Monday, March 22, 2010

Elbe / Hookup Culture.

Lovely day today. Dad and I walked out on a dike by the Elbe, still in the city of Hamburg but surrounded by farmland on one side and tall reeds on the other. A big herd of sheep was grazing on the dike, with adorable little lambs frisking about.

We had lunch by the entrance to Hamburg's port, watching the big ships come in. An announcer at the little tourist-trap house announced, very importantly, the name and nationality of every ship that came in and played the appropriate national anthem each time.

And the link of the day is Tiger Beatdown, on hookup culture. The gist is that the real question isn't "is casual sex wrong?" but "how can casual sex be done right?" Hookups are fun, but hookups used as a pretext for a screwjob suck.

Money quote: Not just “sex” or “not sex,” when you’ve heard that “sex” consist of “giving a guy who refuses to be your boyfriend a million blow jobs that are never reciprocated.”

It's not really that hard to have non-screwjob casual sex. Just be... friendly. Be generous in bed like you'd be generous with a friend, and be nice to them the way you'd be nice to a friend. Ask what they're into and (within your own comfort zone etc.) do it for them. Unless they explicitly ask you not to, do your damnedest to give them an orgasm. Be honest before and after about the relationship potential you are or aren't considering. If they turn out to be expecting more than you were afterwards, let them down explicitly and politely; if it turns out you feel like seeing more of them, discuss it with them once and then let it go if it's clear they don't feel the same way.

Public service announcement for the guys: you all should start a little cooperative project where whenever you have casual sex, you try really hard to leave your partner happy with the experience. I'm surprised how many guys put a lot of effort into picking up chicks, then put no effort at all into pleasing the ones they succeeded with--even making it a point of pride to burn bridges. Every guy who turns into a clingy creeper or a callous douchebag the instant he comes is drastically reducing the number of women who will be up for casual sex in the future.

There's no point complaining that women won't sleep with you if you don't make the ones who do glad that they did.


  1. Thank you for this! I always have wondered about guys who piss in the pool, so to speak. Dudes. You want women to be okay with casual sex? Do your part!

  2. I don't think just saying that will help, even if it's true. A guy having "non-screwjob casual sex" usually won't be helping himself (only if he usually does it with casual acquaintances or people he hopes to do it with occasionally rather than one-nighters with complete strangers, and even then probably not that much). Rather, he'd mostly be helping other guys. And anyone who acts that way is probably too self-centered to act in consideration of the collective good.

  3. That's EXACTLY what confounds me about most guys: they'll put a ton of effort into getting a chick into bed, but none into maintaining any kind of relationship.

    I had a fuckbuddy for THREE YEARS. Sometimes it'd be six months between get-togethers because we were busy or one of us was dating someone or whatever, but yeah. He'd show up each time fully manscaped and fresh-breath'd, give me as many orgasms as I could stand before having one of his own, and even snuggle/massage me for a bit afterward. I have a boyfriend now, so I'm not seeing this kid anymore, but I'd write him a reference letter if I could. He was amazing.

    I'm assuming I'm not the only chick he had going, either. Imagine, guys: if you treat your hookups well, you can basically get laid anytime you want by a stable of appreciative women. Unless you're obsessed with getting NEW pussy and absolutely cannot stand to have repeat business, this is a pretty good deal. Nurturing a few ongoing things takes a lot less effort than starting a new one.

  4. Not Me - The guy is improving the general pool of hookup-friendly women, and his reputation with other possible hookups, and his chances at a second go sometime.

    I don't think pure self-centeredness is the only cause of screwjob hookups. I think a lot of guys think that if they show any affection or even decency, the girl will think he's their boyfriend and he'll be stuck with them forever. I wish guys would realize that sane women don't need to be stiff-armed away to understand boundaries. (Insane women, who are really not THAT common, are going to be insane either way.) I think of guys were more confident that women won't take a mile when given an inch, they'd be more willing to give that inch.

    (Or five to seven inches.)

  5. Different Anon than the one above but basically saying "Amen!" I too had a long-term friend with benefits who was on/off again depending on what was going on with either of us and we were always fond of each other, just knew we weren't going to be dating. He's married, I'm in a LTR, and we're still good friends who email/chat about the same shit we used to chat about in bed after a mutually satisfying romp...he was polite, fun, interesting, smart, and good in bed! If this was the rule, not the exception, we'd all be getting laid more.

  6. You know, this reminded me of the comment some guys use about being a dick to women they hook up with: "If she didn't want to be treated like a whore, she wouldn't act like one."

    Creepy acceptance of violence against actual prostitutes aside (that issue is too big for a single comment), why? What does wanting sex have to do with being mistreated? Why can't hookups be positive things? I mean, you can get as nasty as you both want, but once everything is said and done, why do people feel like it's all right to treat women poorly after casual sex?

  7. Selina - I think the PUA "pick-up is a game you play against the girl, and you win by fucking her" mindset has something to do with that. Ha ha, you slept with me, I pwned you! Loser.

    There's also the plain old stud/slut double standard, of course.

  8. Agree completely.

    As soon as you settle into a pleasant mutually-enjoyable fuckbuddy relationship, a lot of men become either very vain or very stupid and become very concerned that you want to marry them and have their babies.

    And, of course, they assume you're in love with them if you don't act like you kind of dislike them. If you're not outright standoffish -- and seriously, who wants to worry about being appropriately aloof when you're still enjoying the afterglow? -- then they start to worry that you want a relationship. Even if you explicitly say you don't.

    (An ego check for men with female fuckbuddies: Your penis is not so magical that any woman who touches it enough will fall in love with you.)

    It's because sexism makes everyone think that all women want serious relationships, all the time, and don't have sex unless they're trying to please a man. Which is bullshit.

    I've had some great fuckbuddies. We treat each other like human beings and have hot sex with no strings attached. I appreciate them so much.

  9. Natalie - These same guys also seem to believe that if a woman did get over-committed, it would be an enormous horrible disaster, rather than something that could be settled with one uncomfortable conversation.

  10. Ah, those above comments were what I was thinking as well.

    1) There seems to be this idea that "aw, women are giving it away for free, poor misguided dears," as though all women who hook up are going to want a relationship and marriage and babies omg. Seriously, some women enjoy sex.

    2) So what if a woman DOES have casual sex and then wants a relationship? Rather than "Damn it stupid worthless bitch," how about, "Sorry, I enjoyed it, but I'm really not looking for a relationship right now."

    I really love this blog, because it says the things I am thinking better than I can.

  11. Holly - actually, no, unless the specific conditions I stated in the previous post were true, it's rare that he would be helping himself. He'd get far better results if he were a jerkass and all the other guys weren't than if he was the only non-jerkass.

    I suppose that if someone lived in an area with very limited prospects, or there was some sort of easily-accessed free blacklisting service, then it would make a big difference. But most people these days live in large metro areas where there are literally millions of prospective partners who have never heard of them.

    Of course this only really applies to guys who are looking for casual hookups with strangers. For finding a long-term relationship, being a jerkass rarely works regardless of how many other guys are doing it, so that's a different issue.

  12. No, real PUAs and some naturals like/love women. Lazy naturals and raging PUA fanboys tend to note that "getting laid" involves a totally different skillset than "good sex", and that there are plenty of unattractive men who are good at sex but not having much of it. Attractive men may or may not be good at sex, and prestige Alphas like Tucker Max sometimes pride themselves on demeaning woman-as-object sex. There is a "Who Cares If She Comes?" undercurrent in PUA from men like Roissy and RooshV, but PUA is not the unifying factor--a bad attitude about sex in general and female sexuality in particular IS.

  13. Eurosabra - Can you name me a specific person, book, or community that promotes warm fuzzy PUA? I'm genuinely interested in what ethical PUA would look like.

  14. Quick! Everybody interested in the casual sex/hookup culture topic should go read Susie Bright's post about Heather Corinna's casual sex survey and then take the survey!

  15. I too am curious about this mysterious PUA group.

    Also, I hate it when people don't see the distinction between loving WOMEN and loving women's BODIES. Naturally, the latter isn't bad, but when the first is entirely absent, you don't get to claim you love women just because you love to fuck them.

  16. HughRistik at Feminist Critics ( keeps mentioning "ethical Game" but hasn't yet decided what it entails. He does acknowledge that Game as it exists involves a lot of ethical concerns. Wayne "Juggler" Elise's more conversational system is considered warm/fuzzy Game, but most systems are so results-oriented that ethical concerns are given short shrift, because feminist critics of game consider it a microcosm of a necessarily predatory male sexuality and PUAs in general consider ethics a separate question.

    The impression is that men who go out of their way to act ethically, such as men who go out of their way in handling consent or men who are non-patriarchy-conforming, are going to wind up with fewer partners overall because of women's aggregate preference for patriarchy-conforming, traditionally-masculine, dominant men. Casual sex is a luxury problem that Game newbies just don't have, and ethical Game is easy once you're attractive--just don't have sex when things feel "off" to either party.

  17. "Ethical Game" kind of makes me laugh, because Game is, as one FC critic put it, "like Guy Smiley trying to be HIP and DOWN." As if a system designed only for encouraging (and dependent upon) a woman's saying "Yes please yes now yes more" could ever be coercion as understood in law. Unless, of course, you hate hate hate Beta males and their straight male sexuality.

  18. Eurosabra - C'mon now, a lot of "game" is more aimed at an "well, okay then, I guess so" than "yes please yes more."

    Also, there's no such thing as a beta male. (Hell, even in actual wolves there's no such thing!) It's not in your genes and it's not tattooed on your forehead. You're a human male, own up to it.

  19. I'm a firm believer in "Clean Camping" - leave a person better off than they were when you found them.

  20. There is such thing as a "beta male" among some species of birds, however. Two males work together to secure territory and females, the alpha gets first pick of mates, and if the alpha dies first the beta inherits everything and sometimes gets a beta of his own.

  21. I hope you really never have to live under such conditions of scarcity that "Yeah, okay, I guess" is better than another decade without. PUA addresses the issue of men who are outwardly able, somewhat privileged, and yet have a drought of one specific form of human tie. Digging a little deeper into geek and disabled subcultures here revealed a few WOMEN for whom such conditions of scarcity were true, so it's not wholly a gender issue tied to male initiation, but it's close.

    I guess that "casual" meaning "lazy" and "unsatisfying" is primarily a Younger Dude thing. And that means that the problem is cultural and therefore fixable.

  22. quite off topic / just wanna let you know that there's people in hamburg ... well, at least one, who read your blog.

    isn't that just crazy? :P

    I'm really glad you are that person you are :)

  23. Above comments are really something huh? I had my casual sex encounter as well last two years ago and it is really amazing. Though she really need to be with someone else since she just want me to give pleasure with her not the serious type thing. To be honest I almost fell in love with her...almost.