Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How to Pressure a Woman Into Sleeping With You

Jane is out with Tom on their -th date and they go back to his apartment where they start to hook up.  He asks if he should get a condom.  She says no, she doesn't want to sleep with him tonight.  (She says 'tonight' whether she means it or not because she doesn't want him to dump her immediately, thinking he'll never get any).  He gives her a smile, caresses her cheek, and says "ok, that's fine."

This is about the time when Tom starts to stroke his own ego.  He thinks to himself, "I am such a good guy.  I can't believe those jerks who would push themselves on her.  More women should recognize what a good guy I am.  In fact, why can't more men be more like me?  Look at me being all respectful and all.  I'm even sticking around, to show her how ok with this I am.  God, I'm a good person."  

Jane, in the meantime, is breathing a very quiet sigh of relief.  "That wasn't so bad," she thinks.  "Look, he's even sticking around - he didn't get up and leave the second I said no.  He didn't make me feel guilty, he didn't ask me why not.  He asked permission first, and was perfectly gracious when I said no.  What a good guy."

And they're both feeling pretty good about what a good guy Tom is.
About 10 minutes later, Tom notes that Jane is getting increasingly involved with him and is clearly feeling very, very good about what they are doing.  He knows that women are kind of shy sometimes, and as well that sometimes women change their minds about such things.  He asks, "Are you suuuuure about that condom?"

This is about the time when I want to punch Tom in the face.

This is because men - and often women - do not understand the difference between forcing a woman to have sex, and pressuring a woman to have sex.  So long as the man is not physically and violently forcing himself into her while she screams and cries and fights, we think of it as being completely and 100% consensual.

Being a woman requires always being on defense.  Walking down the street during the day means you have to be on ready alert to glare at any man who harasses you.  Walking down the street at night means perpetually doing reconnaissance about your surroundings, all the while gripping your keys or mace or other weapon of choice.  Being at the office means you need to be cautious about being too friendly with men who may misinterpret your smile as an invitation to sexually harass you, and being on the metro means you need to be wary of standing too close to men who are taller than you because they'll most likely try to look down your shirt.  It's actually quite exhausting.

So once Jane has decided that Tom is a good guy and she has nothing to fear from their interaction, her defenses come down.  She tucks them neatly away and enjoys herself.  And it's such a relief to not have to hold them up so high and so ready.  Until Tom drops the bomb: "Are you suuuure about that condom?"

And suddenly Jane needs to dig down deep and throw up those defenses again in the blink of an eye.  What's the big deal, you ask?  All she needs to do is say "no".  But in asking her to say it once again, what Tom is really doing is pressuring her, albeit in a cutsey (read: "manipulative") way.  He is forcing her into a position where she has to deflect his advances, where she has throw up her defenses and repel his charms - his engaging smile, his soft touch - everything he's using to convince her that he isn't a threat and that she should consent to sleeping with him.

Jane isn't a thousand percent ready for this onslaught, but she rallies her defenses in time.  She gives him a flirtatious laugh and says "yes, I'm sure."  She laughs to show him that she's not a bitch.  She smiles flirtatiously because she's worried about bruising his extremely fragile ego and making him feel rejected.  And so she laughs and smiles to stay on his good side.  And Tom, seeing Jane laugh, has no idea that he's made her uncomfortable.  They resume whatever level of intimacy they were at.  And 10 minutes later, he says, "Ok, so I'm NOT trying to pressure you.  All I'm saying is that you look really, really amazing, and it's really, really hard for me not to want you.  I promise I'll be gentle . . ."

Maybe Jane doesn't sleep with him that night, but she goes further than she'd originally intended to because now she knows that he really would have rather slept with her.  That he'll keep asking her, and maybe if she gives him at least a little something, he won't ask so often.  She can buy herself some time, or else at the very least convince him that she's not a bitch who was just teasing him.

Tom is probably a good guy.  He probably sees himself as a feminist, as uniquely respectful of women.  He probably didn't think he was doing anything wrong, or that he was in any way pressuring her.  But men need to consider the position they put us in when they ask over and over again if we want to sleep with them.   When they smile and coyly promise to treat us well, to make us breakfast in bed even, if only we'll come home with them. Men need to realize that they are not hearing the word 'no'.

And men and women both need to recognize what pressure looks like.  It's not rape as we commonly think of it.  It's not violent, it's not by a stranger, and it's not usually malicious.  I don't think men do this because they are misogynistic or because they hate women or because they don't respect us.  They just don't realize that they are making us defend ourselves, that they are making us resist them, over and over and over again.  That is pressure.

Women will have different rules regarding how many times they feel is ok to ask without it turning into pressure.  As far as I'm concerned, better safe than sorry - that means that it's ok for a man to ask once, and after that he should not bring it up again until the next encounter, at which time I may feel differently.  Sure, maybe a man is right sometimes.  Maybe the woman he's with is too shy to say she wants it, or doesn't know how to express it.  Heck, maybe she even does change her mind (for those who are unaware, that actually is allowed).  But even if all of those things are true - better safe than sorry.

The worst that will happen?  You won't have sex that time.  I promise you'll survive the night.

9 comments:

  1. Hi Abigail - I found your blog through your facebook page. This post is so sadly true. It's as if many men read some kind of manual that instructs them that they are more "manly" if they successfully pressure a woman into sex.

    I read a few other posts, and they are excellent. Thanks for writing about these important issues!

    -Megan Wintermantel

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  2. From a Man's perspective.

    Leave the relationship immediately.

    You are just lying to yourself thinking this is what is best. It is not. Your needs are not being met since she does not view you as someone she wants to have sex with. Move on.

    You did something wrong in your approach or there is some issue with her. If it wasn't brought up already or it is something that can't be discussed then and there get up and leave. If there is an issue you should be able to discuss it.

    Be polite but leave her place saying you have to be somewhere. Or tell her you have some friends who are coming over and it is a guys thing or you have work the next day or have to go hiking early.

    The same thing goes if you are married or not married. Doesn't matter it is actually irrelevant.

    Worst that will happen? You will always be sexually frustrated and lying to yourself. Neither person has self actualized here. The guy is a loser who doesn't stand up for himself and walk out. There is nothing manly about him.

    I hope there are more men out there like this since there will surely be more pussy for me.

    I was one of those men. It is the most heartbreaking thing for a guy and he has no-one to blame but himself.

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    1. If all a woman is to you is something to get your rocks off with, SHE is the one that should leave the "relationship" which isn't really one yet. She just met you. Doesn't know you. Isn't in love with you. Doesn't even know your middle name yet. But you think she is obligated to sleep with you? Dude, you should just go buy what you want from a professional and get it over with. :/

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    2. Nas' perspective sounds exactly like my ex ... the way he treated me broke my heart. I loved him, but he just put too much pressure/emphasis on having physical intimacy, rather than getting to know each other better. I realise now he never loved/adored me, nor will he ever. He didn't want to get to know me, my inner beauty of looking after & cheering up people who were sick/elderly. In hindsight, he never wanted to form a loving connection together, only a very shallow one.

      For me, I need to know that a man loves/cares about me before I can be completely be intimate with him. The more a man wants to wait for me until I am ready to be intimate, and respects that decision to wait & get to know each other better, the more I want to be intimate with him. I need that confirmation that they have a trustworthy/good heart, gentle & loving.

      I just think that - if a person really loved someone, then they would be prepared to wait until their partner was ready to be physically intimate with them.

      Nas - thankyou for your perspective, made me understand why my ex became emotionally upset/overtly angry when I just wanted to wait. I would encourage you to also see an evidence-based science perspective. There are many underlying reasons that explain why women prefer to wait until they are ready for physical intimacy, particularly neuroscience research. For example, there are various studies indicating that the elevated brain chemicals released by a woman during physical intimacy (oxytocin) may make them perceive a strong bond with their partner, no matter how completely incompatible/mismatched they are with them. So I strongly believe it is in women's best interest to wait until she is ready to be physically intimate to ensure she is with a man that is compatible & trustworthy.

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  3. Hi Nas,

    Lying to yourself thinking this is what's best for whom? For the man? For you? Obviously you seem to be only thinking of the needs of the man - and as if a relationship can only be comprised of a sexual encounter between two people or none at all.

    You talk about establishing the "sex" rules early on as if they were the very lifeblood of the relationship. But was that really the only thing that was on your mind when you tried to get to know the girl?

    And why would being married or not married be irrelevant? Once you get to the stage of having gotten married or at least having had lived together for a long time, I would presume that that was because your relationship was already at a much deeper level, much more than sex.

    FYI, Nas, there are other people there who commit themselves to relationships with people who have physical challenges that renders them incapable of having sex with their partners. But I guess that is because they understand what having a relationship with someone is all about - what being able to connect to another person is all about.

    I am actually just appalled that you see women only in terms of sex and their sexual response as a deal breaker (or not). With this kind of self-entitlement attitude, you may get more "pussies", as you put it, but it will get tiring fast, I promise you. Few women will want a real relationship with you. And if a woman never gives you what you want, then maybe it's time to ask yourself. Maybe it's because deep down, underneath all that gentleman facade, they can/could tell that all you ever wanted was sex and nothing more. Too bad for the woman who decides to commit to you. Soon as they are not in the mood, or are rendered physically and emotionally incapable of giving to you what you say YOU want and need, it seems highly likely that they can expect little understanding from you and you will most likely move to someone who can gratify your wishes.

    Yes, I hope there are more men who actually consider something else aside from their selfish desires - and more women who are smart enough to build relationships with them instead.

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  4. omantic schmantic! leave the roses for when you're actually a couple. Focus on your interests, but be friendly. Over bearing attention will make a woman step back.
    age play phone sex uk

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  5. if you do not ask again, then you won't get sex. people can change their minds. yes, guys do pressure girls into sleeping with them but so what? we aint forcing the girls to do anything.. they are the ones who must consent. if you ask your parents for money, they might say no. but maybe if you ask them another day, they might say yes.. so whats wrong?

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    1. Another day is different than multiple times in the same encounter. The author touched on that.

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  6. Pressured sex is not consensual. She only would have "consented" because she felt obligated to. If you continue to ask for someone for sex just because you want it, you are NOT being respectful to her. She said she isn't ready so stop asking. Let her come to you when SHE is ready. Not because you kept asking and she was afraid to say no. Learn how to be respectful. The same applies if the roles were switched by the way.

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