Great Sex Does Not Inspire Commitment
CG left a comment in the success story thread that is so epic and insightful, I have to share it. She hit on something I’ve never written about here, though I know all about it. She describes a trap that so many young women fall into – and it’s painful to hear.
Here’s CG describing a good friend trying – and failing – to find a relationship commitment by providing amazing sex:
“What is striking in her discourse (we often talk about her various hookups) is that she derives validation from things that are of no value – basically, she gets excited over crumbs, and thus starts equating her value with these crumbs.
For example, she’ll tell me “Omg we had such a great connection, and he told me I had the NICEST ass he’d ever seen.” Or, she’ll say “He told me I was a GREAT kisser”, or “He said he was attracted to me the minute he saw me”.
And as she derives tremendous confidence from this, I myself cannot help but to notice that these “compliments” and “qualities” are:
1) purely sexual/attraction based
2) super easy to give to even a stranger
3) actually quite obvious and predictable as part of male discourse in the context of casual sex
The problem with my friend is that by constantly feeding on this crap in order to build her confidence and persona, she has defined herself in sexual terms only, at least when it pertains to men. She’s basically labelling herself as an exclusively sexual entity, and it traps her into this scheme where on good days, she interacts with men and puts forward her “qualities,” which get her laid and reinforce her image of herself as the hot/cool/sexy chick.
But on bad days, she’s depressed and saying how she feels like she doesn’t matter to men more than for sex, she wonders if she is any good, deep down, as a person, and if she’s genuinely lovable. She’s at a point where doesn’t know who she is in Love – she only knows who she is in Lust. And she knows why she should be lusted after, but doesn’t know why she should be loved. And that’s common, and it’s sad.”
CG’s friend is of the mistaken belief that sexual prowess can inspire a man to commit to her. So many young women say OK to the hookup first and then try to reverse engineer the relationship. Maybe they’ve seen other women get commitments from guys they were casual with. That does happen – Helen Fisher talks a lot about how events can flip a switch and make people suddenly fall in love. But the best blowjob ever is not going to inspire love, even if it inspires admiration and gratitude.
Most importantly, the guy who limits his feedback to the strictly sexual is not in the relationship market. He’s playing in the casual sex market. It’s like you’re going to the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market to buy a diamond. You can find great strawberries there, but no jewels. The short-term gratification markets and long-term commitment markets don’t intersect. It’s one of the reasons I believe reformed players are not husband material – they’re ill-suited to the commitment market.
It’s like you’re dreamin’ about Gorgonzola cheese when it’s clearly Brie time, baby.
Hitchhiker, There’s Something About Mary
Because CG’s friend is getting positive reinforcement for one thing, she’s providing more of that thing in hopes of getting more good feedback and more validation. She wants to be the rare gem but she keeps showing up to hear how red and juicy she is.
“The dangers of casual sex run so, so much deeper than we think. The consequences on one’s confidence and ego can really be horrible, because you keep on feeding a machine which runs solely on sex and you’re forgetting that you’re good for other things.
You’re telling men that your best qualities, the greatest assets you’ll bring to whatever relationship you have with them are solely based on your being good in bed. Even worst: you’re telling yourself!! She has not had a guy tell her “You’re very kind,” “I appreciate your outlook on life,” “You’re so sweet,” or any other compliments based on feelings – or at least on intellect. It’s always about how she looks, how attractive, sexy, or charming, how good in bed she is. I think that says a lot about what we put out there for men to see – and how we see ourselves.”
CG’s friend is ultimately experiencing devastating rejection. Because the sex is never enough. And it never will be enough. She’s just another commodified vagina to the men she’s seeing, and she’s a willing participant. When all vaginas are of equal value to a man, one can’t be “the best” or be “special.” Crumbs indeed.
CG shares this story as one of success, not for her friend, but for herself. She’s made a big change in her own life:
“I wanted to take this opportunity to share this and say that I’ve been getting to know my true self, which I do by removing myself from the sexual sphere and making a conscious effort to stay in the love sphere with men.
I’m basically revisiting the way I interact with them in order to turn things around, and I can already see the changes both internally and externally.
I rationally believe that I have qualities that are other and better than sexual, and since it’s what I’m putting out there, it’s what I get back. And slowly my heart is starting to believe and understand it too, until the mask of “casualness” is finally off. I’m going to try and help my friend do the same Yay for success stories!”
A lot of women need to hit the reset button on this. Next week I’ll be reporting on the new book Date-onomics, a fantastic research effort that reveals exactly why today’s dating market is so dysfunctional.
There are far more college-educated women than men in nearly every dating market in the United States. The prevailing sex ratio in any market is by far the single most important influence on dating patterns, and women are jumping through hoops to compete for men.
Next time I’ll write about these dismal market conditions – and how you can prepare yourself to beat the competition, both male and female.
Thanks to CG for her thoughtful commentary – she’s been a great addition to the HUS community. She’s smart, articulate and fair. I can attest that she’s offered constructive criticism to me that I have worked hard to address. She has made me a better blogger, and I am thankful.