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I took this guy home the other night and refused to sleep with him. We did did everything else, though. He hasn’t called – did I go too far? I thought I was being good by holding off on sex. Joanna, 29

2011 April 13
by Zoe Strimpel

As you’ll see in the main post to the left, women are in such a state of confusion that we fear everything we do could be a potential cause of rejection from men. If it’s not the blow job technique (or the over-eagerness of giving one at all), it’s the text. If it’s not the text, it was talking too much on the date. If it’s not the talking too much, it was the hair sprouting from the mole on your back that you forgot to pluck.

The idea that giving yourself physically to men too early kills the spark and makes men feel they’ve “had” you and thus won’t be needing you again is so deeply entrenched that neither women nor men know if it’s true. We just know that that’s the thinking and so we make it true.

That said, I think that sex on the first date isn’t always ideal – mainly because it’s often not really when the woman first wants it. She often does it to impress the man or to get another notch on the bedpost or to have a good story to tell her friends or because she thinks the horniness she felt earlier that day and that abstract longing, will continue into the sack where a strange man is pounding her. So it is an act of submission that might be as much a sign of trouble to come as appearing keen.

You didn’t sleep with him – thinking you were being a good girl. But if giving a blow job felt like giving for the same reasons you might have shagged him, then there really isn’t much material difference between the two. He’s already done very nicely out of your body. But did you enjoy yourself? If you did, I think that’s sexier than any rule-following.

So did you go too far? Well – how long is a piece of string? The question you should think about is: Did you act naturally? Did you act in accordance with your comfort? If so, you were “being good” and whatever happens will do so for a reason, even his silence. It’s worth saying, though, that if you’re a woman who both loves sex and hates rejection after sex, you might have to choose which is better: no sex and less painful rejection (or not being rejected), or going for it and possibly being rejected.

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