRL
So, are you nervous?

DATE
Um, no?

GIRL
Not at all?

DATE
Why would I be nervous?

GIRL
Well, all my friends are going to be there. It’s Julie’s birthday!

DATE
But I’ve met, like, a bunch of your friends already.

GIRL
But I don’t know, this might be . . . different.

DATE
Wait, are you nervous?

GIRL
A little.

DATE
(sets wine glass down on the table)
What’s up?

GIRL
Alright, so. I need to tell you something. What date are we on right now?

DATE
I think this is like our seventh date.

GIRL
Right. Okay. So when we started dating, I was still sort of seeing someone else.

DATE
Okay.

GIRL
And it wasn’t like a boyfriend thing, it was like we were just kind of hooking up?

DATE
Okay.

GIRL
And he’s part of this circle of friends and I’m pretty sure he’s going to be there tonight and I’m terrified it’s going to be really awkward and there I said it.

DATE
Um, probably not that awkward.

GIRL
You’re fine with it?

DATE
Well, can I ask you a few questions?

GIRL
Sure.

DATE
Were you hooking up with him while you were hooking up with me?

GIRL
No.

DATE
Because you remember we slept together on our first date.

GIRL
(blushes)
Yes, I remember. No. After that night I never hooked up with him again.

DATE
And you want to keep being friends with him?

GIRL
Kind of?

DATE
And do you think you might sort of slide back in it with him?

GIRL
No, definitely not.

DATE
Okay then. Yeah, no big deal.

GIRL
Really?

DATE
I mean, tonight might be a little awkward? But probably not like super weird or anything. And honestly, it will probably be more awkward for him, since, you know, you’re with me now.

GIRL
I am with you. That’s a true fact.

DATE
Yup.

GIRL
So you’re not angry I didn’t tell you?

DATE
Well, you did tell me. Just now.

GIRL
But sooner?

DATE
Nah. You didn’t know where we were going. No sense in shutting down a perfectly good booty call before you’re sure about the new guy.

GIRL
Um, yeah. I guess.

DATE
Besides, you remember Carolyn?

GIRL
The girl from your work?

DATE
Yeah.

GIRL
The one who was at the show you took me to on our second date.

DATE
Yeah, the one who gave me her extra tickets.

GIRL
The one I thought was slutty.

DATE
Yeah.

GIRL
Yes.

DATE
Oh man. We were banging like crazy before you came around.

FIN.

I have a dear male friend who recently explained he has romantic feelings for me. I've never felt that way about him, but after hearing the sweet and thoughtful way he detailed his feelings, I thought it would be worth giving it a go. We've been going on dates for the past couple weeks. And I'm realizing I can actually envision us getting married, years down the road. Right now though, I just want to be 22 in a big city and date around, even though I'm sure it will be with lesser caliber guys. Is there an appropriate way to verbalize that I want to "bookmark" him for the future while I get this dating around out of my system?

Well, you’re very sweet for not wanting to hurt his feelings while you embark on your sex safari through this major metropolitan area. If you tell him you see him as devoted relationship material but you’re just not ready for a devoted relationship, that’s probably the easiest way to break it to him. He might still be upset, then kick himself for being one of the “nice guys,” and end up trying so hard to be a badass that he’ll get a motorcycle. Guys are stupid! But deep down he’ll get it, or at least he should get it, because really he should probably be doing the same thing as you right now. Most people need a healthy amount of dating practice and sexual adventures before they’re married, otherwise the marriage won’t go so well.

Just don’t expect to actually “bookmark” him. The point of all the dating is to learn things about yourself and what you like and dislike in other people, and over time you’re going to change! He’s going to change, too. You might not change in compatible ways! And each of you might meet someone you like better. These are the risks! And the rewards. Nobody waits around, nor should they.

Who knows, maybe you’ll change your mind the first time you see a hot chick on the back of his new motorcycle.

Previously: Online Etiquette, Forced Chemistry, and "What Are You Thiiinking?"

A Dude is one of several rotating dudes who know everything. Do you have any questions for A Dude?

101 Comments / Post A Comment

Kate Musgrove

I have never had a guy get noticeably sweaty during sex. Am I... doing it wrong?

noodge

<3 sweaty sex <3
sex should be a sweaty, sticky, primal affair, imho.

atipofthehat

"Horses sweat. People perspire."

--My great-grandmother

cherrispryte

@atipofthehat

"Horses sweat, Men perspire, Women glow!"

- Ann M. Martin, one of the Babysitter Club books that was all about Jessi's ballet classes.

erratica

@cherrispryte Jessi and the Dance School Phantom!!?

Katie Walsh

Hey Dude, I think that "forearms" exercise is actually called "plank." Sorry to be an annoying know it all! And yeah, that does sound hard!

Nutellaface

Post-sex is not a sexy time. I've noticed that recently. I mean, you have the great sex flush and the sex hair, but other than that, it's all sticky, sweaty, and boobs covered with rubbed-off chest hair. Does anyone have that problem? Rubbed-off chest hair? God, sometimes I feel like I have to lint roll that shiz.

elysian fields

@Nutellaface omg ... that is hilarious and horrible at the same time. I have never experienced that. are you sleeping with the Yeti??

mparcells

@Nutellaface As a man who has rubbed off his share of chest hair, I just want you to know, I notice it too, I feel bad about it, and please let's just not mention it and clean it off quietly.

Jolie Kerr

@mparcells That is the most service-y piece of advice I've read on Ask a Dude yet. You should email Edith to volunteer for official duty.

mparcells

@Jolie Kerr Well, thank you. It's usually pleasant enough to have the body hair, but I (and I would hope, most polite people) begin to feel self-conscious when making other people wear it.

Nutellaface

@elysian Sasquatch :-(

piekin

@Nutellaface not only do i have to lint roll my chest, i have to go diving to get his hair out of my ladybits. (!) so. much. hair.

Sorry For Partying

@piekin I always wondered if anyone else experienced the pube-transfer phenomenon.

elysian fields

@piekin wow. this thread is making me appreciate what I've got. My bf may exude gallons of sweat, but at least he doesn't shed.

winchesterwolcott

@Nutellaface Maybe you just need a good, thorough brushing beforehand?

Nutellaface

@winchesterwolcott I'm not the one with the hairs! But that's not a bad idea. I'll just go over him with my cat's brush mitt beforehand...

emily deckerson

@Nutellaface For some reason, I shed hair (the ones on top of my head) like CRAZY post-sex. It really only happens after good sex, though. I wonder if it's a thing? I think I need to go brush my hair.

elysian fields

#1: dudes just sweat more than we do. it's science. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/men/sweating-odor/men-sweat-more-than-women.htm

DorothyMantooth

@elysian fields This. And also, Did You Know that when someone is more fit, they start sweating sooner? There you go (somewhat obnoxious-sounding, at least to me), question asker.

itmakesmewonder

@DorothyMantooth Dudes love banging me so much they just sweat to death, what's going on? My female friends are so jealous, are they in love with me?

DorothyMantooth

@itmakesmewonder Right??

Lily Rowan

@DorothyMantooth -- Nah, I don't think it's like that. I just think it's a question that would maybe have been more easily answered by Googling A Scientist as opposed to Asking A Dude.

Ellie

Also the better shape you are in (the more you work out) the more you sweat (*when exercising*), because sweating is beneficial during exercise and your body becomes more efficient at sweating faster and harder the more you work out.

DorothyMantooth

@Lily Rowan Ha! Google A Scientist might actually make for an entertaining (and potentially disgusting) column!

Nutellaface

@Ellie FINALLY an un-benefit to exercising. Everyone's all like "exercising is so great!" but do we really want to get BETTER at SWEATING?? *retrieves cookies from kitchen, becomes one with sofa*

GiannaJay

@DorothyMantooth Actually, I asked the question. I have a Ph.D. in science, understand that guys (on AVERAGE) sweat more than women and that fitness increases sweatiness, BUT in my (completely average in terms of numbers) experience guys sweat more during sex than they do during a workout. So I figured I would ask a Dude since it seemed like there could be something going on behind the scenes that would help explain the phenomenon. Shockingly, there is nothing in the scientific literature about whether guys sweat more during sex than during equivalent non-sexytimes exertion.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@DorothyMantooth: Thanks for the link about this. About 5 years ago I lost a little weight and took up exercise as a regular thing, and noticed I sweat more profusely and earlier than before. Now I feel a better about it.

Kneetoe

@elysian fields: On the other hand, we men types never produce any milk, which, now that I think of it, is probably just another man failure.

DorothyMantooth

@GiannaJay Hiya! Sorry for calling you obnoxious!
I guess the moral here is that when Science fails us, turn to Home Depot (for ceiling fans)? (I'll admit to being curious, though, about where on the scale of 5-minutes-of-child's-pose to Last-Chance-Workout-on-The-Biggest-Loser the equivalent-sexytimes exertion falls?)

@Too Much Internet Glad I could help!

GiannaJay

@DorothyMantooth I'm thinking it is about equivalent to kick-boxing? I think the Germans would be good at a study like this, and I think it would be hysterical to read. I'm a very pleasant person, and I know enough about the internet not to take personal offense at someone calling me obnoxious for my asking-a-dude tone of writing :)

DorothyMantooth

@GiannaJay Kickboxing! That sounds both hot and kinda dangerous. And bendy!

applestoapples

"Also, guys like to flex during sex...it’s another secret truth we don’t talk about all that much."
Soooo not a secret, Dude. You only think it is because we're polite enough not to say we totally knew you were squeezing your butt cheeks together and silently saying "BOOM" in your head.

birdofamerica

@applestoapples <3 BOOM <3 ...I love this so much. I will totally be thinking about it the next time I do the nasty.

Barracuda

@applestoapples I read that as DOOM!! Oh, dear.

insouciantlover

ugh, when I was 19 I had a boyfriend who would tell me how sexy my mustache was. I was like noooooo and then I got laser hair removal. Nice try, guy, but I don't WANT a sexy mustache. Thanks though? Anyway, that helpful anecdote is for caller 1. And for caller 4, please know that I tried to bookmark this guy. SO glad that bookmarking boyfriends doesn't actually work.

insouciantlover

@insouciantlover also... my sample size is kind of huge... I once boned this guy who was SO sweaty that when we got up there was a me-shaped dry spot on the bed. :( But no, most of the dudes who I've known (biblically) haven't been that sweaty. Yay!

boyofdestiny

@insouciantlover Yeah, I think the most important advice one can give to questioner 4 is that putting a guy on a shelf is a pretty good way to make the guy feel like garbage. I put my share of ladies on the shelf in my youth, and it's quite frankly the thing I'm most ashamed of in my all my romantic history. Good job for wanting to be straightforward with him, but part of that should be a recognition on both of their parts that sometimes you only get one shot at making things work.

applestoapples

@insouciantlover I also dated a guy who created sweat-angels on my bed, and once we had to stop in the middle of sex because his forehead sweat burned my eyes. He was so fun and cute, but that was the worst.

punkahontas

@insouciantlover haha. "me-shaped dry spot."

Jolie Kerr

@insouciantlover Bluing.

insouciantlover

@Jolie Kerr *rinses entire body in vinegar and baking soda*

Jolie Kerr

@insouciantlover *magic erases away stuck-on manfur*

Is it just me, or is the "it's fine, cause you didn't sleep with him after our first date" line really bizarre? Sorry no, you shouldn't expect exclusivity after date #1.

punkahontas

@S. Elizabeth Agreed!

I don't see why there is ever a need to tell him, unless he specifically asks. Just make sure to cut that shit out after you guys decide to be exclusive. Seriously? A guy would never even consider telling a girl ANY of that.

sp8ce

@S. Elizabeth I think it would be pretty f'ed up if she was still banging her buddy at the time she brought the new guy around to meet her friends.

atipofthehat

@S. Elizabeth

Depends on the context. If you are talking about two people who think they may be falling in love, wouldn't it be odd for either one not to suspend everything until more is known?

That's what I would do.

Lily Rowan

@S. Elizabeth -- Obviously it's not universal, but many people believe in only banging one person at a time. So if they slept together on the first date, with the assumption of future dating and fucking, it seems fair to me to cut off the FWB at that point. But not required!

SarahDances

@S. Elizabeth Maybe not exclusivity, but I generally consider it bad form for someone to be banging multiple people concurrently without explicityly telling their partners that they are doing so.

Sure, if they're on date #7, meeting friends, and falling in love, that's reasonable. But really, if you have a friends with bennies situation and you go one one date with someone, are you then expected to end the fwb situation? Really, contextually, you have this great fwb situation, you go out on one date, and then nothing?

How would you know on date 1 that you're falling in love, or that it's really going anywhere?

@SarahDances, absolutely I think that multiple partners should know about each other and it's bad form not to. But I don't think one date warrants a full disclosure.

I think what I'm getting at is that the dude provides a scenario in which both people say "I was banging other people, and then I stopped THE MINUTE I STARTED SEEING YOU" which is unrealistic. How do you know date #2 is going to happen? What if you don't know the date person really well and have no idea if it's going to go anywhere? It seems sweet, this idea that once the people started sleeping together they didn't sleep with other people... meh.

I guess I don't expect to go on one date with someone, sleep with them, and see them two weeks later and assume they haven't gone on another date unless that talk about exclusivity has already happened. Though I guess it would look different in hindsight.

Probs

Maybe the dudes #1 is with sweat so much BECAUSE they're so fit. My understanding is that extra-fit people actually sweat more easily than averagely-to-not-so-fit people doing a comparable amount of exercise, because there bodies are used to mega-sweating for all their mega-exercise. Hyphens.

I learned that from Cracked, though, so, salt, grains, etc.

Ellie

@Probs Oops I replied with this above before reading all the way down. Yeah I think this is a true fact! My track coach friend and I have discussed this a lot. The more you are accustomed to working out the more efficiently you sweat.

Tammy Pajamas

David Bowie has two different color eyes, "like a husky."

theinvisiblecunt

@Tammy Pajamas, nope, same color but one pupil is permanently dilated post-injury

boyofdestiny

Lee van Cleef had two different color eyes.

atipofthehat

@boyofdestiny

Lee van Cleef!
http://www.leevancleef.com/interview.htm

boyofdestiny

@atipofthehat Relevant to this ladies' website:

"I don't pound women. I haven't slapped a woman yet on screen."
"You did that in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," I contradicted.
"That was done by a stunt man, not by me, because I refused to do it. The girl wanted to be slapped, actually slapped. I'm six-feet two, weigh around one-ninety, two hundred, I'm fairly well put together. I've got a heavy hand, and I don't like to do things that could possibly hurt somebody, in any way."

boyofdestiny

Women like spaghetti westerns, right?

atipofthehat

@boyofdestiny

Personally, I would not even allow a stunt man to do it.

Now, rasslin', that's different.

tea tray in the sky.

@boyofdestiny Also, Mila Kunis!

Tammy Pajamas

@theinvisiblecunt OMG! You're right. This is a thing someone once told me that I never fact checked. Thx!

Judith Slutler

@boyofdestiny Yes. Women (me) love spaghetti Westerns

theharpoon

@boyofdestiny Another woman who loves spaghetti westerns here.

sp8ce

This guy went 4/4 with the advice.

nice_belt

@sp8ce word to that

Hot mayonnaise

"You're auditioning to replace him, except I'm not emotionally involved with Joe, so you can expect less sex and more crying."

Ha!

theinvisiblecunt

"But babydoll I love your super cute teeny tiny nanocock. Why you gotta be so sensitive all the time?? I'M HELPING YOU"

Lnz
Lnz

@theinvisiblecunt Uhm, right? Did no one else get the "I'm an overbearing psycho" vibe from Girl #2?

Katie Walsh

Also #4, do NOT bookmark this guy. LOCK THAT SHIT DOWN. I am saying this as your older, wiser big sister who is now a broken woman from "dating in the big city." Egads, that phrase nauseates me.

Lily Rowan

@Katie Walsh -- Seriously! If you think he could be The One, hang on to him until/unless you don't think that anymore.

elysian fields

@Katie Walsh oh yeah. The sad thing is that she seems to realize that dating rando after rando will be unfulfilling, but she wants to regardless. Why??
I don't really understand why people think you should date tons of people when you're young. If you find someone you click with, why throw it away? I say this as someone who dated one guy for all of college, stupidly broke it off so I could date "artsy" and "cool" guys (ughhhhhh), then came to my senses and got back with the first guy. I was extremely lucky that he took me back (incidentally, he also had a terrible time dating around), but I doubt most people would get a second chance.

Ellie

@elysian fields I think that it's possible to be really, really, really happy in an exclusive relationship, but also at the same time to desperately miss having sex with people you don't know very well. And it's sometimes hard to compare the two practices to one another because they are so different, and mutually exclusive. One is really fun and the other is also fun. Even if you know it's sort of unfulfilling in the long run, it's . . . still fun.

ThundaCunt

@Katie Walsh agreed!! girl#4...love him, dont hurt him. If you can envision marrying this man then DON'T. SCREW. THAT. UP!!! Meaningless sex with strangers is not worth it...trust me. As someone who ruined a sweet, kind, gentle, respectful man by wanting to be young and "have fun". it aint worth is sister!!

Bittersweet

@Katie Walsh: Yessss. I started dating marriage-material guy at age 20...and married him after 5 years of exclusive dating. This year is our 15th wedding anniversary and I have no regrets about not doing the '20s dating thing' because I locked down the Finest Man on Earth.

foxanne

@Katie Walsh To me, wanting to date around a lot means this woman is still figuring herself out, and so can't know yet if this guy is the one or not. You're only ready to find your soulmate when you're ready, no matter how hard that might be on this sweet, thoughtful male friend.

littlevicious

#4, I think bookmarking someone can affect them in a big way. Having been on both sides of this situation I think the only thing you can do is shut it down. The other person will find it hard to form any real relationships if they always think "Well, she'll come back to me eventually".

Clare

@littlevicious Yeah, that sounds really, really cruel. Even though you just poured your heart out to me, I'm not into you enough to date you right now. Maybe when I'm feeling really desperate and lonely I'll throw you a bone!

Momster

@Clare Right. "You're great, really, but first I'm going to shop around a little bit, see if there's someone even better." I would also lock it down. At least give it a whole-hearted try at a relationship.

pollykettle

i sort of feel like #4 wouldn't need advice if she really was into him. when you want to be with someone, there shouldn't be any feelings of "mayyybe later?"
but then i'm holding out for my own mickey knox, so what do i know

naptime

@pollykettle That's totally the vibe I got from it, too.

winchesterwolcott

@pollykettle I don't think everything, especially with regards to relationships, ESPECIALLY at such a young age is so black and white. Just speaking from experience...I stayed and its awesome.

mgll

One note on the FWB situation: whenever you decide to stop sleeping with the FWB, ESPECIALLY if you're still going to see him socially, make sure you're straightforward with him rather than evasive.

Don't just fall off the face of the earth without explanation because that has the potential to create awkward situations (I could tell you stories about this! But I will spare you). This can be as simple as saying "Oh, by the way, I'm seeing [whoever] now." He'd probably appreciate hearing from you rather than hearing from someone else or not hearing at all and making things weird later.

heb
heb

@mgll Yesssss. And if it's just a FWB situation anyway, there shouldn't be any awkwardness since the boundaries had already been established. (You established your boundaries, right? Establish your boundaries!)

antarcticastartshere

I think "bookmarking" is a dick move and should be referred to by it's proper name: "stringing someone along." He deserves to have a rich life of rich dating experiences, too. Saying, "Right now I want to date a lot of random guys, most of whom will treat me like crap, but maybe later! Keep that dance card open!" kind of smacks of not considering that HE also deserves to have fun dating experiences and maybe meet someone who won't ask him to wait until she's good and ready.

Harsh judgy time aside! Seriously, tell this guy in no uncertain terms you do not see yourself in a relationship with him any time soon. Guys who confess their feelings to a female friend in kind, thoughtful, romantic ways are often sappy romantics who will hang on to the slightest chance that you will come crying after asshole #354 stops replying to your texts. Do him a favor and make sure he knows that probably won't happen.

atipofthehat

@antarcticastartshere

Alternatively, soundproof your crawlspace and keep him there.

antarcticastartshere

@atipofthehat oooh I bet he would make an EXCELLENT winter boyfriend.

Judith Slutler

@antarcticastartshere Yes, exactly. You can't "bookmark" a person! It's a cruel and self-serving way for Questioner #4 to think about this situation. This guy is not her sure thing for later, he is an entire other person who has thoughts and desires and needs of his own.

ThundaCunt

this guy was pretty awesome!!

VictorVictrola

@ThundaCunt I thought so too, but then I realized this dude's writing style was eerily close to a dude-I-actually-know's voice and found that mildly horrifying. Because I like my internet advice from afar, from a safe place.

Jane Feltes

agreed! really good except for one thing: you don't need to tell us about the slut you were hooking up with, we know. we got it. she's not gonna be at this party making things weird, right? and you already awkwardly made us meet without telling us what was up so why now?

DorothyMantooth

@Jane Feltes I thought the moral there was that you could also choose not to tell before the fact, and then realize in retrospect that there was nothing really all that awkward about meeting the former bang-ee?

jennie

Question Asker 4, My current boyfriend and love of my life was a long-time friend before we started dating. We started dating right as I was turning 22 and moving out of home for the first time. I couldn't help but complain to my friends that if I go through with this and jump into the relationship (because with close friends who decide to start dating I don't believe you get that 3-4 week period where you are casual, its serious from the get-go) I would miss out on my single gal in the city time. But guess what? We have been together for a year now and I have never. looked. back. I can't even imagine myself with another guy. So what I'm saying is, if you truly feel like this guy is the one, don't second-guess yourself. If me and my boy end up staying together for the long haul, I will not regret for a minute that I never was able to sleep around in my 20s. But if you let this guy go and he resents you for breaking his heart or finds another girl that doesn't view him as a back-up, I think you're really going to regret it.

ilikemints

@jennie
Yeah, I want to jump on this advice for sure. I met my boyfriend when I was 20, right during this phase of ridiculous self-confidence where I just asked dudes out and went on dates, not even caring if they didn't call me back because I had 3 other dudes I wanted to go out with after them. This only lasted about 2-3 months when my now-bf wanted to be exclusive (he was one of the members of my man-harem). I was actually pretty angry about it, because after years of awkward teen crap I was finally coming into my own and loving being a single girl going through dudes. However, I didn't want to let go of now-bf, so I gave in.

In two days it'll be five years together. One of the best decisions I ever made. The whole point of dating is to find someone you like having around and who likes having you around. If you find that person, hang onto them!

TheAlbondigasBar

@jennie and i like mints: this! im 21 and currently in a relationship with an amazing guy but i cant help feeling all sorts of weird pressures to date around and let strangers get to know my nether regions because if i dont, ill regret it eternally and forever. its refreshing to hear happy people on the other side! :)

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

Question Asker 4 needs to date around. The wording she's using does not paint this guy as 'the one', at all.

Captain DuClark

@Too Much Internet Exactly. "Dear male friend" sounds like code for "nice guy who I don't find attractive." There is nothing wrong with exclusively dating people who you find physically attractive.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@Captain DuClark: It just hits me close to home, as someone that made big mental concessions to stay with someone I thought I should keep when in fact I should have been dating around.

I think we all need to agree there is no 'right' answer here, but it's most important to be honest with your own feelings.

Internet Girl

@Too Much Internet Agreed. It always makes me laugh when my friends talk about "marriage material" like it's extremely different from dating/boyfriend material.

If you don't like him enough to be his girlfriend now, why would you want to be his wife later?

ALSO, "I've never felt that way about him" is code for "NO SEXUAL ATTRACTION TO HIM", which no one wants in a relationship but some people seem to accept as being okay for women in a marriage?

bologna eyes

Hey guys. Thanks for that last question and answer.
So full of win.

TrilbyLane

1. sweating is a good thing. they do it more. it's ok.
2. don't poke him about things he's self-conscious about; if you keep asserting your attraction to him and making him feel secure, he might get over some of his little hang-ups.
3. don't tell him. the point about friends-with-benefits is that they don't impinge on your dating life.
4. you are not in love with him, or you would want to be with him right now, so let it go.

runsinbackground

As someone who has been on the dude side of #4, I will say that yes, it's painful, but a dude who is as nice (as opposed to Nice, as to which the less said in this context the better) will either get over it and fade away, or get over it and continue as before.

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