Monday, November 16, 2009

Just Say No to the Naked Make-Out (Part 1)

A few nights ago, my friend Maggie told me about her latest dating conundrum. She’d been seeing a guy for the last few weeks, they’d been doing the naked make-out, and she’d just started giving him blowjobs. He was ready to take things to the next level, but she wasn’t so sure.

Maggie doesn’t like random hookups, and she won’t sleep with a guy unless she’s in a relationship. She wants this guy to be her boyfriend, and she won’t sleep with him until he does, but she wasn’t sure how to tell him this without scaring him away.

I cringed when I heard about the naked make-out. This is something Maggie and I don’t agree on: she doesn’t think she should have to deprive herself just to make a guy stick around, while I became a strong opponent of the “everything but” after a guy in college (who I thought I was seducing by stopping short) told me we should stop seeing each other because he wasn’t ready to date another virgin.

There are reasons why girls normally wait to have sex with a new guy. There’s something that keeps us from jumping in bed with someone five minutes after we’ve met them. Sometimes it’s because we’re worried a guy won’t “respect” a girl they think is easy. Other times we want to make him work for it to make sure he’s not just looking to hit it and quit it. Or maybe sex makes us feel vulnerable, and we don’t want to do it until we know someone pretty well. Maybe we’re worried about disease.

There are tons of reasons why a girl might want to hold off (at least when it comes to penetration) when she’s dating a guy she really likes. But naked make-outs work against all of this rationale.

When we think of heterosexual sex, most of us tend to think of its technical definition (i.e., penis in vagina). But there’s so much more to it than that. Guys can come close to recreating the physical sensations that come with penetration on their own, and most of them do it every day. If they were just looking to come, they wouldn’t need wingmen and bar tabs and all the other things it takes to get laid. A bottle of hand lotion and a half hour on Spankwire would suffice.

But guys buy cologne and strike up conversations with cute girls on the Metro because of the other things that come with sex. The thrill of seeing you naked. The sensation of feeling your naked body grind all over theirs. The validation that comes with knowing that an attractive girl wants your body. And, of course, the occasional blowjob.

The final penis-in-vagina is the icing on the cake. And it’s pretty small and insignificant compared to everything else. When you only deny a guy that, you’re not withholding as much as you think.

When you’re doing the naked make-out, you can still catch an STD. If sex makes you feel emotionally vulnerable, chances are the naked make-out does too. You’re not testing a guy to make sure he’s not using for sex, because he’s already getting 90 percent of what he wants. And if you’re looking for respect, how, exactly, is a naked make-out going to boost his perception of you in that department?

Then there’s the guy’s perspective. When wait till he’s almost inside you to put on the brakes, he’s going to be frustrated and confused. He’s all worked up, he’s only focused on one thing, and all of the sudden he can’t have it. That’s not going to make him think “Wow, I really respect this girl.” It’s going to make him wonder how he can convince you to go all the way. That night.

The naked make-out is the classic definition of blueballing and cockteasing. When you get naked and dry hump a guy, he’s probably going to expect a grand finale. And when he doesn’t get it, it’s really, really frustrating. It’s a turn-off. And it’s an experience he’s not going to want to repeat on a regular basis.

If he thinks the same thing’s going to happen the next time you hook up, and the time after that, and the time after that, he might go looking for someone who won’t leave him feeling aggravated and turned off at the end of the night. He’s gotten most of what he’d get from penetrating you anyway, and he’s walking away with a bad taste in his mouth.

So while you might think that “stop” says, “You have to commit to me before I’ll go all the way,” he’s probably wondering, “How long is she gonna keep pulling this move?” And he might not want to stick around to find out.

There’s an easy way to avoid all this: don’t let a guy see you naked until you’re ready to sleep with him. While you’re still getting to know him, you can make out on the street, at a bar, in his car, or anywhere else where indecent exposure laws apply. Don’t invite him back to your apartment until you’re ready to go all the way. A goodnight kiss won't leave him feeling sexually frustrated the same way a goodnight handjob will.

This will keep him fantasizing about seeing you naked and going out of his way to win your approval. It’ll keep him interested and prevent him from seeing you as a girl he can call when he’s looking for sex. And, if he’s really just looking for sex, he’ll blow you off. But it’s better to learn that now and move on before you have a chance to get even more attached.

But what should you do in Maggie’s situation? Come back tomorrow to find out…

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