No sex-attached strings

From Slate:

I am a single woman in her early 30s. I’m attractive and have never had issues attracting a partner.

When you were in your twenties, you mean?

But after a series of disappointing relationships, each around a year, I’m just not in a mood to engage emotionally with men right now.

So at the age when those in a relationship need to grow up and take it seriously, you found one or both of you weren’t up to it.

The thing is, I have a high sex drive, and I can’t fully satisfy myself on my own—though believe me, I try. The cliché is that this should be an easy problem to fix: Plenty of men want to have sex with a woman with no strings, right?

Yes and no. If you’re under 30 then yes, pretty much. If you’re over 30 the number of men into that sort of thing drops off a cliff and you’re left with, well, those who will always be into that sort of thing.

Here are my limitations: In the past, when I’ve had hookup buddies,

So far this woman has spent her twenties having “no issues attracting a partner”, her late twenties/early thirties having “a series of disappointing relationships”, and now there are multiple hookup buddies thrown into the mix. Like many women who write these pieces, she appears unable to build lasting relationships and thinks bed-hopping is a substitute.

I like them, but it never really is just sex—we inevitably get to know each other better and then I end up getting entangled with him, whether I want to or not.

Unless you’re a sociopath this is true for just about anyone. Women really ought to watch less TV.

I also am not really into sex parties or the poly scene; for better or worse, I like the intimacy of one-on-one connections, even if all I want is sex right now.

For the sake of my blogging that’s a shame, but it’s refreshing to find someone who admits the poly scene is more about sex than intimacy.

So I’m not really sure how to proceed. I’ve identified a few bars in my town that are … good for this sort of thing, but that is hit or miss for finding an attractive guy.

What’s this, the 1990s?

Tinder and similar apps for straight people are full of creeps who have no game, and I’m afraid if I’m upfront about what I want, I’ll attract even more of that type.

Eh? You only want sex with no strings attached, but the man must have game? Why? And yeah, Tinder is full of creeps. What did you expect from a hookup app, a roomful of Rhodes scholars? And yes, announcing to a bunch of strangers online that you just want a shag is going to attract all sorts of weirdos while men with options back away slowly. Most will probably take a few antibiotics afterwards just to be sure.

Here’s the advice she’s given:

It’s true—even when both parties are completely uninterested in anything serious or romantic, you can still eventually end up in the bath-products aisle together debating whether your connection means anything and having moments of odd, sticky feelings toward each other.

Well, yes. This is why polyamorists who watch their lovers go into the bedroom with another person on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are either sociopaths or an emotional wreck inside.

In your case, it sounds like at least some of the entanglement is coming from your end. So put reminders in your phone: Make the guys have names like “Chris Nothing Serious Johnson” or “Joe This Is Just Sex Beatty.”

Yes, this is perfectly normal.

Whatever will underscore the boundaries you’ve set and need to respect for yourself, in addition to expecting the guy to adhere to.

This no-strings sex is looking a little stringy.

Hopefully that’ll make it easier to keep a good casual connection going (once you’ve found an acceptable partner) without tipping into what you don’t want.

Yes, your innate biological desire to pair-bond can be outwitted by putting reminders in your phone next to men’s names.

As far as apps go, I’m wondering if you’ve specifically tried Bumble.

Bumble is middle class Tinder, where people pretend they’re looking for friends to hang out with in cool capital cities while actually just looking to date. Instead of making duck faces, women put their grad school on.

I’m also wondering if it’s possible to go back to former flings for another round or two.

I’m guessing self-respect isn’t a consideration here?

Having a few partners you see somewhat less frequently might make it easier to prevent the entanglements that can result from too much close proximity.

I suspect her real problem is the hookup partners aren’t there any more and she’ll be doing well to find one who isn’t a complete weirdo. Everything was so much easier when she was 25, wasn’t it?

Still, unfortunately, you’re going to have to get out there and wade through at least some potential creeps.

Let’s switch the sexes around for a second: still, unfortunately, you’re going to have to get out there and wade through at least some potential sluts.

They might all turn out to be mostly benign, but some might not.

They might all turn out to not want payment, but some might.

Meet in public places that are likely to have people around, be careful with the location of your home, and remember you can always leave if you get uncomfortable or feel a weird vibe.

It beggars belief that this needs to be said to a woman in her thirties. And that turns out to be the end of the advice. Not very helpful, was it? Then again, what can you do? My advice to her would be to engage in serious thought about why her previous relationships failed, perhaps with the assistance of a trained psychologist, and look at what she can do to improve her chances of success. But that’s not the modern way, is it?

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23 thoughts on “No sex-attached strings

  1. Why is she looking at single blokes? Surely she needs to be a married man’s bit on the side. He won’t leave his wife and kids so she’s golden.

  2. Surely she needs to be a married man’s bit on the side. He won’t leave his wife and kids so she’s golden.

    I expect because, as the whole story implies, she wants a lot more and she has “bunny boiler” written all over her face. I have it on reasonably authority than if married men want a bit on the side they’re better off finding a married woman who has as much to lose as he does.

  3. This is just totally made up. Unless a woman is pig ugly, she can go to a hotel bar wearing a black dress with a conference in town and get fucked. Some guy who’s never going to see her again, doesn’t want her following him.

    Talk to women who work away from home about how much they get hit on in hotel bars and restaurants. I know women who just go and sit in their room and get room service rather than eating or drinking alone because it gets tiresome.

  4. I am a single woman in her early 30s […]
    […] I’m just not in a mood to engage emotionally with men right now.

    If not now, then when?

  5. These articles are always made up. They are designed to hook people into commenting and dwelling on a topic by illustrating a number of issues the reader feels uneasy or strongly about. The Daily Mail is full of them, but doesn’t use words like “shag”. They are, I guess, written by female arts grad drones.

  6. These articles are always made up.

    Yes, but they wouldn’t be popular if they were completely unrealistic or people couldn’t relate to them in some way. In this case, over 30 train-wrecks do exist, but they probably have no difficulty finding hotel bars just off the M4. 🙂

  7. Yes, but they wouldn’t be popular if they were completely unrealistic or people couldn’t relate to them in some way.

    Realism isn’t necessary for popularity. See _Penthouse Letters_ if you don’t believe me (assuming that that’s still a thing).

  8. In the name of efficiency it would work better if Timothy the blogger included one suitable pic which appears when we post the link on FB, rather than seventeen different followers each find their own pic, with varying degrees of success and wildly differing taste. Purty purty please?

  9. See _Penthouse Letters_ if you don’t believe me

    Pfft, you telling me they’re not real?!

    Of course they are, hence they always start with: “I never believed these letters were real, but this really happened to me…”

    More seriously, Penthouse Letters worked because they weren’t too far-fetched. They could easily have written pr0n stories set on a yacht featuring supermodels, but the “it could happen to you” element is what appealed to the reader.

  10. In the name of efficiency it would work better if Timothy the blogger included one suitable pic which appears when we post the link on FB, rather than seventeen different followers each find their own pic, with varying degrees of success and wildly differing taste.

    Eh? You mean it doesn’t always choose the header? I think this can be solved by putting a unique picture on the top of each post, but that will be a serious PITA. The titles are hard enough!

  11. ‘What did you expect from a hookup app, a roomful of Rhodes scholars?’

    Wasn’t Bubba Clinton a Rhodes scholar?

  12. Wasn’t Bubba Clinton a Rhodes scholar?

    Yes, but he wasn’t creepy. He was a sex-pest and his d*ck ruled his life, but that’s not the same thing: women actually liked him. Let’s face it, the guy had charm, unlike his wife.

  13. “Yes, your innate biological desire to pair-bond can be outwitted by putting reminders in your phone next to men’s names.”

    Perfectly phrased! Lol.

  14. ‘Yes, but he wasn’t creepy. He was a sex-pest and his d*ck ruled his life, but that’s not the same thing: women actually liked him. Let’s face it, the guy had charm, unlike his wife.’

    Oh, from all accounts, certainly a charismatic individual. However, there are several ladies who would hardly describe their treatment at the hands of Mr. Clinton as having been “charmed”.

  15. However, there are several ladies who would hardly describe their treatment at the hands of Mr. Clinton as having been “charmed”.

    Fair point.

  16. Duck faces?

    (methinks you meant to hit the key just to the right of the letter ‘d’ on the keyboard) 😉

  17. Pingback: Love in the Time of Twitter | Rotten Chestnuts

  18. Slate is such garbage site these days. It used to be kinda good for a “mainstream” site, but now it’s just another crap webzine written by 26 year old interns.

  19. Y’ know Tim. I think I may have the answer to her problem. Should I offer her a job?

  20. She’s a porn actress, ffs! You’d have thought getting f#*ked on set on a regular and varied basis would provide all the no-strings sex she could desire.

    No, this article is to burnish her credentials as a ‘writer’, now that the porn gigs begin to dry up.

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